ALIEN: So Iconic it needs all caps.

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I am about to probably give up a little bit of my geek cred when I say this, but I have to do it: this is my first ever time watching Alien. I always avoided it because I’m just not that into scary and gory, and what did I think of whenever I thought of Alien? Chest-bursting, acid-drippy, wet glistening grossness. So when I finally sat down to watch it, and had my blanket about an inch from my face just in case, I discovered that, although I still (delightfully) got scared, the goopy goreness wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought. Maybe I’ve been desensitized a little bit by this point in my life. There was still grossness, to be sure, but it was grossness I could handle. And I’m glad I could, so I could finally see this iconic flick and enjoy it for what it is: a classic Sci-Fi terror-fest in space.

Yay we made it, yay!

Yay we made it, yay!

The alien really is a perfect organism, as Ash the android scientist puts it. Its various life stages pull at so many different base fears, it’s genius really. First it starts as a creepy egg, that ominously flowers open to let the spider-looking face-hugger out to, naturally, latch onto your face, sticking its nasty alien juice tube down your throat. Then a pint-sized monstrosity bursts out of you, rending your chest into a soup of meaty death. The bugger gets big, bleeds acid, and kills you so quick you don’t even know. Or it strings you up in tons of alien goo and saves you for later. What the hell is there NOT to fear in all that? Even the form of the alien is something instantly recognizable yet foreign; because the alien is a Xenomorph, when it comes from a human host it has just enough qualities to suggest humanity, even though it also has enough alien features to be super scary (like that extra mouth/tongue thing, that’s probably the ickiest part to me).

"Come on man, I just want a hug!"

“Come on man, I just want a hug!”

It was nice to actually see the original inspiration behind so many good Sci-Fi horror stories, including the Dead Space games. Those games scared the crap out of me. I didn’t need my mom in the room like I did with Silent Hill back in the day, though it helped when my boyfriend was home. The monsters in there, called Necromorphs, mutated out of dead tissue into something monstrous and alien and very very nasty. The first one happens on a mining vessel in deep space. Sound familiar? Dead Space is the video game that the Alien franchise really deserved, and not embarrassments like Aliens: Colonial Marines. I’ll talk more about Dead Space when we watch The Thing in a couple weeks. These games are really the love child of Alien and The Thing.

That’s a scary thought, isn’t it?

"Okay okay I'll play your game!"

“Okay okay I’ll play your game!”

Anyway, I’m glad I finally saw Alien. It was a fun get-my-pants-scared-off kind of movie, that is still as poignant today as it must have been when it first came out in 1979. I was 1. My boyfriend was 4. Alien was the first movie he ever saw in the theaters. It really explains a lot.

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8 Comments

  1. Yay! I’m not the only one who never watched the movie before and was afraid to because of gory grossness and then was pleasantly surprised! xD
    I’ll be looking forward to your further thoughts on Dead Space. I haven’t tried those games yet.

    • Hey, I’m an “old,” and I’d never seen this movie all the way through either!

      Ash was technically right all along about the alien being the perfect organism to the point where I wonder what a film told from the alien’s POV would be like. What are humans to it? Food. Lesser beings. I think that would be fascinating to explore.

      • I would pay money to see/read this movie from the Alien’s point of view. In the right hands that would be epic.

    • Samantha you have to try them. Gathering your taste from some of the other games you’ve mentioned in the past, I think you’d really enjoy them. They are destined to be classics (if not already considered so) in the horror/survival game genre.

      • Hmm, I’ll have to keep them in mind for sure then! 🙂

  2. I was struck by the restraint in the gore. In my memory, it was—and still is—much gorier. I often thing in an effort to top what’s come before, movies (and book, to some extent) get gorier and gorier, to the point of diminishing returns. To often scenes that are meant to disturb me only get a “Really? Let’s get back to the story.” When they remake ALIEN (and you know the will. They always do), I expect it to be much gorier, but not better.

  3. I was also surprised by the lack of gore. It’s not necessary to make a story terrifying. Alien was a great balance of fear of the unknown, a scream-worthy monster, with a hint of gore at just the right places.

  4. The lack of gore made me wonder if the alien was actually eating the entire body of its victims, which in turn made it more scary because it could potentially eat like four grown people in less than eight hours and still be hungry.


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