Directed By: Ridley Scott

Starring: Tom Skerritt, Sigourney Weaver, Veronica Cartwright, Harry Dean Stanton, John Hurt, Ian Holm, and Yaphet Kotto

The 2012 summer movie season has shown us one thing.  People love some alien movies.  Aliens are part of most of the big blockbusters kicking off the summer.  Just think of flicks like The Avengers, Battleship, and Men in Black 3.  Badass extraterrestrials are in style.  There's one more alien flick coming out in June as well.  It goes by the name of Prometheus.  Directed by Ridley Scott, the film just happens to be a spinoff/prequel to the original film about vicious life forms from other worlds.  With that in mind, now is a fitting time to revisit the 1979 sci-fi classic Alien.

The commercial towing ship Nostromo is on its way back to Earth with twenty million tons of mineral ore.  When a signal from an unknown location is found, the Nostromo's computer wakes the crew members up.  These seven individuals are tasked with landing on a nearby planetoid and investigating the signal.  With a rocky landing on this planetoid, the Nostromo suffers some damage and requires repairs.  Captain Dallas (Tom Skerritt), Executive Officer Kane (John Hurt), and chief navigator Lambert (Veronica Cartwright) go out to investigate the signal, while Warrant Officer Ripley (Sigourney Weaver), Science Officer Ash (Ian Holm), and resident engineers Brett and Parker (Harry Dean Stanton and Yaphet Kotto) remain on the Nostromo to make those repairs.

While Dallas and Lambert are investigating the signal elsewhere, Executive Officer Kane discovers another organic life form.  When Kane stumbles upon a nest of alien eggs, one alien hatches and latches onto his face, knocking him unconscious.  Dallas and Lambert take him back to the Nostromo against the wishes of Ripley.  Ash and Dallas try to detach the alien from Kane but are unsuccessful because of the creature’s acid-like blood.  Eventually the alien releases its hold and dies.  Kane wakes up, and the crew thinks all is well.  When another alien splits Kane in two and begins terrorizing them, they change their opinion.

Alien is really the quintessential sci-fi horror flick.  It's bold and refreshing.  It's smartly directed and well acted.  It's everything you would never expect out of a film at that time.  Director Ridley Scott gives us one truly terrifying film in a bleak yet imaginative vision of space.  While he delivers incredible special effects for the time, Scott's most enduring achievement in this film is his use of sound to build tension and invoke fear.  Whether he simply has chains rustling or a heart beating, Scott builds horror like no other with just a few sounds.  That’s a master at work.

For a sci-fi horror movie, Alien has a really phenomenal cast. We've got a young Sigourney Weaver in her first leading, kickass role as Ripley.  Alien established her as a force to be reckoned with.  In any horror flick, some poor soul has to go first, and that's John Hurt in this movie.  The talented actor brings a larger than usual on-screen presence to the first fool to die.  Tom Skeritt plays the corporate lackey Captain Dallas to the tee.  Ian Holm, gives science officer Ash the cold, calculating mentality he needs in his efforts to capture and study the perfect organism.  Finally, I can't forget about the hilarious Harry Dean Stanton and his partner Yaphet Kotto as Brett and Parker respectively.  These greedy bums bring plenty of comedy to the film.

At the end of the day, any horror movie requires some stupidity.  Somebody has to do something colossally dumb to create a situation in which bodies are flying left and right.  For Alien, this moment is Ash helping Captain Dallas and Lambert board the Nostromo with the unconscious Kane and the alien latching onto his face.  You'd have to be an idiot to bring an unknown alien species on a ship, or just aligned with corporate interests.  Ridley Scott and the writers brilliantly turn a tale that could be based on idiocy into a more meaningful story by adding a heartless corporation to the mix.  It's the stuff that makes Alien not just another horror movie.

Alien is an all-time classic.  There's no way you won't enjoy this great cast as they're torn to shreds by their badass extraterrestrial foe.  Ridley Scott has crafted a terrifying, awe-inspiring film that has stood the test of time as simply great entertainment.  Though more than thirty years have passed and the technological bells and whistles of the era look more like the Stone Age today, you can still sit back and enjoy this flick.  There's nothing quite like it.  It has a captivating story and embodies fear like no other film can.  Alien gets a sober rating.