Horror can exist anywhere in the cosmos, not simply on earth—such is the implication in Ridley Scott’s Alien (1979). I have no interest in seeing the movie’s sequels, but I’m glad to have seen this chilling first release. Though in no way is the film very political, as usual there’s a hokey jab at corporations. Plus, as usual for sci-fi movies there is obvious absurdity in the screenplay. (So the other crew members of the Nostromo spacecraft don’t know who—or what—Ian Holm’s Ash really is. Yeah, right.)
For all its flaws, Alien is worth viewing at least once. The dramatic urgency, the acting, the Jerry Goldsmith score, and the technological razzle dazzle are all assets. Scott’s Blade Runner is better, but only slightly. Really, why can’t cinematic sci-fi be more meritorious? Oh well. The horror stuff here is effective, at any rate.