So ends another year of 31 Days of Horror. Next year in honour of Canada’s 150th anniversary I’ll be focuses on Canadian horror movies. To end this year’s theme I leave with the classic that kick started a franchise that’s still going today and spawned a hundred rip-offs like Galaxy of Terror, Forbidden World, Xtro, Horror Planet, Creature, Alien 2: On Earth, Parasite and many many more.
The spaceship the Nostromo is returning home to Earth when the crew is awakened to a distress call. The call is coming from nearby planet that’s devoid of life. The crew go down to the planet and find a giant alien spaceship that has crashed on the planet. Inside is a large fossilized alien that seems to have died from something bursting out of it’s chest. Kane (John Hurt) finds a bunch of eggs that covered by a sort of mist. He looks into one of the eggs and something attaches itself to his face.
Kane is brought back on board the Nostromo despite warrant officer Ripleyès (Sigourney Weaver) protests about following protocol. Kane is taken to medical where they find that can’t seem to remove the creature without killing Kane. A while later the creature dies and Kane seems to recover. The crew celebrate by having supper during which, well, something bursts out of Kane. The rest of the crew find themselves fighting for their lives as the alien grows bigger and starts killing everyone one at time.
Ridley Scott’s 1979 classic Alien is still a fantastic and terrifying piece of cinema. A few year’s ago when adding discarded footage was becoming a fad for Hollywood Scott and Fox studios released a “director’s cut” of the movie but Scott didn’t just add scenes back in he had to recut the whole film to maintain the pace and tension. His preferred cut is the original which crafted exactly the way he wanted it and that version works the best. It’s intense, horrifying and brilliant. There have many sequels, spin-offs, prequels, novels, comics and video games that have followed but nothing beats the original.