David on Alien

I still vividly recall seeing Alien in the theater with some friends. It was the first—and so far remains the only—time I was genuinely frightened by a movie, although in hindsight I suspect this was due as much to the environment as the film itself. Funny story: My father had always insisted he was immune to scary movies. When Alien came out on video, I suggested we watch it together. And when the chest-burster made his appearance, my father literally leapt out of his chair and hollered, "MY GOD!"

Be that as it may, Alien is one of the few horror films I've voluntarily watched (I'm loathe to accept horror as a worthwhile film genre), which makes my positive opinion of it all the more unusual. In truth, though, Alien is a crossover film, not fully belonging in either the science fiction or the horror categories, which may be the source of much of its brilliance—as well as its saving grace. As such, it was the first of its kind, and its success is clearly evident by the countless sequels, prequels and knock-offs it inspired. High production values and stand-out performances across the board didn't hurt, either. The result might have qualified as F!ING-AWESOME were it not for so much blood and gore. I know some people are into that... honestly, they need some couch time.


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