Skip to content


I guess I just like liking things

alienMy wife had never seen the movie Alien, and since it’s October (Scary Movie Month) I talked her into watching it. It’s long been #1 on my Scariest Movies Ever list, so I thought she should give it a try. The short version is that she liked it, which surprised me. “It’s held up really well,” she said.

Weirdly, though, last night’s viewing of the movie might have changed my ranking of it, scary-wise. It’s still a good movie, certainly, but it didn’t creep me out near as much as it used to. Now, whether that’s due to my age or my familiarity with it, I don’t know, and there’s really no way to know. Honestly, though, being able to watch the movie without the overriding fear helped me watch it more objectively. Everything from the Star Wars-inspired pans of the ship to the in-your-face closeups of the crew helps build suspense and increases the eventual payoff. It’s just that, prior to last night’s viewing, a lot of that got lost on me while I was creeped out by the alien.

Viewing this one in light of the expanded Alien universe we now have actually works pretty well. A lot of that has to do with James Cameron’s work in the second film, since he established things like the Queen and more about how the Alien society functions. Alien 3 gave us the idea that the Aliens took on characteristics of the host body, which is a really neat addition (and is about the only cool thing Alien 3 gave us). Going on to Alien 4 and the Predator vs. Alien movies give us even more, and it says a lot about the concept of the Aliens that even sub-par movies can’t diminish the strength of it.

I told my wife going in that if she was going to watch the first one that she also had to watch the second one, but I wouldn’t make her watch the rest of them unless she wanted to. I haven’t seen Aliens in a long, long time, but it, too, has ranked very high on my Scariest Movies Ever list, so I’m curious to see how it does after I see it again.


Written by: