Richard Mitchell attempts to exorcise memories of the recent Prometheus by taking a look back at what made the first film in its franchise such a success.
There is a reason why many of us were genuinely excited when the film Prometheus was announced (regardless of how God-awful it actually turned out to be but I’ll get into that later) and that reason is Alien. Director Ridley Scott was at last taking back control of the incredible universe he had created then left to be slowly stripped of any meaning or value by a series of filmmakers who just didn’t seem to understand what makes the first film in the franchise so thrilling even to this day. Unfortunately, see Prometheus was a plot hole-ridden mess with characters that were impossible to care about and a story that only served to complicate the entire canon of the franchise even further. Prometheus was the final nail in the coffin for the series after the complete failure of the Alien Vs Predator spin-offs and it’s very hard to imagine Hollywood will try and carry on the series with any more films. Which is a shame, because the original Alien is terrific.
The film follows the disastrous misadventures of a group of hardy space travellers as they are picked off one by one by a hideous alien creature they find on an unknown planet many lightyears from Earth.
Alien is not without its flaws. The technology on display in the ship that once seemed so futuristic now looks ridiculously dated; the creature’s design has become so iconic that the slow-burn reveal no longer holds the tension it once did; and the effects are showing their age, especially the once-horrifying first appearance of the alien. Some would say that the James Cameron-directed sequel Aliens is the superior film. However, whilst it is true that Cameron added a lot to the series, his efforts still fail to overshadow what is overall one of the most engrossing, tense and thrilling science fiction films ever created.