57 years after Ellen Ripley and crew encountered an alien life form on the Nostromo ship. She is discovered in a stasis pod and brought back to Weyland-Yutani Corporation for debriefing. Ripley is asked to return to the moon LV-426 (the place her past crew discovered the alien) to help investigate a non-responsive colony. There they discover a pod of xenomorphs has taken over the premises and have killed the population. Ellen Ripley, along with colonial Marines (and a corporate turd) prepare for the ultimate fight of man vs alien.
Seven years following the release of the 1979 film titled Alien; James Cameron comes in and shows us that sequels can be great, maybe even better.
I know this is a hard concept to handle because (by and large) most sequels tend to be disasters. Just look at the Alien prequels that have been coming out lately. Such garbage. Prometheus blew and Alien Covenant was boring. Ridley Scott doesn’t understand what made Alien so cool. It wasn’t the evil company trying to control the alien and it’s not some gay robot.
YOU’VE LOST YOUR TOUCH SCOTT!
But Aliens rules and I am happy to have it be the first movie of the year! While the two films are relatively the same, meaning they’re in the same universe and they do have the same protagonist/antagonist. They do differ on some aspects. Very important aspects that I believe make them a cohesive two part series. Alien, is a much better horror movie, where Aliens is a much better action film. Both are horror but the first one definitely conveys more of a darker and horrific setting. It’s all about atmosphere, or more lack of atmosphere. The movie plays on the fear of claustrophobia. There’s no escape, at least that was my reaction from it. You barely see the alien and the setting just makes you feel as if it’s around every small turn. If you have the special released DVD then check out the behind the scenes of the film and absorb the artwork and craftsmanship that went into designing the Nostromo. It’s cinematic art at it’s finest. Something all of these CGI automated hacks can’t seem to grasp today. Aliens kind of loses that edge. Things aren’t as “tight” or claustrophobic and there isn’t a looming fear of this monster. This doesn’t mean Aliens doesn’t deliver. Cameron pulls off the idea of dread, dismay and horror very easily. It’s just more in your face. It has this rolling feeling of continual doom. When you think things are leveling out; it just gets even worse for the characters. Instead of feeling the horror of “not knowing”; Aliens makes you feel the horror of knowing what is and everyone is going to die terribly.
“You better just start dealing with it, Hudson! Listen to me! Hudson, just deal with it, because we need you and I’m sick of your bullshit.” – Ripley
Where Aliens is better (or expands the horror) is in the xenomorph. Instead of one lone killing alien, there’s an entire mess of them! Then to top it all off, they’re governed by a Queen and she’s this ultra pissed off slimy, ugly left-wing femi-nazi looking “I’m gonna kill your kids” egg laying monster! The scene when she first appears is awesomely terrifying. It’s not a quick jump scare but a slow reveal. Kind of like approaching Satan’s liar and knowing you’re in a world of hurt. That’s good horror because it doesn’t rely on the loud sound factor like most modern horror. The Queen is so awesome and scary, they don’t need her jumping out and saying boo. Just being in her presence should make you piss your pants. When I was a kid, this blew my mind and to this day I’ve never really seen a monster introduced in such an epic fashion. This is an aspect that drives Aliens above its ancestor. And who can forget the ending scene where Ripley gets into the P-5000 Loader and yells “Get away from her you bitch!” Then proceeds to fight the Queen in an ultimate showdown. “Get away from her you bitch!” I could see my wife saying that to some ogre teacher messing with one of our kids. Gosh that’s hot!
My only problem with the film is the ending of the actual fight scene. It’s exactly how the alien is killed off in the first movie. How the crap do you not come up with a different ending than blowing the thing out into space. And guess what! They did the same thing in the 97 film Alien: Resurrection. Just look at this crap!
Oh but it gets worse! Just when you thought they couldn’t be less creative, Ridley Scott comes back in 2017 to make Alien: Covenant! And guess what! HE BLOWS THE STUPID THING INTO SPACE ONCE MORE!! Don’t believe me, watch that moronic movie and then jab a pen in your eye like I did. Who the crud is writing these endings?
Aliens has a fast paced beginning and maintains that fast pace through most of the film. The entire premise is pretty much revealed early in the film and I understand why Cameron took this approach. We already know what the alien is and we know what it can do. So how can you make it scarier? You give it a few family members with a pissed off mother! That’s where the horror element dwells. The movie is top notch and still holds up today. The aliens aren’t CG like it is in the new films.
It took over 15 people to work the Queen alien and it was made out of materials like black garbage bags and a crap load of KY Jelly. That’s when movies required ingenuity and something known as elbow grease, or just simple KY Jelly. The story is intense and it expands on the universe of the alien than it being just single creature that happened to appear one time.
I love Ellen Ripley, she’s so hardcore. I don’t understand how feminists complain about bad examples of women in movies when Ellen Ripley has been around for more than 30 years! You have to include her in the list of total bad-asses! Why isn’t Sigourney Weaver casted in an Expendables movie? Doesn’t taking on an acidic blood killing alien make you awesome? I think so.