In the figure of the coltish, resolute Sigourney Weaver, Alien may just be the film that overhauled the old, unreconstructed horror genre and dared to put a woman centre-stage.
Because make no mistake: a horror movie is what Alien is. “It’s basically a haunted house film,” explains the critic David Thomson. “The only difference is that the old dark house just happens to be a spaceship.” —Xan Brooks, Guardian
Alien came out thirty years ago. Thirty years ago!
I would have just turned 11. I remember reading all about the movie in Starlog (a science fiction magazine my sister and I read from about issue #6 or #7, and we later ordered back issues so we had the complete set), and I remember seeing advertisements for Alien-themed toys, but I wondered who would want them… I’m sure I saw an edited version of the movie on TV, or maybe I rented the video, but I really wasn’t into horror.
The sequel, Aliens, came out when I was a teenager, and was a big hit with my peer group. It made me re-watch the first film, and I appreciated it more.
I did watch the third film once, but I settled for reading an online version of the script for the fourth movie.
But honestly… thirty years?