Sommerleigh Pollonais – Horror Head Writer
In 1987 Aliens Ellen Ripley, the sole survivor of Alien, is rescued by a deep salvage team after being in hypersleep for 57 years. The moon that the Nostromo visited has been colonised, but contact is lost. This time, colonial marines have impressive firepower, but will that be enough?
What is there left to say about this movie, that hasn’t already been said. A masterpiece in filmmaking, an action horror movie classic, proof positive that a sequel can be just as good or even better than its predecessor. Yes, ask anyone whose seen it and they’ll tell you, James Cameron’s Aliens is a damn good movie!
Instead of just making a carbon copy of Ridley Scott’s Alien, Cameron takes all of the brilliance of the first movie (a film that has a much more dramatic feel to it, the way most sci-fi films did in the 60s and 70s did) and added the adrenaline-fuelled action that 80/ movies were known for. Ripley, once again is played to perfection by Sigourney Weaver, and her character is much more developed this time around. She’s seen some stuff and lived to tell the tale, and while she’s traumatised by what she’s been through, she does what all real heroes do – she faces her fear head on with a flamethrower. Because flamethrowers make everything more awesome.
We also get a slew of memorable actors and performances. This is not something you see everyday people! Most movies with large ensemble casts don’t know what to do with half of them, and it’s almost impossible to remember or even care about them when they die. What James Cameron did was make every scene with our Colonial Marines the stuff of movie legend, with Michael Biehn’s “speak soft and carry a big stick” hero leading the charge, Vasquez repping for all the tough as nails ladies out there, and the late great Bill Paxton nailing the one liners and ad libbing his heart out, giving us gold that people are quote up to this day!
If there’s a list of Top 100 Most Quotable Movie Lines, I’m a hundred percent positive “game over man, game over!” is in the Top 10. Newt, Drake, Lt. Gorman, Bishop, I could go on and on, but I’ll stop here and just reiterate, there is not one wasted character in the whole bunch.
And then of course we have the special effects. H.R. Geiger’s designs have not changed much from film to film and there’s a reason for this. They’re perfect. The oily black sheen, the scorpion-like tail and shell-like exoskeleton and of course, that mouth within a mouth. Cameron makes the smart choice to keep us in the dark about the origins of these creatures. All we learn here is they have a hive-like existence, with a Queen (and a badass-looking one at that) at the centre of their world. Monsters are always scarier when we know little to nothing about them so there’s always this feeling of uncertainty and tension, because you never know what they’ll do next.
From the alien designs, to the set pieces of the ships and the colony LV-426, visually this film still looks as good as it did when it was first released and rewatching it made me wish like hell James Cameron was the man behind the lens on every other sequel to this franchise that we got.
Sadly, the rest are a mix bag of hits and misses (you can check out Julien’s Alien franchise ranking here). Gladly, we still have Alien and Aliens to look back on whenever the Sci Fi-Horror mood strikes us. If only all sequels looked like this!
Sommer’s Score: 10 out of 10
For part 9 of my 31 Days of Horror and my review of supernatural horror classic The Omen you can click here. And for more classic horror film reviews you can like and follow Redmangoreviews on Facebook here.
Sommerleigh of the House Pollonais. First of Her Name. Sushi Lover, Queen of Horror Movies, Comic Books and Binge Watching Netflix. Mother of two beautiful black cats named Vader and Kylo. I think eating Popcorn at the movies should be mandatory, PS4 makes the best games ever and I’ll be talking about movies until the zombie apocalypse comes.
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