Projections - Movie Reviews

Alien: The Director's Cut 2003
Alien Directors Cut
Starring Tom Skerritt, Sigourney Weaver, Veronica Cartwright,
Harry Dean Stanton, John Hurt, Ian Holm

"In Space No One Can hear You Scream."

Alien really launched the careers of actress Sigourney Weaver, who went on to do three more "Alien" films, and director Ridley Scott, who would solidify his versatility behind the camera with the likes of Blade Runner, Thelma & Louise, and Gladiator.

This director's cut adds some previously deleted footage and trims a few scenes so the actual running time is nearly the same. The cast members are dated by the film, but everything else about this pristine new print which demands to be seen on a large screen underlines how startlingly scintillating it is.

The plot form Dan O'Bannor follows a freighter called Nostromo returning to Earth from a remote planet. A crew of seven respond to a distress signal from a threatening life form that unfortunately is brought aboard Nostromo. It will elude them in no time and grow beyond expectation. The cast includes, besides Weaver as Ellen Ripley, Tom Skerritt as the captain, Ian Holm's physician, Yaphet Kotto, Veronica Cartwright, Harry Dean Stanton, and John Hurt as Kane, remembered for the film's most unnerving, grossest moment.

Using space as the backdrop, Alien really belongs to the horror genre and Scott instills much atmosphere to graduate the impending terror. The tension builds in this special edition thanks to more monochromatic lighting and stronger clarity in each frame. We're trapped and frightened just like the characters and red flags like Jones The Cat don't downplay the vulnerability of the audience.

With outstanding creature features (like acid blood) a leery dark mood prevails. The suspense is greatly abetted by the integration and editing of scenes that offer a smoother narrative flow. There is more to the "The Nest" sequence where Ripley starts to figure out what this killing machine is up to.

Maybe more directors will get ideas to model from that can keep new generations on the edge of their seats. "The Director's Cut" will become available on DVD soon enough for home collectors but this newly resurrected Alien has the elements firmly in place to make it arguably one of the scariest movies ever made.

Alien: The Director's Cut

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