“My mommy always said there were no monsters – no real ones – but there are.” It’s pretty ridiculous that it has taken me until 2015 to watch the entire Alien series but here I am, fresh from watching the films I was keen to share my thoughts about the films so here they are.
Alien 1 – 3 feel like a really solid sci-fi trilogy, as a three they feel well thought out and are connected brilliantly. One of my favourite elements about these films is how they pick up exactly as the previous film ended. I know that in some cases several years have passed but in terms of Ripley’s perspective the story continues pretty much with minimal gaps – however Blomkamps Alien 5 may change all this. For me it is Scott and Cameron’s films which are fighting for my top spot. Both Alien and Aliens are very different, the first being more at home in the horror genre whilst Aliens is through and through and action film. I love how the same subject matter can span two completely different genre films and that is why its hard to pick a favourite but I have to say that I’m leaning towards Aliens. I’m baffled by David Fincher’s dismissal of his film Alien³, I’ll admit that it doesn’t stand up to the first two films and there are some plot holes but it boasts many positives as well and I enjoyed the fresh take on the Alien plus I really enjoyed the ending.
Then comes Alien Resurrection. This unfortunately is where the series takes a serious dip in quality. There are several problems here but my main issue was Ripley. Due to the events of the third film the true Ripley that we know and love is no more, instead we have to make do with a cloned version. I couldn’t get on board with this version of Ripley and it made the film lack any real lead which was a shame. Unlike the first two films both Alien³ and Resurrection suffer from weak secondary characters but in particular Resurrection, where were the Hudsons and the Hicks? These films needed some characters like this. They whole hybrid alien was a bit much too, Alien Resurrection simply didn’t convince me with its script. This was a shame because the film does have its moments, I really enjoyed the underwater sequences, this and the scene after were very reminiscent of Deep Blue Sea which I feel may have taken some influence from this. I also liked how the Aliens escaped near the beginning of the movie. So whilst Resurrection is considerably worse than the rest of the series it isn’t completely awful and it does have some elements to appreciate, but it does go a bit too far with its ideas.
Then we have Prometheus, Ridley Scott returning to the franchise which he jump started – this has to be a good thing, right? Well yes and no. I was expecting a direct sequel to the events in Alien so when I watched the events of Prometheus play out I was a little disappointed as it boasts a completely new and different storyline. However once you accept this I think there is loads to be enjoyed here. Firstly I loved the cast, across the board there are some fantastic performances. Noomi Rapace, Charlize Theron, Michael Fassbender, Idris Elba, Guy Pearce, Logan Marshall-Green and Rafe Spall all contributed to making this a cast strong film and I loved watching each of them perform. The film looked gorgeous too and there was so much going on meaning I’m looking forward to re-watching it to properly take it all in. There were so many great scenes, and usually Rapace’s character was at the helm of these my favourite was when she had to extract the foreign species from herself, this scene was full of suspense, gore and tension. This was just one of the scenes that I enjoyed a lot from this prequel. Whilst Prometheus was great I struggle to include it in the Alien series as its feels much more of a spinoff opposed to a prequel. Regardless of this I’m glad it was made and I hope that the plans for Prometheus 2 and a final film to bridge the gap to Alien get made.
The Alien series is for sure one of my favourites and it could be my favourite sci-fi series, that is another debate though. After my first watch of all the films I think my rankings would go like this (from best to worst); Aliens, Alien, Prometheus, Alien³ and Alien Resurrection. I’m sure that could change though and there really isn’t a lot in those top two rankings! Do yourself a favour and go re-watch this series, you will not regret it. From facehuggers to exploding heads, alien hybrids to chest bursters there is literally never a dull moment in this franchise!