Alien (1979) • Aliens (1986) • Alien³ (1992) • Alien: Resurrection (1997)
Out of the gate, I’ve never seen Alien. Don’t let that fool you: I love Alien in its various comic book forms. I have two or three graphic novels, as well as both of the Alien Vs. Predator omnibuses published by Dark Horse Comics on my shelf. I love the designs, the brutality, its fearlessness in being ghoulish, but somehow they still say things about the nature of being human, of being a woman, of the absolutely terrifying possibilities hidden within the feminine. Yet, it never wanders into sexism or misogyny (a word I do my hardest to spell correctly the first time, every time, but have to right-click that red squiggly) as far as I can tell. Alien is one of those iconic movies that gets so parodied and commented upon that, at a certain point, you’re not sure if it’s worth carving out the two hours to see (though I’m sure I’ve ingested more Alien stuff than the average fan of the movies): you’ve heard so much about it that you can relate the movie’s every plot point, and is there anything that can be added to the experience? The few times someone brings the movie up in conversation and someone asks, “Have you seen it?” I feel like Homer from The Simpsons defending the symbolism in his offensive float in “Faith Off,” in that no amount of explaining won’t fix it because the problem isn’t the explanation.
But Alien was something special, and I regret not having seen it earlier. The thing that struck me most was how the film nearly perfectly mimics the arc of an anxiety attack. I’m curious if anyone else who has anxiety has experienced this while watching the movie. As far as I’m concerned, you can learn something of what it’s like to have an anxiety attack just by watching this movie. Even in the opening shots of the movie, there’s the implication of unease coming.
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