Week 9: Curiosity Driven Horror, a look into the mindset of the Alien Franchise.

Aliens

Even though Fall is over and Halloween is long past, in the tradition of horror movies cashing in on the fall season, my favorite horror movie is Aliens. What’s that I hear? I’m sacrilegious? Alien is better, you say? Good you’ve come to the right place!

Something that has both fascinated and disgusted me is body horror, movies that focus on the gradual transformation of a person into a monster they’re not, The Fly, The Thing, Contracted, Parasyte, even The Exorcist. It’s the makeup, the practical effects, and the attention to detail in this character’s transformation that excites and disturbs me! So please don’t shoot me when I praise the Alien Franchise as a whole, not just the classic original that I even make reference to several times in The Shadows.

The washing was done with cheery faces and then most of them retreated to the media room where Jet selected a movie he loved. Cælan stepped up the stairs with River on his hip to see the opening credits and he gasped, “Wait a second!” hurrying into the media room a smile formed upon his lips, “You guys are watching Alien! I love this movie!”

Jet’s toothy redneck grin pulled from ear to ear, “Oh right… you’re addicted to old movies.”

“What?!” Mark blared from across the hall in the library. Everyone looked over to the crazy Overseer worriedly, “the kids can’t watch this, they’ll never sleep again!”

“No, come on!” Jeromy pled with Honi at his side and Gabby and Gabe on the floor before the couch. They didn’t need to know English to be freaked out by the horrific elements in this movie. “I’ve been dying to see this!”

Mark’s eyes glazed over as he tried to do some math in his head, “Jet left five-six years ago, so that means he would have been… oh dear lord, Jet were you ten when you first saw this movie?”

Sitting with his legs crisscrossed to take up as much space as possible, Jet beamed and nodded, “And our dad promised him he could watch it when he was ten, but that never happened.”

Mark slapped his face, “You guys…” he groaned, their whole family was a little too used to the violence they lived in. “Can you at least wait until the littles are asleep?” he insisted however, from the gleaming light on their faces at the first sight of the space ship in the movie they were instantly sucked in. Knowing he wouldn’t be able to stop them and they’d have to deal with the consequences, Mark looked over the banister, “Charly!” he called and she came out from the kitchen expectantly, “I think you might not approve of this movie, it’s up to you, but I think maybe Honi should go do something else.”

Shrugging, Charly’s eyes narrowed, “I don’t really care… he’s a wolf, if the monster were real it would probably just make his protective instincts kick in.”

“Alright then…” Mark mumbled off, but had to accept her judgement.

With the release of the recent Alien Covenant this past summer I’m growing increasingly hyped for the future of the franchise even as many fans were disgusted by the blatant reuse of plot. Yes, the plot and motivation is very similar to the original Alien, but the horror story isn’t what I was looking for in the movie. Yes I enjoy the suspense, I’ve never been terrified by the Alien, I’ve been captivated by it, all I’ve ever seen when that Alien is on screen is an incredible piece of art. I know H. R. Geiger became discontent with the use of his creation in future movies, but I wish to do his art and vision justice, and I hope Ridley Scott does the same.

Take for a moment, the perspective of the scientist, yes you are terrified by the creature, but also like many of the scientists in the movie you are driven by curiosity at this monster’s life cycle, the non-efficient way in which it reproduces in order to cause the most death around it. Weyland wanted to capture it, but many real people want to study it, based on clues the movies have given we are left with the most mind boggling plot line I’ve ever seen, topping Star Wars, and creeping in on the internet scavenger hunt known as Cloverfield.

I never went into the movie looking for horror, I went in to watch the transformation of the thing, the monster that had been created and its evolution. Though Prometheus seemed to disappoint fans who wanted to see the classic Alien it gave us something better than monsters, it gave us questions. That to me is the greatest movie experience, the movie that makes me walk out with questions, the movie that drives me to want to get answers and see more. That is how after almost forty years, Ridley Scott is still able to captivate us with that perfect organism, because we do want to know more about it.

As the scientist, we are also a part of the crew, on the payroll of Weyland-Yutani, and we like the antagonist, wanting nothing more than to see this creature birth more of its own, so we can study it and learn of its nature, history and how it came to exist. With each new movie we are given a slightly different perspective on the beast, the calculated orders of Ash, the money driven desire to breed more monsters of those who put the colonists on LV-426, the human-like curiosity that was willing to experiment of the android David, and the hope fueled misguidance of unlucky colonists of the Covenant. Each has given us a different take on the monster, the apex predator, the hive mind, the weapon, and the engineered creation.

I’m not looking to be scared by the Alien, the think I look for in future Alien movies is the furthered research on this terrifying creature, so that we like the corporation, Weyland-Yutani can better understand and use this monster. I want to see them get what they want, to destroy Ripley’s goal, and to use this monster for the betterment or destruction of the human race. Say what you want about Alien Resurrection or the AVP franchise, I’d still like Ridley Scott to address the supposed villains of the original

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