The daily horror movie goes to space with “Alien”

Megan Frye

For movie buffs, the month of October means one thing: 31 days of horror movies. With tons of horror flicks to choose from, The Daily Texan is going to be providing a daily horror recommendation. Whether you prefer ghosts, zombies or stark explorations of the human condition, we’ll be featuring horror films of all flavors. Check back every evening for the movie of the day. Today, we go to outer space for “Alien.”

I may be in college, but is it too much to ask for bag full of candy on Halloween? I want to be able to keep the Halloween spirit alive without having to dress up as a skanky Red Lobster waitress or United States president. Thankfully, there are scary movies. When it comes to the horror genre, I am a stereotypical girl. Why spend money watching attractive people die, when I can see them live? Less gore, more romance — it’s a win-win. 

Luckily for us scaredy cats, there are suspenseful movies out there that won’t cause nightmares and will give us the street credit we desire. “Alien” for example, is a solid choice. It’s exciting but is unlikely to give viewers an anxiety attack, it has gore but isn’t gratuitously violent and Sigourney Weaver has massive late ’70s red hair that could make a cynic fall in love. 

USCSS Nostromo is a commercial spaceship embarking on a journey home, when it picks up a distress signal. Like good intergalactic-traveling Samaritans, the crew pulls over to see what all the fuss is about. The signal is coming from a broken-down alien spacecraft, in which three of the crew members find the remains of a large alien creature and a massive chamber filled with eggs. One of the eggs breaks open and attaches itself onto Executive Officer Kane’s (John Hurt) face. Breaking orders, the crew members open the air lock in order to save Kane and his new, pretty alien head. After unsuccessfully trying to remove the creature off of him, it detaches voluntarily and is later found dead. 

Kane, battered but seemingly healthy, joins the crew at the last dinner before the group reenters hypersleep. Get ready for the screams, fellow wimps, because this is where the movie gets messy. The alien emerges from its human cocoon like a bloody butterfly, escapes in the ship and leaves the crew, and specifically Ripley (Weaver), to find and destroy it without conventional weaponry. 

Before I saw “Alien,” I was dragged to “Prometheus” on an involuntary Mother’s Day family outing. Sporting a weirdly chic parade of heavy-handed metaphors and starring Michael Fassbender, “Prometheus” was neither what I wanted in a sci-fi film nor in a Mother’s Day family event. I left disappointed, and during the whole drive home my brother explained how the movie served as a symbol for Jesus Christ’s birth and resurrection. 

“Alien” doesn’t try as hard as its prequel. It is scary, it is gross and for the era, high tech. It’s also sheer entertainment. People don’t leave the movie questioning Ridley Scott’s hidden messages, they leave wanting to be Scott and no longer afraid. The fear doesn’t follow you home and tuck you in at night; it stays on the screen. 

This movie is for everyone: sci-fi nerds, feminists, movie buffs, Weaver fans — who I now call “The Sigourney Fevers” — and even crazy cat ladies. Yes, there is an orange tabby in this movie and, spoiler alert, he survives. 

So boys, grab your easily frightened lady friend and tell her that “Alien” is about a strong, independent woman, her cat and their new friend, Mr. Homicidal Alien. She’ll cuddle up to you and scream a little bit, but at the end of the film, she still won’t hate you.