Yes, nice article, thanks Necro!
ALIEN was all about the fear of the unknown. Dan O'Bannon and Ridley Scott recognised that Giger's beautiful monsters, were fascinating, terrifying, and perfectly conveyed that bizarre, other-worldly Alien feel. Nothing like them had ever been seen before, and they remain as powerful today.
Along with the Nostromo's crew, we really had no idea what the Alien, or the Space Jockey were. It's that critical component which has been completely lost.
ALIEN was created and designed by Artists~ Ridley Scott, H.R. Giger, Ron Cobb, Jean 'Moebius' Giraud. Not to mention, the numerous production designers, modelmakers and analogue effects unit!
It's not an interpretation of their work, it is their work, fully realised, by them, on screen. We will never see the likes of H.R. Giger working on a movie again. Those elements make it unique, and very important to Science Fiction film history.
Last year, Ridley told Yahoo movies, “I got lucky meeting Giger all those years ago. It’s very hard to repeat that. I just happen to be the one who forced it through because they said it’s obscene. They didn’t want to do it and I said, ‘I want to do it, it’s fantastic’.
Giger-verse has been lost, and in my opinion that has been the biggest mistake. There's a real chance now to re-create beautiful monsters. Both practically and with CGI enhancement, [which has now reached full realism] I'm hoping to see something truly memorable.
I want my jaw to drop, my head to nod, a huge smile to appear on my face, and to be able to say to myself.....yeah that feels Alien!
Legendary Godzilla's design made me feel that way. There's nothing to stop new Alien designs from doing exactly the same!
"Let The Cosmic Incubation Begin" ~ H.R. Giger
"Along with the Nostromo's crew, we really had no idea what the Alien, or the Space Jockey were. It's that critical component which has been completely lost "
that there is averything that after alien was missing. for me ripleys story ended with aliens
alien 3 should have gone the sj civilisation route
thats why possibly resurection should have been ripley hijacked from the narcaciss and ending up on a space station where the company was busy doing research on the derelict and ripley wakes up to find bishop is there to help her with hicks actually being one of the troopers on the space station that discovers the experiemnts that WY is doing and she etc. thats sounds alto like resurection just with sj added.
i will read the article now. i am so afraid of reading something that is so good only to realise the potential that is there and if it gets squandered this time we will all be fighting with each other and end up going back to prometheus to - to ridleyverse and i so want ridley to part of it as well .
my teeth is clenched from the anguish i expect when alien 5 is released and more of the same ....when blatantly the writer has the answer. its always been there but fox knows it will take a lot of the mystery away but its soul and could have left alot left to be discovered - as eveyone says - if done right- a few glimpses will be enough.
ridley should surround himself again by talented people like he did with alien
why was whedon blamed for resurection when he was only the scriptwriter and not the director ?? should i start a thread ?/
Matt Evans on how to make Alien terrifying once again…
With Neill Blomkamp’s Alien 5 officially announced by Fox and the studio’s commitment to Prometheus sequels further down the line, the Alien franchise is alive once more and is heading dangerously close to ‘Cinematic Universe’ territory. This is a potential state of affairs that will no doubt leave many fans ravenous but is one that is sadly misguided.
The universe wherein the events of Alien take place is necessarily sparse. A huge amount of what makes the original movie work so well is the extent to which it is knowingly, actively unexpansive in its world building. It is a film, in part, about vulnerability. For the majority of the running time, both the audience and the characters are in some critical way in the dark. Nothing is entirely clear. The characters are directed by a vague and nebulous force (The Company) to investigate a planet they know nothing about for reasons that are hidden from them. The event that ultimately sets the film in motion (the crash landing of the Derelict on LV426) is a happening left entirely transparent to both the viewer and the characters. The ship is ancient and alien, its pilot fossilised and its cargo horrific and unstoppable. It is, conspicuously, unknowable. This element of the incomprehensible power is key to the vulnerability of the audience and characters and, hence, the horror and power of the film.
The last thing an Alien movie needs is answers. We can apply the same reasoning to the creature itself.
The Alien itself has changed a lot since its initial inception. I would argue that, as the series grew and more detail is provided (particularly in the, otherwise fantastic, Aliens) the creature has lost some of what made it so unique. It became more insectoid and, as such, more understandable. We can recognise elements of the familiar in the lifecycle presented in Aliens; The drones and the Queen are conceptually opaque notions of reproduction, hierarchy and biologically driven purpose. It’s simply not as frightening because, to some extent, we get it. The creature that presents itself so horrifically in the 1979 original is not analogous to anything we’ve ever experienced, insect or otherwise.
H.R Giger’s original design is not terrifying in the way a giant insect is terrifying. It presses far more buttons than just ‘fear of a large and dangerous creature’. Hermaphroditic and mechanically sexual, Giger’s Alien is a walking violation. It’s easy to forget, after the swarming bullet-fodder of Aliens, that the first creature moves, not like a soldier, but like a pervert. It moves almost sensually around the Nostromo and kills, or in Lambert’s case rapes, with a disgusting focus on intimacy. It moves close. It caresses and drools. It’s not even clear from the first movie that it is driven to reproduce, though that is always assumed. It seems, rather, to be pursuing its desires. It stalks the ship, not to bring hosts for its offspring or Queen, but for reasons unclear and playful. It is utterly, stupefying scary.
This aspect of the creature is conspicuously toned down in later manifestations, perhaps because approaching content like this is extremely difficult; being too overt with the sexual imagery can cause the movie to cross the line into the exploitational and crude. The issue is that, without these overtones, the creature is simply that. A creature. We have a lot of those in horror and science fiction as is, many of which don’t have the problem of having been utilised solidly for decades.
Re-energising a creature that has been overexposed and over explained for the better part of 30 years is not an easy task. But it can be done by revisiting what made the Alien so compelling and horrifying in the first instance.
i get not giving the answers that true and i agree with that.
but the xeno has been EXPLORED to death. The sj has never been EXPOLORED apart from prometheus.
nor weyland yutani
An interesting article imo, and one that does hit most of the right notes, especially that the last thing an Alien movie needs is answers. The only problem I have is what should be interpreted as answers.
I’m the kind of person who appreciates a good joke delivered by a good comedian. Consider that a good joke, that is delivered well is like a good horror movie, the trick is to package a punch line that has power. In the case of a horror movie the effect is far greater than just being hit by a street car.
A good comedian/story teller derives a lot of effect from the use and timing of words which creates a psychological wall paper with which to furnish our minds eye. The point here being it is not what is seen, but suggested. The punchline is also much more appreciated and effective when we cannot fully predict what is going to happen next, but when the storyteller has given us enough information to form what we think is a predictive plot, the best punchline will turn everything on its head.
The reason I have gone through this mechanism of story telling is because all the essential elements are there in Alien and it is what makes the Xeno scary. Every scene in Alien is designed to set up a psychological interpretation, and what adds to the whole tension is when we find out that what is round the corner is the unexpected. Alien flows with a very unique and unpredictable plot. The Xeno is made scary because we have absolutely no idea what is going to come next.
For the Xeno to become scary again it needs some tricks up its sleeve that no one has ever considered. Aliens, was a great film, but did not really deliver anything that was entirely unpredictable. Prometheus seemed to go in the reverse direction with the SJ and was really an anti climax in my book. I preferred the idea of the elephantine remains to be something more elaborate than someone in a fancy helmet.
I certainly have no problem with background history of the Xeno and other answers as to its origins, but what I would like to see is something of the unpredictable force that Ridley first created. Alien did not rely too much on giving away too much information too soon, and forced an audience to create its own psychological wall paper before delivering a complete picture ( the slow burn).
To conclude, I think a strong dialogue enforced slow burn with unpredictable corners would go a long way.
That's a great article and I agree with everything he says, except the title, because he basically lists all the reasons why it can never be scary again. At least, not on the path Blomkamp seems to be taking.
I'm sure there's a way to revisit this universe thats chilling, and maybe even shocking. Sigourney said you have to go where they came from, which is not a bad idea (and I don't think LV223 is their origin) but beyond that I'm skeptical of her space horror writing abilities, and Blomkamp's as well, so I really hope money will be spent on a good writer.
I also really hope that if there is indeed a Morb or Queen Morb that they will be a first act element or even a pre credits action scene that foreshadows something worse, not key elements that the plot is built on.
If not, we all know what's gonna happen. Lots of exposition to justify aged characters and a Morb jumping out of the vents. Ridley got this, that's why Prometheus was a sort of Hitchcockian thriller rather than a slasher in space movie. But hey, handled right there's much to build on. I do love the idea of a Juggernaut being captured and the surreal disasters that could result from studying it.
Double it up! Raise the bar for something we haven't seen before! Pull out the Tromix S17 for some Xeno popping adventure. Robots with laser guns! The original Xeno was mixed Engineer and Human Dna and perhapse something else we haven't seen before....like the thing that came from the Original Xeno? There are plenty of creatures on Earth that could have come from Hell, so outer space should be riddled with them....HR GiGer was the master of design!The details of the terror are in the design! Something also unique in conscept. What if the Cosmic Apperatus Control thing is also a giant Injection Machine for long long journey through time and Space? Snorks engaged!
and see something truly ALIEN not of this world.
What if the Alien is more than a physical being and it's the only thing that's truly Immortal? Somewhat like an angel or Demon.
Would it make it scary to know that, if you let it, the Alien can kill you in your dreams? That the nightmares involving Aliens are all technically real, and they followed Ripley's mind into the deepest levels of human collective unconsciousness, which Weyland considers connected to the soul? The company worships the Alien.
Ripley's body is still lying in a malfunctioning hypersleep chamber, after the fire aboard the Sulaco. Water is pouring in, then she's underwater. A royal facehugger is attached to her face doing the breathing for her when the chamber gets full, because don't ya know it, facehuggers can breathe underwater. The nightmares are simply a result of all this. The neverending nightmare still isn't over. It's attached itself to her face/body & mind. She perceives strange shapes moving around the chamber while unconscious.
Basically, Blomkamp may expain away Resurrection as a Nightmare, but the nightmares themselves are very real and have been since ALIENS. If you allow yourself to die all the way, before waking from the nightmare, then it's game over, man. The end. So, after Ripley dreamed up her death & sacrifice story, her mind moved to a deeper level. Ripley's subconscious conceived of a way to think up a scenario in which she escapes the aftermath of the death dream: thus Resurrection helped trick herself into waking up.
The next time Ripley awakes she's in a medpod and the Queen is being removed from her abdomen. A Call android calmly explains how the malfunctioning chamber affected her perceptions of what was really going on around her after the fire; as well her memories and subconscious. Weyland corp entered the Sulaco. The royal facehugger caused that fire on purpose (mostly). It did so to try to kill Ripley's family (payback's a bitch). Newt's only been badly injured. The Alien thinks and feels: it's highly perceptive. It tricks Ripley's mind into thinking/believing Newt & Hicks died. Hicks and Newt are mostly alive. Mostly. The Alien Queen is still inside Ripley's head, far behind her eyes, reflecting on the nature of light/holograms and DNA; looking deeper into androids now too
The company has been experimenting with QEDV tech (Quiet Eye Dream Visor tech) ever since the Weyland-Yutani merger. Every nightmare Ripley had in their hypersleep chambers was quietly recorded, stored, and monitored by the Androids. Even though Alien Resurrection is a Nightmare, it holds symbolic value to them. It can be analyzed for any relevant data, and then marked for deletion. In this way, they can still be viewed as part of Ripley's story, if one so chooses. However, Alien 3 & Resurrection will eventually fade in Ripley's memory as her real story continues.
You had me at "Some what like an angel or demon" and then lost me at "Queen and Call android." :D
The poster was good though!
It's tough to explain why I feel they'd be there. I might be able to win you back over with the reasoning, but it's complicated.
Other characters and King Aliens would be present. Queen and King Aliens. There's an Empress/Biomechanical Goddess type above them too. Simply put: a Call was sent into Ripley's brain, and the androids shocked her head back to life. In my version of the story, someone did in fact create some free Androids as a way to free her mind. Call was on a secret mission that the free androids offered her. They offer Ripley a mission & she accepts. What's important is that she chooses to accept it willingly...
We would learn more about the angelic & demonic sides of the Alien in Paradise, where we find knowledge of both good and evil. Ripley and Call each have freewill, which becomes important later.
Call's there for symbolic purposes & fades into the background.
She fades when the company erases Ripley's memory of that story. It's the concept of free androids that I like. Call's the only thing of value I find in Resurrection. Shortly after Ripley 8 gets to Earth in the dream, that's when Call turns to her and says "I know this will come as a shock. But you're in coma and we've almost reached Gateway. It's time to wake up now, Ripley".
Ripley remains in shock for a while, stuck in the Underworld for a while longer until Call manages to get through to the deepest levels of her subconscious. So, even if it's all a dream, she took information in from her surroundings and perceived things a certain way. She only imagined she was free. It still has her.
Easy. Follow Giger's brilliant and terrifying work. As Xeno's have evolved further and further away from the brillian original it has become less interesting and far less scary.
I feel like they should use a lot of Giger's biomechanical concepts. I think they need to stress the biomechanical nature of the Alien. That may be why Blomkamp was chosen. The Alien & biomechanical goddess types might even be at the very top of the ladder.
@Odu; Quote "i get not giving the answers that true and i agree with that.
but the xeno has been EXPLORED to death. The sj has never been EXPOLORED apart from prometheus.
nor weyland yutani."
I get what you are saying my friend, however, the Giger Alien has not yet been fully explored. We don't know very much about it, other than it is a perfect lifeform and it bio-weapon.
Before the overwelmingly positive reception of ALIEN Isolation, i too was very sceptical that the Giger Alien could be scary once again and this was a VIDEO GAME! Imagine what could be achieved with an actual film, with a GREAT director and a GREAT writer!
Making the Alien formidable and terrifying once again IS achievable! ALIEN 4 and the AVP shite made us all think that it was dead in the water.
DONE RIGHT, BY GREAT FILMMAKERS, IT CAN BE SCARY ONCE AGAIN!
I have my doughts that Blomkamp is the man to achieve that, but lets wait and see.
The poster was good though!
@Caryn; Giger's bio-mechanical imagination is always a good thing! Ask anyone who knows me. I'm sure they're bored to death of how much i go on about Giger and how great he was. He IS one of my hero's!
However, an Alien sequel cannot become scary once again with just the Giger asthetic. In order to make it terrifying once again, they have to tap into Giger's mind! Easier said than done! He has passed (unfortunately!,) so he will not be available to share his input.
Thankfully, Blomkamp has stated that he wants to take it back to its Freudien roots. So hopefully, that will be realised!
NO MORE HOPPING BUGS PLEASE NEILL!!!!
The poster was good though!
the giger alien was never fully explored ?? OK so you are saying that if they make an alien movie they should go back to the giger alien and have it look exactly the same move exactly the same or just the look ??
It always felt very intelligent but very driven by instinct but it also was a monster but I always got the feeling it was somehow trapped in its own nightmare like world - like somehow there was a human side in the creature that was subverted or perhaps it was the human nature or the bad part of the human nature that was also coming through. It remains a horrifying creature but a beautiful one.
As I am not an artist I sometimes don't understand all the hype with regard to art. The alien it seems is part of a giger look a giger mindset -a giger hororshow. Like it was completely part of the original space jockey egg morphing bio mechanical world. It was then taken out of that world and put into a new world where it was a different creature.
What I am saying is that the creature needs to return to the atmosphere of the original setting they must bring the space jockey back into this - ant the bio mechanical world of giger for this to work.
Ridley must polay a part in this.
I sometimes see the space jockey as a creature that needs no legs . It drifts through ship inm eery silence and then settles on the chair where it fuses with the ship and connects to another dimension where space and time has no meaning or use - it doesn't need time travel or worm holes.- it wills itself to where it wants to go with telescopic unit like a kind of amplifier. It could be possible that the engineers as a subspecies or grown from races like us slaves for their bidding has adapted only part of their tech but not all of it.
The giger alien must be in this milieu again. It must be the doorway to this world. I want Ripley and hicks to see this derelict and I want Ripley to wonder as to why Kane never spoke of what they saw or Dallas or Lambert.
I just think that it is possible for mthat to happen but not by itself only. Some elements must come with it.
Was there literally mechanical parts in the giger alien ??? Like nuts and bolts ??
I always assumes that when they said biomechanical that they meant that like the ship there are parts that is semi or metal but is always still alive.
With Ridley producing........
do you think Ridley will have al tot of input in blomkamp's direction ??
Odu; I mean in order for the alien to become scary once again, Neill can't just rely purely on the austetic/design of the creature, he as to tap into what made it so terrifying in the first place.
In ALIEN, it was more than just a creature purely driven by instinct. Like the author of that article states, "it was like a pervert, wanting to have its wicked way with the crew." It was demonic. It wanted to punish and corrupt its victims.
That's what i mean by "tapping into the mindset of Giger." Most people, when viewing Gigers work, just think that its a bunch of beautifully painted creatures in some kind of nightmarish world. True; but it is also much more than that! Its a world of pain and torture. Demonic sexuality and other kinds of depravety.
In the sequels to ALIEN, it was a different beast, it became purely a creature driven by instinct, like animals in nature, as opposed to a creature that seems to have its own individual, depraved, needs and wants.
Also, when i say "it asn't yet been fully explored," i mean that we don't yet know what it is fully capable of. Neill could show us something other than victims being cocooned to be facehugged. He could concentrate on the egg morphing aspect and what exactly is the outcome of that. Does the victim change into a facehugger or something else completely? Are there other methods of reproduction that it utilizes?
The poster was good though!
so you think of it as really evi -l something that really gets pleasure out of destruction like it really is the spawn of the devil ??
Yep! "the spawn of evil." That's what i think Odu. All the others, after ALIEN, were just basically going through the motions. Like creatures in nature. They are driven by instinct. The original was more sinister than that. It had WANTS!
The poster was good though!
I think it's interesting to consider that the Alien may have wants, that it's more intelligent than we give it credit for. The Alien's design/image is psychosexual in nature, so it may also have certain needs. We were created in the image of the gods and they were "mortal after all". No mortal needs nothing. However, maybe the Alien almost needs "nothing" (because it's immortal) and it just wants to survive. It has very good survival instincts and can replace cells at a rapid rate. The Hammerpede was even able to instantly regenerate its own head.
Maybe the Alien just won't stay dead, and wants to be alive very badly. That could be part of what makes it scary again. One part of the lifecycle has an enchanced ability to reanimate things/replicate cells locked in its genetics, thanks to the goo... So, it can just sorta "trick" itself back to life. Maybe the trick is not minding that it hurts being dead: that it hurts being immortal.
I like what Blomkamp's been saying about Alien 5 being a "Freudian Nightmare". Perhaps the company is neither good nor evil, and we just need to see things from their perspective... A twisted sense of logic could be behind why Weyland-Yutani is willing to let people die/sacrifice themselves for the cause. If employees/investors are brought on board with Weyland corp's beliefs, then they will be more willing to do anything and eveything for the company. The company can then just "trick" employees minds back to life in various ways if they die. If your brain is valuable enough then it's preserved by the company, and most humans are just tools to the company to do with as they please.
Becoming a higher up in the company would afford you certain privileges, but it also means possibly becoming indoctrinated to their beliefs. You would have the option of choosing to believe what Weyland corp really believes/knows/understand about the universe. What if we find out none of the survivors at Corporate Headquarters actually considered their actions evil? They were overtaken by their own corporate policies/beliefs. In the TEDtalk Weyland says he's willing to do immoral things that push the boundaries of ethics to get ahead.
There are many ways of understanding the world. I think Weyland corp has a certain way of thinking: a set of policies, beliefs, and philsophies of their own. They'd have a different way of looking at the universe. It'd be more like an ideology or philosophy than a belief structure. This would some of them to justify their evil actions.
Maybe the company uses a lot psychological tricks to justify their actions to themselves. When people have near death experiences they often claim to see the light, but this could just be a "trick" of perception & chemicals in the brain. It's just a dream/nightmare/hallucination. Maybe Weyland believes your consciousness goes nowhere when you die. It just ends. Game over. End of story. Weyland, Ravel, and Chance get bored and come back from the "Other side" It becomes about perception.
What if Mr. Weyland found out that there is no real heaven or hell? Hell could be more of a state of mind than a place with an actual circumference. David would be carrying hell to Paradise within his mind. It doesn't really matter if an army of Davids uses the bio-weapon on them or not. The way I see it, the Alien is both good and evil. Death is necessary. It's part of the natural order of things. It can be viewed as an angel or a demon if one so chooses, but it's neither of those things really. The Engineers came to worship it for certain reasons. It holds significance to them in their belief structure.
The Alien would become representative of what is on the "other side", after we die. Maybe when Weyland dies he finds out there is nothing on the "other side", nothing except the Alien... So, when they trick Weyland's mind back to life again his singular purpose is to figure out exactly what the Alien really is, and Weyland corp backtracks to LV-223, because it's connected in every way to when he dies.
@Caryn; Quote "Perhaps the company is neither good nor evil, and we just need to see things from their perspective... There could be a twisted sense of logic behind why Weyland-Yutani is willing to let people die/sacrifice themselves for the cause."
yes! very interesting and something we may learn more about in either ALIEN 5 or Prometheus 2.
I just hope they don't focus too much on the company and their agenda. I want to see the Alien in a different light! I want to see gory, disturbing horror. Focusing too much on the company will make it too sci-fi for my likeing.
I'm not a big fan of sci-fi in general, believe it or not. I like horror! And Space Horror in particular! That's one of the main reasons that i have my concerns about Blomkamp making it. he seems to be well into his sci-fi and i have my fears that it may turn out to be like ALIENS or ELISIUM!
My preferred directors, in an ideal world where i make everthing happen :) Would be:
Jonathan Demme, or for spooky realism - Michael Mann. But unfortunately thats not going to happen :(
The poster was good though!
That's completely understandable, I get where you're coming from. The Alien should really be the focus in ALIEN5; and the Engineers/Shaw & David should be the focus in Paradise.
My dream is for them to create a TV show that's all about the Company, about all the worlds they've colonized etc. It could be like a companion piece to Alien 5 and Paradise, which explains the company's "culture" and how far they've come from their days on Earth. That would be more scifi than horror. The fully functioning colonies would be like small scale versions of humanity, like cross-sections of human culture. But the higher ups at the Company would have their own beliefs and perspectives on everything.
Most people don't consider themselves evil, so the idea would be to question the very nature of evil itself. Is the Alien actually evil, or is it just doing what it needs to do to survive? The androids view the Alien as the perfect organism, with defense mechanisms that far exceed the denial the company engages in. The company uses psychological defense mechanisms + a twisted sense of logic to justify actions. But the androids think only they can perceive right from wrong. Creating differences in how the androids, company, Engineers, Aliens and viewers perceive/view the universe & the Alien itself. Androids & Aliens might perceive things differently
It would be complicated because it becomes partially about interpretation & perception. It could change the way we look at Aliens if we learn how they think & interpret signals in the environment. I think the Alien is driven mainly by instinct, like you say. The androids would admire the Alien for its purity because it's not clouded by delusions of morality or a twisted sense of logic. To the androids, its actions would be more pure than the humans. Engineers would worship them. They could be viewed as either an angel or a demon. It would become kind of ambiguous.
Necronom 4 are these the kind of evil hellish scenes you want to see in an alien movie ??
or do you just want the xeno to be more evil and explored by itself ?? could you possably show what kind of xeno image you had in mind ??
People dont scare as easy anymore apart from scenes that are timed to make you jump. We can re-design the Alien as much as we like and we shall never ever recapture the first time we saw it. It worked because not mainly its the first time we saw it, but mainly in the new way that it re-produced especially the Face Hugging to Chest Buster Stages. What also made it Scary was the way it stalked the crew and attacked from the dark as opposed to showing us a full on body shot of it attacking. Its the same as why the 1982 Thing was Scary for all the same reasons as above, and despite how many times they can re-design hideous scenes and The Thing mutations, some that may appear more graphic than the Original... it is the way the Thing was first shown which was a never quite seen before way of procreating itself (Survive) that was more Stealthy than the way it was shown in the 2011 movie. The same thing would happen with any Monster movie... if we get a Cloverfield 2 which we see more of the Monster on screen than the vague shots until the end that we have in the original then a Cloverfield 2 would just not have the same effect. The only way to make the Alien more Scary is not in how the creature looks but in how it reacts with its victims, or by showing us a new kind that has a never quite scene before and graphic way of procreating itself.
R.I.P Sox 01/01/2006 - 11/10/2017
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