Alien: 40 years on

The National Student

40 years ago, Ridley Scott’s Alien was released in the US to critical acclaim and box office success. The film won the Academy Award for Best Visual Effects, three Saturn Awards, and a Hugo Award. So, how does it hold up four decades later? 

In short: pretty well.

In 2002, Alien was deemed “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant” by the Library of Congress. It was also selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry. In 2008, it was ranked as the seventh best film in the science fiction genre by the American Film Institute and the 33rd best film of all time by Empire magazine. Awards and accolades are arbitrary things, but Alien has earned its legacy and reputation.

A lot of older horror doesn’t stand the test of time. Whether that’s because we’re used to better CGI now or as an audience we’ve just become desensitised to gore, violence, and threat, it’s just not always particularly scary anymore. But Alien’s existential dread still feels fresh. 

Read more.

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