TOM’s Film Club: Aliens (1986)

TOM’s Film Club: Aliens (1986)

In a film as eternally quotable as Aliens (?They mostly come out at night… mostly?), the late, great Bill Paxton deliriously delivered one of its best lines with his unscripted ?Game over?; in what is perhaps one of the best ab-libs of any film, he perfectly encapsulated the dire and ill-fated scenario facing this crack team of marines – marooned on a planet devoid of life, which has now been colonised and widely populated by hordes of the dreaded and deadly Xenomorphs. For Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver), the lone human survivor of the Nostromo incident fifty-seven years prior, this brings back traumatic memories she struggles to overcome. It is only when she discovers on this deserted planet a young, soft-spoken orphan named Newt (Carrie Henn in her only film appearance to date), a fellow sole survivor of an alien onslaught, that Ripley is able to face those fears again in what could be described as maternal instinct.

Often referred to as one of the greatest sequels ever made, James Cameron (fresh from the set of The Terminator) took over the directing duties and not only made a faithful follow-up to Ridley Scott?s Alien (that coincidentally, is screening before from 7.30pm), but some would argue even surpassed the original, at least in terms of shear spectacle and set pieces, anyway; whereas Scott?s Alien was likened to a ?haunted house in space? frightener, Cameron?s Aliens took more of an action route than a horror one, but still brought the intensity, suspense and themes of isolation and mistrust from the first film. More of a ?war? film than Star Wars ever was, Aliens didn?t need to add a ?2? to the end of its title to make it scary, adding an ?s? and making it plural was terrifying enough.

?The summer?s scariest movie […] a sequel that exceeds its predecessor in the reach of its appeal while giving Weaver new emotional dimensions to explore." Richard Schickel, Time

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