31 Days of Wicked Watching [DAY 27]: It Emerges from Within

Ridley Scott did science fiction right. So much so that it led to a number of sequels, prequels and crossovers with another successful horror franchise.

“Alien” may have one of the scariest and most visceral scenes in all of horror: the emergence of the alien from the body of a crew member. That burst is forever ingrained in my memory and that jump is one that emerges in my nightmares.

With Sigourney Weaver taking the helm as the scream queen of outer space, the action in this film goes from start to finish with minimal time to rest–with the exception of a moment or two of false senses of security. The high intensity, visually appealing and spatially tight film leaves viewers constantly questioning when the crew will actually be safe. Will Weaver ever get to be officially in stasis without having to contend with an alien?

For obvious reasons, from the opening of the film you’ll respect the visual effects and make-ups of this movie. It is simply brilliant and a stunning example of a special effects crew that gives everything to see a film be at the best it can be. It also shows how a story would be incomplete without the work of its creatives.

While initial reception was mixed, for the most part the film was celebrated for both its innovation and its level of drama and fear. The horrific nature of this science fiction story is strong enough to not only be impactful in the immediate, but lasting far beyond the near two hour run-time.

You’ve got the time for this one. Let yourself go to space and live it.

Published by Patrick R. Johnson

Patrick is a Ph.D. student and graduate instructor in the SJMC. He comes from nearly a decade of teaching high school journalism and English, and an adjunct professor of journalism and media studies at Marquette University (where he received both his bachelor's and master's degrees). He is a former Dow Jones Distinguished National Journalism Teacher of the Year. His research interests include the intersection of news literacy, journalism ethics, journalism studies, and professional boundary work. He also focuses his attention on issues of deviance within the media industry, particularly as it relates to issues of sex and issues resulting in paradigm repair. Patrick is also deeply passionate about teaching and the role of journalism schools in the professionalization of their students. He focuses a lot of his thinking on mass communication and journalism pedagogy and identifying ways for journalism courses to be both rewarding in content and enriching in skill. He currently teaches Journalistic Reporting and Writing in the SJMC and taught a number of courses at Marquette, including Media Ethics, Visual Communication, Magazine Design and Production, Digital Journalism 1-3, Strategic Communication Writing, and the Journalism Capstone course for the department. His work in curriculum, instruction, and educational leadership includes serving as the Journalism Education Association’s Mentor Program Chair, designing curriculum to accompany Pulitzer Prize winning content for the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, reviewing the Praxis national journalism certification exam, and developing a number of courses at the high school and collegiate levels. Patrick served as a 2021 Public Humanities Intern through the Obermann Center where he worked specifically with University Special Collections to develop public-facing exhibits and curriculum materials related to the Tom Brokaw Collection.

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