Compiled by: Jack Foley
04:00 Just four minutes into the film, the camera moves
in silence around the deserted interior of the Nostromo, the giant
petrol tanker and oil refinery moving through space. Then, suddenly,
the computers fire up with a burst of activity - making everyone
in the audience jump. This is only the first example of director
Ridley Scott's method of building dread and tension to almost
excruciating degrees, before a sudden jump to release tension
- usually a red herring - swiftly followed by another, bigger
jolt before the audience has a chance to recover.
29:00 The next scare - not a shock, as such, but a grisly
moment - comes as Dallas, Kane and Lambert discover the fossilized
remains of the 'space jockey' - the pilot of the derelict ship,
long dead. Dallas discovers a wound in the chest of the long-dead
creature - "The bones are bent outwards... like something
exploded from inside," he observes. "I wonder what happened
to the rest of the crew?" asks Lambert. Back on the ship,
Ripley translates the message from the derelict ship: it's not
an S.O.S. transmission, she reasons. "I think it's a warning."
33:00 There's a scary moment as Kane first starts to investigate
the "leathery objects... like eggs or something," and
slips off his precarious perch. Moments later, he reaches for
the opening - and something twitches through the translucent side
of the egg case. "Wait a minute, there's movement,"
he says. Then - it unseals, and something - the 'facehugger' -
leaps out and attaches itself to the helmet of his spacesuit.
47:00 The crew finds that 'facehugger' has somehow removed
itself from Kane's face. Entering the medical lab to look for
it, Dallas and Ripley creep towards the camera, in virtual silence
- suddenly, Dallas kicks over a metallic object, prompting Ripley
- and the audience - to jump out of their skins.
48:00 Dallas, Kane and Ash continue to creep around the
lab, looking for the missing 'facehugger' - when suddenly it drops
onto her shoulder. She screams. So does the audience.
55:00 A little under an hour into Alien comes the film's
signature moment. Kane seems much recovered after his close encounter
with the alien 'facehugger,' ravenously hungry and cracking jokes
with the rest of the crew. All of a sudden, he experiences severe
chest pains, lies down on the mess table and starts writhing in
agony. And no wonder - inside Kane is a sharp-toothed alien creature
chewing his way out through his ribcage. Suddenly, it bursts out
of his chest, splattering the rest of the crew with blood and
60:00 As Ripley, Parker and Brett search the ship using
Ash's makeshift motion tracking device - which reacts to micro
changes in air density - they pick up a reading: something is
moving just ahead of them. Parker eases forward - and the ship's
cat, Jones, jumps out on them. Parker almost shits his shorts
- the audience too.
65:00 Five minutes later, Brett - now alone - goes looking
for his cat. When the cat jumps out on him, the audience jumps
too - but it's all a set up for the next big scare. Brett finds
the cat, but it's looking at something behind Brett which only
it and the audience can see - the fully grown alien, which grabs
him by the face and pulls him up into the ceiling, and to his
death, watched by the impassive cat.
75:00 Arguably the film's scariest sequence occurs roughly
two thirds of the way through the film, as courageous Captain
Dallas heads into the inner workings of the ship in pursuit of
the alien, armed with a flamethrower, the surviving crew members
watch anxiously on the monitors. Lambert picks up movement ahead
of him, but Dallas can see nothing. He continues to venture further
into the shaft, finding a slime trail as Lambert sees the signal
representing the alien moving right towards him. As Lambert's
anxiety levels rise, so do the audience's... with good reason,
as the alien leaps out on him.
81:00 One of the most shocking sequences in the film occurs
as Ash turns on Ripley, after Mother's motives - to preserve the
life of the alien organism at all costs, an act in which Ash has
been colluding all along - have been revealed. Ash takes a rolled-up
magazine and attempts to choke Ripley with it by forcing it into
her throat - echoing the method by which the alien impregnated
Kane. Moments later, Ripley is saved when Parker smashes Ash over
the head - revealing Ash to be an android. Parker leans in - and
the headless robot grabs Parker with its incredible strength.