A/V Room









Alien - The 10 scariest moments...

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 viscera.

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. Gotcha!

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