Direction is key

alien3

I’ve written before on the importance of a Director’s touch/style in making a film what it is. Lately I’ve been watching the Alien franchise, due in no small part to the relatively recent Prometheus spectacle. This is just a small blog-postlet, if you will, reinforcing what I’ve been saying. Note that I say this with no disrespect intended towards Ridley Scott or James Cameron, both distinguished directors: whereas Alien, Aliens and Alien3 are all interesting films in their own right, some praise must be heaped upon Alien3 for its distinguished style and atmosphere. If one were to describe to me the three plots (allow me please to summarize, grossly generalizing and underplaying many nuances):

  1. A ship responding to a beacon in outer space is taken over by a hostile alien life form
  2. A company seeks to acquire a specimen of said alien race at the cost of an entire colony
  3. A former prison is threatened by an alien who runs amok killing prisoners

I would definitely deem the third plot the weakest and least interesting. If I were to read novelized versions of these plots, having seen the films, the third would probably interest me least. Yet the third film interests me more than the first two. It captivates me. Why? Something about the slow introduction, the music (which is not always subtle, but does its job well enough), the over all feel of the film just has more vibrance it seems to me than the first two.

That is the power of direction! To take what on paper is truthfully a boring concept and turn it into a mesmerizing experience. Bravo!

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