HOLLYWOOD—Anyone who is a film buff, is well aware that sequels suck. I no longer believe it is a notion of opinion, because it’s quite hard to name a sequel that outdoes the original and even if it does the original still has an edge over the sequel in most cases. If there is one sequel that many people consider better than the original it has always been James Cameron’s follow-up to Ridley Scott’s classic, “Alien.”
Cameron, who many consider a magician behind the camera is also the man who heralded “Terminator II: Judgement Day,” a sequel many consider better than the original. So what makes James Cameron’s “Aliens” a far better flick than Ridley Scott’s original? It’s bigger, bolder and a deeper character analysis into our heroine Ripley. Is “Aliens” just as entertaining as “Alien?” Without a doubt! I mean this is a movie that has one of the greatest lines in cinematic history as Ripley boldly states to the queen alien, “Get away from her you b***h!” It is indeed a crowd-pleasing moment.
But for all the great things in the movie “Aliens,” there are some things worth pointing out that many fans of the horror genre may argue with. I would 200 percent categorize “Alien” as a horror flick. However, the movie “Aliens” I would categorize as a sci-fi action flick. Not many people would acknowledge that, but it’s something they should. If you look at “Alien” that movie is riddled and full of suspense, I mean the suspense is so strong it will literally leave you on the edge of your seat. I mean can anyone forget that chest-bursting moment. For all those moments of suspense and great character development and twists in the original, “Aliens” has some epic moments, but nothing like “Alien” people.
There are really only 3 characters I remember from “Aliens”: Ripley, Newt and Bishop. However, when I think of “Alien” I can remember every SINGLE character from that movie distinctly. This is not to say that the characters in “Aliens” are not well developed because they are, it’s the emotional levity with the characters from “Alien” that are a bit stronger. After just recently watching both “Alien” and “Aliens” over the weekend, I came to a realization: “Alien” is actually far better than “Aliens.”
While both flicks are thoroughly entertaining, there is something about “Alien” that totally leaves you unnerved. It’s unlike anything ever witnessed on the big screen and is a testament that claustrophobia is one hell of a scary thing, especially when you’re in an environment where escape seems impossible. Oh, we can’t forget that infamous tagline: “In space no one can hear you scream.” Yes, it’s so true people and the manifestation of the alien itself is just pure genius from the script by Dan O’Bannon and with Scott behind the camera he crafts the narrative in a way that is phenomenal to watch unfold on the big screen and in some cases on the small screen.
I find it hard to fathom that over time I’ve had it beaten into my head that “Aliens” is the greatest sequel of all-time, just too finally realize while it’s a stellar movie, it pales in comparison to the original “Alien” which is a pure classic in my book.