I never had the experience of seeing Alien without preconceived notions. I had not yet been born when it was released in 1979, and before I was able to see the film I had heard numerous jokes regarding aliens erupting from chests and had seen the previews for Alien 3, which of course boasted a really scary, bald Sigourney Weaver.
When I first watched Alien, I patiently waited for the iconic chest eruption scene. I knew it was coming, and I was excited to see what all the fuss was about. When it happened, I was immediately disappointed; it wasn’t all that exciting. This was supposedly one of the scariest moments in the history of film, and it didn’t make me budge. Quite simply, Alien had been built up far too much. But as I sat and watched the remainder of the film, the subtle elements of the film proved genuinely terrifying. Not only was an alien ripping people to shreds, but the crew’s antagonist — Ash — is revealed to be an android, and a way more convincing one than current CGI would yield. The crew is deemed expendable in the effort to bring back the new life form, adding further elements of truth to the science fiction tale.