Something a lot of people may have missed in "Alien" - among other things.
8 years ago
So I literally just watched the first Alien movie again, for the first time in a long time. Also for the first times I was listening through headphones and I noticed that every time the Alien appears or is about to appear, including the chestburster scene, there is a heartbeat audible. The only exception is most of the final scene, wherein the only time you hear the heartbeat is when Ripley hides in the closet. This made me really uneasy, and I didn't understand it, because I've watched this movie so many times but it's truly best when watched with the audio through headphones, and in the dark. Don't underestimate a soundtrack.
Another thing I noticed was that the Xenomorph did indeed seem much more terrifying than it did later on, again especially when you see it in the flickering strobe-like light, the biomechanical patterns on its skin/shell are highlighted and for a lot of it, it doesn't even look like a guy in a suit until we see it blown into space. Though I love Aliens, after re-watching Alien I can definitely put my finger on why Aliens was nowhere near as terrifying, nowhere near as uncomfortable or thrilling, it was all in the execution of the Xenomorph, how utterly immortal it seemed throughout the majority of the first movie, whereas they were so expendable in the second.
This is what I liked about Alien 3, the Xenomorph being on its own. Though it shared the almost insectoid behaviour of the Aliens in the second movie, it still came across as a remarkably frightening creature.
And as for Alien: Resurrection, well, I actually quite enjoyed that movie, while most people say the Newborn probably wasn't a great idea, when I first watched it, that thing scared the absolute shit out of me. It wasn't the Xenomorphs that scared me in that movie, it was the fucking Newborn. And to this day I still can't pick out why it is that the Newborn scared me so much.
On that subject, the Xenomorphs themselves never really scared me, the facehuggers scared me, but not the fully grown Xenomorph, until I thought about, just now, how terrifying it would actually be to face off against such a creature, and that's a fact that I think a lot of human players here tend to miss, if you put yourself in that situation, where you're facing off against something like that, no matter what you will be scared.
Anyway, that's my rant, even though it's like 4 different possible threads wrapped into one, too bad, this is what I'm putting out before I go to bed. I expect some opinions when I wake up!