My Favorite Scene in Alien

I’m not a huge fan of horror films. Alien is a rare exception. One reason why it appeals to me is because it has so many quiet scenes that allow me to experience the true sense of dread that is either about to unfold or just occurred. It doesn’t overtax my senses with constant blood and gore. But when those moments come, they leave a big impression because of their masterful setup and payoff.

I’d like to talk about my favorite scene in Alien. It’s the one that perfectly sums up everything I love about the movie. You might think it’s the chestburster scene. Sure, that’s what the film is best known for. But it’s hard for me to watch.

Actually, the scene I like best is the one immediately following it. After Kane dies in the most horrific way imaginable, the rest of the characters do a cursory search for the alien that emerged out of their fallen crewmate. But they soon gather in the bridge for a scene of quiet solitude.

The first time watching, it’s easy to be confused by what’s happening. It looks like they’re all just standing around looking at a computer screen.

What this is is a funeral. None of the other characters get a proper sendoff like this in Alien. As other people get picked off by the alien one by one, the survivors are forced to soldier on with heavy hearts. They must fight their fears and the looming threat of a killer on the loose.

However, at this point they’re not aware of just how much danger they’re all in. Ash has an idea, but no one else is privy to his secret knowledge. Perhaps that’s why he turns and walks away before Kane’s funeral is complete. He doesn’t care. The others are reeling from the knowledge that one of their friends is dead, and they now have a serious problem on their hands.

The fact that they don’t have anything to say – no eulogy, words of comfort, or fond memories of the deceased – adds to the sense of detachment and isolation. The terrible way Kane died makes any words superfluous. These people could all be perfect strangers, and it wouldn’t change their reactions.

To top it all off, they basically have a burial at sea. Instead of throwing Kane’s body overboard into the water, they cover it in a death shroud and launch it into the void of space through an airlock. That portends the ultimate fate of the alien, as Kane’s lifeless body tumbles away just below the escape ship that Ripley will eventually pilot away from the Nostromo before it self-destructs.

The final shot of the Nostromo drifting through space is like the statement, “Life goes on.” Yes, what happened to Kane was horrible. But there’s even more horror to come.

It’s amazing how a seemingly simple scene manages to ratchet up the dread to such a high degree while also providing a necessary reprieve after the previous scene’s intensity. That’s what makes it my favorite scene in the movie.

This is the Deja Reviewer bidding you farewell until we meet again.

The video clip is the copyright of its owner.

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About Robert Lockard, the Deja Reviewer

Robert Lockard has been a lover of writing since he was very young. He studied public relations in college, graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in 2006. His skills and knowledge have helped him to become a sought-after copywriter in the business world. He has written blogs, articles, and Web content on subjects such as real estate, online marketing and inventory management. His talent for making even boring topics interesting to read about has come in handy. But what he really loves to write about is movies. His favorite movies include: Fiddler on the Roof, Superman: The Movie, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, Back to the Future, Beauty and the Beast, The Fugitive, The Incredibles, and The Dark Knight. Check out his website: Deja Reviewer. Robert lives in Utah with his wife and four children. He loves running, biking, reading, and watching movies with his family.
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