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ALIEN was so new and different when it first came out that there were few cinematic reference points for reviewers to fall back on. As in this New York Times movie review (transcribed by Scraps from the Loft), many reviewers tried to establish a foothold in the context of Ridley Scott’s previous works…none of which were science fiction, or horror.
It’s an old-fashioned scare movie about something that is not only implacably evil but prone to jumping out at you when (the movie hopes) you least expect it. There was once a time when this sort of thing was set in an old dark house, on a moor, in a thunderstorm. Being trendy, Mr. Scott and his associates have sent it up in space.
Read the rest of the interview here: ALIEN (1979): A GOTHIC SET IN SPACE – Review by Vincent Canby – Scraps from the loft
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