The Disney+ Sci-Fi Horror Thriller Forever Changed The Genre

By Charlene Badasie | Published

The 1979 sci-fi horror Alien is streaming in the Hulu section of Disney+. Directed by Ridley Scott from a script by Dan O’Bannon, the movie marked the beginning of the Alien franchise and is considered one of the greatest sci-fi films ever made. The cast featured Sigourney Weaver, Tom Skerritt, Veronica Cartwright, Harry Dean Stanton, and John Hurt.

The Nostromo Investigates A Mysterious Destress Signal


Alien revolves around the crew of the commercial spaceship Nostromo, who receives a distress signal from a nearby moon in the year 2122. Despite protests from Parker (Yaphet Kotto), they land on the moon, sustaining damage. While repairing the ship, Dallas (Tom Skerritt), Kane (Jon Hurt), and Lambert (Veronica Cartwright) investigate a derelict alien ship that transmitted the signal.

The Alien Hitchhiker

Inside, they find a chamber with large egg-like objects, and when Kane approaches one, an alien creature latches onto his face. On the Nostromo, Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) realizes the transmission is a warning, but she’s unable to relay the information to the team. As they bring the unconscious Kane aboard, Ripley enforces quarantine regulations, but Ash (Ian Holm) overrides her decision.

Attempting to remove the creature, they discover its acidic blood and decide to let it detach naturally. The ship is repaired, and they resume their journey, but Kane dies when a small alien bursts from his chest. The crew, now aware of the alien’s presence, tries to capture it, but it grows rapidly and begins killing them one by one.

The Birth Of The Most Terrifying Alien In Film

Ripley discovers the company’s secret orders for Ash to ensure the alien returns to Earth at the crew’s expense. Subsequently, an aggressive and deadly creature known as the Xenomorph begins to terrorize the crew, leading to a battle for survival. The concept for Alien originated from a script by Dan O’Bannon titled “Star Beast.” it underwent several revisions before it was picked up by 20th Century Fox.

The special effects, especially the design of the Xenomorph by H.R. Giger, played a crucial role in the success of Alien. The practical effects, including the chest-burster scene, were groundbreaking for their time and remain iconic in cinematic history. The film’s influence is still felt in pop culture and is often cited as a benchmark for the sci-fi genre.

Ridley Scott Changes The Genre

ridley scott

Ridley Scott was chosen as the director, and he brought in Swiss artist H.R. Giger to design the iconic extraterrestrial creature. Alien’s unique blend of science fiction and horror and its atmospheric tension set it apart from other genre films of the time. The movie was met with a lukewarm reception from critics who didn’t care for the sci-fi genre.

Sigourney Weaver Breaks Gender Norms

However, Sigourney Weaver received global acclaim for her role as Ellen Ripley, a resourceful and resilient protagonist. Alien was a commercial success, earning over $80 million against a budget of around $11 million during its first theatrical run. In 1992, Fox revealed that the worldwide box office earnings amounted to $143 million.

The Alien Franchise

Alien led to several sequels, including Aliens (1986), Alien 3 (1992), and Alien: Resurrection (1997). The franchise expanded further with the prequel films Prometheus (2012) and Alien: Covenant (2017). Sigourney Weaver reprised her role as Ellen Ripley in most of these films. The movie also sparked the creation of several offshoots, with the most prominent being the Alien vs. Predator series.

To watch Alien through the Disney+ Hulu section, which is still in its beta version, viewers will need a subscription to both services.