A.V. Club

A History Of Violence: Aliens is nothing like Alien—and all the better for it

With A History Of Violence, Tom Breihan picks the most important action movie of every year, starting with the genre’s birth and moving right up to whatever Vin Diesel’s doing this very minute.

Aliens (1986)

Alien is not an action movie. You probably already knew this. It’s also only barely a sci-fi movie. Instead, Ridley Scott’s 1979 original is a primal-horror movie, a movie about confronting death and the vast, screaming unknown. It’s about being forced, in an instant, to contemplate the idea that there are forces at work in the universe that you will never understand and that these forces will be happy to kill you. It’s not thrilling. It’s dank and nasty. It’s slow and contemplative and in love with its set design, and it will absolutely prey on the lizard part of your brain. It’s a powerful piece …

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