Alien Movie Universe

The psychology of Alien (1979) Vs Prometheus in reviews

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MemberOvomorphOct-11-2012 1:43 AM
First of all I really liked both films. I think Prometheus is a better film than Alien, the only way that Alien beats Prometheus is because it is the original of the series. I've seen Prometheus 4 times, twice in the cinema, twice on bluray. I've never been so engrossed in a film. But the main point I want to make is why people in a lot of reviews are saying that Alien is a better film? Some say because there are some holes in the plot and mistakes, or some characters they don't like or whatever, then jump straight to Alien saying it's better. Maybe they never noticed the mistakes in Alien? All it takes is a quick google search if they have forgot, revealing a long list of mistakes. So most films have mistakes and it is unfair to dislike Prometheus because of what is usually only a few mistakes pointed out. Personally I noticed about 2, then when reading or listening to reviews I agree that there are more. I think it's a case of "things were better in my day" syndrome. This is usually when people are at an age where they are more impressionable and the impact stays with them for what is usually a long time, if not forever. For example, "the golden era of hip hop (90's)", "the golden era of Formula 1 (70's)". I propose that the prominent writers of each subject were at a certain age when they witnessed a supposed golden era. And that the same applies when reviewers favour Alien over Prometheus.
14 Replies


MemberOvomorphOct-11-2012 4:16 AM
When something is the first of its kind, this is inevitable. Alien (1979) introduced a new genre of films and so its aura and uniqueness are unmatched by any other movie of its kind, including "Prometheus" which is a movie from the "future".
"... and the sea will grant each man new hope, as sleep brings dreams of home." Christopher Columbus.


MemberOvomorphOct-11-2012 7:20 AM
There is not comparation between both, Prometheus is a film just for fun. For example, Prometheus 's ending is ridiculous and childish, in my opinion, however, Alien ending have a mix of suspense and brutal climax. That's one of many.

Necronom 4

MemberNeomorphOct-11-2012 7:32 AM
ALIEN is the best example of how a sci fi horror film should be made! it's as simple as that. No other sci fi film comes close, including Prometheus! IMO

The poster was good though!



MemberOvomorphOct-11-2012 7:53 AM
Alien is the better film. I'm sure those of us who sat in the theaters in 1979 can and will attest to the visceral reaction we all shared when the alien first made its appearance on screen. And I can safely say that NO ONE saw Ash coming. I have anxiously awaited Prometheus and was one of the first to see it in theaters when it arrived locally. When the Blue Ray version became available I went to Costco and bought a 3D Blue Ray player along with the 4-disk collectors edition and have watched it 3 times since and I'm still disappointed in many ways. As others have pointed out there are glaring plot holes/discrepancies that simply scream for resolution. Ridley has provided some and the extras disk answers a few questions but not all.
In Space, no one can hear you fart.


MemberOvomorphOct-11-2012 9:32 AM
Alien was just a TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE-like film with a very original design by H.R. Giger. NOTHING MORE. Those who idolise the film, are misguided, or worse, rose-tinted glassesing. After months of RESEARCH, it turns out that Prometheus wanted to be a prequel, and Spaihts tried that, Fox brought in Lindelof and it all got a bit more mixed up (and distanced from 'prequel') as it rushed to cinemas for the opening of the London Olympics 2012. I know, I know, it's annoying that I return to this. Maybe it's just coincidence. It really might be. But Fox did rush the film out to 'coincide'... anyway, Prometheus (for me) should be viewed as it is, as its own film, the pilot film of a new Engineer Franchise. And I'm happy with that, in fact, my family and I are gonna watch the film this weekend on DVD (I don't care about the extra scenes on the bluray because they ADD NOTHING that wasn't already in the Ridley cut). I'm looking forward to re-watching it this weekend, with people who know nothing about the disconnected Alien link. :)
2013 sci-fi horror novels 'Custodian' and 'Tandem' available from Amazon, B&N, iTunes etc...

Major Noob

MemberOvomorphOct-11-2012 11:17 AM
I've done a bit if talking on this site about the Golden Age of Pop Art, the interval from say 1965 to about 1985, when creativity and innovation were more the rule, not the exception.  Two great films from that era were 2001 and Alien, somewhat similar concepts at their core, but executed differently. 2001 presented for the first time to pop audiences the psycho AI, in the first masterful science fiction film, which was also unabashedly surreal and walked the line between art and commerce with flair. A true product of the 60's. Then we got Alien, at it's core a B movie with interesting ideas, but presented with such imagination and singular vision that it became a classic.  I saw Alien in the theatre when I was 17. Excitement was high, I knew about it well in advance and had spoiled it for myself as thoroughly as possible given the available media at the time. Alien was riddled with errors, unlikable characters, bad science and inept scientific practices. But no one cared. Few even noticed.  One big difference today is the Internet, arguably both a blessing and curse for our culture. For film, certainly, given the ability to freeze and dissect HD frames of any trailer, and acquire obscure or confidential information. It's near universal accessibility and the relative anonymity it offers has also emboldened a new subculture of bitter skeptics who can vent their unhappiness on any given topic, to the extent that their sincerity is easily questionable. The sheer mass of criticism often influences and dilutes the opinions of those with a legitimate gripe so that it's virtually impossible to divine fact from fiction. In the case of Prometheus, I was somewhat depressed by what I saw as the overt attempts to humiliate, demoralize and render irrelevant both Damon Lindelof and Ridley Scott. Really? These are accomplished artists. They exerted energies we can only imagine to provide this entertainment, so lush with ideas and homages that it will be discussed for years to come. These guys should be mocked? Vilified? Not everything is to everybodies taste. It's a wonderful, diverse world with something for everyone. Our reluctance or even inability to entertain ourselves, to live in our own minds, this is who we are now, mouths open, waiting to be fed. There is a yawning void of bandwidth that has to be filled, and thus we fill it with ANYTHING, all you need to be a celebrity today is an attitude or a problem. This is how you get Kardashians, frivolous parasites whose only hope in an earlier age would be to hold on to their inheritances. Or you get Adam Savage, someone who in an earlier age would have worked at the anarchist bookstore and lived in his moms basement. But  In this age he has a platform and needs to satisfy and airheads ti impress so he condescends to review movies and, of course, trashes Prometheus. Look at me, mom, I'm on tv! I'm not saying it's stupid to genuinely dislike Prometheus. It isn't. And is this age worse? No, it simply IS. The scary part is that one day it will appear golden too.


Veteran MemberMemberOvomorphOct-11-2012 11:45 AM
For me, the weakest aspect of PROMETHEUS is its lack of compelling emotional drive. When Ridley Scott took the helm of the original 1979 ALIEN, I can imagine him thinking…or even declaring, “I will win the crowd…I will give them something they’ve never seen before,” as the protagonist once uttered in Scott’s GLADIATOR. The thing is, back in ’79 there was much that crowds had not seen…cinematically. In the 33 years since the original ALIEN, audiences have become jaded, callused, and even desensitized to the types of scenes that utterly shocked people in times past. In 2012, even children have seen more violence and disturbing imagery through films and video games than would’ve ever been dreamt of by society in ’79. If seen in the 1970’s…the cesarean section scene in PROMETHEUS would’ve probably have the same effect on the audiences and media as the original chestburster scene in ALIEN…maybe even stronger. So, In my opinion, Ridley & company should have sunk more effort into developing the emotional aspects of this film. This would facilitate the viewer’s personal interest and emotional investment in the characters. In ALIEN, I actually care and am concerned about all of the characters, at least cinematically. In PROMETHEUS, I didn’t love anybody in this story, nor did I hate anybody. I wasn’t laughing, but wasn’t crying. When people died, I didn’t really give a shit, and for a film to be great…or excellent…I have give a shit, I have to care. I think the following tweaks would’ve helped immensely: •Clarify Shaw’s beliefs and goal. •Give me a reason to fall in love with Shaw’s character. •Make me care about Capt. Janek, so that his and his crewman’s sacrifice would mean more. •I needed a more malevolent, human antagonist, Vickers and David were too ambiguous. Anyways, etcetera, etcetera… I DID enjoy the movie, but I wanted to FEEL more. Obviously, there were many other problems with it, however I think that the biggest flaw was the less than adequate emotional investment in the script/characters…at least for me. Peace, Neurion P.S. I hope Shaw can find a good fastfood restaurant while searching for the Engineer’s home world, otherwise it's going to be a short trip. Ha!

Major Noob

MemberOvomorphOct-11-2012 12:10 PM
@neurion: nah, there'll be plenty of squishy pus for her to eat aboard the Juggernaut, it probabky extrudes some horrible grey nipple for her to suckle. Shelf stable for 100,000 years.


Veteran MemberMemberOvomorphOct-11-2012 12:33 PM
@Major Noob GROSS!


MemberOvomorphOct-11-2012 12:38 PM
@James a couple of things to first get out of the way: 1. How old are you? (Don't lie) 2. Name 3 books you've read about storytelling theory and which was your favorite? I agree with Neurion; the characters in Alien felt like real people and so it was easy for me to empathize with them. The reason why Alien is better is because it was constantly winding up the tension. As to Alien being Texas Chainsaw Massacre in space, I'm not so sure. Even then, TCM is considered a major pillar of the horror genre. Prometheus is more like an episode of Star Trek than it is to TCM or Alien.


Veteran MemberMemberOvomorphOct-11-2012 1:52 PM
@ NEURION! touche pussy cat Alien has psychologically deep penetration to such an effect that I am still squeemish about childbirth but enemas are OK only if they are administered by a professional. Self medicating can lead to addiction and abuse. In comparision to Alien, Prometheus lightly addresses those psychological mechanisms which is good because some of us might have gone Gangnam Style if had it been to the full extent of HORROR that we so foolishly envision. [img][/img] RUH


Veteran MemberMemberOvomorphOct-11-2012 1:52 PM
For me Prometheus is in the middle, somewhere between my favorite Sci-fi Horror ALIEN , Iron Sky and my favorite Sci-fi Battle Beyond the Stars (Which someone should remake) [img][/img]


MemberFacehuggerOct-11-2012 2:13 PM
IMO the big difference between Alien and Prometheus is down to the camera angles used. In Alien most shots are upward which psychologically adds to a more sinister feel. With Prometheus a lot of shots are downwards to give a very scenic feel, but I detect that this is what has taken something away from the ride and probably occurred during editing. i would say the two films tell a similar story but i think editing has also played a massive impact on pace. At the moment I would compare Alien to a permed hair do. Great for its time. With Prometheus, someone went at it with the scissors and kept cutting away at it, to try and get it right. This is where I feel Lindelof's script writing has come a cropper. It's probably not what he thought would be the end result either. The end result being something that will be better when it grows back and we get a fuller picture from Paradise.


MemberOvomorphDec-30-2020 5:57 AM

@Xenotron Stop being ridiculous. I didn't make this post for some sort of willy waving contest.

And to anyone thinking Alien was original... You are deluded. 


I still like both movies and I still think Prometheus is the better movie. I went to the cinema to see the 40th anniversary of Alien, a lot of young people were laughing at some parts of it. One part where they eject the dead body into space and the other when the alien sticks out its hand, among others. "Those youngsters just don't understand what a good movie is".

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