"Alien - The classic dark science fiction horror movie from visionary director Ridley Scott" - That is how most reviews for this film begin before the usual opinions of the movies story telling, camera work, lighting, creature effects, sets etc. All in praise usually ending with a rating of 4 or 5 out of 5.
I'm not being a grouch, a grump or anything but in my honest opinion Alien is far from worthy of such high praise.
This was Ridley Scotts second EVER film, and while some claim that to be testimony of his movie-making prowess, I'm sorry but his inexperience as a director shows in the movie.
The Space Jockey scene is a good example of this - we are given a wide shot of his children in suits approaching the dead alien pilot giving the impression (that his children are actually adults as intended) that the aforementioned pilot is nearly 20 feet in height. then we cut to close up and mid shots with the movies cast against the dead pilot and the scale of the creature drops to around 9 feet in height.
This schoolboy error would be forgivable if the movie was not plagued with them - Ash's smiling head, the "water-plasma" thrusters, Lamberts leg swap with Brett.
But the worst element of the movie in terms of its narrative and directing is the lack of any "layer-of-reveal". The best horror, suspense and monster movies hide the threat from view, adding mystery to the threat and thus building suspense. This film ignores that time honored rule altogether - We are shown the Facehugger in all its glory, as too with the Chestburster. It is only after the over-the-top and needless birth scene that any attempt to give the creature mystery is attempted, and then it is applied badly, with one scene hiding the creature and the next showing it in all its rubber suited glory.
Don't get me wrong the visuals, the sets and Giger's Alien design are truly breathtaking but a B movie made as an A movie this is not, a B + movie at best. Ridley's obvious inexperience and behind-the-scenes scrapping between Dan O'Bannon and David Giler, leave us with a good film, that could have been better with a more experienced eye and a more vocal, opinionated director.