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View Full Version : Alien Collection...Horror or Sci-Fi ???


Peter Vincent
11-15-2001, 07:23 PM
I'm organizing my dvdaficionado listing into different folders and I came upon a crossroads. What would U guys label the Alien collection????? Sci-Fi or Horror???? Please don't post "it's a little of both" 'cause I sure know that and I'm not creating a "both" dvdaficionado folder! :D Lemme know your opinion fellow HorrorDVDers!!!

Hellbilly
11-15-2001, 07:45 PM
I would say the Alien movies are definitely Science Fiction - Thrillers.

moogong
11-15-2001, 07:48 PM
I would go for Sci-Fi also. They had lots of horror elements in them....kinda like that movie Pitch Black.

thrashard76
11-15-2001, 08:49 PM
sci-fi...definitely. Bits of horror thrown in but mostly sci-fi.

AceRimRat
11-16-2001, 10:36 PM
As a whole, definitely sci-fi.

I think you can easily make a case the first Alien is horror, but as a whole, it's a different story. The other three are all sci-fi, and the first certainly is a sci-fi setting.

thrashard76
11-17-2001, 07:07 AM
Peter...stick to sci-fi.;) :)

I would catagorize Alien movies in Sci-fi NOT in horror.:)

rhett
11-17-2001, 06:32 PM
The first one could be borderline horror, but even still, it is totally futuristic. The rest of the films are without a doubt science fiction, and may even be considered action films as well.

Ash28M
06-26-2009, 10:58 PM
Just stumbled across this poll and I'm surprised at the numbers. The first Alien is a horror film set in space. Ridley Scott even mentions TCM as his inspiration. The rest yes, they are less horror and more sci-fi action but the first is pure horror. There is nothing borderline about it.

Grim
06-26-2009, 11:30 PM
1 and 3, moreso 1, definitely have strong horror elements. 2 and 4 are straight scifi-action films. I think a better question would be scifi/horror or scifi/action?

Frankenstorm
06-26-2009, 11:39 PM
It's set in the future. It takes place on a space ship. The monster is an alien. It's sci-fi.

It set in the present. It takes place on a farm. The monster is Leatherface. It's horror.

You don't get to change the rules just cuz you're Ridley Scott.

fattyjoe37
06-26-2009, 11:53 PM
Just Alien...horror.

Alien collection...sci-fi.

Ash28M
06-26-2009, 11:54 PM
It's set in the future. It takes place on a space ship. The monster is an alien. It's sci-fi.
.

Who says a Horror film can't have all those things? Terminator was set in the present, didn't' take place on a spaceship and he wasn't an Alien. He was a killing machine that relentlessly staked his prey. Does that make it Horror film and not Sc-fI?

maybrick
06-27-2009, 12:06 AM
It's not really the point, I think, Ash. He asked us basically if we didn't have a choice, if we had to pick between either Sci-Fi or Horror, which one would it be. Obviously there's going to be bleed over between the genres no matter what, and that's what you get with a movie like Alien. However, there is absolutely no doubt that ALIEN is predominantly a Sci-Fi film. And sorry, but in my opinion it's rather idiotic to argue otherwise.

Grim
06-27-2009, 12:06 AM
It's set in the future. It takes place on a space ship. The monster is an alien. It's sci-fi.

It set in the present. It takes place on a farm. The monster is Leatherface. It's horror.

You don't get to change the rules just cuz you're Ridley Scott.

I'd definitely disagree, there are no concrete "rules" as to what makes something a horror or sci-fi film. Alien contains many elements common in horror films. Hell, in many ways the second half of the plays out like a futuristic slasher movie, albeit executed with impeccable skill by Ridley Scott and his crew. There are films out there that definitely bend genres, it's not always as cut and dry as "This is horror. This is sci-fi. those are the rules."

Kim Bruun
06-27-2009, 12:23 AM
Trying to assign movies to one just genre is unacademic and often frustrating. If anything, Alien is structured like a horror movie, but with a sci-fi theme, while Aliens is structured more like an action movie, again with a sci-fi theme.

Anyone who tries to insist on strictly defined genres is born about fifty years too late.

dave13
06-27-2009, 02:16 AM
Trying to assign movies to one just genre is unacademic and often frustrating. If anything, Alien is structured like a horror movie, but with a sci-fi theme, while Aliens is structured more like an action movie, again with a sci-fi theme.

Anyone who tries to insist on strictly defined genres is born about fifty years too late.

you had me till the last sentence. films have been mixing genres since they were invented. look at abbott and costello meet frankenstein, the invisible man, etc, all of which were comedy/horror hybrids. or the mix of melodrama and horror in tod browning's dracula. or action/adventure and horror in king kong. you're absolutely right man, trying to pigeonhole a movie into a single genre is a wasted effort, but don't be knockin' my beloved golden oldies!

Ash28M
06-27-2009, 02:27 AM
It's not really the point, I think, Ash. He asked us basically if we didn't have a choice, if we had to pick between either Sci-Fi or Horror, which one would it be. Obviously there's going to be bleed over between the genres no matter what, and that's what you get with a movie like Alien. However, there is absolutely no doubt that ALIEN is predominantly a Sci-Fi film. And sorry, but in my opinion it's rather idiotic to argue otherwise.


I'll agree that I should of read the question and on the whole I would agree the series on more Sci-FI then horror. Saying that when it comes to the first film I strongly disagree and there is nothing idiotic about arguing that Alien is more Horror than Sci-Fi. Other than it being Set in Space I't predominantly a Horror film IMO. Take the Sci-Fi element away from Alien and you basically have extremal well done monster movie or even a slasher. Take the Horror element out of Alien and you do't have much of a film.

Frankenstorm
06-27-2009, 02:33 AM
FWIW I was being more than a little facetious. Categorize it however you like or not at all. What's the difference?

KR~!
06-27-2009, 03:56 AM
they are both.

aoiookami
06-27-2009, 04:31 AM
As a whole more sci-fi I would say, especially 2 and 4. 1 for me is like 60% sci-fi 40% horror, since we're constantly given images of space, advanced technology, space crafts. 3 is really the only one I would put toward horror since if Joe Schmo started watching 20 minutes in, he would never know it had once been a series set in space/the future with advanced technology. But definitely a mix of horror with all of them. In the end tho, sci-fi/horror is my favorite kind of movie so its all good!
Tale the Horror element out of Alien and you do't have much of a film.
Hmm, not sure I agree Ash. It wouldnt be same, of course, but I think the original had so much going for it that it would make out just fine, the characters were great, setting was great, acting, music. Had we seen a gritty, grimy, non-fantastical, space-trucker depiction of space around that era? I'm not sure, but I thought that was what earned it alot of its appeal. I'm no writter so I cant think of an alternate scenario for the crew, a non-hostile intelligent alien? I dunno, but I think it was such a solid production on all fronts with Ridley Scott behind it, it still would have been a good film had it taken a different direction than horror.

othervoice1
06-27-2009, 05:17 AM
It is a mixture of both genres but a little more of sci-fi overall to me

Matt89
06-27-2009, 05:46 AM
Are people actually trying to argue genre? This is the stupidest shit ever and I'll tell you now...we're gonna get nowhere. Genre is one of the MOST disputed aspects of well...even film study. Is Film Noir a style or a genre? Is documentary considered a genre or is it a "type" of film? Same with experimental films/avant-garde. Then you have multiple genre films made within certain MODES of filmmaking (i.e. Bergman's Hour of the Wolf is a horror/psychological thriller but also has the European art film edge to it, just like Cat People is horror/fantasy made under the Hollywood Production Code.)

The original Alien I'd say is more horror than sci-fi. It's about a strange shapeless "thing" killing off isolated individuals one by one. Hmmm..sounds like a slasher? Alien is almost a slasher film set in space. Sure it has sci-fi aspects in it, but I personally think it's way more a horror film than sci-fi. Hell, look at the trailers, the original ads for the film. This was marketed as a HORROR FILM. "In space, no one can hear you scream." Tagline for a sci-fi? I don't think so. Aliens...now THAT'S sci-fi.

Someone on here said it best when they compared Alien to Leatherface. There you go, point proven. There are some really overt horror film aspects in Alien.

But then these films are hybrids of so many genres. They're part horror/suspense, sci-fi, action/adventure, fantasy...

Trying to slump a film into a single category is ridiculous.

~Matt

Erick H.
06-27-2009, 07:34 AM
I always fall back on intent in cases like this.Was ALIEN primarily trying to scare you ? I'd say "yes".While it's set in the future on a spaceship the film isn't concerned about dazzling you with futuristic images,in fact it's down and dirty,a blue collar look at the future.It could just as easily been set on a ship at sea or an oil rig.It's not about the sci-fi angle,it's about the scares.You can call ALIEN a haunted house film in space.As it often makes lists of the scariest films of all time I think you could certainly argue that it qualifies as horror.

ALIENS is more of a sci-fi action film.It has some scares but is really more of a charged up war film.In fact it's not unlike a period classic like ZULU,a small group of soldiers beseiged by thousands of enemy fighters.It's kind of a ''lost patrol" type picture...with space monsters.

The other two films are harder to peg.ALIEN 3 want's to be a horror picture,ALIEN RESSURECTION is more sci-fi ,though with quirky Euro trimmings.

All of these films could qualify in both categories to some degree,they are hybrids.Still,speaking only of the original I would say that it's trying to scare you and leans toward horror.

Kim Bruun
06-27-2009, 12:16 PM
you had me till the last sentence. films have been mixing genres since they were invented. look at abbott and costello meet frankenstein, the invisible man, etc, all of which were comedy/horror hybrids. or the mix of melodrama and horror in tod browning's dracula. or action/adventure and horror in king kong. you're absolutely right man, trying to pigeonhole a movie into a single genre is a wasted effort, but don't be knockin' my beloved golden oldies!

I'm not saying that older movies didn't mix genres at all. But from an academic stand point, putting everything in neat little separate boxes is a practice that went out od style decades ago. It was the strict classification I was talking about, not the movies themselves.

Some movies are more generically pure than others, and I'm not saying that genres should be thrown out the window - they are helpful in discussing movies and seeking out movie experiences. However, genres overlap and can be mixed. Strict classification is an illusion.

Shannafey
06-27-2009, 02:57 PM
I would put them all under scifi, but the whole series has a mix of elements. The first one is definitely horror-scifi and the second is an action film. But all in all the series is scifi.

Copyboy
06-27-2009, 03:26 PM
ALIEN = horror/sci-fi
ALIENS = sci-fi/action
ALIEN 3 = action/drama
ALIEN 4 = comedy

So, should we reclassify most of the Hammer horror titles as period pieces? Back in my video store days, we would generally file movies in whatever section they MOST belonged, but there were so many movies that just did NOT belong where they were kept. The PLANET OF THE APES series somehow ended up in the children's section just because they had G ratings on the boxes, while RETURN TO OZ was in sci-fi because it was PG and not allowed in the children's section!