Aliens grabs you by the whatever and squeezes until you squeal. The movie evokes so many emotions, dialing up the fear factor until it becomes outright terror which morphs into righteous anger which ultimately morphs into sacrifice and heroism.
Aliens vs. Predators goes for the disgust factor, as in fear factor participants eating a live spider.
Movies like Aliens and Predator lead you through the valley of the shadow of death. This is the difference between horror and goo. Predator may be a gore-fest, but it’s not goo.
When I watch a horror movie, and I much prefer sci fi to slasher crappola – which I actually will not watch – I want the protagonist faced with a life or death challenge, and I want to see the protagonist rise to the occasion in a realistic fashion. No Deus ex Machina and no Nickelodeon green slime.
Think Sarah Connor, The Terminator.
In fact, my husband and I just had an discussion about how much the Queen in Aliens weighs – because remember she holds onto Ripley and Ripley holds onto the ladder? My husband says – between 500 and 1500 lbs. I say at least a ton. Heavy exoskeleton. He says hollow, lightweight exoskeleton. Nope I say heavy. Either way IRL Ripley could not have held on, but we’ll let that go…
Ooh, I found an interesting horror movie the other day – Outlander. No, it’s not what you think, although I did hear a Scottish brogue or two. The story combines a few of my most very favorite tropes:
Spaceman, i.e., man out of time, time traveler. Humanoid who crashes on early medieval earth and locates a forgotten humanoid colony (of course we’ve forgotten we’re a colony).
Mythological monster – a dragon. The Morwin.
A tragic back story. A decent man, spaceman, trying to repent for what he views as his sins. Hot guys and gals battling legendary creatures. Destruction, death, rebirth. Story incorporated into local mythology. Great stuff.
And you’ll recognize the players: Jim Caviezel from Person of Interest and one of my favorite time-paradox movies, Frequency, and Sophia Myles from the short-lived and much-mourned vampire series, Moonlight.