Updated: Nov 1, 2019
We’ve had good aliens - think E.T. (1982) think Arrival (2016), think the good guys in the Transformers (2007). E.T. changed the way we thought of aliens by giving us a cute, loveable face and personality in E.T. Arrival with its Heptapods is a them-looking-out-for-us movie and of course we love the Navi in Avatar (2009) who show us a proud, independent, nature loving race, so symbolic of the many indigenous peoples on earth who, like them, see their very existence threatened by commercial and political exploitation. Optimus Prime and his compatriot Autobots look out for humans and the fact that they can transform into cool cars made them just that more our kind of aliens.
We’ve had bad aliens. Ridley Scott gave us the creature most people think of when you say ‘aliens’. The face-sucking critter began in Alien (1979) and had a long life through the many sequels. The little head springing out of the big head was an alien innovation that stayed in the head.
The three legged war machines from War of the Worlds (2005) carried an air of inevitable destruction, the eye at the end of the probing arm was menacing and everything about the Martians screamed bad - though Dakota Fanning’s screaming came a close second. Her screams could actually have been the way the movie killed off the aliens - and surely some humans with it - but sigh - we weren’t the ones directing.
The tentacled creatures and the flying roaches in the mall from the mist clearly were up to no good.
Her screams could actually have been the way the movie killed off the aliens - and surely some humans with it - but sigh - we weren’t the ones directing.
Ugly - well Arnie said it for us “You’re one ugly m***** f*****”. The Predator with his mask on looked imposing, mask removed he looked positively disgusting. The irony is that the 6’ 9” giant who played the Predator - Kevin Peter Hall was a genial, handsome man. The ‘prawns’ in District 9 (2009) also looked quite ugly, but the challenge to us as viewers, was to see the beings behind their ugly looks, and the movie shocks us into doing that. Species when it had cast aside human form bore no resemblance to the beautiful Natasha Henstridge it masqueraded as.
The Star Wars franchise gave us a great mix of all three - some good like Chewbacca and Yoda himself, many bad like General Grievous and xxx and the ugliest of them all in Jabba the Hutt, odious and slimy.