“People were screaming and running out of the theater”: Ridley Scott’s Cult Classic Film Became a Nightmare For the Audience After One Horrific Scene

Alien is now considered a cult classic, but it was too much for the audience back in 1979 as they would rush out of the theatres due to its gory scenes

Ridley Scott’s Cult Classic Film Became a Nightmare For the Audience After One Horrific Scene


  • Ridley Scott's Alien is a genre-defining movie and a cult-classic, but it did receive the same acclaim when it came out
  • Being to grotesque for the audience back in 1979, people would run out of theatres in the middle of the film out of fear
  • The film turned into a franchise soon after and almost had Ridley Scott and James Cameron collaborating on Alien 5
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Ridley Scott is one of those handful of filmmakers in the entertainment industry who have more than just influenced their audiences with their remarkable works. In fact, he was downright brilliant right from the beginning, considering how his superhit cult classic from 1979, Alien, was only the second film he has directed.

Ridley Scott
Ridley Scott

However, while Alien is incredibly praised now, that wasn’t always the case, especially when it was newly released. Since it brought a whole new terrific and darker genre of science-fiction to life, the audience was nothing short of horrified by the film that was close to a nightmare for them.

Also Read: “You’ll ruin the franchise”: Despite James Cameron’s Warning, Studio Destroyed Ridley Scott’s 25-Year-Old Franchise With Flop Film


Ridley Scott’s Alien‘s Initial Screening Had People Running Out Of The Theatres

Alien (1979)
Alien (1979)

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When Ridley Scott’s cult classic Alien was released back in 1979, it received mixed critical reviews because of its darker approach as compared to Star Wars, which had kick-started the science-fiction genre in the cinematic industry two years before.

In The Beast Within: The Making of Alien, the movie’s editor Terry Rawlings shared his experience during the early screenings of the film.


“We arrived in this theatre which was run by these guys — you could’ve eaten off their floors. The theatre was fantastic. The sound was great. It was the most incredible preview I’ve ever been in. I mean, people were screaming and running out of the theater.” 

He specifically pointed out the unforgettable scene when a hideous creature bursts out of Kane played by John Hurt‘s chest. Continuing, he revealed:

“We had the management saying, ‘You know, this is terrible. People have been sick everywhere and it’s in a state.’ We thought, ‘This is great.’” 

Although the mixed critical reviews for the time are understandable considering how Alien brought about something entirely different and grotesque to a whole new level, the film is now regarded as not only one of Ridley Scott’s but of the entire genre’s greatest sci-fi films of all time.

Also Read: Michelle Pfeiffer Came To the Rescue of Brad Pitt’s Breakout Film After Dropping Ridley Scott’s Name Who Beat 40 Directors To Land the Job Himself


Ridley Scott & James Cameron Nearly Collaborated For Alien 5

James Cameron with Ridley Scott
James Cameron with Ridley Scott

Following the remarkable success of Alien, its sequel Aliens went into production, and before everyone knew it, the film had its own franchise — something filmmaker Ridley Scott never intended to happen.

The movie went on to spawn three more films of its own before merging with the Predators franchise for a while. However, Scott wasn’t too fond of this idea, as per his interview with The Hollywood Reporter:

“I think Alien vs. Predator was a daft idea. And I’m not sure [if] it did very well or not, I don’t know. But it somehow brought down the beast. And I said to them, ‘Listen, you can resurrect this, but we have to go back to scratch and go to a prequel if you like.’” 

James Cameron, who had taken over directing for the 1979 cult classic’s sequel, further shared in a Reddit AMA (via Far Out Magazine) how Alien vs Predator even derailed his collaboration with Ridley Scott for Alien 5.


“What came up was the idea of doing Alien 5, and at one point, I pitched that I would write it and produce it, and Ridley would direct it, and we had lunch talking about this, and we were in violent agreement, then nothing happened. What happened was Fox went ahead with Aliens Vs Predator.” 

He also mentioned how he had warned the studios against the making of a spin-off for the superhit film.

“I said ‘I really don’t recommend that, you’ll ruin the franchise, it’s like Universal doing Dracula versus the Werewolf,’ and then I lost interest in doing an Alien film.” 

Instead, James Cameron turned his focus to his other project, Avatar, and Ridley Scott once again reclaimed the directing seat for the Alien franchise for his 2012 hit, Prometheus.


Written by Mahin Sultan

Articles Published: 1126

Mahin Sultan is a News Content Writer at FandomWire. With almost one year's worth of experience in her field, she has explored and attained a deep understanding of numerous topics in various niches, mostly entertainment.

An all-things-good enthusiast, Mahin is currently pursuing her Bachelor's degree in Commerce, and her love for entertainment has given her a solid foundation of reporting in the same field. Besides being a foodie, she loves to write and spends her free time either with her nose buried in a good book or binging on COD or K-dramas, anime, new movies, and TV serials (the awesome ones, obviously).

So far, Mahin's professional portfolio has more than 500 articles written on various niches, including Entertainment, Health and wellbeing, and Fashion and trends, among others.