Horrifying Femme Fatale – Ellen Ripley
Alien, the science fiction/horror film, introduces us to Ellen Ripley, an iron-willed woman destined to battle the galaxy’s ultimate creature.
Focusing on her interactions from Alien, Ripley is antagonized by other crew members, such as Parker and Brett.
Later, the crew members must answer to her when Ripley becomes the commanding officer following the death of Dallas.
Singlehandedly surviving the onslaught of the Nostromo, Ripley is the nonstop protagonist of Alien.
She is a warrior woman of sorts, fighting for her life and the life of others. Ripley cares deeply for others, protecting them as best as she can even when fear consumes her. But Ripley is first and foremost a survivor.
Ripley continues her journey through two sequels before sacrificing herself to destroy a queen alien embryo inside of her. Introducing a clone of Ripley in Alien Resurrection, she is more violent and aloof than the original.
Final report of the commercial starship Nostromo, third officer reporting. The other members of the crew, Kane, Lambert, Parker, Brett, Ash and Captain Dallas, are dead. Cargo and ship destroyed. I should reach the frontier in about six weeks. With a little luck, the network will pick me up. This is Ripley, last survivor of the Nostromo, signing off. – Alien (1979)
Get away from her, you *bitch!* – Aliens (1986)
When they first heard about this thing, it was “crew expendable”. The next time they sent in marines – they were expendable too. What makes you think they’re gonna care about a bunch of lifers who found God at the ass-end of space? You really think they’re gonna let you interfere with their plans for this thing? They think we’re – we’re crud. And they don’t give a fuck about one friend of yours that’s – that’s died. Not one. – Alien3 (1992)
Though Ripley was introduced in Alien, a film that I consider both science fiction and horror. The Alien franchise went more science fiction with elements of action in the following sequels, considerably in Aliens with the Marines being sent in alongside Ripley.
However, Ripley remains a female character in both horror and science fiction that represents strength and survival. Easily one of my favorite femme fatales of the genre, Ripley is empowering, showing that not only strength, emotional and physical, is needed to survive but intelligence and drive.
Remember that in space, no one can hear you scream.