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What's it like to watch Aliens with a group of kids who are seeing it for the first time? Film critic Matt Zoller Seitz's essay on the joys of re-watching and sharing favorite films recounts his experiences doing just that (spoiler alert: "It went over well").


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I saw ALIENS twice the summer of '86. The first time was with my dad on a rainy vacation night when we were desperate for something to do; I remember being super freaked in my hotel room later and unable to sleep.

The second time I went with a friend to the theater at a military academy, where we watched it with 200 bloodthirsty first-year cadets ('plebes') who roared every time somebody even picked up a gun, much less fired one. It was quite an experience watching it with them, and I was glad I had seen it already because their enthusiastic response meant you couldn't hear the dialogue at times (the din after Vasquez shouts "Let's rock!" was indescribable). I've seen it several times the last few years at public screenings and events, and every time I wait for the audience reactions to our favorite lines — the "bitch" moment, of course, and pretty much anything Hudson says — like a junkie chasing that first high.