I’m a self-proclaimed scaredy cat, so generally, I try to avoid horror movies. Not because I don’t think they have merit, but because usually after seeing one I don’t sleep for weeks. I am also obsessed with sci-fi, so in spite of my aversion to horror, I find the "Alien" movies irresistible. The combination having a badass female protagonist (originally Sigourney Weaver’s Ripley), amazing H. R. Giger designs, and playing in a universe guided by Ridley Scott are a powerful enough lure to make me forgo sleep.
The latest film in the franchise is "Alien: Covenant", it’s the sequel to "Prometheus". For context, "Prometheus" was the 2012 film that marked Scott’s return to sci-fi. In the lead up to the film, it was unclear if it was actually going to be in the Alien universe. *Spoiler alert* it was indeed a prequel.
"Prometheus" got a little too bogged down in trying to “hide” that it was an "Alien" movie. Academically it had many of the same elements that made the original so appealing: strong female lead in Noomi Rapace, synthetic android in Michael Fassbender, a constant sense of suspense, a distinct visual style, lots of viscera, and of course Ridley Scott at the helm. However, by not embracing that it was an Alien film from the start, yet trying to connect to the events in Alien, it felt disjointed.
It left me feeling a little apprehensive for "Alien: Covenant", but finding out how they were all connected was not an opportunity I was going to pass up. "Alien: Covenant" is much more straightforward in many senses than Prometheus was. The overall structure of the plot is a copycat of the original "Alien". "Prometheus" received flack for being too different, "Alien: Covenant" will probably get some heat for being too close.
The question becomes: is Scott just recycling his original idea? If so, is he even aware of it? If he doesn’t think he’s recycling the idea, what does he think he’s doing? Is it an homage to his own film? Or is it just another sequel (well, prequel-sequel)?
At the end of the day, I found that I didn’t care. "Alien: Covenant" didn’t disappoint in bridging the gap between "Prometheus" and "Alien". For me, it did it in a satisfying enough way that I didn’t mind that the intense similarities to the original. In fact, I’m probably guilty of finding it more satisfying that way.
This article originally appeared on KFOG.com on May 30, 2017
The latest interviews, reviews, and opinions on film by Dana Han-Klein. Thoughts and opinions are entirely my own and not reflective of my employer or any third parties.