We saw Alien Covenent tonight.
It wasn’t a bad movie, but it wasn’t a good one, either.
I had hoped for so much more.
My initial thought as the credits were rolling was that this franchise has become the M. Night Shamalan of the genre; something that started out great and rapidly deteriorated to predictable, meaningless, crap.
Predictable is the key word here. There is nothing left to shock or surprise any more. You already know that by the end of the film everyone except one or two humans and the Synthetic will have been dispatched in the most gruesome ways possible.
monster alien drips acid. The alien has a double steel jaw and likes to tunnel through your skull with it. The alien will burst out of your body somewhere. And most importantly, if you’re separated from your comrades and your attention is focused somewhere else, you will die.
Viewed strictly as horror cinema (which is what the Alien franchise is), it was much more effective when you didn’t know every anatomical detail of what was lurking in the shadows. What we don’t know is far scarier than what we do.
I remember how I felt after leaving the theater back in 1979 at the original Alien premiere. It scared the bejeebus out of me. I kept looking over my shoulder as I walked back to my car, and then kept one eye on my rearview mirror all the way home.
In 1986, after screening Aliens (IMHO probably the best film of the series), I came home and promptly turned on every light in the apartment.
But no more. Now the whole thing now just strikes me as silly.
To its credit, Covenant isn’t chock full of stupid scientists the way Prometheus was. It also answers most—if not all—of the outstanding questions posed by its predecessor. But it was so damned predictable. Ben whispered the final “gotcha” moment to me a good fifteen minutes before the end of the film; something I’d also already figured out on my own.
And Ridley Scott says he wants to do five more? Please, for the love of the gods, NO. Let it DIE.