With the release of Ridley Scott’s Alien: Covenant only days away, I felt it was a good time to revisit the previous five films. Dust off those old DVD’s and let’s see just how well these five films hold up.
Sometimes a ‘prequel’ is made to a popular movie franchise and we the fanboys flock to see it because its part of that franchise and/or has a cool premise. Then said ‘prequel’ ends up crashing and burning all over our expectations and leaving a bad taste in our mouths for the rest of the series. Only after much cleansing and rewatching of the good ones can we forget or forgive it. I’m looking at you, Star Wars Episode I.
Then a prequel comes along that does everything right. It makes you excited for the series again and even makes you want to go back to watch the original right after you watch the prequel. This is Prometheus. Stunning visuals, interesting characters, well written, and excellent direction make this film one my favorites from in the Alien pantheon. I was hooked in from the beginning and it never let me go. A little Alien fanboy was jumping up and down at all the references to the original Alien film and the franchise as a whole. I was so psyched by this movie I immediately put on Alien and watched that again. Then again tonight. Even watching them back to back the original still works.
A character in the film at one point said “Try harder.” That’s exactly what Ridley Scott does with Prometheus. It tries hard to be great and succeeds. This one rates in my top three Alien films, only behind the superb Alien and Aliens. If you like Science Fiction in general you have to see this film. If you are a fan of the Alien movies you owe it to yourself to see this film. Now that I’ve talked about it, I think I will watch it again.
My opinion hasn’t changed much since then. If anything my love of this film has become stronger. I have put this in my top ten of all time list right next to Ridley Scott’s original. Anyone who loves sci-fi should really see this film. Great visuals, great script, and great cast. If you really want to immerse yourself into the mythology and find meaning. Be sure to set aside a whole evening though, because you will be wanting to watch Alien immediately after.
You know you’re a badass alien when you take out Ripley, Bilbo Baggins, and The Doctor all in the same film. Well, Bilbo was a malfunctioning android, but that’s besides the point. It’s fun to see a film after the actors have gone on to do other things and you get that moment of “Oh yeah, he’s in this!”
I had forgotten that the android is played by Ian Holm who would go on to play Bilbo in Lord of the Rings. Then there is John Hurt who played The Doctor in the 50th anniversary special of Doctor Who.
I love the atmosphere and I love this cast. From the beginning I believe that these characters have been working together for a long time and are all very comfortable with each other and their roles. This made it easier for me to be scared for them when John Hurt’s character begins convulsing on the dinner table and the alien bursts from his chest. I am right there with their fear and concern. I feel invested in these characters.
It also helps this plot and the scares that it takes place in a confined space and that the only plot here is to kill the alien before it kills them. It’s a survival horror story, and when you are facing a killer anything in space, that’s what you want. This is a gold standard in my opinion for horror in space. It has inspired me in my work and continues to be one of my favorite films of all time.