If by chance you’re reading this article and have not seen the newest trailer for Alien: Covenant, hit that play button up top immediately. It’s awesome. If you’re invested enough into Alien lore, my headline-cum-statement is a pretty bold claim. The general consensus is there hasn’t been a “good” Alien film since James Cameron’s 1986 Aliens. But there’s an indisputable gathering of fans that worship Alien 3, I’m one of them, you could say there’s enough of us to fill out the prison on Fiorina 161; albeit our only crime questionable movie taste. Some fans genuinely love Prometheus, it’s all subjective. The number of years you’ve waited for another good Alien movie is a figure applicable only to you.
Having had a day or so to digest the latest trailer, we’re ready to put our money where our mouth is and declare ourselves strapped into this express elevator to hell. Here are five highlights from the trailer convincing us at least, this will reign as the best Alien film in 31 years come this May:
They Had an Alien Bible On Set
When the trailer landed it also marked the end of a long-standing embargo over various media outlets reports on a set visit that took place nearly a year ago. Courtesy of JoBlo:
With this film popping up and embracing the ALIEN universe and Blomkamps impending ALIEN 5 aka ALIEN 3 “for real”, they had film researchers create a 10-page rule-book for the series. First time that happens in the franchise’s history.
Cannon matters, people.
“No birds, no animals, nothing”
One of the best bits of the trailer is actually before shit goes crazy. The gentle notes of the piano subside into a faint wind, accompanying a series of awe-inspiring landscapes that are eerily desolate and more worryingly for our crew of colonists; silent. Demián Bichir examines some wheat and comments curiously “what are the odds of finding human vegetation this far from earth?”, Katherine Waterston questions “who planted it?”. Big questions indeed, which lead us on to number three…
Prometheus Scope, Alien chills
Fittingly, a title card declaring “The Path To Paradise” brings an end to the grandeur landscapes which wouldn’t look out of place in Prometheus. Another fade to black signals “Begins” as the trailer shifts gears into imagery recalling the palpable atmosphere of the 1979 original; “In Hell” sparks an intense marriage of the films it’s following on from and leading into. The fleeting glimpse of a cloaked figure walking through a sea of petrified corpses, easily nestles next to anything we’ve seen in the Alien films so far for pure wonderment.
Danny McBride & Katherine Waterston
I’m putting stakes on Danny McBride being the best male protagonist the franchise has seen since Aliens. What made the second film work so much is you genuinely love the shit out of all the characters. Michael Beihn and Bill Paxton (god bless him) are such heroes as Hicks and Hudson respectively, and since then, the only enduring character of any gender in subsequent sequels has been Ripley. Prometheus was especially full of dullards.
Seems we’re all set for Katherine Waterston as the heroine, which is fine by me, her bashfulness and vulnerability on display during the “Last Supper” clip make her a refreshing departure from Noomi Repace’s clunky performance in the last film. Danny McBride is looking fantastic though. Something so natural about his delivery of “Hold on!!” and “Holy Shh—“ during the trailer’s climax. I already hope he makes it through to the film’s final scenes with a can of Weyland Yutani Aspen beer in hand.
“They Want Aliens, I’ll Give Them Fucking Aliens”
Sir Ridley Scott, take a bow. It’s easy to forget we’re talking about (technically) the eighth spin on the Alien franchise. Negating even the wave of goodwill The Martian afforded him last year, the esteemed Director can pick any film he wants. But he never places himself above his audience, as Arrow In The Head detail:
Ridley Scott decided to come back to the world of ALIEN after being let down by the AVP films. Moreover, he listened to the fans who craved aliens in Prometheus hence why Prometheus 2 goes back to ALIEN territory even down to its title. As Scott said while I was on set: “They want Aliens, I’ll give them f*cking Aliens”. (Dude swears like a sailor – I like that!)
And the Alien looks absolutely titular in this trailer, producing its most captivating screen presence since maybe the Queen Alien’s headline act in Aliens. It’s spindly, other-worldly, and a far cry from the obvious man-in-suit limitations that ironically hurt the later instalments most (the effects work hit an all time low with little remembered AvP: Requiem, maybe due to budget constraints).
Aiming for ultimate creepy, the special effects guys were obviously looking in the right places as comingsoon found out:
On the wall there’s an Australian spider chart, and we’re not sure if it’s for practical or film purposes. Since the release of the new trailer, they showed a Xeno with a spider-y gait to it, so it might have contributed!
You may have 5 reasons why you think Alien: Covenant will not be the best Alien film since 1986! Be sure to let us know in the comments. Keep an eye on So Is It Any Good? for the latest news and reaction.