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TRAILER: Alien Covenant

Slight spoiler for a film that came out 4 years ago:

The very last thing we see in Prometheus, the 2012 film allegedly divorced from the Alien franchise, is a Xenomorph. Fast forward a few years and the tentative follow-up film adds “Alien” to the title, morphing it (or xenomorphing it) into a bridge between films. And now we have the first official trailer and there’s still thousands of internet comments questioning if this is related to Prometheus and why is this about Xenomorphs instead of Engineers and is this a sequel to Prometheus or a prequel to Alien. The simple answer is yes. Yes, to all of this. This is all part of the same universe and this trailer gives us the best of everything.

The first noteworthy piece of this trailer is that it is red band. That alone should tell you we’re in for something hopefully gutsy, grotesque and worthy of an R-rating. What begins is a shot of bloody footsteps quickly cutting to a woman shouting to another woman from a window of a closed door. She’s frantic and desperate, turning around to see a guy shaking and his back horrifically bursting open. It becomes a series of quick cuts of each character and the guy’s bleeding back. Everyone’s familiar with the iconic “chestburster” but now we have a backburster. That’ll be fun.

This action slows down as we get a vivacious shot of scenery from a wide window. Looking out this window is Michael Fassbender. You know, an actor who was in Prometheus. But still the confusion persists. The aesthetic of the film is also strikingly on par with its predecessor. Soft, muted colors emphasis the mystique of the landscapes along with the cold lifeless feel. Lifeless, of course, until our crew steps out and some strange little specimen floats into a guy’s ear.

I had many problems with Prometheus, most notably the complete lack of intelligence among the characters and the script’s inability to tackle any of the questions it raises (this was written by Damon Lindelof). But, what I did like was the direction thanks to Sir Ridley Scott whose eye for imagery and thrilling terror is absolute. He’s skilled in presenting weird cringey things like little whateverthefucks in someone’s eye or, in this case, going into someone’s ear.

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We’re briefly introduced to our new crew including Katherine Waterston and Danny McBride. In terms of plot, this looks a lot like familiar territory. We have a band of people wandering around an uncharted planet, a facehugger appears, and there’s lots of out of context screaming. But what’s assuring in that it evokes the best of the two standouts of the series, Alien and Aliens, making this look like action horror at its finest. Though if the marketing for Prometheus was light on the horror, it’s in full force here. Perhaps the biggest surprise (and point of contention) is the final scene of the trailer. We see two characters getting it on in the shower, only to be interrupted by a Xenomorph. A quick glimpse of it from behind the man before a spray of blood hits the woman. It’s kind of schlocky, like something out of Friday The 13th, but then again the original 1979 film set the standard for a lot of those films.

For some, Prometheus was a welcomed addition to this franchise and for others it was a disappointment. But for those (myself included) who love the original film directed by Scott and to see him doubling down here is something to behold. Granted, the trailer for Prometheus were also pretty good, but seeing the classic Xenomorph in true horror fashion as opposed to fighting Predator is worth garnering anticipation for. The trailer tells you exactly what kind of film you’re in for, a great hybrid of sci-fi, action, and horror that’ll make your back burst with excitement.

What did you think of the trailer for Alien: Covenant? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter!

About the author

James Leggett