Tuesday, October 24, 2017

31 Days of Halloween 2017: Alien Covenant

2017, Ridley Scott (Kingdom of Heaven) -- download

Another cheat insert.

I am not a fan of Prometheus. I found it a re-hash of what had been done before and even more plot hole filled than the less popular follow-ups to the original movie. So, I did not have many expectations for this sequel to the prequel (not sequel!). But I was pleasantly surprised that he at least gave us a decent horror movie.

But first the kick-off that pissed me off to no end. The last movie ended with Elizabeth Shaw and David the Friendly Android following a beacon back to the homeworld of the Engineers. That gives a lot to work with, with a first contact by a lone human and android. But no, that's too much for Scott to build a story around, so he kills them all off. An entire planet of Engineers is killed off by the Not-Friendly David android that Elizabeth has reassembled. He has re-engineered (pun intended) the planet into something ruled by whatever the Engineer black ooze virus does when there are no more lifeforms for it to destroy. And Elizabeth is dead. Not since the death of Newt, did I feel so pissed off.

But this is the planet that the next crew of unsuspecting unfortunates arrive at. Its a colony ship, a nice shiny well crewed spaceship filled with frozen humans & embryos and one toned down version of the android David, named Walter. They can re-program the line, but I guess they liked the Fassbender model. The crew has to be awakened when an accident happens, killing their captain.

So, like last time, there is a nearby planet that some want to explore and others want to avoid. They have a destination, but a quick pitstop won't hurt anything, right? Wrong. As said above, David has destroyed the place. They find the devastated Engineer city, but not before inhaling lots of spores left over from the black goo death machine. This is at the source of all the terror; you don't need face huggers to kick off the expected events.

What happens is a decently done, lots of shadows and things that eat you in the night horror movie. Ridley also does an annoying good job of giving us the greater threat, the machine that man made -- David. My namesake android is rather insane, and despite Walter's attempts to explain to him the error of his ways, David proceeds to work with the xenos to kill off the crew. We are left with the Ridley analog, played by Katherine Waterston still bearing the horrible bob haircut from Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, having to defend herself and the colony ship from David and the Xenos (my favourite new band name) but we know it will lead into a new sequel aboard the ship.