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Review: ‘Alien: Covenant’ Stays on Brand With Its Terror


Katherine Waterston in “Alien: Covenant.”

Mark Rogers/20th Century Fox

When the larval alien at last explodes out of a human torso, you may experience, along with the expected jolt of fright, a curious sensation of relief, even affection. So much has changed in the world, and in movies, since the first “Alien” freaked out audiences in 1979, that the appearance of a chittering, scurrying, fast-spawning extraterrestrial predator feels like a visit from an old friend. Humanity may have lapsed into terminal tedium or hubristic stupidity, but that creature, with long, slender limbs and a cranium like a speedskater’s helmet, remains interesting.

The same can be said about “Alien: Covenant,” which follows “Prometheus” in Ridley Scott’s 21st-century refurbishing of the franchise he initiated (with the crucial contributions of Sigourney Weaver and the graphic artist H. R. Giger) almost 40 years ago. It’s an interesting movie. I wish I could be more effusive, but “Covenant,” for all its interplanetary ranging, commits itself above all to the canny management of expectations.


How ‘Alien’ Changed the Way Hollywood Scares Us

Ridley Scott’s film “Alien” gave audiences one of the scariest space monsters in movie history. Here’s a look at how the 1979 film has influenced the genre.

By MEKADO MURPHY and CHRIS CIRILLO on Publish Date May 4, 2017.

Photo by 20th Century Fox.

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