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Take the best on-screen monster / killing machine of all time and add in Fede Alvarez and you got the makings of something truly disgusting – in a good way, of course!


It’s just over a month from the release of the first Alien movie in nearly three decades that die-hard fans of the franchise, myself included, are allowing themselves to get excited about. The combination of a brilliant director, the use of and deliberate focus on practical effects, influences drawn from all the right places (Alien: Isolation, the OG movies; not Erich von Daniken), have created a type of buzz that nothing from the franchise has managed to replicate. 

The Only Alien Movie Anyone Has Been Excited About Since The 1990s

The initial preview trailer did not disappoint, and neither did the preview screenings. Previews confirmed it was A) heavy on the gore, B) scary, and C) much more like the original Alien film in its overall aesthetic and tone. Inside any ghost in the house setup, which is effectively what the alien movies are, these are the only elements you really need to nail – it’s simple but it always works. 

This is why the first film is so revered by movie goers and critics: it basically spent the entire duration of the movie trying to scare the living crap out of you. And 30+ years later, it still holds up, and that is the power of simple, stripped-back film making that focuses on the threat, doesn’t give too much away, keeps the mystery going, and never tries to over explain itself. 

Conversely, this is also why Prometheus, Covenant, and most modern sci-fi horror is utterly abhorrent. No one cares about origins, or building something into a franchise. Sometimes, people just want to be scared to death and grossed out. The OG Alien film did this, Predator did something similar, albeit in a less scary way, and Fede’s Alien movie looks like it’ll tap this formula for all its worth.

Why Fede is Perfect For Alien

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The reason that most people are allowing themselves to get excited about the Alien Romulus is that its director and writer, Fede Alvarez, has all the credentials you’d want from someone helming a sci-fi horror film. Don’t Breathe and his Evil Dead remake could’t be more different in their approach to gore, with the former being a painstaking exercise in anxiety-inducing dread and the latter being just utterly gross (again, in a good way). 

Now, combine these two trademark elements of Fede Alvarez’s film making – utter dread and terror with salacious amounts of gore, both body horror and the claustrophobic kind that has been missing from the Alien franchise since, well… before I was born, and I think – given everything we’ve seen to date – we’re in a for a treat this August, a big, gross, scary, disgusting treat of a movie. 

There Will Be Buckets of Gore In This Alien Film

Given Fede’s work on Evil Dead, I think the gore in Alien Romulus might be orders of magnitude more severe than anything we’ve seen in an Alien movie before. Ever wonder what it looks like to get eaten by an alien? We’ll probably see that up close. What about when a human morphs into an alien egg, a la Dallas from the OG Alien? We’ll probably see that too, replete with spades of gooey, icky body horror. Dismemberment? Check. 

Even the crew, despite being under NDAs, claimed there were scenes in the film that were so graphic they couldn’t watch it. Now, I’m no gore freak. But in the right context (and this is very much the right context), gore can be used both as means of adding to the terror or showcasing aspects of the alien we might not have experienced. Like, we know it’s strong. But just how strong is it really? I’d be interested to find out, and I wouldn’t mind some extra details, especially if it involves an antagonist. 

Of course, the true test isn’t going to be the scares or the gore. Although, given just how well the alien is known now, I am very interested in seeing how Fede makes The Big Chap, as Ridley refers to him, scary and terrifying again. Ridley failed to do this in Covenant which felt like a Marvel film without superheroes, but Fede? He’s got chops in this context. What he did in Don’t Breathe was exceptional. Apply that to the alien, in space, with more budget, and I reckon plenty of people will leave the cinema visibly shaken. 

I just hope that the script and crew are fleshed out properly. Part of the allure of the original film was that you actually cared about the characters. They were human and made human decisions but it always felt natural (unlike Prometheus, where it just felt like they were idiots). If Fede can nail this aspect, dial the terror and gore back to 11, I think Alien Romulus has the potential to be the only true successor to James Cameron’s Aliens which as it goes actually takes place after the events of Romulus.

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