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Alien: Covenant


Stars: Michael Fassbender, Katherine Waterston, Billy Crudup, Danny McBride, Demian Bichir, Carmen Ejogo, Jussie Smollett, Callie Hernandez, Amy Seimetz, Benjamin Rigby, James Franco

Director: Ridley Scott

Scott, having created his memorable movie laxative when the monster burst out of John Hurt's chest in Alien, returns to the franchise he created in a gore-sodden sequel to Prometheus with a slick, suspenseful monster mash so fashioned as to make Alien seem positively anemic by comparison.

The shockfilm screenplay (based on a story by Jack Palglen and Michael Green and set 10 years after what happened in Prometheus, shrewdly revisits the aliens-versus-humans trope that satisfyingly propels the series and has proved a successful sci fi storyline for ages. Remember It! The Terror From Beyond Space more than half a century ago?

Here, a decade after what happened in Prometheus, the eponymous spaceship is boldly going to the far side of the galaxy to find a planet suitable for human colonization. The crew, 2,000 aspirant colonists and 1,140 embryos are unconscious in deep hyper-sleep while synthetic Fassbender paces the spacecraft.

Fortunately the survivors find a new planet whose mountains, seas and huge trees appear to provide the new Eden they are seeking.


Beauty soon turns beastly.

And, to Scott's credit, he largely succeeds in making his characters credible in the face of the dazzling movie magic decorating a classy shocker that, despite its sci fi trimmings, is fundamentally a horror-monster show and a bloody good one at that.

Alan Frank

USA 2017. UK Distributor: 20. Technicolor.
117 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 3, Drugs 1, Swearing 2.

Review date: 20 Sep 2017

DVD review