A special cinema event on Alien day gave me the pleasure of being able to see Prometheus, Alien Director’s Cut, two scenes from Alien Covenant and a scene set between Prometheus and Covenant today, and I have to say it was a fantastic experience.
The 26th April in American parlance is 4/26 and the planet that the Alien was discovered on originally was LV-426, hence Alien Day. Paradoxically, of course, the planet was not actually named in the original film, it was only named in the sequel, Aliens. And the focus for today was Ridley Scott’s Alien films, not James Cameron’s.
The marathon started with Prometheus, a film that I feel is unfairly maligned. As a prequel to Alien, it has some drawbacks. Mainly the fact that it is not a horror film as the original is and it does not fully explain a lot of its themes and join those dots back to the original. But this is actually something that I like. This is a science fiction film focused on the mysteries of belief and how we came to be. Fundamentally different from the original Alien, which has practically no lore whatsoever in it. The film looks spectacular and features a fantastic performance from Michael Fassbender is David, a robot who idolises Lawrence of Arabia.
Alien, 38 years on from its original release is still a masterpiece. This is a claustrophobic horror film, dimly lit and set in dark corridors. In the cinema, it still has the power to scare and I found myself jolted out of my seat twice during proceedings leaving me with a sheepish smile on my face. The special effects have aged, it is interesting to see mainframe-like flight computers when this is set hundreds of years after Prometheus, but those are the perils of making prequels to films set in the future. For me though, this is still the original and best Alien film.
Following the two films, we got to see Ridley Scott introduce scenes from Covenant and one set between Prometheus and Covenant. I will be very interested to see if the scene set between the two films features in Covenant somewhere, or if it is just a stand-alone scene created just for this event. Without spoilers, I will just say it continues Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace) and David’s relationship. The scenes from Covenant were exceptionally good at whetting your appetite for its impending release. The most memorable of the scenes showed some brutal scenes of fledgling aliens finding their way into the world.
All in all, a brilliant evening’s viewing and I look forward to Covenant.