Arts & Entertainment

Review: ‘Alien: Covenant,’ a competent sci-fi horror

Don’t let the title fool you. Though “Alien: Covenant” is indeed a film residing in the “Alien” franchise, it’s not a sequel that continues the traditional “Alien” story. Rather, it is a sequel to the 2012 prequel film, “Prometheus.”

Taking place over a decade later, after the events of the first film, – Covenant —, the human colony ship —, travels tois bound for a planet named Origae-6 to colonize. Things don’t  not go as planned, and the ship is hit with a neutrino burst, which results in the deaths of some passengers, as well as the captain.

The crew members aboard are awakened from a cryo sleep to work on repairs. During this process, the ship’s human like synthetic robot, Walter (Michael Fassbender) receives an emergency transmission from an unknown planet. The crew decides to investigate the planet, and cominges across the same black goo substance as seen in the last movie. Things quickly become chaotic as some of the crew is exposed to the black substance. Thereafter, the remaining crew must find a way to escape from the planet while also evading the newly born alien creatures that want them dead.

One of the most appealing aspects in the movie are the visuals. Director Ridley Scott nails the setting in almost every instance. When the crew first lands on the planet, it is hard not to be mesmerized by the large landscapes. From the flora to the cliffs, everything has a realistic and natural beauty to it. This sense of beauty also brings with it a sense of dread — , as those who watched the previous film will know that the crew is in danger, and it’s only a matter of time before things start to go wrong.

But before things go south, the film follows much of “Prometheus’s” aspects and focuses more on the character interactions and science. Much of the early part of the film focuses on the crew and the exploration of the planet. This is the weakest part of the film, mostly due to how slow it was.

None of the characters are that memorable or developed enough for the audience to care for them. Of the characters in the film, none besides Walter, and acting captain Daniel, (Katherine Waterston) gave memorable a noticeable impressions. Fassbender’s performance throughout the film was great, while Waterston’s was only competent. Every other character in the film had only average acting skills.There was also no  writing in the film didn’t help — that made me care less about these characters as they were.- Slowly, yet surely the crew gets picked off by the various Necromorph-type creatures.

Thankfully, “Alien: Covenant”it manages to pick up the pace by the second half of the film, as it begins to focus more on the horror aspects rather than the scientific background.

Much like “Prometheus,” Necromorphs do not make an appearance. The black goo continues the cycle of evolution to the creation of the Necromorph with two previous forms, the Neomorph and the Protomorph. These creatures are terrifying and, much like the Necromorph counterpart, are extremely deadly. These aliens manage to bring the suspense and terror whenever they are on screen, and their appearances are easily the best part of the film.

As both a sequel and prequel, “Alien: Covenant” manages connect the dots between both “Prometheus” and the “Alien” franchise. The film takes and blends positive aspects from its predecessors, and ends up creating a movie that holds the audience’s attention from start to end.

Despite a slow start, “Alien: Covenant” stays faithful to the franchise by focusing on the horror aspect of the series – which it is known for. and is “Alien: Covenant” is worth the watch to both fans of the series and sci-fi horror genre.