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

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Katherine Waterston in “Alien: Covenant.”

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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.

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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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