Ever since the dreaded Xenomorph appeared on screen, it has inspired, terrified, and mystified audiences the world over. Its appearance is as alien to us as its very nature, which makes it both a great sci-fi and horror villain.
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However, not all Alien franchise films are the same. Some focus on action, while others dive into everything from straight-up horror, to philosophy. For fans of the franchise though, that doesn’t necessarily matter, as they all have something to offer.
8) Alien Covenant
After the prequel Prometheus left many Xenomorph fans wanting more, Alien Covenant was a hope to right its wrongs. Instead, this sequel provided more nonsensical storylines and character development that didn’t quite land with the fanbase.
Still, the film should be commended for expanding upon the Xenomorph mythology, and providing some origins to the species via its predecessor, the Praetomorph. It’s a very intricate history with many different creature designs that fans of Alien can find something to admire.
7) Alien Resurrection
By its fourth film, the Alien franchise was trying to branch out into new and uncharted territory. They tried to do this while having Sigourney Weaver’s character return after a rather dramatic and conclusive death. The result is a bizarre storyline consisting of mutated aliens and hybrid half-human clones.
Alien Resurrection might not be everyone’s favorite film in the franchise, but after a notable absence of Xenomorph content on the screen, it was nice to see them back in action again. Plus, the film did a decent job continuing the themes established in the films before it, by showcasing how humanity will never be able to control this wild and ferocious creature.
Alien fans were excited to hear that series creator Ridley Scott was returning for what could be a prequel to the original film. However, what they got was something entirely different, and it didn’t exactly go over well with longtime aficionados.
Prometheus is the embodiment of a science fiction film. It tries to tackle big ideas about life, and humanity’s place in the universe using alien creatures and technology. It’s pretty much only an Alien film by association, but the attempt at doing something big and profound should be applauded.
5) Alien vs. Predator
Xenomorphs have faced Predators countless times in comics and novels, so fans were obviously hoping to one day see their battle on the screen. The fact that the movie actually became a reality is kind of a dream, even if it was ruined by the bad direction of Paul W.S. Anderson.
It took a while to get going, but the moment in the film when the Predator and Alien come face to face was a sight to behold. The film did have its story faults, but there was plenty of action on both sides of the extraterrestrial aisle.
4) Alien 3
Aliens was a very difficult film to follow up, no matter the circumstances. What fans got was a very different type of Alien movie, with seemingly no connection to the ones that came before it. All that remained was Sigourney Weaver’s Ellen Ripley, who had to battle the humans she encounters, as well as the alien creatures.
Following its release, the film has been criticized by everyone from producers, to actors, and even director David Finch himself. However, the film should be recognized for taking chances with both its set design, as well as introducing audiences to a new variation of Xenomorph.
3) AVP: Requiem
Requiem gets a lot of hate from fans that were expecting something else; however the film largely succeeded in what it set out to do. The first AVP film certainly featured some great alien fights, but it was in an isolated location, and the PG-13 rating certainly didn’t do it any favors.
Requiem changed this by moving the setting from Antarctica, to an actual populated area. This doesn’t even take into account the unique Predalien that was both terrifying, and an equal match for the Predator. It was marred by sloppy direction and an over-reliance on gore, but it was one of the most faithful to the look and feel of previous Alien films.
The first Alien film was groundbreaking on many different fronts. Besides being an excellent science-fiction horror film, it also had top-notch set designs and costumes. At a time before CGI made any sort of setting a reality, Alien truly transported moviegoers to an entirely different galaxy.
Besides that, the film introduced audiences to Ellen Ripley, a truly remarkable female hero that became a fan favorite for generations. Like Predator, Star Wars, and even RoboCop, the first Alien film inexplicably launched an entire franchise that still remains poignant and relevant to this day.
It’s very rare for a sequel to top its predecessor. It’s even rarer for one to do so while changing genres. The first Alien movie was a sci-fi horror film, but its follow-up focused more on action, rather than scares.
More than that though, Aliens expanded the universe to unbelievable proportions. A lot of sequels try to do this, but they become too bloated and stumble without finding an anchor to hold it down. Aliens did this by focusing on Ripley’s journey, and having her go up against her ultimate foe in the Xenomorph queen.