A Predator attempts to clear an alien infestation of a Colorado town. Banal direct sequel to Alien vs. Predator, oddly combining high-school slasher tropes with full-on monster mayhem. Dumb, visually murky and nigh plotless, though a couple of transgressive ideas lurk. A franchise low.
A mysterious Antarctic pyramid structure is linked to ancient alien hunting rites. Comic book-style franchisemashup with the focus on action and startling images rather than on SF horror. Not for purists, but well-resourced entertainment nevertheless with a stirring lead and great casting in depth.
200 years after the events of Alien 3, Ripley is cloned by military scientists eager to weaponise the xenomorph. Good-looking and humorous Part 4 with an excellent cast of character actors; tonal inconsistency and a wayward third act destabilise the storytelling. The compulsion to find new twists undoes some of the excellent earlier material presented here.
The 2003 re-edit (actually shorter than the 1979 original version) reinstates some scenes, clarifies some plot and character points and removes others (Ash is no longer a recent crew addition, and so the conspiracy element is toned down). By no means essential, but a chance to marvel again at this still-influential movie.
A deep space mission to engage with humanity’s distant ancestors finds more than it bargained. Great-looking but ultimately dumb and pretentious Alien prequel, with a fine cast largely wasted on a grab-bag script of variable ideas. Alien: Covenant followed in 2017,
Archaeologists lead a space mission to the creators of life on Earth. Good-looking and packed with great images, this Alien prequel is nevertheless hugely flawed, not least with an abundance of intelligent beings doing really dumb things.
57 years later, Ellen Ripley faces the xenomorphs again. Superlative sequel, balancing the body horror shocks of the original with military action, suspense, and a then-voguish Vietnam War aftermath aesthetic.