4. Alien: Resurrection (1997)
Alien: Resurrection is the final film of the original series, this fourth instalment telling the story of Ripley who, after dying in the previous film, is grown back to life in order to see the effects of splicing Xenomorph and human DNA together. With a Xenomorph Queen also resurrected via the miracles of futuristic science, Ripley must once again destroy the alien, this time for good.
It’s a film of both intense highs and a number of lows. Resurrection ushers in a return of the puppetry that was so beloved in Alien and Aliens, and combines these techniques with advanced CGI to bring the franchise back from the poorly constructed, 100% CG-Xenomorph, Alien 3. Sigourney Weaver also offers a particularly incredible physical performance in her new binary role, with stand out moments coming as she’s introduced to the team and as she meets Winona Ryder’s Annalee Call for the first time. Unfortunately, the most disappointing aspect of this film comes from the final, slightly human-looking alien. Not only is the design absolutely hellish, but the strange relationship it has with Ripley seems rather implausible, the franchise taking a turn into something close to its most outrageous during this moment.
While a marked improvement on Alien 3, Resurrection spelled the end for the central franchise, fans being forced to wait a prolonged fifteen years before the series would return with its first prequel Prometheus…
3. Prometheus (2012)
When it was announced that a prequel to Alien was to be made, many were prepared for “just another Alien film”, the franchise’s diminishing returns of the 1990s still being somewhat fresh in the mind. But, with original 1979 Alien movie director Ridley Scott attached to direct, other portions of the audience were excited for the franchise to return to its spiritual roots, and it was these fans who were more correct about the fifth Alien franchise release (and first prequel) Prometheus.
Prometheus was somewhat removed from the hyper-violent and increasingly unrealistic offerings of later Alien movies and instead something more tied to mythology and philosophy. In this 2012 release, a whole new team of scientists at the end of the 21st century set out to find the Engineers of human life, but instead stumble across a planet where they store their deadliest bioweapons.
Although many people were disappointed by the prequels because they weren’t expecting such a diversion from the usual Alien films, Prometheus is a vital instalment in the franchise because of how it offers a fresh perspective and added depth to the Alien movies without undermining them (which was sadly not the case for follow-up prequel Alien: Covenant).
With a number of audience pleasing call-backs to Scott’s original film, Prometheus managed to finely balance feeling new and familiar, offering a strong inclusion into the Alien canon and one of the franchise’s “best of the rest”.
- Spy Kids Movies Ranked - March 30, 2021
- 5 Reasons Why Oliver and Company (1988) Is an Underrated Animation Classic - February 3, 2021
- 5 Reasons Why Klaus (2019) Is an Amazing Christmas Film - December 10, 2020