Alien: Covenant director Ridley Scott must’ve heard the screams of frustration as Alien fans left theatres after watching Prometheus in 2012. Like the Prometheus’ crew, I’d waited so long and come so close to the origin of it all, yet left knowing so little. What exactly is that aggressive black goo? What did we do to anger our creators to deserve obliteration? Why do experienced scientists think it’s okay to poke stuff? With more questions than answers, I felt cold on it – and I wasn’t alone.
While Covenant continues to pose new questions, it also provides answers, and does so within a much more immediately enjoyable and rewarding experience. In many ways – stylistically, thematically, structurally – it sits neatly between the existential ponderings of the previous film and the sumptuous horror of the 1979 original. And while it fails to match the original in terms of sheer terror and elegance, Scott nevertheless delivers some imaginative takes on familiar sequences and rich, satisfying answers to Prometheus’ lingering mysteries.