With Alien: Covenant being released next week, I thought I’d go through all the previous Alien films and refresh myself on them. Of course, I left out the two Alien vs. Predator films (for obvious reasons) and just focused on the five main films in the franchise. I don’t expect you to agree with my ranking–this is an extremely subjective article–but I also offer reasons why I rank the films in the order I have them in. So, here’s my list:
Alien: Resurrection (1997)
What can I say? I love this Alien film. It acknowledges all the previous Alien films and expands on the mythos. Plus, it stars Ron Perlman and Brad Dourif, is directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet, and has a really bad ass underwater action sequence. I really love the idea that the Alien creature evolves and develops human physiology (from being carried inside Ripley). This film is full of action, has great horror elements, and is fun all around.
This is perhaps the most “horrifying” of all the Alien films and is one of Ridley Scott’s best films. He creates a gothic horror film in space, in the future, and on a spaceship, and it is brilliant. Putting the chest-bursting scene aside, Scott creates more tension, suspense, and genuine scares than you’d think was possible. This film is terrific all around.
Alien 3 (1992)
This film had so much hatred directed towards it when it first came out, and I never understood why. Director David Fincher creates an absolutely bleak and dreary world full of hopelessness and violence. And damn, if it isn’t fantastic. Ripley lands on a maximum security prison planet, and guess ho tagged along for the ride and is now hunting down and killing all the prisoners? This is a really fun film that has a so-so ending (which makes sense when viewed in the context of Alien: Resurrection).
I actually really enjoy this film, but there are so many plot holes in this film that I couldn’t, in good conscience, place this higher on my list. The scientists on the Prometheus land on a distant moon to follow clues that might lead to discovering the origins of human beings. There are some high ideas in this film that are explored, and I think the writers did a great job in this aspect, but like I said above, there are so many plot holes here that it had me shaking my head at times. But there’s a solid ending that ties this film into the overall Alien franchise.
This is a really fun action film, but this is by no means a horror film. At all. James Cameron runs with the idea of a bunch of trapped space Marines, a little girl, and Ripley are trapped on a moon base with a horde of alien creatures. The movie plays out like a video game, but theres not much substance to it other than this. But damn, if that Alien Queen isn’t bad ass!!
And just in case you’re confused with the actual Alien timeline, here’s a great video to clear it all up and place the five main alien films in chronological order:
What are your favorite Alien films?