I was looking over my post on Alien: Covenant and I don’t feel like I talked enough about the parts of the film that really bothered me. So that’s what I’m going to talk about today.
Having watched Alien, Aliens and Prometheus (along with Alien vs Predator), I thought I had some idea of what to expect from this film. I knew there would be blood and gore, that goes without saying for an Alien film, but I was not prepared for what I saw in the film, not even close to prepared.
Contrary to what some people perceive, I am not scared of seeing blood in and of itself. What gets to me is when it’s a LOT of blood, and especially when it’s right up front, no getting away from it. And when you compare Alien: Covenant to its predecessors, one thing stands out right away: the amount of blood actually visible during the violent sequences. Oh sure, there’s the iconic “chestburster” scene with its violent spurt of blood; the pilot Ferro meets a bloody end in Aliens, but really, most of the deaths happen so fast there isn’t any blood at all. But in Alien: Covenant, it seems like every other death scene is an excuse to let loose a torrent of blood and guts. While the “back-burster” scene was gross, I could (mostly) watch because it was really just a chest-burster in reverse. However, the scene that will always bother me is the “mouth-burster” I alluded to in my review. As soon as I realized what was happening, I had to look away, I could not watch it happen, because I felt physically ill at the thought of it. I know the Alien films are firmly set in the horror genre, but I really feel like that scene took it too far (unless your goal is to make the audience want to throw up).
One detail I’m glad for is that they kept Shaw’s torture and death offscreen, only showing us a few details via David’s drawings. And thankfully, by the time they showed those pictures in detail, my mind was so weirded out that I didn’t really process the images (I didn’t even realize it was Shaw until the last picture) or what they were all about. And speaking of David’s “experiments”, something has been bugging me: in the flashback, the pathogen turned all the Engineers into blackened corpses, right? In that case, where did David get that dissected corpse that was laying on the table? It had an Engineer’s physique, so where did it come from?
These are my excess thoughts on Alien: Covenant; despite the fact that I was royally grossed out and freaked out, I’ll probably be lining up to see the sequel whenever it gets here, if only because now I have to see how this prequel series will line up with the original Alien.
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