When founding director Ridley Scott returned to the Alien franchise five years ago with a prequel called Prometheus, he delivered a movie of sleek, dark beauty. What he didn't deliver was much in the way of actual Aliens, those drooly horrors who first made the world's acquaintance 38 years ago. Prometheus focused more on the Engineers, our shadowy interstellar forebears, and on deep thoughts about gods and creations. Longtime franchise fans were not entirely happy with this picture.
Now, in Alien: Covenant, the sixth entry in the series, Scott gets back down to business. Note the reinstatement of that key word in the title. (Prometheus was originally called Alien: Engineers, but this was decided to be insufficiently subtle.) Not only are there more of the chompy black Xenomorphs in this film (along with their icky precursors), there's also a whole new breed of Alien: the fast-moving, flesh-ripping, corpse-colored Neomorphs. In addition, there are tiny black spores that hover in swarms, awaiting a chance to buzz into a human ear or up a nostril, with predictably ghastly results. Finally, there's a scary double dose of Michael Fassbender, too. We'll get to that, writes Kurt Loder.