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No space for errors that bring on horror in ‘Alien: Covenant’

Scientists are in a rush to create artificial intelligence, beings that can think and act human but that have no capacity for human feeling. In many ways, this new installment in the “Alien” series is a conventional horror movie, starting quietly and building in intensity, from the first hint of trouble to the thunderous life-and-death struggle at the finish. The opening pre-credits sequence is a tribute to Stanley Kubrick, taking place in a spare, white room. The whole feeling is cold and somber, full of a sense of loss that’s punctuated by the robot’s innocent observation that he is eternal but that the human scientist will eventually die. The robot, Walter, is at the helm of a colony ship on the way to a distant planet. The human crew is in a state of suspended animation, but when a fire erupts, Walter wakes up the officers so they can pilot their way out of the crisis. The emergency and the deaths of some of their crew members leave the survivors in an unsettled state that makes them ripe for rash choices. Unwilling to get back into their hibernation pods — where 46 of their company have been burned to death — they become intrigued by a human-sounding transmission from a nearby planet. For the uninitiated, the alien of the “Alien” movies is a particularly grotesque creation, not a single monster, but a species, with a head shaped like a bus, no visible eyes, and rows of little teeth. As tiny buds, they float into a human orifice, making the host very, very sick. Though the scale is large and the action takes up a fair chunk of the screen time, Alien:

Article by By Mick LaSalle (c) Movie Reviews - Read full story here.