The rankings keep coming this Halloween season! Today, I am back to give you all the tea on the Alien franchise. I watched this series for the first time in 2021 and thoroughly enjoyed getting my sci-fi, horror needs satisfied. It’s scary, adventurous and full of twists. In case you were wondering, I am also going to rank the Predator franchise, as it ties in with this one. This post will be quite in-depth, compared to the others, as I believe this saga is quite complicated at times. Hopefully, my summaries help explain things in a less technical way. As an added FYI, Xenomorphs are another term for the aliens. Without further ado, let’s get into my list of least to most favourite film! Be warned, big spoilers ahead!
8.) Alien Vs. Predator: Requiem
Ugh, what a fail. This movie was terrible! It’s such a shame because I really enjoyed the first Alien Vs. Predator film. It received an abysmal 12% score on Rotten Tomatoes. Following the events of the previous installment, a Predator ship leaves Earth, carrying facehuggers and the dead body of Scar (who helped Lex defeat the Xenomorph Queen in Alien Vs. Predator). A chestburster, with traits of both species, erupts from Scar’s body, resulting in an adult Predalien. The only good thing about this movie is the hybrid Predator/Alien creation. It lands on Earth and begins murdering every human it comes across. We meet various characters that wind up working together, to defeat this extraterrestrial creature. The film ends with Wolf’s plasma-blaster being handed over to Ms. Yutani. The Yutani Corporation are a Japanese cybernetics company, which is eventually bought by Weyland Industries, forming the Weyland-Yutani Corporation. They are an evil agency, dedicated to capturing Xenomorphs and creating weapons out of their biology, to ensure humanity remains the elite species in the universe. Firstly, this movie is really dark. No, I don’t mean morbid. I mean devoid of light. I could barely see what was happening on screen most of the time! Secondly, it tries to do too much. It introduces different stories that go nowhere and attempts character development without any success. So many questions are left unanswered, the plot was all over the place and by the end, I was bored to tears. Big fat nope!
7.) Alien: Covenant
Alien Covenant is a sequel to Prometheus. In a flashback, we see Weyland stating that one day he and his android: David, will search for mankind’s creator together. David comments on his own unlimited lifespan compared to a humans, which unsettles Weyland. In 2104 CE, 11 years after the Prometheus expedition, the colonisation ship: Covenant is 7 years from reaching planet Origae-6 with 2,000 colonists in stasis and 1,140 human embryos in cold storage. The ship is monitored by Walter, an advanced android model that physically resembles David. When a solar flare damages the ship, Walter reanimates his human crew mates and future colonists. While repairing the ship, the crew picks up a transmission of a human voice from a nearby planet, which appears eminently more habitable than Origae-6. When they arrive, two of the crew members are infected by spores from a fungus-type organism. As they worsen, small, alien creatures (neomorphs) emerge from their bodies, killing them and attacking the rest of the team. The remaining crew kills one neomorph, before David, who survived the Prometheus mission, appears and scares off the other. He leads the crew to a temple in a city full of dead humanoids and tells them that upon his and Elizabeth Shaw’s arrival at the planet, their ship accidentally released a pathogen, which annihilated all fauna on the planet. Shaw allegedly perished when the ship crashed. Meanwhile, attempts to radio the Covenant are stymied by ion storms. When the remaining neomorph infiltrates the temple and kills another member, David tries to communicate with the creature, becoming incensed when Oram kills it. He questions David, who reveals the Aliens are a result of his experimentation with a pathogen to produce new lifeforms, before tricking Oram into being attacked by a facehugger. A new form of creature, the protomorph, later erupts from Oram’s chest, killing him. David states that humanity is a dying and unworthy species, and his designed creature is a “perfect organism” that will eradicate them. When Walter disagrees, David disables him and then threatens Daniels. A battle between the two androids ensues. Despite believing they have escaped the planet, the protomorph and David, disguised as Walter, come aboard the ship. Daniels is able to eject the protomorph into space but not before it kills everybody else, except David. Covenant resumes its voyage to Origae-6. As David puts Daniels in stasis, she realizes he isn’t actually Walter, but is unable to escape from her pod before falling asleep. The movie ends with David regurgitating two facehugger embryos, which he places in cold storage with the human embryos. Honestly, this felt more like an evil AI movie than an Alien movie. It was predictable and not overly exciting. As you will see further on, I prefer the earlier stuff better.
In sixth place is the complex film: Prometheus. As a spacecraft departs a planet, a humanoid alien drinks an iridescent liquid, causing its body to dissolve. Its remains cascade into a waterfall and the alien’s DNA falls apart and recombines. In 2089, archaeologists Elizabeth Shaw and Charlie Holloway, discover a star map in Scotland, that matches others from several unconnected ancient cultures. They interpret this as an invitation from humanity’s forerunners, the “Engineers”. Peter Weyland, the elderly CEO of Weyland Corporation, funds an expedition, aboard the scientific vessel Prometheus, to follow the map to the distant moon LV-223. The Prometheus lands on the barren, mountainous surface near a large, artificial structure. Inside, they find stone cylinders, a monolithic statue of a humanoid head, and the decapitated corpse of a large alien, thought to be an Engineer. The expedition is cut short when a storm forces the crew to return to the ship. The ship’s android: David, secretly takes a cylinder from the structure, while the remaining cylinders begin leaking a dark liquid. In the ship’s lab, the Engineer’s DNA is found to match that of humans. David intentionally taints a drink with the liquid from the cylinder and gives it to the unsuspecting Holloway. Shortly after, Shaw and Holloway have sex. The next day, Holloway falls violently ill and dies. Shaw realises she is pregnant with a squid-like creature growing inside of her. She climbs into a machine that gives her an emergency c-section and extracts the alien. This is such a great scene. Shaw then discovers that Weyland has been in stasis aboard the Prometheus. He explains that he wants to ask the Engineers how to prevent his death from old age. David wakes the Engineer from stasis and speaks to him in another language, to try and explain what Weyland wants. The Engineer responds by decapitating David and killing Weyland, plus his team, before reactivating the spacecraft. The film ends with Shaw attempting to leave the planet, under the pursuit of the angry Engineer. She intends to reach the Engineers’ home-world, in an attempt to understand why they wanted to destroy humanity. In the lifeboat, an alien bursts out of the Engineer’s chest. This film is beautifully shot and the most aesthetically pleasing installment in the franchise, but it was a bit too complicated. I tried to explain it as best as possible. I also didn’t care much for the characters. They made a lot of unintelligent decisions!
5.) Alien 3
Coming in at fifth place is Alien 3. Most probably a controversial opinion, as I know this installment is very popular among fans. Following the events of Aliens, an egg hatches aboard the Colonial Marine spaceship: Sulaco, releasing a facehugger. A fire starts and the ship’s computer launches an escape pod, containing Ellen Ripley, Newt, Hicks and the damaged AI: Bishop; all in cryonic stasis. Scans of the crew’s cryotubes, show a facehugger attached to one member. The pod crash-lands on Fiorina “Fury” 161, a foundry and maximum security correctional facility. It is inhabited by male inmates with a genetic mutation, giving the afflicted individual a predisposition for antisocial behavior. The inmates recover the crashed pod and its passengers, but Ripley is the only survivor. The same facehugger is seen approaching inmate, Thomas Murphy’s dog, Spike. As a funeral is held for the deceased crew members, a quadrupedal alien bursts from Spike. Ripley works with the morally questionable inmates to take down the growing Xenomorph. She also discovers, through a medical scan, that the embryo of an Alien Queen is growing inside her. Furthermore, Weyland-Yutani (who have sent a rescue team to the facility), hopes to turn the aliens into biological weapons, which Ripley does not want. When they finally arrive, the leader resembles the AI: Bishop, who explains he is the android’s creator. He tries to persuade Ripley to undergo surgery to remove the Alien Queen inside of her, but she kills herself to prevent Weyland-Yutani from enacting their evil plans. The reason this film is lower on my list is because I didn’t like the setting. Ripley is the only female, among hundreds of male prisoners and the vibe is plain uncomfortable. I hate how they look at her and make rape jokes. I also wasn’t a fan of the quadrupedal alien. It was less exciting than the other Xenomorphs. Do you agree?
4.) Alien Vs. Predator
I’m surprised by how much I enjoyed Alien Vs. Predator. I will say, it helped having watched the Predator movies beforehand. In fact, I would recommend everybody else do the same. It will give you a deeper understanding of the story. In 2004, a satellite detects a mysterious heat bloom beneath an island off the coast of Antarctica. Wealthy industrialist, Charles Bishop Weyland, discovers through thermal imaging, a pyramid buried 2,000 ft beneath the ice. He attempts to claim it for his multinational communications company (Weyland Industries) and assembles a team of experts to investigate. As a Predator ship reaches Earth’s orbit, it fires an energy beam aimed at the pyramid site. When the team arrives at the abandoned whaling station, above the heat source, they find a tunnel running directly beneath the ice towards the pyramid. The exploration team soon find evidence of a prehistoric civilization and what appears to be a sacrificial chamber filled with human skeletons. Meanwhile, three Predators – Scar, Celtic and Chopper – arrive and kill the remaining team members on the surface. They make their way down to the pyramid and arrive just as the team unwittingly activates the structure and are trapped within it. The Alien Queen awakes from cryogenic stasis and begins to produce eggs. When the eggs hatch, several facehuggers attach themselves to humans trapped in the sacrificial chamber. Chestbursters emerge from the humans and quickly grow into adult Xenomorphs. Conflict erupts between the Predators, Xenomorphs, and humans, resulting in several deaths. The movie ends with an epic battle between the Xenomorph Queen and Scar. A Predator ship arrives to retrieve the fallen body of their comrade and as they fly away, a chestburster with Predator and Alien traits breaks out of Scar’s chest, which leads into the events of Alien Vs. Predator Requiem. The pyramid setting was really cool. I loved the moving rooms and traps. It had some serious Tomb Raider/Indiana Jones vibes. Plus, it was cool seeing two fearsome creatures fight one another.
In third place, is the sequel to Alien. This felt more like an action movie than a horror, but I still really enjoyed it. 57 years after the first movie, Ellen Ripley (in stasis) is rescued and debriefed by her employers at the Weyland-Yutani Corporation. They are skeptical about her claim of alien eggs in a derelict ship on the exomoon LV-426, since it is now the site of a terraforming colony. After contact is lost with the colony, Carter Burke and Colonel Maine Lieutant Gorman, along with an AI named Bishop, ask Ripley to investigate with them. She agrees on the condition that they terminate the creatures, not preserve them for research. When they arrive, the colony is deserted, save for a traumatised young girl named Newt, who lost her family to the alien attacks. At the centre of the station, the crew discover the cocooned colonists, serving as incubators for the creature’s offspring. Before long, Ripley is unsurprisingly betrayed by Burke, who intends to profit off the alien eggs, by recovering them for biological weapon research. Ripley and Newt stick together, vanquishing dangerous humans and Xenomorphs alike, before encountering the Alien Queen. When one of her eggs begins to open, Ripley uses her weapon to destroy it, enraging the brood-mother. It pursues her and stows away in the dropship’s landing gear. Ripley fights it wearing an exosuit (making her look like a Transformer) and expels it through an airlock into space. I rated this installment so highly for its high-energy, battle scenes and the fabulous Alien Queen. Also, the hilarious moment where Bishop is ripped in half and somehow manages to move, despite being just a torso, made me laugh. You cannot go wrong with this one.
2.) Alien: Resurrection
In second place, we have Alien Resurrection, which is the fourth movie in the franchise. Two years after the events of Alien 3, United Systems Military scientists create a clone of Ellen Ripley (Ripley 8), using DNA blood samples taken from her body before death. The Xenomorph Queen’s DNA has also been combined with Ripley 8, so the clone grows up with an embryo inside it. The scientists extract the embryo, raise it and collect its eggs, while keeping Ripley 8 alive for further study. She possesses enhanced strength and reflexes, as well as acidic blood like the Xenomorphs and a psychic connection to them. She also retains some of the original memories of Ellen Ripley. A group of mercenaries arrive on the space vessel, delivering several kidnapped humans in stasis. The crew eventually encounter Ripley 8 and suspect her of creating more Xenomorphs’, not realising the creatures have already been cloned. The now mature aliens, escape confinement and begin killing everybody on board. Ripley 8 joins forces with the mercenaries to protect them. It’s action packed and full of some great twists. I loved learning that Winona Ryder’s character (Annalee) was actually an AI. There is also a fantastic scene where Ripley 8 discovers a room, storing the seven failed clone attempts before successfully creating her. It’s grotesque and sad at the same time, as one of them begs her to end its suffering. However, the best part of this film is the newborn alien. Ripley 8 discovers a nest in the ship with an alien queen, that gives birth to a Xenomorph with human traits. It recognises Ripley 8 as its mother and kills the queen as a result. It has a very violent death, that involves being sucked out of a tiny hole and into outer space. I love the cast, reveals, special effects and epic monsters in this film. It’s extremely worthy of being number two on the list.
In first place, we have the original. Nothing can even come close to topping this one. Ridley Scott’s Alien, follows Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver), who is a warrant officer aboard the spaceship: Nostromo. When her crew receives a transmission from a nearby moon, they decide to investigate. What they discover is a terrifying extraterrestrial creature that grows at an alarming rate and is hellbent on devouring each and every member onboard. We’ve got the iconic alien bursting out of the stomach scene, a bonafide final girl in Ripley and an evil AI that cares more about research than its crew-mates. This film has made my top 20 list of favourite horror movies and I don’t see that changing anytime soon It’s pretty straightforward, so I didn’t go as in depth with this one.
I hope you enjoyed this post! Please let me know if you agree or disagree with my list. What is your ranking of this series? Thanks for reading!
Peace & Love xoxo
I always enjoy your ranking posts (listicles!)
Thank you so much!!