The Aliens franchise is one of the most beloved Science Fiction and one of the oldest Horror franchises around. But the last few instalments have somewhat missed the mark entirely and were nowhere near close to the originals glory. Here’s 9 ways to fix the Aliens franchise:
- Stick to one genre: ether Sci-Fi Horror or Science-Fiction Action – Claustrophobic, darkened corridors with a giant creature stalking your every move or a giant bug hunt with gun-toting stereotypes and a thousand cheesy one liners. Pick one or the other. You cannot be both. The most recent few instalments didn’t know what they were. The trailer for Prometheus made audiences think that the franchise was going back to making horror movies.Then it was just some generic action mystery movie. I don’t even know what Alien: Resurrection was supposed to be. Focus solely on what you want your movie to be and go with it. Trying to please everyone isn’t going to work – make your own vision rather than thinking what everyone else wants to see.
- Don’t overcomplicate things – Alien was just one alien on the ship killing everyone and that was it. Next came Aliens. The plot made sense. Years later marines return to the same planet and kill the Alien Queen. Then Alien 3 and 4 just over complicated everything and were absolute disasters to which all bad sequels are measured against. Now whether Ridley Scott had a set vision when he created the franchise as to where it was going to? No one knows. But, trying to overcomplicate things by chucking in the creators of the human race, who have a magic goo that destroys life and then an alien embryo squid thing impregnated one of the creators of humanity to create something that looks like a Xenomorph, but isn’t one? Trying to follow that trail of thought is impossible. Just make the overall story simple. Stop going all Midiclorians on us.
- Don’t remake Alien – a lot of franchises are just rehashing and remaking their best or first films. Take the New Hope rip off that was the Force Awakens, what a joke! After several views of the trailer for the upcoming Alien: Covenant, it looks amazing, but a spaceship crashed on a planet is investigated by an intrepid team with the protagonist looking like a short, black-haired girl with an alien running amuck killing people? Looks a lot like the first movie. I hope this is not the case, but it looks like it will be. Come up with some new ideas Ridley! Nothing too complicated like I already mentioned but then again do not remake exactly the same thing. Something new and fresh would relight the dwindling fire that is the Alien franchise.
- Keep it R, Keep it Scary – Prometheus looked scary in the trailers, then when it came out, it was a 12 rating and was about as frightening as my left foot. The joys of trailer editing. But upon first view of the Alien Covenant trailer, it actually looks terrifying. There is genuine dread in this film. From what I have seen from the trailer, It will definitely be a 15 rated film at least. For this to be a 12 would be insulting. What made the franchise so enjoyable in the beginning was its brutality and gore. It made Star Wars and Star Trek look like a bunch of pansies in comparison. Creatures bursting from character’s chests, attempts to kill someone with a rolled up magazine, jump scares down claustrophobic ventilation shafts and no explanation of whats going on? Now that sounds terrifying. Look at the success of Deadpool for keeping its R Rating, audiences want realism rather than generic violence, especially if your movie is essentially Friday the 13th in space. Keep it scary, keep it R Rated. Hopefully, the upcoming Covenant movie isn’t as disappointing as the movie that preceded it.
- Give the fans an amazing film to say sorry – Two poor films that were an insult to the fans. One slightly better prequel that created more questions that answered them. Two slightly franchise offensive cross-over movies But worst of all was the embarrassment that was the video game Aliens: Colonial Marines. Oh Goodness me what a shambles that was. Films, games and comics that were just insults to the beloved franchise. The makers really need to apologise and give us something great. Alien Isolation, the most recent video game incarnation released was a breath of fresh air and was a brilliant instalment to restore the gaming side of the franchise, but now its time to have an amazing film to truly say sorry. They deserve something that, once they’ve left the theatre, can stand up tall and proud and say “that was an aliens film.”
- Make a kick-ass TV spin-off series – Everyone seems to have their own franchise spin off series these days. DC superheroes, Marvel Superheroes, an upcoming Star Trek spin-off series there’s even talk of some Star Wars live action series. We’d all want to see perhaps the adventures of the Colonial Marines in a live action TV series or maybe if you are going to cross over Alien vs Predator, then by doing it in a TV spin-off series that’s non-canoncial would make sense? There is so much money in TV these days and it’s arguably taking over movies. The successes of Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones, the Big Bang Theory and is massively understated and the currently stagnant Aliens franchise could be the next rising star in the TV era. A horror series about Xenomorphs like a cross between American Horror Story and Dead Space with the skin of the Aliens universe? Shut up and take my money!
- If you are going to tie in the Predators: Make them good – One of the most arguable aspects of the aliens franchise is the crossover that occurred in the early 2000s, between two of science fiction’s most iconic creatures. This crossover between Alien and Predator was met with a mixed reception and really missed the mark in terms of narrative, characters and expanded the rich lore of the combined universes. AvP was despised by a lot of the original cast and it’s actually what stopped Ridley Scott making an Alien sequel until Prometheus. The two species can co-exist in the same universe, but only if it is done correctly. The first film was a joke to say the least. It was a non-canonical entry to the franchise but if their ever was a canon face-off between these two icons, it would need to make sense regarding the plot. Having the Yautja being celebrated as gods by ancient civilisations seems to similar to the engineers being celebrated as gods by an early civilisation. Incorporate them together if you must, but make it a fair battle, where both parties are worthy adversaries. If you wanted to make it non-canonical maybe centre that around the spin-off show? Much like the Flash TV series is different to the upcoming Flash movie, as part of the DC Extended Universe.
- Consult the comics – There are an abundance of quality Aliens comics out there. Nightmare Asylum; Alien: Salvation; Aliens: Apocalypse – the Destroying Angels; Newt’s Tale; Female War; Music of the Spears…I could go on. These stories are beautifully woven arcs that tell the tales of the hate filled Xenomorph race better than most of their recent outings on the big screen. There is an abundance of wonderful stories to tell from these and the creators should really take note and try to replicate them.
- (This one is only minor but it still bugs me) Cut down on landscape shots – Honest to bloomin’ god this bugged me. Although this is 99% aimed at Prometheus, I have a real hatred when you try to pan out your movies with unecessary crap. Yes we get it, Prometheus is the most visually stunning movie in your franchise thanks to modern cinema. But in actual fact the decision to include them just padded out the running time of a confusing movie. What made the originals (the good ones) so good on the eye was the way in which the ships looked realistic enough with tech that seemed lie it was the 70’s in space. Instead, Scott went for “look at the pretty planet surface, wow look at that Scottish highland.” Pretty shots aren’t what this franchise is about. Start making the franchise good again and stop making a movie that looks like a big screen Instagram account.
The Aliens franchise is something that is close to a lot of people’s hearts. But sadly everything eventually fades away, but hopefully with the upcoming Alien: Covenant, things could change? It looks fantastic. Hopefully with this film, and my 9 tips, we could hopefully see a stalling franchise fixed once again. Check out the trailer for Alien: Covenant below if you haven’t already seen it!