I had the honor of attending the Tongal via 20th Century Fox produced in-universe Alien short films at the Fox lot. The atmosphere was a buzz of excitement and expectation. As we waited for the screening to begin, I held court with friends from Alien vs. Predator Galaxy among others, talking about all things Alien. Having seen the trailers for the short films, I knew that what I would see would be sumptuous and well produced. What I did not expect was to witness films so expertly written and crafted, and wholly original.
My favorites of the six films are ALIEN: HARVEST, ALIEN: ORE, and ALIEN: SPECIMEN.
ALIEN: HARVEST, director Benjamin Howdeshell managed to magically conjure the aesthetics of Ridley Scott’s iconic lighting techniques while introducing three characters in the midst of a life or death crisis. The atmosphere of Harvest is fever pitch, from first moment to last. Howdeshell understood what makes an Alien film scary and he delivered in spades.
ALIEN: ORE is a short that’s a complete ensemble, each character believable and relevant. Considering the short amount time given to produce these films, what the directors were able to accomplish boggles the mind, with a setting that really worked incredibly well for the story. Twin sister directors, Kailey and Sam Spear not only created original characters, the visual effects work they were able to produce for the short were mind-blowing in context of the very small budget they were given.
Expect a full review of each film soon. With the Alien high school play making waves in Hollywood, and the release of these 40th Anniversary shorts, there’s no stopping the stories that can be told in the ALIEN universe. As we tip our hats in this 40th year since the release of Ridley Scott’s seminal and genre-changing masterpiece, the future looks brighter and brighter, or delightfully darker and darker.
The short films will make their debut on IGN one entry at a time starting Friday, March 29th.
Perfect Organism: The ALIEN Saga Podcast