Alien: Covenant is worth screaming about: review

Alien: CovenantStarring Michael Fassbender, Katherine Waterston, Billy Crudup, Danny McBride, Demian Bichir and Carmen Ejogo. Directed by Ridley Scott. Opens Friday in major theatres. 122 minutes. 18AThe cast keeps expanding and the critters keep evolving, but there’s one constant to Ridley Scott’s Alien series.It’s the horrific fear of personal invasion, by something that’s about to leap up and latch onto you, causing unimaginable mayhem.Article Continued BelowAlien: Covenant has this dread in abundance. It ranks among the better chapters of a sci-fi horror franchise that began with the original Alien in 1979.Scott knows he dropped the ball with Prometheus, the erstwhile Alien prequel he foisted onto the unhappy masses in 2012. It barely showed the infamous beasties, choosing instead to batter senses with windy dialogue and events that seemed to betray basic elements of this decades-long saga.Alien: Covenant brings back the visceral panic that fans expect from the franchise, along with the show-stopping title creatures: among them the face-hugger, the chest-burster and the canoe-headed xenomorph of artist H.R. Giger’s terrifying imagination. They’re waiting to greet the unsuspecting crew of the spaceship Covenant, who have travelled to the far reaches of the galaxy in search of an Earthlike planet to colonize. (The most terrifying thing of all, barely acknowledged, is the thought of what must have happened to Earth if large-scale evacuations are underway.)