Alien vs. Predator Requiem (AVPR) – Unrated from 20th Century Fox is a spectacular addition to the Alien / Predator franchise. The merging of these two franchise’s (breathing new life into both) with AVP has been given serious thought and carefully crafted by Colin and Greg Strause FX experts turned “director”. The non fan will not enjoy this movie, that is a given, but this is definitely a fan movie for those who enjoyed AVP and the Predator series though less for those who enjoyed the estrogen drenched Alien series.
On a fundamental level AVP is a Jungian SF exploration of anima vs. animus the procreative Alien versus the hunter/destroyer Predator. That doesn’t relieve the Brothers Strause (that is how they bill themselves on this movie) from the responsibility of giving us something we can see on screen. Like so many of the Alien movies this is a darkly shot movie but it is too darkly shot. All of the thousands of hours spent on animatronics, puppetry and seriously cool CGI are often lost in the shadows.
AVPR is a sci-fi horror movie that is well stocked with, well, stock characters. The bad boy just out of prison, the small town sheriff who doesn’t get it, the high school jock jerk (is there another kind?) who we are anxious to see get spiked by an Alien, the buxom blonde secretly in love with the nerdiest kid (also the bad boy’s little brother). Central casting couldn’t have done a better job of providing a list of potential victims than the pedestrian script of Shane Salerno. Despite all of this fans will enjoy the movie. The action and fight sequences are well choreographed (if a little difficult to see). The PredAlien hybrid is an awesome creature though she is definitely removed from the Alien myth arch as she does not seem to need to lay eggs but can infest a living victim orally.
The gore factor in AVPR is high (not grindhouse high but high) disemboweled pregnant women, kid getting attacked by a face hugger, a great decapitation scene in a cemetery so this is not for the faint of heart. Slasher fans will not be put off by the gore and AVP fans will enjoy the development of the storyline in which the Predator becomes more of a hero than every before.
The extras on this DVD release are standard – commentary from the directors (really no one needs to know how they made such choices as they did) – the featurettes on the other hand are all well worth watching as they explain the thought process behind creature creation and the development of some plot aspects. Fans of AVP and fans of the Predator franchise will enjoy AVPR the rest of the world should just give it a pass. By the looks of it though it wouldn’t be a surprise of there is another movie more from the Alien perspective in the near future.