Alien: Romulus Is Making Xenomorphs Scary Again And Its About Time

By Zack Zagranis | Published

If you haven’t watched the Alien: Romulus trailer yet, let me be the one to tell you: Fede Alvarez is bringing scary back! If the trailer is anything to go by, Xenomorphs are going back to their horror roots. Say goodbye to plentiful canon fodder and hello to indestructible cosmic boogeymen.

I, for one, couldn’t be happier.

Flight Over Fight

While some fans might argue over which movie is better—Alien or Aliens—real ones know that the first film is the superior one. Apparently, Alvarez agrees because the Alien: Romulus trailer focuses on trying to be scary and doesn’t feature a single space marine. Instead, it’s all shadowy corridors and a small group running from—not fighting back against—a slew of Facehuggers and at least one Xenomorph.

I personally have nothing against Aliens. In fact, James Cameron’s sequel is my second favorite movie in the series. You have to admit, though, that Aliens took one of the scariest movie monsters—the Xenomorph—and made it the equivalent of a video game enemy. Hell, he even gave us the final boss, too, with the Queen alien.

Horror Versus Action

I don’t think it’s a secret that Alien is a straight-up horror movie whereas Aliens is an action movie. While one could argue that the switch-up in genres was a good way to keep the franchise fresh it was also the beginning of the Xenomorph’s transition from nightmare fuel to pop culture icon. A transition that Alien: Romulus seems to be trying to reverse, given the scary horror vibes in the trailer.

The Xenomorph in the first Alien was unstoppable, unpredictable, and unkillable. It slowly hunted down everyone aboard the Nostromo, like Jason Vorhees, in space, killing everything in its path. Alien set the creature up to be death incarnate, something Romulus is hinting at going back to with its scary trailer.

Xenomorphs With An ‘S’

Meanwhile, at one point in Aliens, Vasquez kills a Xenomorph with a handgun. Ripley drives a cyber-truck over a Xenomorph, turning it into roadkill. It’s not that James Cameron made the Xenomorphs pushovers, but by adding that “s” at the end and increasing their numbers, he ran into an unwritten movie law: the more there is of an opponent, the easier they are to kill.

Think about it. If all the Ultron dupes at the end of Avengers: Age of Ultron were as powerful as Ultron Prime, the movie would end with Armageddon. Same thing with Aliens. The space marines need something fairly easy to pew pew with their fancy-looking pulse rifles. Meanwhile, the Xenomorph shown in the Alien: Romulus trailer is back to acting like a scary version of Batman, like Ridley Scott originally intended.

High Body Counts Don’t Generate Suspense

Aliens did such a good job of making the Xenomorphs expendable grunts that they ceased to be frightening and became more of a nuisance. After Aliens, Xenomorphs and Xenomorph-like creatures became the default baddies in countless video games. Contra, Xenophobe—even Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time had players busting aliens in the sewer. Add in the AVP movies, and you’ve got a monster with a cool design whose sole reason for living is to be killed in a cool action set piece.

Alien: Romulus Going Back To Franchise Roots?

We don’t actually know if Alien: Romulus is going back to only one Xenomorph, but the trailer indicates that whatever does appear will at least be scary. I mean, even the Facehuggers in the trailer are downright pants-soiling creepy. I can only assume their bigger siblings will be equally, if not more bowel-shaking.

I can’t wait to see Fede Alvarez’s take on the Alien franchise when Alien: Romulus hits theaters later this year. For all I know, the movie could be hot garbage, but as long as Alien: Romulus is bringing back the scary Xenomorphs from the original Alien, I’m all in.