Is this the greatest sci-fi horror of the year?

Almost forty years since the first Alien film landed, Ridley Scott continues to ask tough questions about what the future might hold for us all

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“The digital world is screaming past our ears. Lord only knows where we’ll be in 20 years time.”

That acclaimed director Ridley Scott would express such a thought is hardly surprising.

This is, after all, the same man who through films like Alien, Blade Runner and The Martian explored the extreme, even terrifying, potential of technology in the future.

And now he’s at it again with the release of Alien: Covenant, the first of three prequels linked to the original 1979 sci-fi horror classic that propelled Scott into the league of
visionary directors.

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Following the crew of a colony ship who wind up on a remote planet that harbours an unimaginable threat, this film marks the seasoned director’s return to familiar territory: science, technology, space and artificial intelligence (AI).

What could possibly go wrong?

A key element of cult classic Blade Runner, the subject of AI is now no longer confined
to the pages of sci-fi novels or filmmakers’ fertile imaginations.

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Rapid progress has made the impossible, possible – unmanned cars, advanced satellite cameras – and it’s bound to get even crazier as technology becomes sophisticated enough to rival, even exceed, human capabilities.

Even renowned physicist-cosmologist Stephen Hawking and tech pioneer Elon Musk have publicly warned of a ‘robot takeover’ as demand for humans in the workforce is predicted to shrink in the future due to improvements in AI.

“AI is much further advanced than they would care to discuss or admit,” warned Scott in a recent film ahead of the movie’s release.

The director, who made a name for himself by rendering such futuristic images and themes on film, expressed a mix of amusement and dread at what technology still holds
for mankind.

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“The Wright brothers started one age when they got off the ground for 25 feet in 1910. We’re now seriously considering landing on Mars 100 years later.

“That’s shocking. But the digital evolution, from Steve Jobs forward, is quantum. So who knows how that will save or destroy us over the next 30 years? I don’t know.”

He added, “If we continue with our evolution with travel, which will be helped by AI, eventually they’ll be sending out people [to live in space]… I think the idea of a large craft going off with families on board is more likely.”

Also starring: Michael Fassbender, Katherine Waterston, Billy Crudup and Danny McBride

Running time: 123min

Rating: 18TC

Also showing 

A Man Called Ove (15+)

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A grumpy retiree named Ove (Rolf Lassgård) has given up on life after the passing of his wife. His life of strict isolation is about to change when a loud, young family moves in next door and starts up an unlikely friendship with their neighbour.

Colossal (18TC)

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Anne Hathaway plays party-crazy Gloria whose mental breakdown spawns a series of disastrous events and a raging giant monster. The comedy drama also stars Jason
Sudeikis, Austin Stowell and Dan Stevens.

Everything, Everything (PG13)

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Based on the young adult novel by Nicola Yoon, this romantic drama tells the story of a teenager who’s severely allergic to everything. But when she falls in love with her new
neighbour, she questions her sheltered existence.

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Comments for “Is this the greatest sci-fi horror of the year?

  1. M Abbas

    Seen ‘Alien Covenant’ and it is disappointing to say the least. Only good photography, special effects and hardly any scares or thrills. Audience do not feel any empathy with any character and the creatures are very few and less scary.

    Reply

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