The tagline from the first “Alien” film still rings true 38 years later — “In space, no one can hear you scream.”

The latest chapter of the franchise, “Alien: Covenant,” preys on the audience's fear of the unknown and is relentless in its attack.

The film opens on the colony ship, “The Covenant,” that is heading for a distant planet. The crew and the colonists are in hypersleep as the ship makes its way through space on its seven-year journey. Along the way, the ship receives heavy damaged from an ion storm.

The storm the artificial person that is managing the ship, Walter (Michael Fassbender), to then wake the crew so repairs can be made and get the mission back on track.

As repairs to the ship are underway, the crew receives a signal from an uncharted planet. Curious to see who sent the message — and to see if this planet is a better fit than the one they are heading to — a course change is made to investigate. As they explore the planet, the crew finds an unknown evil lurking.

Covenant is the second prequel to the Alien franchise following “Prometheus” released in 2012. The newest movie gives the audience a greater look into the events leading up to spaceship “Nostromo” and Ellen Ripley’s first encounter with the hostile bug-like alien known as the Xenomorph in the film "Alien" released in 1979.

Covenant sets itself apart from a lot of sci-fi horror films. The movie does this by not revealing all of its secrets right away but acts like a faucet with a drip. The suspense is given out one drop at a time, which, in turn, increases the level of fear for its audience.

One such scene is when the alien virus infects Ledward (Benjamin Rigby) on the plant. He makes it back to the dropship with the help of another shipmate, Karine (Carmen Ejogo). They make their way into the medical bay. Fearing for her life, and the safety of others, the ship’s medic, Faris (Amy Seimetz), locks the two inside as the virus transforms Ledward.

Another strength of the movie is character development. Covenant allows the audience to become invested in the lives of the crew, which allows a bond and connection to form. This connection is achieved before discovering the unknown planet.

Before heading out to the theater to see “Covenant,” watch “Prometheus” again because it will help provide the additional context in some of the plot points in the story. Also prior to “Covenant's” release, the studio released several short films on YouTube. These short films provide a little bit more back-story. These short films include “Alien: Covenant - Prologue: Last Super” and “Alien Covenant - Prologue: The Crossing.”

Overall “Alien: Covenant” is a good piece of science-fiction horror and provides a lot of thrills and chills.

I give this film three and a half-mustaches out of five.

This movie is rated R for sci-fi violence, bloody images, language and some sexuality/nudity and runs 122 minutes.


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