Review: Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem

The film is a depressingly tame, bland, fun-free slog.

Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem
Photo: 20th Century Fox

Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem is literally shrouded in darkness, and the only explicable reason for this pitch-black visual schema is that the filmmakers understood it was better if no one could see the crap they were shooting. In this unwarranted and inane sequel, a ship containing lots of Aliens (and one big, bad Alien-Predator hybrid) crash-lands in the Colorado mountains, where they eventually prey upon the nearby townsfolk and do battle with a solitary Predator who, thanks to his trusty universe-spanning computer monitor, has swiftly tracked them to their current location. As in its flaccid 2004 predecessor, the two extraterrestrial races’ reasons for hating each other is left opaque, but no more so than the cinematography, which is so muddy and incomprehensible that when the Predator and Aliens engage in hand-to-hand combat, all that’s discernable is a flurry of wet, shiny limbs. That’s probably not what director brothers Colin and Greg Strause had in mind, but it’s tough to know what their exact aim was with this sorry excuse for a horror saga, which, save for its raft of clichés, is embarrassingly underwritten and more or less lacking in tension. AVP:R commences with the sight of a young child being attacked by a face-hugger, and later delivers a particularly nasty image of a pregnant woman’s extended belly bursting open with a litter of little Aliens, two moments that effectively tap into a pulsating vein of B-movie gruesomeness. Outside of those squirm-inducing incidents, however, the film is a depressingly tame, bland, fun-free slog through the murk and the muck that continues to desecrate the legacy of its classic (and, at this point, painfully played-out) movie monsters. Here’s hoping the titular requiem refers to the end of this inane mash-up franchise.

 Cast: Steven Pasquale, Reiko Aylesworth, John Ortiz, Johnny Lewis, Ariel Gade, Kristen Hager, Sam Trammell, Robert Joy  Director: Colin Strause, Greg Strause  Screenwriter: Shane Salerno  Distributor: 20th Century Fox  Running Time: 86 min  Rating: R  Year: 2007  Buy: Video, Soundtrack

Nick Schager

Nick Schager is the entertainment critic for The Daily Beast. His work has also appeared in Variety, Esquire, The Village Voice, and other publications.

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