Science fiction and horror, two genres that when mixed together usually wind up in Scy Fy channel massacre that is predictable, cheesy, and often generally boring. Despite the sea of mediocrity though, some directors know how to make a scary science fiction movie, i.e. Alien and Predator. So when I saw Ridley Scott was making an attempt at the genre I couldn’t help but think another winner was upon us. Was this movie, titled Prometheus, a worthy addition to great science fiction/horror genre? The answer for me is not really. To hear more about my thoughts please keep on reading.
If you’ve seen the trailers then you will see that Prometheus is tale about a group of human scientists and engineers who set sail for the stars after discovering an ancient map. The goal of their mission is to discover the origins of the human race. Upon arrival to the coordinates, the team discovers something much more sinister and terrifying than they ever imagined, something that if left unchecked could destroy the very foundation of human life. This is the tale of Prometheus.
To start this review off we should answer the question as to whether this movie lives up to the fear potential the trailers promised. Hate to say it, but it was not really that scary, and for me was more humorous than anything. Many of the jump at you scary scenes were predictable, which took away from the scare factor. The dark and dismal tunnels were actually well lit for a horror movie, and didn’t hold many terrors within its shadowy walls, making the movie feel more like a spelunking adventure than anything else. What replaced the horror was instead a creepy and sometimes cringing atmosphere that at some points was very disturbing to see. The creatures within had more graphic and primitive kills, which the movie was happy to show every detail. A few scenes in the movie I felt took the graphicness too far again showing a lot of detail, and blood, to turn a lot of stomachs. There were also a few attempts to scare/creep out the audience that failed to be anything, but cheesy violent outbursts that were used to do nothing more than kill off crew members.
What other weaknesses can I pick out for this movie? I think the biggest weakness of them all was the lack of explanation for a lot of things in the movie. At various points in the movie, Scott and his team touched base on a variety of topics that had the potential to be interesting and shocking. However, this slight scratch of the surface was all that really happened. Instead of elaborating or explaining any origin to the various incidents that happened, they left the audience in the dark and left to piece out the information on their own. While some things can be somewhat figured out, there is a lot of uncertainty and vagueness that leaves the audience wanting more, which hints at a possible sequel. Perhaps what makes this lack of explanation even more disappointing is the potential the movie has as the crew prepares to disembark the ship. In a manner very similar to Aliens, the crew preps very familiar weapons and equipment for the unknowns of the barren world. However, rather than live up to that potential, Prometheus marginally uses these tools for anything and instead is filled with nothing more than screaming scientists. This brings me to my next point, a majority of this “smart” crew didn’t make the best decisions and instead they felt more like airheaded teenagers in a slasher movie. The exceptions to the rule were the characters played by Michael Fassbender, Noomi Rapace, and Idris Elba who did good work portraying competent and noble characters. Fassbender in particular had the most diverse character of the crew, capturing the deceptive, curious nature to a letter, while still managing to add some comedy to the mix as well. Rapace’s character did a little more crying than I expected, but she still managed to play a scientist who uses logic until pushed to the breaking point. Those wondering about Charlize Theron in this movie may be disappointed to learn that her character really doesn’t have a big role to play in this movie, at least not a very deep role. Although she had the serious captain attitude down to the letter, Theron really didn’t do much other than walk around the ship and scream for the crew not to do anything. On the occasion she actually did something, well it was okay, but they made her character pretty stupid at points.
Okay so other than some decent acting there are a few positive aspects to this film I wish to share as well. For one thing the team did a nice job with the visuals and settings to really paint an alien tomb that is somewhat freaky. Combine this with some well-fitting orchestra music and some well edited shots and you get some strong feelings of pride, curiosity, and some creepiness. A few of the creatures were even well designed to look real as opposed to looking like some digital blob that is obviously fake. Some of the dialog is fitting for the characters as well, as the writers used jargon and lingos that were accurate of a scientist/engineer.
Overall Prometheus is okay, though its vague information really leaves you wanting more by the end of the two hours. With very little horror and use of some of the Alien series props, this movie for me was not worth the wait. So my suggestion is to wait on this movie for Netflix or Redbox before giving it a try. My scores for the movie are the following:
Action/Horror/Science Fiction: 6.5-7.0
Movie Overall: 5.5-6.0
So until next time my friends, keep enjoying the movies and check back soon for my next review.