How many jumpscares did you count in Alien Covenant?
Posted Jul-30-2017 11:43 PM
According to horror legend Mario Bava (director of "Planet of the Vampires", which is frequently mentioned as an influence for the first "Alien"), you need to have at least 2 very effective jumpscares in a movie for it to qualify as horror.
The only jumpscare that work for me in "Covenant" does not involve the xenomorph, nor the neomorph, not someone getting facehugged/chest-busted. It was the moment that David stabs Walter with the flute.
To me, "Alien Covenant" is the first movie in the whole series (and yes, I would even include Resurrection and AVP 1 and 2) that fares rather poorly at using jumpscares. What are your favorite jumpscares from the whole series? Do you think Covenant would pass Mario Bava's test?
Posted Jul-31-2017 5:52 AM
I noticed that i never jumped during A:C.
The most surprising scene as mentioned was Walter getting stabbed. I had a minor neck move which is the start of a "jumpscare" lol ;)
First watch i found myself smiling mostly. Especially when the big moments are on the big screen and RS is showcasing his talent. Solar Sails was impressive to look at first time round.
A:C was not a scary movie for me personally. More a beautiful one only not as beautiful as Prometheus
Take This.... This is the blood of our lord
Posted Jul-31-2017 6:12 AM
"Jump Scares" do not make a movie "horror". In fact, they are highly regarded as "lower class " manipulations in film school classes in order to appeal to base instincts. In other words, they are a very WEAK technique. EVERYONE jumps automatically when something looks like it is about to come at you (even out of a screen), so it's an easy get for a filmmaker, but it certainly does not make a movie "horror" based on their quantity...
Posted Jul-31-2017 8:21 AM
I agree with Starlogger , jumpscares are not really necessary for horror. I think they can be useful, if the thing that initially made you jump turns out to actually be something scary.
Unjustified/"It's just a cat" types of jumpscares tend to be a little unsatisfying (unless they lull you into a false sense of security and something truly horrifying happens shortly thereafter).
As for me, for some reason jumpscares almost never actually make me jump, which probably means I'd have really poor reaction times in an actual flight-or-fight situation.
But, I do know that there were several jumpscares in this movie, because I saw it separately with my husband and sister and I recall they each jumped several times.
I think... the scene where the neomorph suddenly appears next to Rosenthal in the drizzle room was one of them (also, one guest at my birthday said that that specific scene gave him a nightmare).
The facehugger jumping out at Oram, obviously a good and very justified jumpscare.
But, there were so many other scenes that were scary on a psychological level which, for me, is just so much scarier than being startled.
For example: every time I saw this movie, at the part right after the neomorph bursts out of Ledward, and he/his body falls backwards over the table and his back snaps, causing his ribs to protrude at an unnatural angle - I always like...seriously gag, and contort in my seat at that scene.
Plus, the scene where Daniels finds out it's David not Walter, but there's nothing she can do about it. That scene is just deeply chilling.
Posted Jul-31-2017 8:50 AM
Let me tell you a 100% true story:
That scene is one of my favorites because, a few years ago I went in for minor surgery (tonsils/sinus) and right after the anesthesiologist put the mask on me, my ENT surgeon decided to waggled his fingers at me and say "Nighty night." in (what I perceived to be) the most ominous way.
Well...having up to that point been trying my damnedest to conceal my extreme nervousness over the surgery and with me being probably the most anxious person you'll ever meet, I began having an all out panic attack.
I remember the anesthesiologist yelling at me "Slow down! Slow down!" because I was hyperventilating (but I did not slow my breathing down. I was in a blind panic. I think he must have reduced the flow of anesthesia so I wouldn't overdose or something).
Anyhow, I went under like that - freaking the hell out.
My fear was not as justified as Daniels' obviously, but when I see that scene I get a little flashback, lol. I can really relate to Daniels' sense of "OH DEAR GOD, I AM DEFINITELY GONNA DIE, YET I'M ABOUT TO FALL ASLEEP AND THERE'S NOTHING I CAN DO ABOUT IT."
Posted Jul-31-2017 9:34 AM
VivisectedEngineer I can see why that scene resonated with you so well lmao I'm sure a lot of people have this fear as well. I know when I was being put under for a surgery the gas made me laugh like a madman but I wasn't afraid lol Weird things make me scared, like the thought of being alone.
"The trick, William Potter, is not minding that it hurts."
Posted Jul-31-2017 10:02 AM
Its hard to give us Jump-scares within the Franchise as far as Chest Busters, the only way a Jump-scare would work is if the Characters Discover another Character who is about to be Chest Bursted but we have not clues or signs this Character was infected with a Face Hugger.
No soon as we see Character X infected with a Face Hugger, and latter Character X looking worse for wear, we know whats coming next...
The same goes for Eggs, when know when someone approaches a Egg then we know whats coming.
Alien Covenant gave us these and so we would have expected them... EVEN IF you never saw the Trailers. Unless you did not see the Trailers and never saw a Alien movie before or are very Jumpy.
The Alien Attack Scenes were also predictable, the only Potential one being the Neomorph attack on Rosenthal.
i would say that anyone who sees Alien Covenant who has never seen any of the Trailers, may have been effected by the Neomorph Births but these where quite a slow build up.. i.e they did not happen as Quick as the Alien 1979 Chest Buster.
So getting Jumps is hard...
I think the best way they could have done any would have been a better job done of when COLE came across the Face Hugger.... i think if these Scene had been done a bit different then it definately gives a Jump-Scare.
They could explore this better in the Next Movie if a Team of Humans be it another incoming group or other colonist on the Covenant awake.... and discover a Area of the Ship with a open Egg.... have a Victim go up to the Egg and peer inside, this gives the Audience a False Build up as they expect something to be seen inside...
Have the Victim say this looks empty while then looking at their Face, we then Pan to who they are talking to from the Person who approached the Eggs POV
Then at this Moment....BANG! A Face Hugger Jumps at this person from behind, maybe hidden in a Shelf behind some object.
THIS would make a Successful Jump-Scare
Sadly AC never had any scenes planned out as such.
The Shower Scene would potentially had been a Jump-Scare provided you never saw the Trailers.
I hope that the only AWAKENING we are in for is FOX/RS wake up and learn from their mistakes.
Posted Jul-31-2017 10:27 AM
I jumped pretty hardcore when the Protomorph burst from Oram! I saw the movie... four times I think? I jumped three of those times. Just, right in the middle of his sentence, losing a character I cared about, and it was f&^%ing violent! Definitely jumped when David stabbed Walter, that was a good little jumpscare. I think that's it. I mean, I might be ridiculous and buy a seperate digital copy of the movie tomorrow before getting the blu-ray on the 15th, so maybe I can count them then!
Not a map, an invitation
Posted Jul-31-2017 10:45 AM
I agree BD I don't think ul get many jumo scares now with the chest burster scene as we all know whats coming. plus I don't see them trying to surprise us when we haven't seen the face hugger unless its at the beginning of a movie and its say a salvage team going onboard a vessel we later discover encountered the covenant or engineer vessel to explain how it could have happened. but I don't believe anyone would really tire of seeing chest burster scenes, I know I wouldn't.
and I agree with the earlier comment that jump scares are not what defines a horror but id say in some cases they are required more than in others. for instance, texas chain saw massacre doesn't need jump scares as its a bloody gore horror but in the likes of alien, one would definitely expect at least 1 scene where they jump a little, especially once they were back on the covenant and they were definitely going for the more claustrophobic feel to that part of the movie. AC for me didn't have any of these. there was no 1979 alien fear that it could be round any corner or in any air vent waiting for u to stumble into it
Posted Jul-31-2017 10:48 AM
Being alone, eh? Ok, there is an episode of Black Mirror called "White Christmas" which you really must watch, it would be very effective on you.
The thought of being alone doesn't bother me much. This may be a sort of "be careful what you wish for", but I suspect I'd fare better in solitary confinement than most. I do like: my dad, my husband and my sister...
Everyone else can be entertaining in small doses but I think I'd be good at a job like Walter and David had when everyone was in hypersleep. Years of just looking after things without having to actually talk to anyone. That's my dream job but pretty soon after everyone woke up I would just be so over it...
For me, the two biggest fears are: non-existence and guilt. I have a really big phobia of doing something which might cause harm to someone. That's why Oram was such a sympathetic character to me, he took a lot of decisions that turned out really terribly for his crew so I felt for him.
Posted Jul-31-2017 10:55 AM
I agree! The Oram chestburster scene was top-notch! You're right, sympathetic character, mid-sentence, very violent. Did you notice Oram was still twitching on the ground with his hand up in this air for like...a full minute?
And David's psychotic fawning over the baby-xeno makes it all the more unsettling. That whole scene is very good, I'd nearly forgotten.
Posted Jul-31-2017 12:20 PM
Thank you for the recommendation, I'll check it out :)
I don't mind superficial loneliness such as Walter/David's job, hell I enjoy alone time and I really can't stand being around others too long as they just drive me bonkers but it's knowing you're alone that scares me. Like, losing all your loved ones and not having a friend in the world or knowing nobody else feels the way you do. I'm quite the introvert and needs time alone to simply recharge/get my thoughts in order or enjoy a hobby but I like being around friends and family.
"The trick, William Potter, is not minding that it hurts."
Posted Jul-31-2017 12:23 PM
@VivisectedEngineer I also saw myself in Oram because I have an anxiety disorder and I'm constantly doubting myself. Karine was such a loving partner and I long for a relationship like that lol When she died, I could see the look of utter despair on Oram's face. He was very unlucky in this film.
There's a nice contrast between him and Kane. Kane was well liked and when he passed it was around loved ones and a bright room. Oram on the other hand wasn't much liked and died alone in darkness with everything he knew ripped away from him.
"The trick, William Potter, is not minding that it hurts."
Posted Jul-31-2017 12:45 PM
Oh gosh dammit, why are we anxiety-disorder-afflicted so drawn to scary movies? If you have an anxiety disorder, you need to find someone like my husband - someone who is the opposite of a person with an anxiety disorder: methodical, calm and contemplative in all situations. He's an engineer (like...in the field of engineering. Not a giant bald pale guy). - you may need to find a similar person of science who has a very orderly mind. Whatever you do DON'T find another anxious person. You will each lend credence to eachother's fears and put eachother through hell.
Anyway, remember the scene where the lander is burning up and Daniels pins Oram to the ground so he won't run into the flames, and we see Ferris' silhouette in the doorway as she burns up?
I bet Oram probably thought that was Karine burning up. He had no idea she was eaten by the neomorph in the medbay, and when he saw the silhouette he undoubtedly assumed the worst.
Ridley Scott seems to really like scenes of people's romantic partners burning up in front of them. It was even like that with Shaw and Holloway. Maybe that is a fear of his.
Posted Jul-31-2017 1:02 PM
Thanks! Lol, maybe we can be androids in our next lives. But, they're going to have to staff each ship with two types of androids:
Ones that do the "alone" work while everyone's in hypersleep and ones that hang out with the crew once they wake up.
Posted Jul-31-2017 3:28 PM
@Starlogger I don't agree about jumpscares always being a cheap resource. If this is true, then Alien (1979) would be a very bad movie. Actually, while I was trying to remember all the jumpscares from the first Alien I realize how crucial they are in the building and release of suspense, and how most of them coincide with the most important plot points in the movie.
daliens I care about the franchise, that is why comparing Covenant to the other movies might help in understanding what went wrong.
Posted Jul-31-2017 5:52 PM
Starlogger Alright, I don't agree. These movies need more elaborate jumpscares that boost the suspense. If I have to list my favorite jumpscares from the franchise, these are a few:
1) Kane getting facehugged in Alien (1979)
2) Ripley giving birth (dream sequence) in Aliens
3) Xenomorph in airshaft in "Alien" (1979)
4) Xenomorph waking up in the Narcissus in Alien (1979)
5) Xenomorph strikes Brett. Alien (1979)
6) Ripley and Parker get fooled by Jonesy. Alien (1979)
7) Bishop impaled by queen (Aliens)
8) Xenomorph kills the doctor (Alien 3)
9) Hammerpeede exits Milburn's mouth (Prometheus)
10) Elgyn getls killed (Alien Resurrection)
*Special mention to Walter getting stabbed (Alien Covenant)
Sign in to add a reply to this topic!