Alien: Covenant

No more CGI.

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OvomorphMember14 XPAug-24-2017 6:43 PM

CGI has really ruined the franchise. Both ALIEN and ALIENS benefited from the fact that the directors were limited in how much and the way they could show the xeno. Scott and Cameron were FLAWLESS in dealing with those limitations thru extreme close-ups, shadowed lighting and restricted views. The palpable feel of fear that came from the actors being in the same space as the aliens worked brilliantly in the first two films, and I would argue that the most interesting parts of every ALIEN film after the first two feature the character(s) in scenes with an alien created via practical effects (ALIEN 3: Ripley face-to-face shot in med bay, ALIEN RES: Aliens in the cage / interacting with Gediman). 

Alien: Covenant missed SO MANY opportunities for unique terror (I don't think Ridley knows how to director horror anymore) because the focus was on showing the alien's full body in full light.

Practical effects are less expensive than CGI, correct? If another sequel is greenlit, going all practical effects could be the budget reduction/artistic kick in the ass that this series needs.

Let's go back to basics. Men in suits, creative lighting, B-movie tactics.  

43 Responses to No more CGI.


ChestbursterMember900 XPAug-24-2017 11:38 PM

please tell want creature horror movie was terrifying in the last 5 to 10 years? Did you consider that the genre as such is dying on it's own? and cgi is not the problem?


TrilobiteMember8212 XPAug-25-2017 12:04 AM

I can agree with the sentiment, but how back to basics should we get? We could go to black and white to get really hard core. I think CGI has its place in the right hands. I love old school but do not think we need to go back to this:


Something Real

TrilobiteMember5639 XPAug-25-2017 12:07 AM

C.JAM - Quite so! Practical special effects are much more enjoyable! :)

Something Real

TrilobiteMember5639 XPAug-25-2017 12:19 AM

RED0GUY - Science Fiction - aliens, monsters and exploration amongst the stars - will never die. :)


XenomorphMember1303 XPAug-25-2017 12:20 AM

I thought Ridley Scott is doing the old scool practical effects like nobody else is doing nowadays. 

And practical effects can be a lot more expensive for a movie of that scale. Unless we go for something like this:

Old scool David and Walter

"He survived, he’s now in Disneyland in Orlando, and no way am I going back there. How did he end up in Disneyland? I saw him in Disneyland, Jesus Christ!"

Something Real

TrilobiteMember5639 XPAug-25-2017 12:27 AM

DALIENS - I am almost willing to wager I could wear one of those and make it look fashionable. :)


XenomorphMember1303 XPAug-25-2017 12:32 AM

The trick, Something Real, is not minding that it hurts :)

"He survived, he’s now in Disneyland in Orlando, and no way am I going back there. How did he end up in Disneyland? I saw him in Disneyland, Jesus Christ!"

Something Real

TrilobiteMember5639 XPAug-25-2017 12:35 AM

DALIENS - Hahaha! Quite so, my friend. Quite so. Fortune favors the bold! :)


TrilobiteMember8212 XPAug-25-2017 12:37 AM

I love those old black and white shows- Twilight Zone and Outer Limits. They used what they could for that day. They probably would have loved CGI back then but it was simply a pipe dream at best back then.

Something Real

TrilobiteMember5639 XPAug-25-2017 12:38 AM

DK - I watched the original "Gremlin" episode of the Twilight Zone with William Shatner last week! :)


TrilobiteMember8212 XPAug-25-2017 12:43 AM

Something Real That is classic! I also like the one where he sat in a dive restaraunt feeding coins into a so called fortune telling devil contraption and became obsessed! Those were the days when effects didn't matter much- it was all about story and actors selling the story. I still watch TZ!

Something Real

TrilobiteMember5639 XPAug-25-2017 12:45 AM

DK - Indeed! The story is what is most important! As long as you can make your audience believe through good acting and storytelling, it does not matter how you effects appear! "There's...something on the wing!" ;)


ChestbursterMember900 XPAug-25-2017 12:58 AM

Something Real

As people become more cynical, I think that exploration and the awe which comes from it will die unfortunately. Of course the monster will remain as the message will be "you wanted to explore and not to have a trite corporate life, well a space monster will tear you apart".

Something Real

TrilobiteMember5639 XPAug-25-2017 1:02 AM

RED0GUY - As long as you keep that awe and wonder in your heart and pass it to others through stories and conversation, it will never be gone. The cynicism within the world is born from too many voices shouting and railing within the public square. However, if you stand away from that square and remain in the fields to speak with those whom choose to do so as well, you can hear one-another much more clearly. :)


TrilobiteMember8212 XPAug-25-2017 1:06 AM

CGI offers great things if done right. I still think story and acting are key. TZ has proven that time and again- and they packed it into half hour shows with commercials. 

Something Real

TrilobiteMember5639 XPAug-25-2017 1:08 AM

DK - In the first Jurassic Park, when the Tyrannosaurus rex broke loose from her enclosure, that was movie magic. :)


NeomorphMember1541 XPAug-25-2017 1:22 AM

It depends whom you hire for the cgi. I have seen the Alien Covenant do***entary where they show for instance the neomorph's double jaw, which looked fantastic. But the cgi artists totally botched the scene where it bites Rosenthal. And what was the need of using a puppet for the chestburster when you are going to put on top tons of cgi blood... same with the xeno's "saliva": it screams fake. Bad choices where made. Great looking movies use the best of both worlds.

Something Real

TrilobiteMember5639 XPAug-25-2017 1:23 AM

JOYLITT - Well spoken, my friend. :)


FacehuggerMember457 XPAug-25-2017 1:26 AM

The chestburster in Covenant is a trillion times better than the one in Alien. I'm not knocking the scene in Alien, which was utterly brilliant, but the practical effects make people laugh these days, especially when the legless Alien scuttles through the breakfast debris. And as for the poor edit between Ash speaking and his head getting torched... don't even get me started on that.

CGI done well is amazing. And in some instances, there would be no other way. Consider the T1000 Terminator in T2, for example.


TrilobiteMember8212 XPAug-25-2017 1:36 AM

hox I respectfully disagree about the chestburster scene. With Alien, the character became symptomatic and started going nuts. In AC, Oram was just lying there speaking normally and then his chest burst- that seemed pretty fake imo. 

I do agree that CGI in capable hands is perfectly fine. T2 is a great example and that was basically the infancy of CGI.


FacehuggerMember457 XPAug-25-2017 4:15 AM

Kane was fine up until a moment before the Alien burst out of him. He did squeal like a piggy before he went into shock, and twitched a little as the birth continued.

Oram's voice was laboured as he lay on the floor, immobile. And he made some painful grunting noises as the creature erupted. He, too, did a bit of twitching.

I wouldn't like to say which of these was more 'fake',  not having seen such an event happen in real life! People handle shock in different ways. Like, I heard, the old trope of the crowd squealing when a plane goes down is fabrication – passengers generally stay silent or quiet at such times.

But, to the matter in hand, the practical effect in the 1979 movie was good, but poor by today's standards. The Covenant chestburster has some beautiful CGI.


XenomorphMember1310 XPAug-25-2017 5:53 AM

We are 50 years(probably longer)till CGI is perfected....but even 50 years from now,  you'll still need great artists to produce believable characters.  No amount of CGI or practical effects will make up for bad character design.  Always going to need a Giger.

I'd love to see Alien3 with new CGI! Even A L I E N would be cool...I'd redo Ash's head scene and Kane's undershirt where you can clearly see the mechanical contraption he is wearing...clean up that and some other bits.


ChestbursterMember907 XPAug-25-2017 8:01 AM

I would say Scott was genius dealing with the shooting. Cameron's aliens always looked fake and "puppet like", and weren't scary, especially the Queen (blech).


FacehuggerMember240 XPAug-25-2017 9:04 AM

I am a person that cannot stand CGI-


FacehuggerMember194 XPAug-25-2017 10:29 AM

CGI fits the bill - no more, no less.

It's like something needs salting, but you're AGAINST SALT, so you just WON'T TAKE IT!!! :)

Timmy the ultramorph

ChestbursterMember559 XPAug-25-2017 1:54 PM

i think cgi is fine as long as the audience can't tell that it is cgi.

also it has to be used to enhance. not replace.

for exaple, mad max: fury road was hailed because of its practical effects but there is actually quite a bit of cg in it. is just incorperated into it well.

as for horror. i think that you are right saying that the xenon shouldent be running around in full daylight.

show the xeno less. makes it more effective.

The one place were alien covenant really neaded the cgi that it uses was for the back burster. it would be extremly fake looking it they used animotronics at that speed. the backburster is also something that can remain scary even when in full lighting.

food ain't that bad! - Parker


TrilobiteMember8212 XPAug-25-2017 2:08 PM

MonsterZero I'd love to see Alien3 with new CGI! Even A L I E N would be cool..

I am not sure about that. I remember being thoroughly disappointed when Lucas "updated" Star Wars and Empire. I don't think one can even find a dvd of the unedited versions. I will never forgive him for that.


ChestbursterMember839 XPAug-25-2017 4:07 PM

I think CGI is great, really. I agree with the sentiment that it needs to be done by the right people and it should be used mostly as additions to practical creatures/sets/effects when possible (because Covenant's creatures could have been better. They are good, but not great). 

Oddly enough though, the only shot I have a problem with in Covenant is when the Xeno goes down that ladder. I can nitpick the CGI slime that drips off of it as well, but that didn't kill me. I always thought that the Resurection CGI is even effective (for it's time) and I enjoy it! Alien 3, while it's a good film, is worse though. I know it wasn't CGI, it was some new technology they did with a puppet and what not, but for me, it takes me out of the movie everytime I see it, which isn't good for an Alien film. It is subjective though. Evidenced by the fact that I like the Covenant CGI Aliens! 

I welcome the CGI, but I do agree going more practical would be cool as well. It's funny with Ridley Scott, Alien seems like an outlier at this point. We know that Alien was spooky because of the limited technology and the Alien had to hide in the shadows. I get the feeling (from watching Covenant) that if he could have, the Alien encounters would have been more animamlistic and out in the open in Alien, as they were in Covenant. I almost feel like I give them TOO much credit for working with what they had back then. I mean, in reality they deserve that credit, but you know. 

Not a map, an invitation


OvomorphMember12 XPAug-26-2017 2:02 AM

CGI is great where it's needed, but there are multiple problems in AC:

First when they land on the planet, Aliens are jumping around like some crazy monkeys. Movements are too fast and random, extremely unrealistic. Then there was a creature that had no eyes, I mean dinosours looked more convinving in 1993 Jurassic park. I get it that nobody does costumes anymore, but special effects in original Alien took time and creativity, like animal organs, thats why they looked so terrifying vs rendered graphics. Oh and where are air detectors? That was so cool to watch this little dots on the screen closing up on its prey, real suspense!!! 


FacehuggerMember457 XPAug-26-2017 4:12 PM

I thought the neomorphs jumping around were very effective. Vicious, fast and unpredictable. That's exactly the kind of behaviour you need from a top predator. The adult form looked convincing to me. If Alien-style motion detectors had been used in this prequel, many many people would have complained, and justly so.

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Alien: Covenant is a sequel to 2012's Prometheus as well as a prequel to 1979's ALIEN. Alien fans looking to know more about Alien: Covenant should check back often. is an information resource for film enthusiasts looking to learn more about the upcoming blockbuster Alien: Covenant. Providing the latest official and accurate information on Alien: Covenant, this website contains links to every set video, viral video, commercial, trailer, poster, movie still and screenshot available. This site is an extension of the Alien & Predator Fandom on Scified - a central hub for fans of Alien and Prometheus looking to stay up-to-date on the latest news. Images used are property of their respective owners. Alien: Covenant, Prometheus and its associated names, logos and images are property of 20th Century Fox and are in no way owned by Scified and its related entities. This is a fan-created website for the purpose of informing and exciting fans for Alien: Covenant's release. If you have any questions about this site, its content or the Scified Network in general, feel free to contact Scified directly.

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