What a day! What a lovely day! Fede Alvarez revealed the full Alien: Romulus trailer, and it looks pretty friggin’ awesome. The two-minute look gave us Xenomorphs, lots of acids, explosions, zero-gravity battles, and a whole lotta Facehugger action. I’m intrigued. Like, very, very intrigued.

Read on to see the aspects of the Alien: Romulus trailer that pushed my hype button past ten. Let’s rock!

The Alien: Romulus trailer’s best moments

Alien: Romulus Trailer Breakdown

Hadley’s Hope

The trailer opens with a shot of what looks like Hadley’s Hope hidden behind blinds drenched in red. At least, I think it’s Hadley’s Hope, as the structure is similar to the main local of James Cameron’s Aliens. Why even show this unless it’s Hadley’s Hope, right? Alvarez has already explained that the picture takes place between Risley Scott’s Alien and Cameron’s Aliens, so perhaps our band of unlucky heroes is part of the terraforming unit that eventually gets infested by the iconic Xenomorph. Are they on the planet when the outbreak occurs, causing them to retreat into space? Or do they leave with a couple of stowaways on board? Or maybe this isn’t Hadley’s Hope but a similar-looking location with no reason to exist besides providing some cheap fan service. Nah, it’s gotta be Hadley’s Hope.

Blue haze

Speaking of fan service, seeing the weird blue haze return is pretty wild. For those unaware, in Scott’s Alien, Ellen Ripley’s doomed crew happens upon thousands of eggs inside a derelict spaceship on LV-426. The weird light (brought on the production after Scott saw them being used by The Who in a nearby studio) is never fully explained but likely serves as a means to preserve the alien eggs. In the Romulus trailer, the blue light appears on a spaceship within what looks like an Alien Nest. Will the film explain how and why the aliens use this technology?

Speaking of the nest, there’s also a great shot of David Jonsson standing beside a metal stairwell, looking at what appears to be a hive shrouded in darkness. If this is indeed the case, it’s a clever way to blend elements from both Alien and Aliens, especially if a Queen appears.


In one of the trailer’s intriguing shots, we see Facehuggers emerging from mechanical pods in a flooded room.

So, do our heroes stumble upon an abandoned space station crawling with aliens? The vessel “Romulus” bears the Weyland-Yutani Corporation logo, so the former occupants may have been sent to collect specimens from LV-426 and succeeded before something went wrong aboard the ship. When our protagonists arrive, they must contend with a hoard of Xenomorphs, ala Alien Isolation.

Moreover, David Jonsson’s character is an android, evidenced by that weird eye trick he does later in the trailer. This begs the question: is he a friend or foe? Does he convince the others to search the Romulus on company orders? In the blue mist shot above, we see him crouching with a canister. Maybe he’s collecting specimens? Either way, if we’ve learned anything from this franchise, it’s never to trust a droid.

Also, that shot of the Facehugger trying to insert its, um, thingy in one of the characters’ mouths is very disturbing. We’ve never seen the process up close, and now I’m not sure I ever wanted to.

Alien: Romulus Trailer Breakdown

The Aesthetic

Alien Isolation fans will note the similarities between the Romulus interiors and the Sevastopol space station where Amanda Ripley battled a deadly Xenomorph. Everything from the walls to the long corridors looks like they were ripped straight from the video game. Plus, kudos to whoever decided to finally bring back the f—ing pulse rifle. I mean, I know it’s not the pulse rifle from Aliens, but it’s close enough in appearance. I’ll take it!

Remarkably, Alvarez nails the look and feel of Scott’s classic picture while sprinkling details from Cameron’s epic, notably the sound of a motion tracker and the terrifying alien screams. More than one alien exists on this vessel, prompting the type of adrenaline-fueled action fans have clamored for nearly 40 years.

Also, I love the wide tracking shots that look like an homage to Alien 3. In that film, director David Fincher shot several chase scenes from the alien’s POV. I’d love to see the same technique utilized with modern effects.

Floating Acid

The trailer concludes with a breathtaking scene of Cailee Spaeny gracefully floating through the spacecraft, surrounded by ominous acid splotches. Once again, the film looks absolutely stunning, with the moody lighting effectively capturing the chilling atmosphere of the original two pictures. Romulus appears to be a terrifying descent into Hell. Galo Olivares’s cinematography is simply striking, artfully utilizing heavy shadows and an assortment of colors to convey this horrific adventure. I can’t wait to see this sucker on the big screen.

Alien: Romulus Trailer Breakdown

The Xenos

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, the Xenomorphs look incredible — frightening but incredible. The final shot gives us a stunning view of a new design that appears to be a hybrid between Ridley Scott’s sleek original and James Cameron’s bulkier version. There’s even a thrilling moment where Spaeny’s character fires a pulse rifle at what appears to be a couple of aliens from behind a metal grate. Will we finally see a Queen again? Will Alvarez lean on the humans-turn-into-aliens plot device Scott employed, or treat them more like insects?

Could Romulus be the Alien movie we’ve been waiting for? So far, everything points to yes, but I’ve been disappointed too many times to abandon my skepticism completely. We’ll have to wait until August to find out. I can’t wait!

Side note: I still don’t know what Romulus is about. A group of teens head into space and stumble upon an abandoned space station/ship infested with aliens. Carnage ensues. If that’s the plot, I’m good. The franchise needs a reboot, so I am okay with going with a back-to-the-basics approach before (hopefully) venturing into uncharted territory in future installments. I only ask that Romulus delivers the thrills and chills of early chapters and stays far away from Ellen Ripley. I love Sigourney Weaver’s iconic character, but this series needs new blood to sink its teeth into.

Jeff Ames

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