|Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||The Brothers Strause|
|Written by||Shane Salerno|
|Music by||Brian Tyler|
|Edited by||Dan Zimmerman|
|Distributed by||20th Century Fox|
|Box office||$128.9 million|
Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem (stylized on-screen as AVPR: Aliens vs Predator - Requiem) is a 2007 American science fiction action film directed by the Brothers Strause (Colin and Greg Strause) in their directorial debut and written by Shane Salerno. The film stars Steven Pasquale, Reiko Aylesworth, John Ortiz, Johnny Lewis, and Ariel Gade. It is a sequel to the 2004 film Alien vs. Predator and the second and latest installment in the Alien vs. Predator franchise, continuing the crossover between the Alien and Predator franchises.
Set immediately after the events of the previous film, the film begins with a Predator ship crashing into a forest outside of Gunnison, Colorado, where an Alien-Predator hybrid known as the Predalien escapes and makes its way to the nearby small town. A skilled veteran Predator is dispatched to kill the Predalien, as the townspeople try to survive the ensuing carnage.
Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem was released on December 25, 2007, in the United States. The film grossed $129 million at the worldwide box office, making it the lowest-grossing film in both the Alien and Predator franchises when accounting for inflation. The film was critically panned, with particular criticism directed towards the plot and poor lighting in the film. A sequel was planned but ultimately canceled.
Following the events of the previous film, a Predator ship leaves Earth carrying Alien face-huggers, and the dead body of Scar, the Predator that helped Lex defeat the Xenomorph Queen. A chestburster with traits of both species erupts from Scar's body. It quickly matures into an adult Predalien and starts killing the Predators on board (in the extended cut, this happens on a scout ship that has been detached from the mother ship). A Predator's weapon punctures the hull and the ship crashes in the forest outside of Gunnison, Colorado, killing all but one of the Predators, who's severely injured.
The Predalien and several facehuggers escape, implanting embryos into a nearby father and son who are out hunting in the forest, as well as several homeless people that live in the sewers. The injured Predator sends a distress signal before being killed by the Predalien. On the Predator homeworld, a skilled veteran Predator, Wolf, receives the signal and takes it upon himself to travel to Earth to hunt and kill Xenomorphs. He arrives at the crashed Predator ship, uses a blue acid-like liquid to dissolve and erase evidence of Xenomorphs' presence, and triggers an implosion to completely destroy the vessel.
Meanwhile, ex-convict Dallas Howard has just returned to Gunnison after serving time in prison. He is greeted by Sheriff Eddie Morales and reunites with his younger brother Ricky. Ricky has a romantic interest in his classmate Jesse but is constantly harassed by her boyfriend Dale and his two friends. Kelly O'Brien has also just returned to Gunnison after serving in the military and reunites with her husband Tim and daughter Molly. Darcy Benson, the wife of the killed father, begins searching for her missing husband and son. Meanwhile, local waitress Carrie Adams discovers she is pregnant, but her police officer husband, Ray, is killed by Wolf after witnessing him dissolving the bodies of Darcy's husband and son while he was searching for them in the forest. Wolf also skins him alive and hangs him upside down from a tree branch for sport.
Wolf tracks several Xenomorphs in the sewer and defeats two of them, and as the battle reaches the surface, four disperse into the town. Wolf pursues some to the power plant, where collateral damage from his plasma caster weapon causes a citywide power outage. Ricky and Jesse meet at the high school swimming pool but are interrupted by Dale and his cohorts just as the power goes out and a Xenomorph enters the pool area, killing Dale's friends. Another Xenomorph invades the O'Brien home, killing Tim while Kelly escapes with Molly. After the fry cook at the local diner where Carrie works is attacked by Xenomorphs, Carrie is also attacked after hearing the cook's screams and is impregnated by the Predalien with bellybursters. Darcy discovers her body in horror but Sheriff Morales arrives and brings her with him.
Kelly, Molly, Ricky, Jesse, Dale, Dallas, and Sheriff Morales gather at a sporting goods store to collect weapons. Troops from the Colorado Army National Guard arrive but are quickly slaughtered by Xenomorphs. Wolf briefly captures Dallas inside the store to use as bait to lure Xenomorphs, but Dallas escapes. Several Xenomorphs arrive and Wolf handily defeats them. Dale is killed by a Xenomorph during the battle and one of Wolf's shoulder plasma casters is damaged. He removes his remaining one and modifies it into a hand-held blaster.
As the survivors attempt to escape Gunnison, they make radio contact with Colonel Stevens and are told that an air evacuation is being staged at the center of town. Dallas and Kelly are skeptical since going there would cause them to become surrounded by the Aliens, so they, along with Ricky, Jesse, Molly, and a few others go for the helicopter at the hospital to get out of town while Sheriff Morales and Darcy head to the evacuation zone. However, the hospital has been invaded and overrun by Xenomorphs and the Predalien, who has impregnated some pregnant women to breed more Xenomorphs. Wolf soon arrives at the hospital where he dispatches more Xenomorphs and, during the battle, the Predator accidentally impales Jesse with one of his shuriken weapons. Distraught, Ricky rushes Wolf with rifle fire only to be injured by the Predalien. The Predator is attacked by a Xenomorph and both tumble down an elevator shaft. Dallas takes possession of Wolf's plasma blaster. Dallas, Ricky, Kelly, and Molly reach the roof and fight off several Xenomorphs before escaping in the helicopter, while Wolf, having survived the fall, battles the Predalien on the roof in hand-to-hand combat. Wolf and the Predalien mortally wound each other just as a military jet arrives. Rather than a rescue mission, an F-22 Raptor executes a tactical nuclear strike that levels the entire city, instantly killing Sheriff Morales, Darcy, and everyone else gathered at ground zero. The shock wave causes the fleeing helicopter to crash in a clearing, where the survivors are rescued by the military. Wolf's plasma blaster is confiscated, and Colonel Stevens presents it to Ms. Yutani.
Bobby "Slim" Jones ("Bull") and Ian Feuer ("Atomic") as the additional Predators.
Inspired by Terminator 2: Judgment Day, brothers Colin and Greg Strause moved to Los Angeles to break into the film business. After an unsuccessful attempt to find employment at Industrial Light & Magic, the brothers worked on The X-Files film and founded their own special effects company, Hydraulx. The company produced special effects for films such as Constantine, The Day After Tomorrow, Poseidon and 300 and the brothers began a career directing commercials and music videos. Colin believes Hydraulx secured a strong relationship with 20th Century Fox, which owns the Alien and Predator franchises.
The brothers unsuccessfully pitched an idea for the first Alien vs. Predator film and Fox almost bought a film titled Wolfenstein suggested by the brothers, "When the script came up for this movie, they thought we'd be perfect for it because it's an ambitious movie for the budget that they had and they knew that having our visual effects background was going to be a huge thing." The brothers were hired to direct the sequel to Alien vs. Predator in late spring 2006 and had limited time to start filming in the fall. The film's original title was Alien vs. Predator: Survival of the Fittest, but was later dropped.
Filming on Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem on September 25, 2006 in Vancouver, Canada. on a 52-day schedule. During filming breaks, the brothers supervised visual effects work on 300, Shooter and Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer by using in-house supervisors and a system called Mavis and Lucy, which let the brothers track, view and approve dailies. Colin estimates Hydraulx produced 460 of the 500 visual effects shots including the nuclear explosion which was created using Maya fluids and BA Volume Shader. The interior of the Predator ship was created using CGI, as the brothers felt it would be more cost effective than building a set. The visual effects team peaked at 110 people for several months and averaged 70, almost all of the entire Hydraulx staff.
Using their knowledge in visual effects and making use of principal photography, the brothers tried to film as much as they could on camera without resorting to CGI, Colin said "other than the exterior spaceship shots, there are no pure CG shots." CGI was used for the Alien tails and inner jaws, whereas they required puppeteers and wire removal on previous films. The main visual effects of the film included set design, a nuclear explosion, the Predator's ship crashing and the Predator cloak, about which Colin stated: "We wanted to make sure it didn't look too digital."
As a side-note, in the DVD commentary the brothers explained that they want actor Adam Baldwin to reprise his role as Garber in Predator 2, but unable to do so, instead using Robert Joy as a new character. Additionally, while the previous installment attracted casual moviegoers as well as fans of the franchises, the film catered exclusively to Alien and Predator fans with many references to the previous films appearing in the film.
Composer Brian Tyler, was hired to the score for the film. The film's main theme track is a clash of two main themes, one consisting of the Predator type theme (bongos and basses) and the second of the Aliens (high pitched violins, violas and flutes). The directors Colin and Greg Strause wanted to take a new direction from Harald Kloser's Alien vs. Predator score and wanted Tyler to use some reference to the three films' original score pieces, such as the horrific violas and percussion from James Horner's Aliens and the primitive tribal percussion from Alan Silvestri's Predator and Predator 2. Tyler also referenced composer John Frizzel's Alien: Resurrection into the score, in the tracks of "Down to Earth" and "Taking Sides". The soundtrack album was released on December 11, 2007 by Varèse Sarabande. "Grim Discovery" and "The Chopper", the two tracks from Predator was listed in the film's end credits, both written and composed by Silvestri. The tracks are not included in the film's soundtrack and the Predator soundtrack, but can be found on YouTube.
Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem was released in the United States on Christmas Day 2007, in 2,563 theaters. It was rated R for violence, gore and language, unlike its predecessor, which was given a PG-13 rating. The BBFC's classification decision for the film is the same as the original (Rated 15), whilst the Australian ACB rated the film MA15+, up from the original's M rating.
The film grossed $9,515,615 on its opening day for an average of $3,707 per theater and was number six at the box office. It grossed $5 million in Australia, $9 million in Japan and the United Kingdom and $7 million in Russia, and had an international total of $86,288,761. As of February 24, 2009, the film had taken in a domestic gross of $41,797,066 and an international gross of $87,087,428, bringing it to a total of $128,884,494.
On Rotten Tomatoes the film has an approval rating of 11% based on reviews from 70 critics. The website's consensus states: "The increased gore and violence over the first Alien vs. Predator can't excuse Requiems disorienting editing, excessively murky lighting, and lack of new ideas." On Metacritic, the film has a score of 29 out of 100, based on reviews from 14 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews". Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film a grade of "C" on an A+ to F scale.
Chris Hewitt of Empire called it an "early but strong contender for worst movie of 2008". Stina Chyn of Film Threat felt the camerawork "is a smidge too shaky and the lighting/color design too dark for me to relish the Predator-on-Alien butt-kicking". Josh Rosenblatt of The Austin Chronicle dismissed the film stating it was "An orgy of mindless violence, a random collection of bloody bodies, alien misanthropy and slobbering carnage designed to bore straight into the pleasure centers of 13-year-old boys and leave the rest of us wondering when the movies got so damn loud." Kirk Honeycutt of The Hollywood Reporter contributor called it a "dull actioner that looks like a bad video game".
Chris Nashawaty of Entertainment Weekly felt it was a "B movie that truly earns its B," and gave it a grading of "B" on an A to F scale.Variety contributor Joe Leydon said it "Provides enough cheap thrills and modest suspense to shake a few shekels from genre fans before really blasting off as homevid product". Ryan Stewart of Cinematical said he "can't recommend it as a good movie on its own merits, stocked as it is with cardboard cutout characters and a barely coherent plot, but it's miles more interesting than the last Alien vs. Predator film."
Conversely, Neil Genzlinger of The New York Times stated: "It may not be classic sci-fi like the original Alien, which it has in its DNA, but it's a perfectly respectable next step in the series."
Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem was nominated for two Golden Raspberry awards in the fields of Worst Excuse for a Horror Movie and Worst Prequel or Sequel. The awards went to I Know Who Killed Me and Daddy Day Camp, respectively.
Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem was released on DVD, Blu-ray and PSP UMD Disc on April 15, 2008, in North America and May 12, 2008, in the United Kingdom by Fox Home Entertainment. It was released in three versions: a single-disc, R-rated version of the 94-minute theatrical presentation, a single-disc unrated version extended to 101 minutes and a two-disc unrated version with the 101-minute film and a second disc of special features. Extra features on the single-disc editions include two audio commentary tracks: one by the directors and producer John Davis and a second by creature effects designers and creators Tom Woodruff Jr. and Alec Gillis.
Disc one of the two-disc unrated edition includes both commentary tracks as well as both cuts of the film seamlessly branched and an exclusive "Weyland-Yutani archives" picture-in-picture reference guide to the warring alien races; five behind-the-scenes featurettes: Prepare for War: Development & Production, Fight to the Finish, The Nightmare Returns: Creating the Aliens, Crossbreed: The Predalien and Building the Predator Homeworld; multiple galleries of still photos showing the creature designs and sets; and the film's theatrical trailer. The second disc includes a "digital copy" download feature.
In its first week of release, Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem debuted at number two on the DVD charts, earning $7.7 million and number one on the Blu-ray charts. The film has made $27,403,705 in DVD sales in the United States.
A tie-in video game for the film was released on November 13, 2007, in North America, November 30 in Europe and December 6 in Australia. The game, developed by Rebellion Developments and published by Sierra Entertainment, was a third-person action-adventure game, allowing players to take the role of the Predator from the film. The game received generally negative reviews from the gaming press.
During the production of Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem, the Brothers Strause expressed plans for a third Alien vs. Predator installment. However, the planned sequel was put on hold indefinitely. The Predator franchise continued with Nimród Antal's Predators, and Shane Black's The Predator (the latter of which featured references to AVP such as shurikens and Lex's spear which Scar made out of an Alien tail), while the Alien franchise proceeded with Ridley Scott's Prometheus and Alien: Covenant.