There comes a point in every long-running horror franchise where what was once terrifying turns into snickers: Dracula and Frankenstein met up with Abbot and Costello, Freddy Kruger started rapping over his end credits, and even poor ol’ Michael Myers eventually got punched out by Busta Rhymes in Halloween 8. The boogeyman introduced in 1979’s Alien, however, was somehow immune to the standard sequel arc of descent, due to a combination of top-tier directors and its own innate Freudian ickiness. When watching H. R. Geiger’s rampaging Penisaurus ooze through an air duct in search of prey, it seems ludicrous to think that it would ever be reduced to the likes of, say, chasing horny teenagers around a swimming pool.
Let’s hear it for progress. On a watchability scale, Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem admittedly beats 2004’s piss-poor AVP by a country mile, mainly due to a steady stream of hard-R splatter and a refreshing lack of CGI critters. By any other standards, though, AVP2 lands deep in landfill territory. It’s a Wonderful Life is no longer the most depressing Christmas movie ever made.
Shane (Armageddon) Salerno’s script picks up where the last one left off, as a ticked-off Alien/Predator hybrid crash lands on Earth and proceeds to knock up the residents of a small California town. Before long, a Predator shows up to clean house. Also, a pizza delivery guy has a crush on his blond classmate. First-time directors Colin and Greg Strause certainly know their gore (watching a 10-year old kid get his chest burst is gnarly enough, but a later scene in a maternity ward verges on serious NC-17) but prove incapable of putting together a single chill and/or thrill. Copious goo aside, this is really just a big ball of trademarked suck that barely even works on a Godzilla level. Ten bucks says Coolio shows up in the sequel.