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The hype for Alien: Covenant is almost unbearable, with its release date of May 19th feeling tantalisingly close yet oh so far away. 20th Century Fox released a distinctly un-festive teaser trailer late on Christmas Eve, with footage that promises a return to the gritty, visceral horror of early entries into the franchise.

There's a lot that's familiar about in the footage, with lurking glimpses of the titular creature whetting our appetite for the slaughter to come. Until then, let's take a look back at 6 some of the goriest, scariest, and most iconic moments from one of the greatest science fiction franchises of all time (because it's the 6th movie in the franchise - duh).

1. The Closest Encounter

The iconic first glimpse of the Xenomorph deserves it's prestigious place in cinematic history. Ridley Scott lays the groundwork for this brutal shock early, by lacing the slow pace of his movie with dread and misdirecting the audience with a few false-jumps and semi-shocks. While a number of moments prior to this scene could easily have made the list, this one in particular is the horrific culmination of everything that comes before it.

After Kane is put into a coma by the parasitic Facehugger, his pregnancy is drawn out to the point that it seems as if the worst is over. His apparent recovery and the subsequent release of tension is just the calm before the storm.

The fact the actors supporting John Hurt were unaware of what was occurring made it all the more terrifying, as it injected the scene with some genuine anxiety. Their fretting, and the clumsy way they surround him cramps the camera, compounding the overall shock of their step backwards when blood begins to spume from Kane's chest.

It's a bloody cinematic moment, easily sitting at the top spot.

2. "They're Coming Out Of The Goddamn Walls!"

James Cameron's Aliens is a testament to what sequels can be. Arguably the best movie in the franchise, it upped the stakes of Alien and doubled down on the action. But it didn't do so at the expense of horror. Here we witness the horrors of war. The Colonial Marines are savagely picked off by the Xenomorphs, who prove almost impervious to the humans superior firepower.

3. The A2's Always Were A Bit Twitchy...

Ian Holme ruined synthetics for this franchise. The sinister truth beneath his placid manner becomes abruptly clear when he betrays Ripley and the rest of the crew. His corporate mission to recover the alien at the expense of the crew is bad enough, but his psychotic admiration of the creature is made visually clear by an attempt to smother Ripley with a rolled up magazine. Add to that his maniacal stare, the milky secretion from his skin, and the way she's forced to crawl away from him, there's a brutal undertone to this particular sequence which makes for uncomfortable viewing. Even after his creamy decapitation, we still know that there's a nigh-un-killable creature stalking through the Nostromo.

4. They Grow Up So Fast!

This is our first look at the real Xenomorph, and it doesn't disappoint. The imagery here is nothing short of incredible, with the creature graciously down to the clanking of chains. A series of extreme close-ups reveal the creature in fragments, while Brett remains oblivious. When he finally turns around, he stands paralysed by it's stare, until it hooks its wicked tail up beneath his legs and squeezes his skull with those horribly slender hands.

This shot was one of the most clearly referenced in the recent Alien: Covenant trailer:

Credit: 20th Century Fox
Credit: 20th Century Fox

5. It Should Be Right There...

This scene gave us a genuine reason to be afraid of the dark, with poor old Captain Dallas trawling through vents, alone, hunting the Xenomorph. Its a masterful moment, with a haunting soundtrack that offsets the action, refusing to build in a predictable way. While the creature's visuals are almost pornographically detailed during Brett's drawn-out death sequence, you barely see its teeth here before Dallas is only static through a microphone.

The disconnect between the crew and Dallas through technology ties into a common motif for the franchise. Technology and its pitfalls, specifically mankind's over-reliance on it, have allowed for some of the most memorable scenes in the franchise to date.

6. Elizabeth's Pregnancy

While Prometheus wasn't everyone's favourite movie in the franchise, it did offer up one of the most claustrophobic, gory scenes of the franchise to date. After Elizabeth is impregnated - by relatively traditional means - she begins to experience early difficulties with her little sprog. What follows is a scene of harrowing self-surgery, that deserves a place on this list purely for its extremely intimate and repulsive cinematography.

Gore's The Merrier!

With that rundown finished, how's about a treat? One fan has re-cut the recent Alien: Covenant teaser trailer to the style of Prometheus. It does away with the vogue soundtrack, which is creepy enough, but isn't quite Alien. The trailer below is something a little different:

That's all for now! For more of a look at what's to come, check out my article on official stills released from the Alien: Covenant movie. Let me know what your most memorable Alien moment is in the comments below.

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