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Posts Tagged ‘creature feature’

Van Helsing (2004)

04/22/2011 2 comments

Here’s a story
Of a man named Stoker
Who wrote a monster story just to scare
And because every great monster needs a hunter
He also wrote Van Helsing in there.

And here’s a story
Of a man named Sommers
Whose monster movies often entertained
He wanted to refurbish old Van Helsing
To make a brand-new franchise self-contained.

Van Helsing is an action horror film written, produced, and directed by Stephen Sommers, intended as an extended homage to the old Universal Studios monster films of the 1930s and 1940s. It starts Hugh Jackman, Kate Beckinsale, Richard Roxburgh, David Wenham, and Kevin J. O’Connor.

Van Helsing is an amnesiac vigilante monster hunter working for the Knights of the Holy Order, stationed at the Vatican. After returning from a mission to capture kill the murderous Edward Hyde, he is given two new tasks: Kill the fabled vampire Dracula, and while doing so prevent the last of the Valerious family from being trapped in Purgatory due to a vow one of the Valerious ancestors made. With the assistance of Q Branch Friar Carl, Van Helsing loads up on the cool toys he will need to take down the powerful vampire and sets out for Transylvania. When he arrives, he discovers that, with the recent death by werewolf of Velkan Valerious, the sole remaining heir is one Anna Valerious, who is determined to fulfill her family vow to kill Dracula. When Dracula and his three brides attack the village, they are forced to team up, and make a few chilling discoveries: 1. Velkan is Not Quite Dead, having been transformed into a werewolf under Dracula’s control. 2. Dracula has been trying to bridge the gap between life and undeath and bring hordes of little vampire babies, his offspring, to life. 3. He might be close to finding a way, if he can just get his hands on the Monster created by Dr. Frankenstein. 4. Dracula also remembers Van Helsing from a past encounter, and may hold the secret to unlocking his lost memories. Now Van Helsing is torn between stopping a cunning monster and discovering his own past, between his mission and his growing love for Anna, as he seeks a way to end Dracula’s menace once and for all. Again.

I found Van Helsing to be a neat little reimagining to a character who, in the original novel, was an old professor who had studied the ways of vampires in order to figure out how to kill Count Dracula. Here, he is a younger action hero who studies the ways of all monsters in order to determine the best ways to kill each. When you add this inventor sidekick Friar Carl, this vision of the vampire hunter becomes somewhat of a steampunk James Bond (complete with Bond Girl Anna Valerious). Like the Bond movies, this movie is mainly about the action sequences and the charmingly evil villain, and less about Van Helsing’s hinted-at background or, indeed, any meaningful character development. However, Van Helsing does manage to come off as a complex character. His mysterious past and the way he chafes at the rules and regulations of the Knights of the Holy Order echoes with Jackman’s other role at the time, Wolverine, but it heads in a slightly different direction here. Van Helsing grows cynical with his work, particularly as he recognizes that not all monsters are necessarily evil, and as he is set up as a fall guy when he kills otherwise innocent people who happen to have a monstrous alter ego. Unlike the antihero Wolverine, Van Helsing appears to be a genuinely good man whose implied horrible past seems to have trapped him in this role. The comic relief character Friar Carl balances out Van Helsing’s angst with much needed breather moments, particularly when his High Intelligence Low Wisdom antics result in explosions (to be fair, one of the explosions did save Van Helsing and Anna from a whole mess of vampires). Unfortunately, Anna Valerious manages only to be a typical Bond Girl, for despite her apparently tragic background she has about the emotional depth of a puddle, something for which I fault the writers less than the actress.

The plot of the movie, fortunately, was overall engaging, both as a standalone story and as the extended homage to classic Universal and Hammer Horror films that it clearly was. It hits all the traditional notes, with the mad scientist and his Igor, werewolves (which looked… just okay), Count Dracula and his three brides (whose flying forms were original and harpylike, but rendered in laughably bad CGI), all set in Transylvania, the place from which all European monsters hail. It’s a rule, that’s why. Most of the monsters are as expected, though they did try hard with the man-wolf forms of the werewolves, and a very steampunk take on Frankenstein’s creation. In essence, this is a reimagined crossover of classic monster movies, and it works mainly because the result is so much fun to watch.

If you want a fun, fresh take on an old character and classic monsters, I recommend Van Helsing. It’s a typical Stephen Sommers film, which means you can expect monsters and excitement, and a movie that doesn’t take itself too seriously.

Species (1995)


I find it ironic that the first entry in former model Natasha Henstridge’s body of Hollywood work is a movie in which she, well, shows off so much of her body. While the “aliens mating with humans” type plot is hard to pull off successfully (and without resorting to tentacle rape), especially in a serious movie, this one also boasted semi-famous actors and a decent plot. Did it succeed? Let’s find out.

Species is a sci fi horror film directed by Roger Donaldson, and starring Natasha Henstridge, Marg Helgenberger, Alfred Molina, Ben Kingsley, Michael Madsen, Forest Whitaker, and creature effects by H. R. Giger.

When SETI was established decades ago, it sent out a polite “hello” to any intelligent races that might be listening, in the form of information about Earth and its inhabitants, including info about our DNA, hoping that someone would say “hi” back. Twenty years later, they got a reply, in the form of information on the creation of an endless fuel source. Cool – they’re friendly! Naturally, when they send their next transmission, a sample of alien DNA and instructions on how to splice it with our own, a government team is set up to see what happens when Tab A is spliced with Slot B. Led by Dr Xavier Fitch, the team tries following the instructions in the transmission, deciding to make the result female in order to avoid any natural aggressive tendencies of a male specimen. Out of a hundred fertilized ova, finally one of them survives gestation, producing a hybrid named Sil, resembling a human girl. She grows quickly and appears to be highly intelligent, but she has violent night terrors which appear to be flashes of genetic memory of home. Her outbursts during these nightmares lead the team to judge her dangerous, and they try to kill her with cyanide gas. She escapes the lab, and a team is assembled to track her down and destroy her before she can mate with a human male, producing more like her and possibly eliminating the human race. Naturally, she has reached sexual maturity since escaping, and is now on a mission of her own – booty.

With a plot like this, one might expect Species to be nothing but softcore porn with only the vague sketches of a plot and shitty special effects to string the sex scenes together. Surprisingly, the movie actually works as a serious thriller. The opening scenes take the time to lay the groundwork for the story, rather than saying, “Here’s a hot alien chick, look at her boobs and don’t worry about the plot.” The story unfolds realistically, with the plot playing out in a logical fashion, winding up to a conclusion that feels genuinely tragic despite its necessity. Sil’s lack of a nudity taboo meshes naturally with her background – she is a creature of instinct, raised in a lab, with heightened senses, greater strength and agility, and the ideal appearance for attracting a mate. She acts and feels like a genuine organism looking for a suitable mate rather than a space slut willing to shag anyone.

The characters are, thankfully, not a cast of morons. While Fitch’s decision to terminate Sil in light of her violent nightmares seems ill-conceived, it makes sense – she is only likely to get stronger and more agile as she matures, and who knows how she sees the world. The composition of the team gathered to hunt her down is also logical: Dr. Arden to study her behavior for clues about her next move, Dr. Baker as a familiar face that Sil might trust, empath Dan Smithson to track her via her emotional states, and mercenary Preston Lennox for when they have her cornered and the time comes to kill her. Even Sil appears to have genuine motives for what she does beyond “gotta get laid”. While she is deadly, she does demonstrate species-perpetuation instincts, and she is decently choosy about her mates (rejecting one hopeful when she senses that he has diabetes). Though she can and does kill several people through out the movie, she is cunning and discreet, and generally kills only to defend herself or erase a sexual rival – this sort of thing happens all the time in nature on Earth – but as a non-native species there is a higher chance of her buggering up the biosphere.

While Species sounds like it might just be a brainless festival of tits and blood, I recommend it to fans of sci fi horror. Giger’s creature effects are amazing as always, Natasha Henstridge is hot, and the whole thing is overlaid on a surprisingly well-developed storyline. Worth a rental.

Jaws (1975)

04/05/2011 1 comment

Sharks are pretty badass. On their own, many species of shark are the closest thing nature has come to a living chainsaw/garbage disposal combination. They are perfectly suited to hunting in the water, and they’re shaped a lot like torpedoes with teeth. Of course, of all the species of shark that stalk the seas, the one with the most bloodthirsty reputation has got to be the great white, thanks to a little book by Peter Benchley and a little-known director named Steven Spielberg, who combined forces like the Wonder Twins (only less lame) to produce a horror movie that made audiences of 1975 mortally afraid of cellos at the beach.

Oh, yeah, and they were afraid of being eaten by sharks, too.

Jaws is a horror film directed by Steven Spielberg and based on the novel of the same name by Peter Benchley, starring Roy Scheider, Richard Dreyfuss, Robert Shaw, Lorraine Gary, Murray Hamilton, and a frequently-malfunctioning animatronic shark named Bruce.

When a swimmer off the shore of Amity Island is killed, torn apart by an unseen force, the new police chief, Martin Brody, finds himself confronted by the possibility that there is a shark hunting the waters off the beach. However, the mayor is reluctant to close the beaches, as rumors of a shark attack will ruin the summer tourist season. The medical examiner reverses his initial ruling of death by shark attack and records it as a boating accident, and Brody reluctantly goes along with it, hoping it was just a freak incident. However, when a boy is attacked by a shark on the beach not long after, the evidence can no longer be ignored; the beaches are closed and a bounty is placed on the killer shark’s head. Brody ultimately finds himself teaming up with an oceanographer and a mercenary shark hunter to try to hunt down a killer great white that’s determined to snack on the denizens of a small island…

As with many horror movie series that started off good and then spiralled off into stupidity, the original Jaws is excellent. The accepted progenitor of the summer blockmuster, Jaws broke box office records of the day and put the fear of Bruce into moviegoers, with the result that beach attendance dropped sharply in 1975. Not bad at all, consider that you don’t even see the shark for the first half of the film. This decision (which legend holds is due to the animatronic shark repeatedly acting up on set) wound of the tension beautifully, to the point that you just about shit yourself when you see the thing for the first time. While nowadays the animatronic shark might seem a bit goofy and fake, nothing quite compares to that initial “OH GOD WHAT THE HELL IS THAT!?” moment.

The core cast was also excellent. Roy Scheider as reasonable authority figure Chief Brody was well-casted, and we share his frustration as he is forced to weigh OMG SHARK against the tourist season (which just proves that mayoral types in 95% of these types of movies just need a kick in the head). Richard Dreyfuss as oceanographer Matt Hooper makes his role as Captain Exposition fit in well, explaining the ways of sharks to non-Islander Brody as well as the audience. He’s the expert – that’s what he was called in to do. Hooper’s foil is Robert Shaw’s Quint, who also knows what sharks can do (his story about the sinking of the Indianapolis is based on actual history) and thus absolutely hates them. This film is surprisingly character-driven for a monster movie, making the plot every bit as much about the human cast as it is about the killer shark. The logical result is that the shark menace is more convincing – you are actually concerned about the people of Amity Island rather than waiting for a bunch of obnoxious sterotypes to get eaten.

If you’re sick of cookie-cutter monster flicks and just want a tense, engaging thriller, step into the Wayback Machine and check out Jaws. It’s by far the best and the scariest of the series, and the progenitor of the summer blockbuster and the modern monster movie.

The Thing (1982)

03/26/2011 2 comments

When you’re stuck in an Antarctic research base over the winter, the only people you can really trust to help you if there’s trouble are your fellow researchers. But what if there’s something there that can imitate anything perfectly? If that happens, you can’t trust anyone… even yourself.

The Thing is a science fiction horror film directed by John Carpenter, ostensibly a remake of The Thing from Another World but actually a more faithful adaptation of the original novella Who Goes There? by John W. Campbell, Jr., and serves at the first part of Carpenter’s Apocalypse Trilogy (followed by The Prince of Darkness and In the Mouth of Madness). It stars Kurt Russell, Wilford Brimley, Keith David, Charles Hallahan, Donald Moffat, and some stomach-churning monster effects by Rob Bottin and Stan Winston.

The Year: 1982. The Location: an American Antarctic research station, manned by a small team of scientists. As the researchers are getting ready to batten down the hatches for the coming winter, they are accosted by a scientist from a nearby Norwegian station, trying frantically to kill a fleeing dog. The Norwegian is hysterical and disoriented, shooting wildly, and the Americans are forced to kill him for their own safety, and adopt the dog. When they investigate the Norwegian camp looking for an explanation, they discover the place is trashed, its personnel variously missing or dead, with evidence that the Norwegians had found something bizarre under the ice. Analyzing the uncovered remains, the research station’s medical examiner comes up blank, except that the hideous, inhuman creature possessed a complete set of humanlike internal organs. It is not long, though, before the researchers discover that the creature is not completely dead, and possesses the ability to assimilate and imitate any living creature it encounters. Remember the dog? Yeah. It soon becomes clear that with this shapeshifting alien on the loose in their station, it is becoming increasingly difficult to tell who is an ally, as the harsh Antarctic winter closes in on all of them…

Paranoia fuel FTW! This tale of unknown malevolence closing in on an isolated group of individuals is further proof that John Carpenter is a genius of horror. The story is tight and nerve-wracking, building the tension as the hours of increasing uncertainly creep by, until you can’t even be sure if MacReady (through whose eyes we largely view the story) is not the Thing. The idea that close friends, family, or even colleagues might have been seamlessly replaced by this malevolent creature whose motives are impossible to guess is the ultimate in paranoia, used in movies ranging from Invasion of the Body Snatchers to Terminator 2, but The Thing offers a claustrophobic twist: you are trapped there with this creature, and it is trapped here with you. Such unrelenting uncertainty leads to desperate reactions to flush out the traitor, the imposter, the Thing pretending to be your friend, until ultimately you reach a “nuke it from orbit” solution: destroy everything and hope it is destroyed too.

The creature effects in this movie are striking and well-done. Created in an age long before CGI was even plausible, the animatronics and puppetry required to bring the Thing to life were designed by Rob Bottin, celebrated master of body horror, with the dog-Thing created by Stan Winston, celebrated master of just about every other kind of monster. The effects are visceral, meaty, and cheerfully gooey, nauseating and terrifying audiences with the mishmash of barely-recognizeable shapes forming in an amorphous pile of Thing – maybe this head reminds you of a dog, or that face reminds you of one of your colleagues, while this limb might almost be a batlike wing. On the other side of the coin, three effects that really stand out are the chest-mouth, the spider-head, and the exploding blood (which is likely to make even the most jaded horror-hound dump his popcorn in a neighbor’s lap). The acting is exemplary as well, considering how many key plot points are dependent on in-universe uncertainty, and a number of scares and twists were kept hidden from the cast until the “boo” moment to allow them to react genuinely.

If you like your horror movies paranoid, your settings claustrophobic, and your aliens weird and pissed off, absolutely grab a copy of The Thing. Watch it with friends and with the lights off.

The Wolfman (2010)


Even a man whose heart is pure
And says his prayers by night
May become a wolf when the wolfbane blooms
And the autumn moon is bright…

Lawrence Talbot is about to have the worst family reunion ever…

The Wolfman is the 2010 remake of the 1941 horror film The Wolf Man. It was directed by Joe Johnston and stars Benicio Del Toro, Anthony Hopkins, Hugo Weaving, Emily Blunt, and werewolf makeup by veteran monster maker Rick Baker.

After Ben Talbot is mauled to death by an unknown creature in Wales, his brother Lawrence is summoned from a stage production of Hamlet by Ben’s fiancee Gwen to find out what happened to him. Lawrence has a tense reunion with his father, Sir John Talbot; Lawrence’s mother had committed suicide when he was a boy, and Lawrence himself had been sent to an insane asylum to cure him of the delusions that John had killed her. Many of the locals blame a nearby troupe of gypsies for the killings, but others claim that there was a similar rash of murders decades ago, with the culprit suspected to be a werewolf. When Lawrence visits the gypsy camp, an old fortune teller named Maleva tells him that an evil had befallen his brother – just before a creature attacks the camp, killing many of the gypsies and leaving Lawrence gravely wounded. Little does Lawrence know that he is about to get an up-close look at the terror menacing the countryside, as well as the dark secrets of his own past, as he finds himself on the run from the police, led by the famed Inspector Aberline…

For some reason it seems to be really hard to make convincing-looking werewolves in recent horror movies. Costumes look like people in bear suits, and CGI tends to look like cheap video game graphics. So, it was refreshing to see filmmakers take a step back towards the Universal Studios roots of the modern werewolf movie and do a wolf-man-style makeup for the title beastie. Rick Baker’s work here in effect helps him come full-circle, as he had been inspired to go into effects makeup by watching the original The Wolf Man, and went on to do the effects in An American Werewolf in London. The wolf man makeup looks great here, espcially considering how much like a werewolf Del Toro looks by default (seriously, he is a very hairy man), and enhancing the transformations with CG only strengthens the effect. Many of the stunts were done with live performers rather than CG, another good move, and the whole thing comes together well to breathe new life into an old legend.

The core cast is also brilliant, composed mainly of veteran actors with a fair amount of experience under their collective belts. Even Emily Blunt, a relative newcomer to horror, is well-experienced in doing period pieces and so is not far outside her usual environment here. Del Toro, as the tortured monster with a grim past, is fantastic here, and he speaks with a very convincing American accent… in, uh, Wales. Most of the Welsh characters default to what sounds like a generic British accent, even Anthony Hopkins (Welsh by birth), but this can be excused due to the likelihood that American theatergoers would know what a Welsh accent is supposed to sound like (slim to none). Fortunately there is a lot of chemistry there, particularly the romantic chemistry that develops between Lawrence and Gwen, and the familial tension between Lawrence and Sir John. And that little oh crap scene where Inspector Aberline sees the brutish reality behind the gypsy tales of the wolfman was extremely satisfying. Aberline was fresh off the Ripper case in London, and here he gets to see what real monsters look like.

If you are looking for a contemporary werewolf movie that backtracks to the roots of the Hollywood werewolf, I highly recommend The Wolfman. A well-woven story, a tight cast, and werewolf effects only lightly supplemented by CGI will leave you howling for more.

Harry and the Hendersons (1987)


Ways to acquire evidence of the existence of Bigfoot:

  • Take a still photograph and hope it turns out clear enough.
  • Capture it on video and hope it is not a bear.
  • Hit one with your station wagon.

A humble surburbanite is about to acquire definitive evidence of the existence of Bigfoot, but this will only be the start of his problems.

Harry and the Hendersons is a comedy film directed, co-produced, and co-written by William Dear. It stars John Lithgow, Melinda Dillon, Margaret Langrick, David Suchet, M. Emmett Walsh, and Kevin Peter Hall as the Dude in the Suit, with Rick Baker’s creature effects as Harry.

When George Henderson accidentally hits a Sasquatch with his station wagon on the way home from a family camping trip, his first reaction is to recognize the biological find of the century and bring home what he thinks is a corpse. However, the Hendersons soon discover that the Sasquatch was merely stunned, and when he wakes up disoriented and out of his element, he bumbles and stumbles through their house, which really wasn’t built to handle a creature that strong. Fortunately, once he gets his bearings the Hendersons realize that the gentle creature doesn’t want to hurt anyone. Unfortunately, the admittedly frightening-looking Sasquatch soon draws the attention of local hunters, including a cryptid hunter named LaFleur, whose life mission is to bag himself a Bigfoot pelt for his trophy room.

Although Harry and the Hendersons is an older film, it still holds up today as a heartwarming comedy featuring a gentle fish out of water. Rick Baker’s phenomenal special effects resulted in one of the most expressive animatronic characters of its day, and even today the range and subtlety of emotion in Harry’s face is still amazing (though most primates would interpret his big toothy grin as a gesture of aggression or fear, but it gets a pass anyway), and the rest of him is brilliantly acted by Dude in the Suit Kevin Peter Hall, seen elsewhere as the similarly imposing title characters of Predator and Predator 2. Despite being about eight feet tall and strong enough to flip a car, Harry is a gentle monster, of a sort not often seen in the 80’s, and his careful movements once he realizes how relatively frail his human friends (and their stuff) are communicate this expertly. An interesting kink in diplomatic relations comes with the discovery that Harry is vegetarian, and gets upset at furs and butchered meat (though certainly he must have seen dead animals in the forest before).

Among the human cast, John Lithgow shines as conflicted hunter and loving dad George, wanting to protect his family from danger – even though one of his “family” is a huge Bigfoot. The rest of the Hendersons are your average 80s comedy family – ambivalent mom, dramatic teenage daughter, overly enthusiastic younger son – as they play off Harry, George, and each other in trying to come to terms with their new hairy friend. David Suchet’s LaFleur is a family-friendly villain, dangerous on paper but ultimately ineffective when he matches wits with his prey and its protectors. He talks the talk, but can’t walk the walk, and while he might pose a vague threat to Harry, you aren’t left with any real sense of danger from him. In fact, Harry seems to be in more peril from Nosy Neighbor Irene (the archetypal bane of friendly monsters everywhere) than any of the potential hunters in the film, but he somehow inspires an instinctive desire to protect him, like he’s a gigantic kitten.

This kid-friendly monster flick remains one of my favorites, even after all these years. I would recommend it to any parent looking for a heartwarming comedy that doesn’t fall into the Death by Newbery Medal trap.

Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem (2007)


The AvP movie franchise had so much promise. It really did. The idea of Xenomorphs and Predators duking it out had been tested in print media, to great success. Both sides were well-detail as far as social structure, weapons, abilities, strengths, and weaknesses as fans of both series tried to calculate who would win, in the style of Deadliest Warrior. Then the first movie came out, and it was… mediocre. Nothing stellar. Of course, Universal seemed to like the idea of taking the Alien franchise to Earth (and portraying the chaos that would ensue in a populated area), so they made a sequel to their mediocre crossover.

Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem is that sequel. Directed by Colin and Greg Strause, AvP:R picks up right where the previous movie left off and stars Steven Pasquale, Reiko Aylesworth, and John Ortiz.

When I say this movie picks up right where the last one left off, I’m not kidding. Reminding the viewer in its first scene how screwed the Predators are when a Predator-Alien hybrid (hereafter Predalien) hatches from the chest cavity of the last surviving Predator from the first film, the film dives right into the action as this nasty critter matures and lays waste to the crew of the Pred ship. A distress signal is sent back to the Predator homeworld, and a single Predator is sent to investigate as the wrecked ship crashes in the woods outside Gunnison, Colorado, releasing a number of facehuggers and the Predalien. The facehuggers are first encountered by a man and his son out hunting, and as these facehuggers appear to still be on the accelerated gestation exhibited in the first AvP, it is not long at all before their guests hatch out. Meanwhile, the Predator lands, investigating the cause of the crash, and we learn that Pred visors can record as well as see in multiple light spectra. In the recording, he sees the beastie that shredded his comrades, and goes searching for it, using a weird blue liquid to destroy any evidence of the Predalien’s predations.

In town, a number of potential victims locals and visitors are seen, including an ex-con returning home to her family, the distressed wife of the hunter, the town sheriff, and a reluctant pizza boy sustenance delivery specialist trying to woo the girl of his dreams, only to incur the wrath of her current douchebag boyfriend soon-to-be-ex. Of course, the human plot soon spirals off into pandemonium when the Predalien takes up light housekeeping in a storm drain with its growing army of offspring, and the Predator heads into town in hot pursuit. And, uh… a monster movie ensues.

This movie managed to be even more mediocre than its predecessor. The quality was neither high enough to be considered a good movie, nor low enough to be an enjoyably bad movie. If you look at it as a pure monster movie, it’s about Sci Fi Original Movie-quality. As an Alien movie, it’s proof that the franchise might be running out of steam, and as a Predator movie, it doesn’t have quite the cultural details that made the hunters in the first two movies engaging, and the human characters are more one-dimensional than the cast of the first AvP. I found myself in the state of mind where I was having a hard time caring about the human side of the plot enough that the Predalien menace was thrilling, and in all the movie seemed to be aiming to shock me or gross me out than really engage me. In other words, it took the qualities that failed in the first and added blood and guts to make the second movie fail harder.

The Xenos in this film are variously bad CGI drones, ugly Xeno costumes (looking distinctly ragged, as opposed to the sleek, efficient design that made Alien and Aliens work so well), or unconvincing CGI chestbursters. The only Xeno that looked good was the Predalien, who combined distinctive traits of both Xenos and Predators, but it didn’t have nearly enough screen time to make up for it. The use of heavy shadows in the fight scenes boded ill for the FX guys’ confidence in the Predalien design, but given the context it mostly worked.

For a long time, the Alien people have wanted to make a “Xenomorphs on Earth” movie. They’ve been kicking it around since the early stages of Alien:Resurrection, and James Cameron was even working on his own Alien 5 script when the AvP movies began production. I hope this isn’t the best they can do. My advice for anyone who decides to try again – take the time to do it right! Putting good monsters in a bad story just makes a bad movie. As for AvP:R, give this one a big miss.