Alien (A little clunky, but tries to capture some of the themes. I emphasize the fairy tale element, the ambiguous female protagonists, the idea of sexual violence in the kidnapping of the daughter, the idea of frailty and bodily weakness, and the sense of emptiness in space). Synopsis (Move your mouse to reveal the content) Synopsis (open) Synopsis (close) Same opening mood as the original film. The vastness and emptiness of space. Open on a world of harsh rocks, vivid oceans and grey-white mists. Dream-like. The world has only one structure - an atmospheric processor. Something went wrong during colonization. Only one processor was built, and only two colonists survived. Mother and Daughter. They live alone with the single functioning processor. It is a castle. The idea of princess and wicked queen. But Mother is not evil. She has vowed to carry on the colony's work - to document the planet and its ecosystem and to keep the processor functioning. Daughter was born to her during the first days of planetfall. She is 15/16, the cusp of puberty. She helps where she can, but likes to wander and look out to the ocean. First half hour of the film is spent in solitude. There is emptiness. Mother works and Daughter roams the planet, picking up rocks, examining tiny creatures, watching the chemical oceans. Images of Classical Romanticism. It is poetic and empty. Mother tells Daughter stories of the old world and the other colonies, and warns her of monsters in the depths of the Processor building. Daughter fears the dark of the castle - stays outside whenever she can. Spends her days staring at the ocean, thinking she can almost see something. Then their world is shattered. The sky breaks, and with thunder and commotion something descends. A deep-space ship, massive and rain soaked. It lowers. Daughter runs back to the castle. Mother embraces her. They hide. The ship lands a few miles from the castle. Silence. A day passes. Mother locks down the castle and spirals into paranoia. Eventually, the airlock of the ship opens. From the window Mother and Daughter watch a skeleton crew emerge. They are weird creatures, in ill-fitting space suits. Some can barely walk, others limp or drag themselves. Some stop to cough or convulse. A zombiefied advance. They reach the castle and hammer on the doors. Mother yells through the intercom - tells them to leave. Human voices answer. They are space-travellers. Though crippled and malformed they are yet human. Daughter disobeys Mother, runs down to the outer doors and manually overrides. The visitors come into the castle. Second Act of the film. The newcomers reveal they are colonists, the first to be evacuated from the next system. Their planet was struck by an asteroid. They were shipped out on a medical vessel, because they were patients, terminal cases, bedridden infirm, amputees and manics. There are no heroes here. They had to land due to a malfunction, which killed the more capable medical staff. Only the stasis chamber with the patients survived. They managed to pilot the ship to land, pooling their expertise and overcoming their ailments. Mother grudgingly accommodates them while they make repairs to the ship. Daughter is intrigued by them. She befriends many of the newcomers, seeing past their ugliness. They tell her of the colonies and the universe beyond. She feels a sense of belonging. In return she tells them of her life here with Mother, of her nightmares, and of the monsters in the atmospheric processor. One of the colonists is an engineer. He stumbles upon the control room for the processor and glances over the readouts. He sees something wrong. The chemical output is not correct. Mother discovers him and demands he leave, without answering his questions. Another colonist is wily and curious. After hearing about the monsters he slips past Mother's vigilance and makes it down into the basement. He finds strange machines, haunting labs, stockpiles of chemicals, genetic material and medicines - the entirety of the original colony's supplies. He is killed. A horrifying glimpse. A creature, humanoid but utterly alien. A xenomorph in the darkness. Days pass. The ship is almost repaired. The man's body is found washed up in the ocean. It is brought back to the castle. Mother is the only doctor. She examines and finds infection - an embryo in the corpse's lungs. She puts the body in stasis and tells the others to keep away. Another man dies. Daughter tells the colonists of the monster. Some believe her. Some want to go down into the processor, to find and kill the xenomorph. Mother finds out and seals the basement. She refuses to let anyone investigate. The engineer character confronts her about the output from the processor - accuses her of poisoning herself and her child. Mother goes berserk. Starts sealing rooms and killing life support. Colonists flee. They take Daughter with them, despite her protests. They think they are saving her. They get the girl aboard the ship and finish last repairs. Mother is outside, hammering on airlock, screaming for them to return her daughter. They refuse. The ship launches and Mother flees from the take-off blast. The ship lifts into the clouds, pierces the atmosphere, and is gone. Camera zooms out on Mother, huddling at the edge of the blast crater. The sea beyond her has been displaced by the take-off, and the waves peel back from the half-glimpsed wreckage of another spaceship. It looks familiar... from films before. Also, Mother is wearing a modified space-suit - black and ridged, customized with strange spines and boney appendages. She looks like a xenomorph. Cut to the spaceship, entering orbit. The colonists are free of the planet and the mad queen. Their ship is fixed and they can continue the journey back to Earth. Daughter unclasps the helmet of her spacesuit, breathes the artificial atmosphere of the ship... and collapses. Coughing, screaming and convulsions. The character we thought the protagonist is now contorted. Blood sprays. Skin tears. A xenomorph bursts from her chest and scurries into hiding. Nightmare follows, condensed and relentless. The creature is loose in the medical bay. It grows, it hungers. It picks the disabled colonists off, one-by-one. With the protagonist dead the focus shifts to another character, as it did in the original film. Someone unexpected. They are left alone in the cavernous ship, with the alien hunting them. And all they have for comfort is a voice. It comes through the comms-system, relayed from the planetary transmitter below. It is Mother. She tells the survivor how her Daughter was impregnated, by a facehugger that destroyed the original terraforming crew. It crashed on the planet with the Sulaco, and plunged into the ocean. It was this the Daughter would glimpse beneath the waves. The other terraformers were killed as they finished the atmospheric processer. And Mother herself added the final touch: a chemical that her Daughter could breathe and which would keep the egg in her lungs from growing. Mother feared the Colonists would take her daughter from the sedative atmosphere. That is why she killed the ones in the basement; and why she scared her daughter by dressing in a spacesuit that triggered memories of the horror that befell the other terraformers. But now it is too late. When they took her Daughter from the sedative atmosphere, the gestation resumed. Mother knows that her daughter is dead, and that she is alone now, just as the survivor is. They cling to each others voices as the distance between them grows, and as the xenomorph hunts. The Survivor has only once chance. They get to the propulsion systems and disable the engines. The ship loses momentum and begins to spiral back into re-entry. At the same moment the xenomorph corners the Survivor. There is a last desperate battle as the ship plunges. The Survivor kills it, somehow, then braces for impact as the ship slams into the sea. More silence. More emptiness. The camera moves across the wreckage of the ship. A hatch unlocks. The Survivor clambers out. Terrified, injured and alone. No... not alone.... The Survivor looks to the distant shore and sees the Castle. It is time to find Mother... THE END.