C2E2: Alien 40th Anniversary Shorts

2019 is Ridley Scott’s Alien‘s 40th Anniversary. To commemorate the event, 20th Century Fox along with Tongal has invited several up-and-coming filmmakers to try their hand at creating original stories that play off the brand’s characters and creations. After 550 submissions were received and sifted through, 6 were chosen to extend the franchise’s story. At C2E2, 4 of these shorts screened: Containment, Harvest, Night Shift, and Alone.

Containment opens with four survivors in an escape pod from a doomed space station. Directed by Chris Reading, if you’ve ever seen the Doctor Who episode Mightnight the short plays out as such. The four people caught in this tin can learn to distrust each other as they decipher what comes next.

Harvest is another short that opens with four people, one being pregnant, as they attempt to reach the ship’s escape pods before they crash to the surface of a planet. However, an Alien lurks in the shadows and they have only an axe and tracker to lead them to safety. The film is directed by Benjamin Howdeshell.

Night Shift takes us off a ship, and instead plummets us into an outpost. Operated by an older man and a younger woman, they’re visited upon by two inhabitants looking to make a supply run before the shop closes. Directed by Aidan Breznick, the film concludes with the younger female worker left to restore order even as the shop descends into chaos.

Alone is a subversive film, as an AI has been left to her own design on the abandoned ship Otranto. Long forgotten, with a ship that’s falling apart (including herself), she makes a desperate attempt to find human life… even after she finds a mysterious artifact. Directed by Noah Miller.

All four of the shorts are pretty extraordinary, considering there are no massive budgets behind them. Alone is probably the most exceptional of the four, and the most endearing and ingenious. Still, if these four represent the overall quality of the six, then Alien fans will have much to look forward to in 2019.

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