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Alien: Romulus teaser trailer brings terror back to outer space

Cailee Spaeny in Alien: Romulus.
20th Century Studios

After 45 years, the Alien franchise is ready to scream again. Director Ridley Scott’s 1979 classic, Alien, was the perfect blend of sci-fi and horror, with a xenomorph creature that was genuinely frightening. James Cameron took a more action-oriented approach in Aliens, and none of the subsequent sequels embraced horror like the original film. That’s going to change later this year when Alien: Romulus arrives in theaters. The first teaser trailer has been released, and the xenomorphs haven’t been this scary in decades.

One of the big reasons why the teaser feels so tense is because the xenomorph isn’t shown until the final seconds. However, the opening scene of the teaser also captures the sensation of terror in the form of the distant screams of the main characters. Even the facehuggers seem genuinely threatening here, and we’ve never seen them swarm or move as quickly as they do in these preview clips.

Director Fede Álvarez has a background in horror, including the impressively intense 2013 remake of Evil Dead, as well as Don’t Breathe. Álvarez also came up with the story for Alien: Romulus and co-wrote the script with his frequent collaborator, Rodo Sayagues.

A man stands in a space ship hallway in Alien: Romulus.
20th Century Studios

The film is a standalone sequel that is set during the decades between Alien and Aliens. Priscilla star Cailee Spaeny is headlining the movie as Rain Carradine. So if anyone is going to make it out of this mess alive, it’s her. Isabela Merced co-stars as Kay, and its her voice that is heard screaming in terror during the opening seconds of this teaser. David Jonsson, Archie Renaux, Spike Fearn, and Aileen Wu round out the rest of the announced cast.

Alien: Romulus will hit theaters on August 16.