Why Fans Hated Alien Vs Predator Requiem’s Predalien

Although 2007’s Alien vs. Predator sequel Alien vs. Predator: Requiem was always going to be fighting a losing battle with franchise fans, the Predator/Alien hybrid Predalien may have been the least-liked element of the movie for numerous reasons. Despite the two competing sci-fi horror franchises both being beloved by legions of fans, the Alien and Predator movies have never had much success when it comes to crossovers. Released in 2004, the first Alien vs. Predator was a critical flop (although a financial success) that failed to capitalize on the potential of its titular face-off thanks to its inexplicable PG-13 rating.

However, while that kid-friendly rating may have sanitized the first theatrical showdown between the two legendary titans of sci-fi horror, a later sequel proved that gore alone did not a good Alien vs. Predator movie make. 2007’s Alien vs. Predator: Requiem was a hard-R sci-fi horror that did not skimp on gruesome violence, but still proved even less popular with fans and critics than its predecessor. This was due to a broad range of factors from an unfocused story to inexcusably bad lighting, but perhaps the biggest issue with Alien vs. Predator: Requiem came in the movie's attempt to combine the two eponymous monsters.

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A lot of things went wrong with Alien vs. Predator: Requiem, but the hybrid of the two titular villains was high on the list. The Predalien had been teased even before the release of Alien vs. Predator and the villain's potential was obvious to fans of both franchises. Where the Predator was a hulking, well-armed killing machine, the Xenomorph’s power came from its speed and agility. Where the Predator was as smart as (if not even smarter than) its human enemies and could outplay, outwit, and outmaneuver them, the Xenomorph’s animalistic savagery meant there was no hope of reasoning, striking a bargain, or even communicating with the villain. Put simply, the two monsters represented opposing ends of the “mindlessly destructive/scarily smart” and “unpredictable/meticulous” styles of villainy, like Freddy vs. Jason’s two villains. This served to make the Predalien’s screen debut all the more of a letdown for several reasons.

In an attempt to fuse the muscular build of the Predator and the lithe, reptilian design of the Xenomorph, the Predalien leaned too far into the former and ended up with a hulking, bulky monster that looked too ungainly to be scary. Frequently trapped in doorframes, the Predalien made the massive Alien Queen look sleek and subtle and was far too psychically large to be a believably stealthy threat. While this would be fine for scenes wherein the monster took on numerous people at once, scenes of the gigantic Predalien somehow sneaking around unnoticed were considered laughably unrealistic. Alien’s original Xenomorph design was so popular that the monster even influenced early drafts of the Predator’s look but, unfortunately, the Predalien joined the Neomorphs and the Newborn as further proof that no one but James Cameron could improve on the original monster.

While the Xenomorph was a thoughtless, instinct-driven monster, the Predator was always at least as smart as its human opponents. This made the fusion of the former’s savagery with the latter’s wit a scary prospect. Sadly, Alien vs. Predator: Requiem squandered this potentially scary setup by making the Predalien as unthinking as a standard Xenomorph. The monster barged through the sequel’s action without any strategy or forward-thinking, making the Predalien no functionally different from a normal Xenomorph. While Ridley Scott’s original horror proved that a lone Xenomorph could be a terrifying threat that was able to sustain an entire movie alone, Alien vs. Predator: Requiem missed an opportunity to offer a smarter, more strategically-minded variation on the famous movie monster.

Infamously, the persistent low lighting of Alien vs. Predator: Requiem made it difficult to even see the Predalien during its attacks. This was the movie’s most unexpected and inexcusable technical issue, but the sequel already had problems when it came to the monster’s choice of victims. While the Predalien could have been pitted against tough human foes like Aliens’ space marines, Predator’s lethal mercenaries, or the cops and criminals of Predator 2, Alien vs. Predator: Requiem instead saw the massive monster attack and slaughter a maternity ward and a group of unhoused people. Even for the standards set by both the Alien and Predator franchises, this made it impossible to find much fun in the Predalien’s killing spree and left Alien vs. Predator: Requiem’s action feeling unusually mean-spirited and grim. Additionally, the choice of opponents also lessened the creature's overall impact. By pitting it against characters that had no hope of standing up to it, fans were denied the opportunity to see the Predalien really test its strength. This made it a far less intimidating and interesting antagonist than it might have been.

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While many fans regard Alien vs. Predator: Requiem as an unequivocal failure, an earlier plan could have proved even more disappointing. In the earliest script drafts, the Predalien died within the movie’s first few minutes and the rest of the movie revolved around Predators picking up the pieces of their lost ship before Xenomorphs escaped and over-ran earth—completely dropping the Predalien concept. Luckily, Alien vs. Predator: Requiem kept the Predalien instead and reconfigured the movie’s story so that the plot followed Wolf, a comparatively heroic bounty hunter Predator, and their attempts to track down the monster as well as the Predalien’s rampage of death and destruction.

Admittedly, keeping the Predalien alive for the entirety of the sequel’s action was nowhere near enough to save Alien vs. Predator: Requiem from critical ignominy. However, while the creature design was ungainly, the choice of kills was horribly bleak, and the Predalien’s intelligence level was far lower than fans anticipated, the sequel did at least center around the monster itself and couldn’t be faulted for making the most of its poorly designed killer. An Alien vs. Predator movie that killed off the hybrid in its first scene would have doomed the Alien franchise further and likely resulted in even worse reviews, meaning the sequel avoided at least one major pitfall by vetoing this opening. That said, that choice was about all that Alien Vs Predator: Requiem’s Predalien got right according to disappointed Alien and Predator fans alike.

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