Thankfully, they did something different. I don't want to drop any spoilers here, but the real horror in this film is not something bursting out of a chest, but rather the moment in the film when you realise why these alien giants created us and why the human race is going to have to die. Great concepts. I also loved Cthulhu and the frantic surgery the black supermutator catalyst gloop. And I loved the look of the film. So creepy. It's eerily similar to a place I've written about in my latest book. Also, Michael Fassbender was excellent. And so was Noomi thingy. And I love the irony in the final scenes and that the title works on multiple levels.
Some people over on IMDB have complained about certain flaws in the story. Notably - our protagonists just happen to stumble upon the alien base very quickly, and that as scientists they shouldn't have removed their helmets even if the air was safe. Well, yeah. But this is a story. The helmets come off so you can see the actors' faces, which allows them to act. Even these new see through plastic bubbles still create a barrier between you and the actor. And finding the base so quickly? As opposed to what? Flying round the surface for several days, mapping and taking readings? I don't want to spend four days in the cinema watching that. It's like the point William Goldman makes about unrealistic things that always happen in films - one of which is that a character can always park outside of a building he is visiting. In real life, Mel Gibson would drive around for 45 mins trying and failing to find a goddamn space for his Ferrari. But who wants to watch that? So - he gets there, parks, on we go. They get the planet, here's the base, on we go. If dreary realism is more important than story then turn off your TV and watch a blank screen for two hours. That's as real as it gets.
I did wonder why Michael Fassbender's character wears a helmet outside. Maybe they'd filmed him without a helmet initially, discovered that it spoiled the fantasy of a poisonous atmosphere, then rescripted it to give him a reason to wear it? And I smiled when, near the start of the film, they point out that one whole section is a self contained lifeboat. Whenever someone says something like that, you know the main ship is going to be destroyed. Was that a spoiler? Not really.
So the story's not perfect. Which story is? I think it's damn fine, an order of magnitude better than the previous Alien films, which is what it needed to be. Alien one and two were both great, but there comes a time when you have to move on. And that black gloop has opened up a whole new Pandora's box of possibilities.