A return to the more confined, claustrophobic setting of Alien by director David Fincher (Gone Girl, Se7en) after the excesses of James Cameron’s Aliens, Alien 3 was surprisingly slammed by critics and fans alike.
Having escaped LV-426 and the egg-laying Queen with Corporal Hicks and young girl Newt at the end of Aliens, Ripley’s hyper sleep is not what was anticipated. A crash landing on Fiorina 161, an all-male maximum security prison, reveals her two companions dead – and Ripley (Sigourney Weaver – Avatar, Ghostbusters) far from alone.
The few almost forgotten inmates within the decrepit prison structure are sitting ducks as, after initial deep suspicion, Ripley convinces the men there’s a threat far greater than she as a woman (many of the men have found a episcopalian religion under the leadership of Leonard Dillon (a deeply threatening Charles S. Dutton – Legion, A Time to Kill)). But then Ripley discovers she has more bad news.
Stylishly shot in a muted grey palette, Fincher’s austere, character-driven episode of the franchise is less blockbuster, more arthouse.
Nominated for best visual effects Oscar in 1993.