The New 'Alien: Covenant' VR Experience Takes the POV of a Chestburster

Wednesday, 26 April 2017 - 12:53PM
Alien
Alien: Covenant
Wednesday, 26 April 2017 - 12:53PM
The New 'Alien: Covenant' VR Experience Takes the POV of a Chestburster
Image credit: 20th Century Fox
When we heard that Alien: Covenant would feature something called a "mouthburster," we were prepared to see some awful, horrifying stuff—bulging throats, unhinged jaws, etc. Combined with the spiny, porcupine-like "backbursters" and the weird, white albino aliens, Ridley Scott's nightmare technicians have no shortage of new ways to eviscerate people in Covenant. That's fine by us. 

But if Covenant is meant to be a return to form for the franchise, it's also a jumping-off point for more refined methods of disturbing people. Case in point: the Alien crew just released a new VR experience called Alien: Covenant In Utero, where you are the chestburster.

Last week, we sat in on a panel with Syfy and Digital Domains about how to tell a story in VR, including promos and one-off experiences. The takeaway was that VR ends up being one of the most visceral, immersive experiences you can get, if done right. One of the big issues, though, is how to manage point of view. Cunningly, the "In Utero" in Alien's VR experience means "in the womb". And that's your POV.



David Karlak, who directed this two-minute, 360 degree experience, says "For me, it was about giving the audience an element of wish fulfillment. We've always been on the receiving end of [the] violence."
 
And that's true—for fans of the Alien films, and John Hurt's iconic death scene from the original movie, Alien is all about the thrill and terror of being hunted down or taken over by something alien. In Utero gives a perspective we never get to see, and one we frankly don't want to see. It's disturbing to inhabit the headspace and point of view of one of these monsters as it rips someone open. Still, we loved Alien because it pushed boundaries and dug up deep-seated fears we didn't know we had, and that's what In Utero seems to touch on. We'd try it on those grounds alone, as long as there were heavy sedatives on-hand.

Alien: Covenant hits US theaters May 19th, 2017. In Utero is out now for the Oculus Rift.
 
Science Fiction
Sci-Fi Movies
Alien
Alien: Covenant
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