‘Alien: Romulus’ Scares CinemaCon with Bloody, Bone-Cracking Footage of Creatures Shredding Human Chests

The venerable “Alien” franchise has nearly 10 films under its belt and, somehow, every time a space crew member’s chest bursts open and a horrifying little creature crawls out we’re still terrified.

Such was the case on Thursday at CinemaCon, the annual convention of movie theater owners in Las Vegas, where Disney showed off an extended look at its latest entry “Alien: Romulus.” Directed by Fede Álvarez (“Don’t Breathe,” “Evil Dead”), the movie follows a group of solar explorers who stumble on an abandoned space station. Guess what’s on board?

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Cailee Spaeny leads a next-gen cast of unfortunate souls that must contend with creatures with fun names like facehuggers and Xenomorphs. An extended trailer shows the team navigating dilapidated terrain as tensions escalate, bodies pile up, bones crack and blood starts to spill.

Spaeny, whose star continues to rise after breakout performances in Sofia Coppola’s “Priscilla” and the newly released “Civil War” from Alex Garland, leads a cast which incudes Archie Renaux (“Upgraded”) and Isabela Merced (“Superman,” “The Last of Us”).

“Alien: Romulus” is the seventh installment in the “Alien” franchise, excluding the “Alien vs. Predator” crossover event films. In a late March interview with Variety, director Álvarez explained where, indeed, his movie takes place in the larger cinematic timeline.

Set in between the events of franchise titles by Ridley Scott and James Cameron’s, “Romulus” will draw heavily on the tone and style of both. “What Ridley and Cameron told me — the only way to make this movie is you have to be involved at every level. These are very handmade movies from their directors, that’s why they’re so unique,” the director said, who shot VFX sequences himself and worked beside the puppeteering team to help those menacing aliens terrorize yet another space crew.

“Alien: Romulus” hits theaters on August 16.

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