When the original trailer for Alien brought the fathomless dark of space to TVs across Earth in the summer of 1979, the erratic flashes of humans panicking, humans screaming, and things that were definitely not human said both everything and nothing. Somehow it left an imprint on enough people’s nightmares to become an extraterrestrial blockbuster without dropping any spoilers.
As Bloody-Disgusting notes, the closest that trailer came to spoiling anything about the movie was that shot of blinding light seeping from a crack in the ovomorph egg near the end, and you just knew whatever was going to emerge from it couldn’t possibly be just a few gamma rays. You knew that in space, no one could hear you scream — and you were dying to find out why.
Maybe moviegoers have evolved since then. Blatant spoilers have become a thing almost 40 years later, in this age of speculative tweeting and elaborate Reddit fan theories. Everyone wants to know everything about a movie before the opening credits, which is why the official Alien Facebook page has just hatched a trailer that reimagines what a preview for the sci-fi thriller would have been like in the age of need-it-now fandom.
As you’ve probably guessed, the trailer reboot is unapologetically spoilery, revealing the facehugger, chestburster, and xenomorph that lurked in the shadows of the original version. But. The way this has been reimagined almost spawns more questions than the original. Just pretend you’re watching it as someone who’s never even heard of the Alien franchise before (just as no one had yet in 1979). The words “Human? Unknown” should make your bone marrow freeze. Then you’re bombarded with grotesque visuals of creatures that aren’t supposed to exist, but do exist, in this universe. You still don’t know what they are. You still don’t know what they’re after. Most importantly, you still don’t know if anyone on the Nostromo will survive.
So which trailer wins? That might be an impossible call. Both of them are designed to breed questions about what exactly is multiplying out there. The modernized one just asks more specific questions, though you have to admit anything as gruesome as an unclassified organism exploding from someone’s ribcage is going to make you want to get in line (or online) for a ticket.