The 2000s was the decade that gave us the rivals movies we wanted as horror fans. Freddy and Jason duked it out in 2003, and the tease of Predator 2 was finally delivered a year later as we got the heavyweight slugfest between Alien and Predator. Both had an air of being careful what you wish for though.
Ever since we saw that xenomorph skull (which gets dafter the more you think about it) in the finale of the highly underappreciated Predator 2, people had been hoping, wishing, and waiting for a proper match between two of sci-fi horror’s biggest names. They fought in novels, comics, and video games, but that crossover movie smackdown still eluded them.
In 2004, on this very day, AvP: Alien vs. Predator became a very real thing. Directed by Paul W.S. Anderson (don’t hold that against it), we got a version of tales told in other mediums. Predators, or the Yautja, have long used xenomorphs as prey for their ritualistic hunts. Humans, led by Charles Bishop Weyland (Lance Henriksen) excavate an ancient hunting ground in Antarctica and cluelessly walk into the middle of the latest hunt. The living human element causes some chaos and the xenomorphs take being fodder a lot less kindly than the Predators expect.
Whoever Wins, We Lose
I’m no fan of Paul W. S. Anderson, and I definitely wish we’d had someone better for this film., but he still manages to deliver an iconic moment as human survivor Alexa Woods (Sanaa Lathan) does a badass team-up with a Predator to slay the Alien menace.
There’s no denying this isn’t the optimal way to squash the AvP beef, but it’s a damn sight, and better than what we got in AvP2: Requiem, a sequel that I personally count as one of the worst films in existence. At least when I could actually see it.
Just like Freddy vs. Jason, AvP: Alien vs. Predator buckled under the weight of expectation, but it didn’t stop the end product from being a highly entertaining popcorn flick.