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First trailer for Evil Dead director's Alien: Romulus promises a claustrophobic sci-fi horror drenched in blood and sweat

 Alien Romulus.
Alien Romulus.

The first unsettling look at Alien: Romulus is finally here and, rather unsurprisingly, it's chock full of Facehuggers and centers a frightened group of youngsters trying to evade the snapping jaws and claws of the titular terrifying Xenomorph. But dare to delve deeper, and the trailer seems to promise mystery mixed in with its horror...

Priscilla's Cailee Spaeny gets a Ripley-esque introduction in the teaser, which you can watch above, as her character Raines emerges from an elevator holding a Pulse rifle – an undeniable reference to Sigourney Weaver's iconic hero stepping out of the cargo elevator on her way to the Queen's nest in Aliens

With that, it seems obvious to assume she's the lead, supported by a cast that consists of Madame Web's Isabela Merced, David Johnsson, Archie Renaux, Spike Fearn and Alieen Wu.

Before that, though, the clip ratchets up the tension, as the camera tracks dimly lit space station corridors, with not a soul in sight. As it moves, we start to hear certain characters whimpering and sobbing, before voices can be heard shouting things like, "I don't know what it is," "Get it away from me," and "Open the door!" Then, a bloodcurdling scream lets rip as we pan to see a doorway covered in the gooey red stuff... Shudder...

Spaeny previously revealed where the movie is set in the franchise's timeline in a recent interview with Variety, explaining: "It's supposed to slot in between the first movie and the second movie." In an exclusive trailer breakdown with Total Film, director Fede Alvarez confirmed it takes place 20 years after the original, while Ripley is in hypersleep. "Technology in the world of Alien can change vastly, but I think it's not dependent on time. It's dependent on place, where you are," he noted.

"So the characters of this movie and the world are very blue-collar. The technology is still very low-tech and analogue. And, look, I'm a kid from the ‘80s. Any monitor with some VHS tracking issues puts a lot of joy in my heart."

While we've only just got our first glimpse at the new sci-fi horror sequel, director of the 1979 original Ridley Scott has seen the whole movie, and fortunately for Alvarez, he's a big fan.

"He wanted to watch it on his own. Because it was Alien," Alvarez previously revealed while in conversation with Guillermo del Toro at the DGA Latino Summit 2023. "It was very important to him. He didn't want to have anybody in the room. That makes me even more terrified while I'm waiting. And then he walks into the room and he did say, 'Fede, what can I say? It's fucking great.'"

Alien: Romulus is set to release in theaters on August 16, 2024. For more scares, check out the full list of upcoming horror movies, plus our ranking of the best horror movies of all time.