Hallelujah! Christmas has finally swung in my direction. No more Tim Allen (though I like him), no Decking the Halls or Jingling of Bells but BLOOD. Sweeney Todd spills the red stuff and Alien vs Predatorreturns with a bucket of vengeance.

This installment of the Sci-Fi franchises sees a downed Predator ship loose a gaggle of alien Facehuggers in small town Colorado. Needing to hide their existence and kill all the little bastard aliens for fun and sport, an ace Predator is dispatched to clean up the mess.

Meanwhile on Earth, a memento from the previous installment, a Predalien (Predator Alien combo) is busy tearing out stomachs, slaughtering the homeless, and breaking up families the hard way. Toss into that a random smattering of unhappy people including the ex-con, the ex-guardsman (guardswoman?), the jerk, the hottie, and the sheriff, and you’ve got a blood splattered holiday.

There aren’t too many surprises plot wise, but in the execution the movie shines. It’s well directed, reasonably well acted, and it looks great. Oh and they kill kids. And pregnant ladies. That’s right, no one is spared. Normally cute things and young things get sparred. Not this time around.

I had a lot of fun with this, this is what the original AvP should have been. A balls out war featuring lots of shooting, stabbing, and beheading. It’s no Oscar-contender (well, maybe best SFX) but it definitely entertains with its splatterings of red and green.

On a great special note, the vast majority of the special effects are practical, that is, real flesh, plastic, and goo. Not a lot of CGI going on here and the movie is better off because of it.

If this movie appeals to you at all, then I think you’ll enjoy it. I sure did. The fights were good, the effects awesome, the Predalien cool, the gore top notch and the ending tight.

This is what Christmas is all about!

Grade: B+

The Upside: Great practical effects, good alien on alien on human action.

The Downside: The characters are cliche, but it was fine by me.

On the Side: This is the Brothers Strauses first real effort at directing – and they even took the time to still do the VFX supervising on it!

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