4. Alien vs. Predator (2004)
We’re just going to say it: You don’t really have to watch this one. Just going to say, right now, if you want to skip this one, and the next one, nobody’s going to judge you. The plot is ripped straight from H.P. Lovecraft’s At the Mountains of Madness. Predators (these ones don’t get names, because this film doesn’t count) expose an ancient pyramid on an island off the coast of Antartica. Charles Bishop Weyland (Lance Henriksen), who looks spookily like the robot Bishop from Aliens, assembles one of those teams of archaeologists that also include a lot of mercenaries to go and take a look.
It turns out the pyramid is some of xenomorph-worshiping temple, and a bunch of xenomorphs escape! The Predators and Aliens then run round trying to kill each other until the surviving human and Predator have to make an unlikely alliance and jump away from an explosion in the climax.
Even this makes it sound more fun than it is. You come away respecting both of the universe’s deadliest killers less.
5. Alien vs. Predator: Requiem (2007)
Okay, pay attention because this is going to be important later. Don’t put Predators in small towns or suburbs. Out in the wildest and most inhospitable environments you can think of? Brilliant, love it. Call of the wild, red in tooth and claw, absolutely, it’s what we’re here for. The center of a nightmarish urban sprawl? Counterintuitive, but it works! It highlights the parallels between the city of the wild, showing that the veneer of civilization is thin wherever you look, and that a big city can be as hostile as any wilderness.
But you shouldn’t put the Predator up against a location whose best defense is that the Predator will get bored and go home. To keep its interest, we have the return of the xenomorphs of Aliens, and a hybrid “Predalien” from the last film which probably sounds like a really cool concept if you’re 12 rather than something that negates the terrifying things about both its parents.
It also gives us a glimpse of the Predators’ home planet, continuing to depict the Predators as “higher budget but slightly rubbish Klingons.” Skip this one too if you like.