Making a prequel to the widely-adored Alien series was never going to be an easy task for Ridley Scott. With Prometheus, he has attempted to impress his fans once more, but reviewers appear undecided as to whether or not it can live up to his past glories. USA Today were quick to praise the movie's potential to thrill, though the responsibility for achieving that seems to fall squarely in the hands of the special effects department. Is there more to Prometheus than flashy effects, though?
The movie's ending seemed to be something of an afterthought, with Rolling Stone's Peter Travers commenting "The ending isn't squishy scary or deeply satisfying. Bummer. Otherwise, Prometheus kicks ass so hard and often that it's impossible not to be thrilled by it." Writing for Los Angeles Times, Sam Adams praised the movie, adding a sharp reminder that it is, first and foremost, a horror film, "gnawing at subconscious terrors even as your conscious mind attempts to bat it away."
Others, however, reckoned that it wasn't anywhere near as scary as it should have been; "not once did I jump out of my skin," claimed a disappointed TIME Magazine reviewer. And Empire magazine's scribe was equally unimpressed, saying "Buffeted by a lack of suspense, threadbare characters, and a very poor script, the stunning visuals, gloopy madness, and sterling Fassbenderiness can't prevent Prometheus feeling like Alien's poor relation." In all, Prometheus seems to have survived the wrath of its critical reception, even if doubt has been cast over whether or not it can compete with its cinematic forebears.