Horror Education of the Week: ‘Prometheus’

promcover

Prometheus.

Some of you liked it. The majority of you hated it.

I adore it.

The prequel/not a prequel to Alien (and now maybe it’s a sequel to Blade Runner) follows Dr. Elizabeth Shaw and Dr. Charlie Holloway, along with a crew, to LV-223. After finding multiple drawings across Earth, all depicting the same god-like figure, they set out on their journey to this distant planet. There they hope to find the answers to mankind.

Perhaps Prometheus can be seen as a warning to our society to not put our trust in man as a god. It can also be seen as a warning to not put all of our faith in an invisible God.


Prometheus blows my mind. There are so many complex themes and imagery in it that makes me want to watch it on repeat. I cannot do it justice. There is simply no possible way. I state this with every article where I present ideas to you, but this time I truly mean it. To give every ounce I believe this film deserves would take weeks if not months.

I think Prometheus affects me strongly because I grew up Catholic. I learned the Bible in a manner where I was told that I was special – because I was one of the few that believed in THE ONE TRUE GOD. In the last few years, any ounce of belief has left me. I still hope that there is some purpose to life or a higher being that put all of this into existence, but I simply can no longer put my faith into something I cannot see.

While I cannot give Prometheus the analysis it deserves, I can present the greatest, most obvious theme throughout this incredible film. The concept of God.

From the beginning, Prometheus is saturated with religion.

- The opening of Prometheus opens with a god-like engineer sacrificing himself. As his body deteriorates, it is washed away and DNA broken down. DNA we later discover is identical to human DNA.

- He has sacrificed himself, like Jesus, so that we shall live.

- The name Elizabeth is the Greek transliteration of the Hebrew name Elisheva, meaning “God’s promise”, “oath of God”, or “I am God’s daughter”.

- Elizabeth is always wearing her father’s cross, showing she has faith in God.

- The name Charles is from the Germanic word karl meaning “free man”.

- Charlie’s faith is in science, much like Charles Darwin.

- When Prometheus lands, the captain is seen setting up a Christmas tree. The celebration of the birth of the Son of God.

- There is constant dialogue throughout the movie on what the characters believe, and what they have faith in.

- Elizabeth’s mission is to find the creators. Her thoughts are that the engineers created us, and she wants to know who created them.

- In the pyramid, the crew find the chamber full of the vases of death. This scene is very reminiscent of the egg chamber in Aliens, as mentioned a few weeks ago.

- Behind the giant head in the chamber, is a mural. The mural shows a familiar alien being in a very crucified Christ pose. Yes, it’s our Space Jesus.

- When Charlie and Elizabeth argue about the discovery of the fallen engineers, Charlie states that the realization is that nothing is special. Anyone can create life.

- We then learn that Elizabeth is sterile and cannot conceive. This idea is very important.

- In the Gospel of Luke, Mary, the mother of Jesus, asks how she is to conceive and bear a son, since she is a virgin. She is told it will happen by the power of God.

- After Charlie is infected and is killed, Elizabeth is told by David that she is pregnant. A virgin birth of sorts by the power of the engineer gods.

- Wrapped much like Christ on the cross, Elizabeth preforms surgery to remove the alien embryo from her.

- “Sometimes to create, one must destroy.”

- This quote can be seen everywhere in the Bible, perhaps the most prominent in the Old Testament with the story Noah and his ark. God sends constant rain upon the earth to flood and destroy it so that select humans can start over.

- In the Bible, King David is chosen by God.

- David in the film is stated by Peter Weyland to be his only son. Much like Jesus to God.

- A parallel of the Bible story of David and Goliath can be seen in Prometheus.

- Goliath was a giant and a warrior. David struck Goliath in the forehead with a stone from his sling. Goliath fell dead, and David took Goliath’s sword and beheaded him.

- The Bible story’s point was to show that Goliath represented paganism, and David represented a true faith in God.

- The engineer can be seen as the Goliath figure in Prometheus, however, with the stones of words that David throws, he is far from victorious and ends up being the one beheaded.

- In the Bible, Jesus asks his disciples, “Who do you say that I am?” Simon answers, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

- Jesus says that Simon is “blessed” to see his true identity. Jesus then calls Simon by the name “Peter” – from the word ‘rock’ in Greek.

- “On this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hell will not prevail against it.” (Matthew 16:13-20)

- The idea that Peter Weyland hopes to learn the secret to eternal life on LV-223 – a giant rock – can be interpreted in a much deeper sense from the above quote.

- The first scene we see the awakened Peter Weyland, he is having his feet washed.

- At the beginning of the Last Supper, Jesus washed his disciples’ feet. Peter refused to let Jesus wash his feet to which Jesus said: “If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me”, Peter replied: “Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head”. (John 13:2-11)

- The idea that Weyland’s feet are being washed just before his “last supper” so to speak, is quite significant.

- Weyland’s last words are: “There’s nothing.”

- David answers, “I know. Have a good journey, Mr. Weyland.”

- In the deleted scenes and extras in the dvd set of Prometheus, we see additional amounts of religious imagery.

- At the 2023 TED Conference, Peter Weyland gives a grand speech culminating in “We are the gods now.”

- In an extended conversation with the engineer at the end of the film, Weyland tells him that he made David in his own image. For that, he deserves to live forever as he, too, is a god.

- In a transmission to Weyland, Elizabeth pleas for his assistance, stating “Do you ever feel all the science in the world will never give us the answers we really want?”

- In the end, Elizabeth puts her father’s cross back on as David asks her, “After all this, you still believe, don’t you?”

  • staindFAN

    I adored this film as well, it’s easily in my top 5 films to be released this year. I just got through the near 4 hour making of special feature on the bluray last night. I saw it twice in the theater and watched it once on bluray, I plan on watching it again soon. I can’t wait until the next comes around.

    • Lauren Taylor

      Agreed. I cannot wait for another watch. Thanks for commenting! :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/KellenHeller666 Kellen Dionne

    The blu-ray has been on a constant loop since it came out! I really hope Ridley directs the next one!

    • Lauren Taylor

      Rock on!

  • djblack1313

    i didn’t hate the movie (i saw it twice in theaters, once on DVD and even bought the book of art from the movie) but i was very disappointed with the movie. i see signs and shades of a true masterpiece in there but it’s quelled with a terrible script.

    the Milburn/vagina snake part is IMO so abysmal that it’s mind numbing. first off, the 2 lost men (and the rest of the crew) had ability to contact the ship (so why when they thought they were lost didn’t they do that). next, both men were freaked out with the decap’d Engineer, then when they find the bodies stacked up of the other Engineers Milburn especially was freaked out, then 2 seconds later he runs up to said vagina snake without taking any precautions…..etc. etc.

    it’s hack writing. it’s a cliche move that is the equivalent of in a slasher movie the victim running down to the dark scary basement instead of running out the front door to safety. also things like after Shaw has her “baby” not one person (several people besides David knew about it) brings it up ever again?!! etc etc.

    the visuals were breathtaking. i love the entire cast (Kate Dickey & Charlize were so underused though) and the direction was good. also i LOVE the Engineers and am a tad embarrassed to admit i found them hot! LOL. the fx work was top notch. the music score sucked for the most part. the intense music used in the trailers should have been used in this (or at least music as intense) but they kept using the piece of music that sounds like it belongs in an uplifting superhero movie. it robbed any scene of intended intensity.

    i AM looking forward to the sequel though.

    • Lauren Taylor

      They had objectives and their real focus is the moon of LV-223. Watch the extras.

  • James-Alan

    No.

    • Lauren Taylor

      Ok.

  • Taboo

    I really liked this movie. Can’t wait for part 2

    • Lauren Taylor

      :)

  • Kroork

    This movie is def one of my tops for 2012, and I can’t wait for the next one !

    • Lauren Taylor

      Agreed.

  • Vampire_Mistress

    I definately think its a prequel to Alien. I mean, the thing at the end looks almost like the aliens in the other movies and there was those pod things in the room, as well I am sure that I seen a dead alien in the pod scene. (the things that attach to your face to put the alien inside.) I hated Blade Runner and it doesn’t make sense for this to be a prequel for that.

    With that aside…..I LOVED the movie. I thought it was well done and there honestly (to me) was not one boring part. it kept me interested and wanting to know more.

    Its amazing that we actually agree on a movie. 9/10 movies that you hate, I love and movies you usually love, I hate lol.

  • reanimator567

    I had recently rented Prometheus and I am indifferent about it. For me, it would definitely be worth viewing a couple more times. I did love the imagery, it was spectacular. At the end of the film, I’m still trying to figure out if that was possibly the queen alien in its infant stage?

  • bear82

    I am very wary of films with agenda’s and will turn them off I think that one is pushing them unnecessarily. I didn’t feel that with “Prometheus”, even with it’s overtly religious tones. I am a huge fan of the “Alien” franchise and I got exactly what I wanted from the film. I see the hate, and not a single fxck was given.

    Great film.

    • Lauren Taylor

      Yep. :)

  • WalkingDeadGuy

    When dissecting ‘Prometheus’, you’ll definitely find a clutter of ideas; some good and some bad. I appreciate the ambitious story the filmmakers told, and even though it has many mistakes, the overall film is fascinating and incredibly fun. I can’t wait for the sequel.

  • joesey

    I love this movie, however I’ve had many arguments with people about the theories behind it but they’re either atheists or believe in a Darwinist-scientific p.o.v. But it doesn’t stop me from proclaiming my praise for the movie

    • Lauren Taylor

      Interesting – I’d like to hear more on what those people are arguing! I’m not a full atheist, however I had a lot of not very fun things happen in the last few years which drained the faith I grew up with!

  • Mad-Mike

    I very much like your article. You’ve raised some interesting points. However, this has NOT changed my opinion of the film. I went to see it at the cinema and then watched it again last week at home. I’ve yet to watch the deleted scene although it’s on my to do list.

    The feeling I got after watching both times was underwhelming!
    Putting aside the connection with Alien, it was a good Sci-fi film. But the connection can NOT be ignored. Therefore it was a rather average prequel to such a milestone movie as Alien.

    The whole basis of this film was to cause a massive box office influx, knowing full well that fans of the Alien franchise would race to see it and more questions would arise than answers! Of course, setting up for the Blu-ray with special features and the obvious sequel (which by the way, better make up for Prometheus!).

    As for the relious aspect you’ve talked about, just like the bible it’s self, it’s down to / open to personal interpretation. Much like you Lauren, I was brought up in the christian faith. But as soon as was old enough to make my own mind up, I was out of it, just like when children grow up and stop believing in Santa! That aside, your observations were very astute and the sad case is I took more enjoyment out of your article than I did from the “for the sole purpose of making money” film Prometheus!

    • Lauren Taylor

      Well, I’m glad you liked the article! :) Thanks.

  • VictorCrowley

    I think my main gripe with the movie is the fact that I used to get lost in my thoughts thinking about where these xenomorph creatures could’ve come from. I used to imagine some far away world with things on it humans could not comprehend until seeing them. In Prometheus, to find that humans are not only involved, but are directly responsible for the creation of these creatures just ruins all those years being fascinated with the endless possibilities of their origin. Gone are the thoughts that the Nostromo discovered a creature never before seen by human eyes. Now, it’s a quick realization of them stumbling onto yet another one of mankind’s f*ck ups — ala Frankenstein, Godzilla, etc.

    Still liked the movie in many aspects, but that one thing continues to eat at me. That said, I’ll definitely see the next one.

    • Lauren Taylor

      And here my mind exploded because we ARE involved. And perhaps they were traveling with the vases of death to earth in order to prevent it from happening…
      I love running over and over and over it in my mind as to why they were trying to kill us and perhaps it was because we’d inevitably stumble upon it all and create these beings? The hamster is on the wheel…around and around and around…

  • Timboslice

    There is a part in the movie where they carbon date (or some such) the Engineer corpse and say its been dead for roughly 2000 years.
    In my mind, I added up the crucified imagery in the chamber of death to someone who was crucified roughly 2000 years ago, Jesus. Hence Jesus was an Engineer and they were coming to punish humanity for killing him.
    Thats the impression I got.

    • Lauren Taylor

      Ooo! Good one!!!!

  • lisey

    Great article. I’m still very undecided on how I feel about Prometheus. I’ve only seen it once so I’m wondering if maybe I need to see it a second time.
    I felt like this movie had real potential to be an incredible film and I’m a huge fan of Alien & Aliens. What really cheesed me off is the notion that you have to watch the special features or the 14 hour long director’s-extended-unrated-extra special-cut to really “get the movie”, just because there were so many gaping plot holes in the theatrical version.
    Also, the script was terrible. REALLY bad. Damon Lindelof should have all his access to pens, pencils and final draft revoked.

  • Contralives

    I fully enjoyed it. As a 30 year old fan of Ridley Scott’s science fiction work, and of course his Dark Horse treatments, I thought Prometheus was done just right. It didn’t give too much away or answer too many questions. I think a lot of people were expecting to have a direct answer to the questions they already had in hand, and missed out on a lot of the imagery and hypothesis that the film generated. Great article!