When audiences caught a glimpse of an alien skull mounted in the trophy cabinet of a Predator in the 1990 film PREDATOR 2, it seemed a franchise was about to be born. Sure enough, comic book artists immediately seized on the possibilities suggested by the brief scene, and a number of skirmishes between the deadly foes were played out on the printed page. Fans have had to endure a lengthy wait for a cinematic match-up, but writer-director Paul W.S. Anderson (EVENT HORIZON) has finally delivered the blood-splattered goods in ALIEN VS. PREDATOR. Set in the near future, a team of archaeologists lead by Charles Wiedland (Lance Henriksen, returning for more ALIEN action after appearances in the second and third films) ventures towards an inexplicable hot zone detected in Antarctica. Joined by Alexa Woods (Sanaa Lathan) and the requisite amount of human fodder for the otherworldly creatures to feast on, Wiedland and his cohorts discover a sizeable underground pyramid. Chaos ensues as they awake the Queen alien from her blissful slumber, causing face-hugging and chest-bursting scenes aplenty. But the ailing crew has a further quandary to grapple with in the shape of some fearsome Predators, who are using the aliens as bait for their offspring to brawl with in an ancient initiation ritual. With the human team trapped in the labyrinth-like pyramid, the battle evolves into a nail-biting three-way tussle between the archaeologists and their extraterrestrial adversaries. Fans of both the ALIEN and PREDATOR movies should find much to satiate their appetites here, and with an ending suggesting further hostilities between the pernicious coupling, this one looks set to run and run.