Film, Science fiction
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You can imagine the pitching session. ‘Okay, I need ideas, people. Cowboys vs zombies? Too obvious. Pirates vs vampires? Too expensive. Wait, I got it! Vikings vs aliens!’ Yes, it’s ‘Beowulf’ with tentacles, as jobbing space-cop Kainan (Jim Caviezel) crash-lands in twelfth-century Scandinavia and accidentally unleashes one seriously cranky, spectacularly toothy space beast. When the animal goes on the inevitable rampage in the mead hall of King Rothgar (John Hurt), Kainan’s the only one with the knowledge and skills to end the monster’s reign of terror.

Director Howard McCain has assembled a remarkable cast for what is essentially a deeply silly slice of B-movie hokum: erstwhile godhead Caviezel seems a little lost, but Hurt and Ron Perlman – both of whom have had some experience with intergalactic carnivores in the past – look like they’re having a whale of a time. No dark-age cliché is left unexploited, from swords, sandals and excessive drinking to buxom wenches and strapping warriors with names like Freya and Wulfric (and even, with no detectable irony, Boromir).

It’s all wildly predictable, laughable stuff. But McCain directs with terrific energy, making the most of his mud-spattered nordic locations and competent CGI and managing to keep an overstretched narrative compelling. He also never allows the film to descend into obvious self-parody: there’s a broad seam of playful mockery running throughout, but never to the point that it undermines the narrative. Daft, obvious but hugely enjoyable, ‘Outlander’ is superior trash.

By: Tom Huddleston


Release details

Rated: 15
Release date: Friday April 24 2009
Duration: 115 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Howard McCain
Screenwriter: Howard McCain, Dirk Blackman
Cast: John Hurt
Sophia Myles
Jack Huston
James Caviezel
Ron Perlman

Average User Rating

3.4 / 5

Rating Breakdown

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  • 3 star:1
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  • 1 star:0
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David Mothersole

If you like films like Aliens, Beowulf, The Thirteenth Warrior and 300 then I think you will enjoy this film. It's a good all round film and I would recommend it to friends who like Sci-Fi and Action films.


...Yah, so the characters were a bit cardboard, it was still a worthwhile £8 DVD for me. I remember wanting to see it when it came out at the flix but never got around to it. In hindsight, though I enjoyed it on my telly, the incredibly original monster would've been extremely cool on the big screen. Its release so close to Beowulf was unfortunate, but it has been unfairly compared to it here. Forget Beowulf. Forget any 'historical accuracy' snobbery you might harbour. If you like a scifi monster flick, with a temporal twist you'd enjoy this film.


In my opinion, the beast alien was brilliant, very original - would be good to see a franchise of this monster perhaps. BUT the Vikings were laughable. Far too LOTR and severely lacking in authenticity which I thought was the Achilles Heel to an otherwise average movie. Concept was good enough for the film to be great if only enough time and nuture had been spent on it. Jon Hurt is a legend but not suited to the role. Ron Pearlman was the only decent viking representative and his role was unfortunately short lived...


I took my two 12 year old sons to see Beowulf and I liked it. I liked this film better but was a bit disappointed when I realised it was the same story but with a slight twist. I am still glad I watched it though and didn't find it boring. This isn't a film for the youngsters although my sons would disagree – Aliens, Vikings, scenes with beheadings, blood guts and battling monsters – what more could young teenage boys want? There is even a half baked attempt at hero gets the girl to keep mum happy. Mum wasn’t happy though and didn’t like the film one bit.