Are you the Cavalorn who wrote that noted Prometheus Unbound post back in 2012? If so, thank you. I was baffled by the movie but was starting to piece together some of the stuff you articulated. It got me excited about delving deeper and now it's one of my favorite movies because of all the layers of implication.
Yep, that's me. Glad you liked it!
That said, I don't think Scott was talking about horror. I think he was saying that Prometheus contained misdirection, and the creation of humans and the Aliens won't necessarily be what we expect based on that movie. He gestured to the statues to rule them out as the creators of the Engineers. The search will go on.
My reasons for thinking he's talking about the design of the Alien creature centre on the reference to 'this thing', which is clearly a single phenomenon. If you take the quote at face value - 'why was this thing designed to make human beings' - it's gibberish. Why was what thing designed to create humans? Have we seen a human being factory anywhere, whose design suddenly needs explanation? Why would we need to know that it wasn't the Engineers who made the thing that in turn made humans?
But if you read it as 'why was this thing designed to make human beings frightened
' it makes perfect sense. Scott's reference to 'the old dark house' suggests to me that he's talking about horror movie tropes.
Edit to add: joblo.com's summary of what Scott said makes it clear it is the Alien whose design is being talked about here:
- He thought that ALIEN had run its course; but then thought with that special kind of creature, it shouldn’t have run its course and should not have ended. So he’s coming back to it with a very simple idea, who created them, nobody ever asked that question, and why do they exist?
- ALIEN was about 7 guys and gals in a steel hull, which was frankly a very old idea, the spooked house and who is going to die next. It was a B movie idea but with class and a superior cast which made it an A+ film.
- They reinvented the idea of ALIEN with PROMETHEUS. And with COVENANT they are taking one step closer to who and why this thing was designed. And if you think it’s the beings represented by the giant heads in the Altar room, you’re dead wrong.