what the fuck are you even talking about the pacing wasn't relative to anything other than the expedition. the movie gained its identity through themes of curiosity and intrigue not through horror or some other crude device that's why the cluterfuck during the end was so rewarding. it was the reward for all their poking around in matters they had no real understanding of. of course it would seem to you like they were all unlikable, they were on an interplanetary expedition with a crew comprised of conflicting ideals and desires, which is somehow reminiscent of Alien, in what ways i'm not going to point out right now.
Charlie Holloway, Janek and even fucking David all played parts that characterized themselves acutely enough to define their ambitions. i have no fucking clue where you get off calling all of them stupid teenagers when the sacrifice was so great for the entire crew, both emotionally and physically. again, the actual pacing of the plot had nothing to do with an element of horror or ambiguous terror, it was literally like another expedition, be it relative to the Scotland dig, or what have you. the fact that it went so wrong robs the characters of their wide-eyed curiosity and replaces it with wide-eyed misunderstanding, confusion and terror in the face of mankind's most fundamental and unreasonable questions. that's why the pacing was so good. that's how all the characters REALLY came alive when pushed to the edge.
and jesus, just because you aren't verbally led to confirm something doesn't make things unexplained. the artwork found in the beginning of the movie were signs to stay the fuck away. why do you think the ancestor did what he did as he awoke, the place wasn't to be disturbed, that's why he was laid there for so many millennia, that's why the star system was so easy to find in the first place. and when he woke, he realized that his progeny really must have not been worth the salvation. hence Elizabeth Holloway taking flight in one of the fucking ships to find out why they changed their minds at all. don't be so harsh, they literally explained everything and the only way you could have found anything unexplained or loose ended was if you were a robot. now isn't that funny. (not really, jesus)
this movie was a perfect representation of ridely's talent in current cinema. it danced on so many good alien references both bold and subtle through character dynamics, artwork and setting. the relationship between characters and the spaceship, the plight for money, the claustrophobic environments with alien creatures, phallic invasion of persons, it was just all there if you were actually paying a-fucking-ttention. the fact that you couldn't identify it with Alien says to me that you wanted it TO BE Alien and not it's own film. and i should reiterate that Prometheus is so independent of Alien while still keeping a strong sense of confluence with it that it's going to be a wonder how anyone would want this film to be anything else but a saga for human meaning. not to discredit Alien's message on survival of the fittest, it's just this movie is its own identity completely and i love that.