Tentacles, sharp teeth, razor sharp claws, enhanced senses, and an uncanny ability to stick to the shadows 90% of the time. These are some of the defining traits of what makes a creature in a creature feature. These are the movies that make you jump into bed because there might be something lurking underneath it. The movies that make the hair on the back of your neck stand up when going into your basement and make you run back up the stairs two steps at a time. The movies that make you afraid of the dark because there just might be something there. Get your comfy clothes on, pop some popcorn and get ready to watch some movies that feature some pretty epic monsters.
The New Daughter
I love Kevin Costner. To me he’s the epitome of a man’s man. He’s not a pretty-boy, if he stubbed his toe he wouldn’t cry about it or go on and on for days about how much it hurt, he keeps his calm in a crisis, he takes care of his family, he’s ruggedly handsome, he was Robin Hood… I could go on. Now, I don’t know what he’s like in real life, but this is how I see him. So, I inherently like all of his movies (yes, even Waterworld and The Postman) so take this review with a grain of salt. That being said, I don’t think I let Kevin’s smouldering looks brainwash me into liking this movie, I genuinely believe I enjoyed it and actually thought it was pretty great.
The New Daughter centres around a widowed father who has moved into a new house in the country to raise his two children. They find a strange mound in the backyard which seems to be a factor in his daughter’s recent mood swings. This movie relies on a tense atmosphere and the suspense of not knowing what exactly is going on. It doesn’t rely on cheap scares or lots of blood and gore, but rather focuses on how the events in the movie impact the characters. Give it a go and let me know what you think.
A meteor crash lands in the ocean off the coast of a small Irish fishing village, bringing with it a creature of epic proportions. Grabbers features a heavy drinking, worn out cop named Ciarán O’Shea (Richard Coyle); a beautiful new police officer fresh from the mainland, Lisa Nolan (Ruth Bradley); a nerdy forensic scientist named Smith (Russell Tovey); your token old guy with all the quips named Paddy (Lalor Roddy) and Brian Maher (David Pearse), owner of the island’s pub. Together, they do everything they can to save their town from the monster.
This is a really fun horror comedy, in the same vein as the Cornetto trilogy. Simon Pegg would be right at home in this movie. There’s also a moment in the film where a man is watching Night of the Living Dead. Any reference to that movie is all right by me and if they drop the line, “They’re coming to get you, Barbara,” I’m sold.
This is definitely the most fun movie of the bunch. I love it, you’ll love it, give it a watch!
The year is 1879 and the West is on it’s way to being won. A family of settlers goes missing and the first suspect is obviously the Native Americans. However, when a group of frontiersmen set out to confront the Natives and rescue the women who’ve gone missing, they realize that there’s something else going on. People keep disappearing in the night and then they find one of the girls that had disappeared. She was half buried alive and seems to be paralyzed with no clues as to what happened except for a small cut on her neck.
This atmospheric western horror does a great job of staying true to both genres. It’s a tense thriller that relies mostly on our fears of the unknown. We don’t actually see the creature until three quarters of the way through the movie. Instead, the scares are in the subtle shifting of the long grasses and the idea that the creatures could be just beyond their range of vision; that when the sun goes down and they lay down to rest something might be coming for them.
If you have time…
A creature feature marathon would not be complete without Tremors, possibly the best creature feature of all time. “How about of all time?” (I Love You, Man reference). Val (Kevin Bacon!) and Earl (Fred Ward) are handymen in the small desert town of Perfection, Nevada. They’ve had enough and have decided to leave small town life behind and head to the city. On their way out, they get sidetracked by some strange occurrences and, together with a seismologist (Finn Carter), discover that there are creatures underground that are linked to some recent disappearances. They now must try and find a way to kill the creatures or at least escape with their lives.
Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark
Anyone who’s followed this blog for a while will know about my undying love for Guillermo Del Toro, so it will be no surprise that this movie makes the list.
A horror film about small, vicious creatures that live in the basement of a mansion, Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark, has some truly scary moments and does well building tension throughout. A new family has just moved into the mansion and the young daughter immediately knows something is not quite right. Her parents chalk it up to childhood imaginations and ignore her warnings. Too late, they realize that the threat is all too real.
What’s your favourite creature feature?