Nobody wants to encounter creepy crawlies in real life, but it’s a different story at the movies. Since many people are afraid of bugs and other pests, plenty of horror movies use them to generate their scares. Read on for some of the best examples that film has to offer this Halloween season!
The Fly is about a scientist who is experimenting with teleportation when he is accidentally combined with a housefly that slips into the procedure unnoticed. The results that are both tragic and gross. If only the lab had more effective pest control methods, this might not have happened! There are two versions, one from 1958 and a smart — but much gorier — remake released in 1986.
Them! was released in 1954, and it features a bunch of ants who were exposed to radiation from nuclear testing in New Mexico. The ants grow to immense size and threaten civilization in one of the most famous of the giant creature movies of the 1950s.
If you find spiders scarier than ants, try 1955’s Tarantula. Much like Them!, this movie is about — you guessed it — a tarantula that grows to gargantuan size and terrorizes an Arizona town because of scientific experiments that went awry.
Kingdom of the Spiders
If you like Tarantula, but wish it featured color, more tarantulas, and William Shatner, 1977’s Kingdom of the Spiders is the creature feature for you!
In 1997’s Mimic, mutant cockroaches are genetically engineered to try to wipe out the existing roach population, which is spreading deadly disease. They appear to succeed, but instead of dying out as intended, the mutant roaches evolve into shapeshifting monsters that mimic human form and terrorize New York City. This is an early film from director Guillermo del Toro, who went on to specialize in making horror and fantasy movies full of excellent creature effects, from Hellboy and Pan’s Labyrinth to Pacific Rim.
A young man named Willard is a social misfit whose only friends are his two pet rats, Ben and Socrates. Tired of being bullied, Willard decides to get revenge on the people who tormented him by turning his pets and their growing number of wild pals into a pack of killer rats and sending them to attack his enemies. This 1971 cult favorite film was followed by a 1972 sequel titled Ben, in which the surviving rats meet another lonely, bullied boy and also help him seek revenge. A remake of the original starring Crispin Glover followed decades later.
In this 1990 thriller, a deadly South American spider of a previously unknown species stows away in a casket that is shipped to the U.S. It escapes and breeds a new strain of spiders which are deadly, difficult to kill, and very prolific in reproducing. Soon, a small town is being terrorized by the swarm of extremely dangerous spiders, and it’s up to a doctor and an exterminator to find the nest and destroy it once and for all. Arachnophobia is the term for the fear of spiders, and this movie may make you feel the tickle of phantom spiders on your skin as you watch.
How many of a usually harmless creature can get together in one place before they become scary? Most people aren’t afraid of a few birds, but if hundreds or thousands gather, they can become a serious threat. In this 1963 Alfred Hitchcock classic, huge flocks of birds mysteriously begin attacking and killing people in a small northern California town, where the residents are forced to hide and try to find a way to survive and escape.
We hope this inspires a fun movie night full of creature features in your home. Just remember: if the crawling critters don’t stay within the confines of your television screen, contact Adios for pest control services today!