Sommerleigh Pollonais, Horror Head Writer
Is there really anyone out there who loves bugs? If you do, more power to you I guess. But for most people (including myself) creepy crawlers are just that, creepy. And the further away they stay from us the better.
Even if you’re afraid of them you at least have the comfort in knowing most can be taken out with bug spray, or a well-timed, perfectly thrown shoe. But in the world of horror movies it’s never that easy to dispatch these bastards, especially when they outnumber, outgrow, or simply outsmart you. In the battle between Bugs and Humans the latter can be a lot more fragile than the former, which can make for some really fun movie moments.
Here are my TOP 5 BUGS VS HUMANS HORROR MOVIES and to keep things interesting, I’m gonna try to list a different type of bug for each entry.
Spiders are one of the most commonly disliked creatures on the planet and yes, I KNOW they aren’t technically bugs but this is a horror list not a science paper so put that crap aside right now and just go with it. As I was saying, people don’t like spiders and the ones in Arachnophobia won’t be making them change their minds.
Not only do these little bastards have a bite so deadly you’ll be pushing up daises in mere minutes, they’re smart too. Yeah a rolled up newspaper isn’t getting the job done here and add to that lead protagonist Ross (played by Bill Pullman lookalike Jeff Daniels) suffers from arachnophobia (hey! that’s the name of the movie!)
But all is not lost as Ross (hey that rhymes) is joined by exterminator extraordinaire Delbert McClintock, played to perfection by John Goodman. And the two team-up in what feels like an ode to James Cameron’s Aliens and I mean that in the best of ways. It’s also a fun movie to put on and show that one friend you have who’s terrified of spiders because as the song says, “that’s what friends are for”.
#4 Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
Okay here me out before you decide to hit that X at the top of your screen. Temple of Doom may not technically be considered a horror movie, but you can’t deny director Steven Spielberg threw a ton of horror elements at this one, including the scene of Willie (Kate Capshaw) having to stick her hand (eeeewwww, just thinking about it is grossing me out) into a wall filled with all sorts of creepy crawling insects.
Not only that but these bugs are in her hair, on her shoulders, her chest, they are EVERYWHERE! And I honestly couldn’t see myself leaving this off my list as this moment in cinema history has stuck with me forever. And in a movie where a dude rips another dude’s heart out of his chest with his bare hands, that’s saying a lot!
On one hand these bugs were genetically created to wipe out cockroaches, an insect I absolutely hate with the passion of a thousand suns. On the other hand they mutate into man-sized monsters that can “mimic’ a human being and then utilise this superpower to lure hapless victims to their doom. Guillermo Del Toro, you wonderfully imaginative man, what are you smoking and where can I get some!
Mimic is one of my all-time favourite bug movies and I feel like this underrated gem doesn’t get near enough respect for how fun and original it is. Starring Mira Sorvino and Jeremy Northam as the two young scientists who created the “Judas” breed, the movie also boasts the talents of a then unknown Josh Brolin, the unconquerable F. Murray Abraham and a man who always seems to make everything he’s in just a bit cooler, Charles S. Dutton.
The design for the buggy bastards are the stuff of nightmares. And from the moment a couple of kids get taken out (real monsters don’t care if you’re old enough to drive) you just know Mimic is going to be a bug movie like no other.
From one crazily inventive director to another, James Gunn is next up with his slimy, disgusting ode to horror movies where anything that crawls or slithers (get it?) can be used against you in the worst possible ways.
These alien invaders waste no time in spreading their parasitic slug-like forms across a small unexpecting town. And once you’ve seen them forcibly enter their victims, you might never want to eat another hot dog again.
Equal parts hilarious and disturbing Slither is everything you want in a bug-based horror movie and more. It is also infinitely rewatchable, and part of me has always wished we got a sequel. Then again, considering how over-the-top and disgusting that barn scene was, I’m not sure my stomach could take watching James Gunn take this slugfest to the next level.
Honourable Mention: Bug
For a movie that never actually SHOWS them, Bug is quite effective. And it is so well-acted by leads Michael Shannon and Ashely Judd you’ll swear you can feel the little unseen suckers crawling under your own skin. Sometimes it’s not what you see but what you feel that truly makes for a great bug movie.
#1 Creepshow (They’re Creeping Up on You)
Oh god this movie. Just thinking about it makes my skin crawl, specifically that one story from the anthology of films that made up this nightmare fuel. The one called “They’re Creeping Up on You!”
So folks, I REALLY REALLY don’t like cockroaches and the ones that fly instantly turn me into a five-year-old who runs screaming from the room as I beg my Mom or Dad to kill it with any and everything available. My fear of these (shudders) gross, disgusting, legs-stick-in-your-skin-when-they-land-on-you monstrosities is so bad, I need to see proof that it’s dead before I can relax. One time my younger brother chased me all around our house with one and laughed his evil ass off while I screamed bloody murder. The damn thing wasn’t even alive! That’s how much I hate cockroaches. So imagine what it was like the first time I saw this horror short.
Proof that Stephen King and George A. Romero are a horror lover’s dream made in heaven (or in my case, hell) “Creeping” tells a tale of a wealthy and ruthless businessman who also happens to suffer with mysophobia/germophobia (fear of germs). Because of this he lives in a luxurious but hermetically-sealed penthouse outfitted with the best of everything. And his only contact with the outside world seems to be via telephone. All is perfect in his world until Pratt (the businessman) starts spotting roaches around his apartment. Immediately grossed out he tries to take care of the problem himself with bug spray, but it keeps getting worse and worse. Scenes of his battle against the roaches are intercut with calls from outside the apartment that expertly adds to the story, leaving us with the notion that Pratt’s ex-business partner may have put some sort of curse on him. And the final shot (which I won’t spoil here) well let’s just say I’ve never managed to watch it all the way through without looking away from the screen.
I love Romero and King, I really do, but I’m not sure I wouldn’t have punched them both in the arm if I ever had the pleasure of meeting them. Did I mention they got most of these cockroaches right here from my home country of Trinidad and Tobago? Apparently they (the gross little bastards) filmed really well. Here’s hoping they never returned any of them afterwards.
Well that’s my list. Which of these bugged you the most? And did I leave out any of your favourites? You can check out more creepy crawler content below:
Sommerleigh of the House Pollonais. First of Her Name. Sushi Lover, Queen of Horror Movies, Comic Books and Binge Watching Netflix. Mother of two beautiful black cats named Vader and Kylo. I think eating Popcorn at the movies should be mandatory, PS4 makes the best games ever, and I’ll be talking about movies until the zombie apocalypse comes.
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