History has a habit of repeating itself. And humanity has a habit of shooting itself in the foot.
If you need proof of either of these claims, look no further than the state of our planets environment and the natural horror, or eco-horror, subgenre its horrible treatment has spurred. The central theme of eco-horror: Humans make terrible, selfish co-habitants of Earth and everyone flora, fauna, and folks alike suffers for it.
From as early as 1933s King Kong, humans have been depicted on the silver screen showing up where they really have no business being. But as the years passed, more innovation led to even more technological interference. By the 1950s, horror movies began showing the monster behind the monsters: human beings.
Whether its by encroaching on a peaceful creatures habitat, nuclear fallout, radiation from experiments, or introducing non-native species or chemicals to a previously unaffected area, theres more than one way to skin a cat, as they say. But any way you slice it, the cat is dead, and you have blood on your hands.
To celebrate Earth Day, why not tune in to a classic eco-horror or a new genre staple, switch out any single-use plastics for reusable wares, and separate your trash from your recycling? If youre feeling terrified and a little bit guilty after watching every movie on this list: good. Nature is healing.
What happens when a geology expedition discovers the missing-link fossil between land and sea creatures? The lead scientist leaves his assistants in the remote Amazon to present his findings in California, of course. Naturally, the living version of the fossil, a curious humanoid amphibian, emerges to inspect the men and the assistants attack the gill man since men of science are obviously predisposed to engage in combat during first contact.
Check out the ultimate meet-cute mess-up (the water ballet scene is a work of art that helped inspire The Shape of Water) and why humans should just leave indigenous flora and fauna alone in this quintessential sci-fi horror. (Available to rent on Amazon.)
Incredibly loyal to their queens, ants will stop at nothing to defend them. Not a problem when theyre smaller than a grain of rice, but what if those ants were bigger? Enter Cold War-era nuclear paranoia and you have bomb tests in the New Mexican desert irradiating ants to monstrous proportions. Desperate to establish new nests and to protect the queens, these ants attack the very threat that created them (see what they did there?): us.
A scientist offers a prophetic warning after the films events which still resonates with todays technology and advances: When man entered the Atomic Age, he opened the door to a new world. What we may eventually find in that new world, nobody can predict. (Available to rent on Amazon.)
At present, the world, the internet, and, probably, your roommates cant stop discussing Godzilla vs. Kong (2021), but why not see one of the films that started it all? (The original King Kong (1933) is also worth a watch, but its more of a tragic love story than an eco-horror story.)
Described as an ancient sea creature or a prehistoric dinosaur-like monster, Godzilla awakens after underwater hydrogen-bomb testing begins off the coast of Japan. No doubt an embodiment of Japans anxiety about a nuclear holocaust, Godzilla represented the Earth retaliating against technology overextending its reach. Are you seeing a pattern here? (Available on HBO Max.)
Youve probably heard or seen plenty of parodies of this seminal film, but have you actually sat down and watched various bird species pelt themselves at the glamorous Tippi Hedren? After being pranked by a handsome lawyer named Mitch in San Francisco, socialite Melanie decides to bring lovebirds to Mitch in Northern Californias beautiful Bodega Bay as a reconciliatory gift. Chaos ensues when the local avifauna start attacking.
Toward the films end, a distraught Bodega Bay resident blames Melanies arrival with the lovebirds as the inciting incident for the attacks. The introduction of a new species has upset the delicate balance of nature an example of humans importing a non-native species to the detriment of everyone. (Available to rent on Amazon.)
Before its loose remake Piranha 3D (2010), the 1978 Jaws knockoff Piranha released lethal, genetically altered piranha on tourists at a summer resort and the nearby locals. Of course, the lead scientist responsible for the freaky fish eventually divulges that they were created as a military weapon and are uniquely able to withstand cold temperatures in an attempt to infiltrate North Vietnamese rivers. Go figure.
If military meddling and a government cover-up are your cup of tea, Piranhas the perfect dish to remind you fish are fiends, not food. (Available on Amazon.)
An agent of the Environmental Protection Agency encounters more than he bargained for while reporting on a dispute between a logging operation for a paper mill and a Native American tribe. Along a Maine river, it seems people on both sides of the disagreement have mysteriously gone missing.
The agent and his wife investigate further after discovering environmental damage including salmon large enough to swallow ducks, rabid raccoons, and giant tadpoles. As it turns out, the paper mills waste products have also mutated a bear and caused it to go on a homicidal rampage. Another instance of humans bringing terror upon themselves. (Available on Paramount+.)
This Guillermo del Torodirected sci-fi horror asks what would happen if scientists createda mantis-termite hybrid to combat cockroaches carrying a deadly disease and released them in New York City? The answer, as it tends to be with these situations, is things would go from bad to worse.
Nicknamed the Judas Breed because of its ability to infiltrate the cockroaches numbers and secrete an enzyme resulting in roach starvation, the name becomes doubly sinister when the Judas Breed begins mimicking human forms to hunt people. Talk about biting the hand that feeds. (Available on Paramount+.)
A young pair of married genetic engineers decide to start splicing in human DNA to their animal genetic experiments and it goes as well as you might expect it to, considering the theme of this list.
After creating a prepubescent female hybrid named Dren, the couples parental instincts kick in and they decide to raise Dren as their own. But when Dren goes through puberty and develops various carnal tastes, all sorts of taboos are enacted. This ones not for the faint of heart, but Splice certainly depicts what happens when a thought experiment is taken too far. (Available to rent on Amazon.)
Couple Emily and Randall decide to stay at the titular beach house, owned by Randalls parents, in an isolated vacation town while they decide the future of their relationship. Despite another couples presence, Randall and Emily unpack and prepare to enjoy the property when they notice microbes on the beach and a thick, noxious fog approaching.
Later, an emergency alert system and radio broadcast reveal that the microbes, previously preserved in underwater rocks and released by global warming, result in an infectious and deadly disease when inhaled. But Randall and Emily discover other symptoms when they encounter the other couple postinfection.
Perhaps a little too close to home, The Beach House depicts a scary and realistic hypothetical. (Available on Shudder.)
- The 30 Best Horror Movies on Netflix, According to Critics - Newsweek - May 8th, 2021
- Best Shudder movies: the essential horror films to watch on the streamer - Gamesradar - May 8th, 2021
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- The 17 Best Horror Movies To Watch On Hulu Right Now (May 2021) - GameSpot - May 8th, 2021
- Ben Wheatleys In The Earth finds horror in fungi - The Verge - May 8th, 2021
- You'll Die Laughing at the Hilarious New Trailer For UNTITLED HORROR MOVIE - Available on iTunes and Amazon June 15th - We Are Movie Geeks - May 8th, 2021
- Exclusive: DC's 'The Conjuring' comic writers on what it takes to bring the horror world from screen to page - SYFY WIRE - May 8th, 2021
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- The Movie Like The Invitation That Horror Fans Need To Watch - Looper - May 8th, 2021
- 10 Most Terrifying Vacation Horror Movies - WhatCulture - May 8th, 2021
- The Best Horror Movies of 2021 (So Far) - Thrillist - April 23rd, 2021
- Take a hike into terror with the Pittsburgh-shot horror film The Boonies - PGH City Paper - April 23rd, 2021
- 'In the Earth' Is the First Must-See COVID Horror Movie - The Daily Beast - April 23rd, 2021
- The Father is the Greatest Horror Movie that I've Ever Seen - Prescott eNews - April 23rd, 2021
- Movie review: Pandemic adds extra layer of threat to folk horror film 'In the Earth' - theday.com - April 23rd, 2021
- The Cher Post-Apocalyptic Horror Movie We Never Got To See - Looper - April 23rd, 2021
- Scream 3 is a brilliant horror movie that warned us about Harvey Weinstein - Polygon - April 23rd, 2021
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- There Are 12 Near-Perfect Horror Movies According To Metacritic - Looper - April 23rd, 2021
- Mortal Kombat Reboot Writer Wants To Make A Scary BioShock Horror Movie - We Got This Covered - April 23rd, 2021
- Fear of Rain review lurid horror film takes aim at mental illness stereotypes - The Guardian - April 23rd, 2021
- Movie Review: The Unholy | Lewiston Sun Journal - Lewiston Sun Journal - April 23rd, 2021
- The Hidden (1987) - Best Horror Movie You Never Saw - JoBlo.com - April 23rd, 2021
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- Death Note 2 Will Reportedly Be More Horror Than The First Movie - We Got This Covered - April 23rd, 2021
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- Zee5s horror film 'The Wife' to release on March 19 - The New Indian Express - February 20th, 2021
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- How To Watch Nicolas Cages Wild New Horror Movie Online - We Got This Covered - February 17th, 2021
- 5 Women Centric Horror Films That Are A Must-Watch - SheThePeople - February 17th, 2021
- Now Scream This: Have a Spooky Valentine's Day With These Streaming Horror Movies - /FILM - February 17th, 2021
- The Most Anticipated Scary Movies Premiering on Netflix This Year - Flickering Myth - February 17th, 2021
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- Zee5's horror film The Wife to release on March 19 - Cinema Express - February 17th, 2021
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- 'Saint Maud' spoilers: Why that horrifying ending will 'take you aback,' and what it all means - USA TODAY - February 17th, 2021
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- Autism Within Horror: 'Come Play' and the Next Steps for Representation - Bloody Disgusting - February 10th, 2021
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- After Midnight, or horror as couples therapy - The Spool - February 10th, 2021
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- The 50 Best Horror Movies on Netflix, According to Critics - Newsweek - February 9th, 2021
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- How "Saint Maud" turns a feminist lens on body horror and gives its "final girl" autonomy - Salon - February 6th, 2021
- Mechanical Monster Horror Movies That Went Unloved! - Flickering Myth - February 6th, 2021
- Nightmare On Elm Street: How Freddy Coming Through The Wall Was Filmed - Screen Rant - February 6th, 2021
- Why 'The Exorcist' Is the Best Movie About a Crisis of Faith Ever Made - Bloody Disgusting - February 5th, 2021
Reviewed and Recommended by Erik Baquero