Creature Feature

[5] Benicio Del Toro plays the cursed title character in this remake of Universal Pictures’ famous 1941 monster movie. After his brother is discovered mutilated, Del Toro returns home to his father’s estate to find out who killed him. Anthony Hopkins brings gravitas as the father, and Emily Blunt pours her heart out in the role of the dead brother’s fiancĂ©e. In searching for the …

[6] Frequent X-Files director Rob Bowman helms this action-packed monster movie about the last remaining humans on Earth battling dragons in post-apocalyptic England. Christian Bale plays the cautious leader of a colony of survivors who have taken up residence beneath an old castle. Matthew McConaughey plays a confident American dragonslayer who throws in with them. The two men have differing philosophies about how best to …

[7] Guillermo del Toro presents this creepy tale about a little girl (Bailee Madison) who discovers evil creatures live in the ash pit beneath her father’s newly acquired mansion. While the creatures try to persuade the girl to join them, they frame her for destructive deeds, turning her dad (Guy Pearce) and his girlfriend (Katie Holmes) against her. As the girl falls into despair trying …

[7.0] Tobe Hooper (The Texas Chain Saw Massacre) directs this made-for-TV adaptation of Stephen King’s novel about a writer who discovers his hometown is being overtaken by vampires. The most remarkable thing about Hooper’s work here is how genuinely scary Salem’s Lot is without ever resorting to gore or excessive violence. Scenes of vampire children floating outside bedroom windows, beckoning their next victims to let …

[7.0] Writer/director James Gunn (Guardians of the Galaxy) serves up this horror/comedy about citizens of a rural South Carolina town who find themselves in the middle of a parasitic alien invasion. Part of the fun of Slither is discovering how the parasites transform their human hosts, giving the opportunity for plenty of gross-out gags and comedic reactions. Gunn gives at least three leading characters enough …

[6.0] Sigourney Weaver returns in this fourth chapter of the Alien franchise, this time as an alien/human hybrid clone of her iconic Ripley character. It’s a refreshing change of pace for the character, invigorated by a curious connection to her former foes and a new devil-may-care attitude toward living or dying. In the script credited to Joss Whedon (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Toy Story), Ripley …

[7] Robert Forster (Jackie Brown, The Black Hole) stars as a police detective in this better-than-average monster movie about a giant alligator that terrorizes the Chicago suburbs. Screenwriter John Sayles (Passion Fish, Lone Star) probably deserves most of the credit, giving Forster and co-stars just enough character and backstory to elevate them above the two-dimensional pawns you usually find in these flicks. He also makes …

[6] After surviving two rounds with the xenomorphs, Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) crash-lands on a planet where a few dozen convicts have found God in an abandoned mining facility. But God can’t save them from the alien that stowed away with Ripley, especially after Ripley learns she herself is impregnated with the next alien queen. Alien 3 was doomed to become the cautionary example of how …

[7] After an earthquake devastates their facilities at the bottom of the Mariana Trench, a handful of deep sea drillers decide their only chance of surviving is to walk along the ocean floor to another nearby facility miles away. But the journey becomes even more perilous when they discover mysterious creatures unleashed by their drilling efforts are preying on them. Kristen Stewart (Twilight) heads up …

[7] Director Alexandre Aja (High Tension) serves up a father/daughter survival thriller that takes place primarily in a basement full of alligators during a hurricane. Sound preposterous? Well, that’s part of the charm. But Aja and screenwriters Michael and Shawn Rasmussen give the tale enough verisimilitude to suck you in and make you root for these people — and their dog, too. Kaya Scodelario and …

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