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10 Underrated Creature Features You Need to See

Creature Feature

Not one but two creature features came out this just past weekend: Zombeavers, about a bunch of zombified beavers attacking college kids on Spring Break, and Backcountry, about a camping couple being stalked by a bear. I’ve seen Zombeavers and I can tell you that it’s hilariously awesome. I’ll be seeking out Backcountry to watch very soon. Creature features are my favorite sub-genre of horror after slasher films (with my soft spot being for aquatic horror…I love those!), so I got to thinking about how creature features are pretty much the least-liked out of all horror genres (mostly thanks to Asylum films and SyFy Original Movies). After a rather extensive search through Wikipedia’s list of “Natural Horror” films (clearly, I’m very thorough with my research), I came across some that I’ve seen that I either a) completely forgot existed and remembered liking or b) really like and feel like I don’t see enough people talk about. Let’s see  what made the cut!

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COMMENTS

86 Comments
  • Tommy

    Ticks, man’s best friend, bats, arachnaphobia, tremors, anaconda, lake placid

    • Werewolf

      Ticks. That was something. Alfonso Ribeiro got it BAD.

  • James

    The relic and the ruins are two of my favorites. The ruins is just a surprisingly well done film in general. The acting is solid and the premise is great. The relic is a perfect example of a 50s b-creature-feature done in a modern time. Love it. The creature itself is still excellent thanks to Stan Winston

    Even though the movie is so so overall, mimic is a pretty fun and creepy creature feature as well.

    • Bouncy X

      i just recently purchased the Mimic trilogy blu ray set for 8 dollars! hadnt seen the first in a number of years but yeah, its alright. just watched Part 2 last night and its better than i remembered. i have no memory of seeing Part 3 so that might be new to me when i get to it.

      • MakeThisAMovies

        I agree. I love the first “Mimic”, especially the director’s cut but I always thought the second one was a lot of fun despite the terrible reviews it got.

    • Seriously, I love the Ruins so much. I always see people hate on it and I think it’s great. And the novel it’s based on is truly terrifying.

  • Seal Clubber

    Deep Blue Sea
    Alien … though it’s not underrated.

    • Deep Blue Sea is one of my faves, but I don’t think it’s necessarily underrated.

  • Kane

    Creature from 2011…. people hated on that film so much but i loved it it was a great creature feature and if you havent seen it i highly suggest it

  • sliceanddice

    good article but i watched the first min of bait and thought what the hell is this crap? But i should stick with it?

    • It’s not AMAZING. But it’s better than half of the crap that gets put out there nowadays.

    • K-Dogg

      I just watched it on the weekend, had fun with it, and it stars our heroine from You’re Next, love her.

      • MakeThisAMovies

        I heard they’re doing a sequel which could be fun.

        • K-Dogg

          Nice !! I fucking laughed at the stoner/surfer, who looks at the oncoming tsunami, everyone running for dear life, and he gives a “Whoa” with a smile, running towards the wave. Too funny 🙂

    • Bait is amazing especially when watched in 3D cause that’s how it was filmed.

      • sliceanddice

        In that case, i know what I’m doing Saturday night… after i die 92352345645234422345645232344 times at bloodborne. 🙂

  • Victor

    Anaconda, Lake Placid, Deep Blue Sea, BATS, Alien, Bait, Animal, Exists, Godzilla, Pacific Rim, and I like Clash of the titans just cause of how the Kraken looks.

  • K-Dogg

    Splinter is great too.

    • Crap I totally forgot about Splinter! I LOVE that movie. Had I remembered to include it it probably would have replaced Deep Rising.

      • K-Dogg

        But Deep Rising is super fun too, good inclusion 🙂

  • J Jett

    i freaking love THE RELIC, DEEP RISING and ROGUE (one of the most intense, edge of your seats movies i’ve ever seen)!! i’d have to add 1979’s PROPHECY. would SQUIRM be fitting for this list? SPLINTER is also awesome. i like THE HOST as well. Trace can you find out if THE HOST 2 is ever going to see the light of day? it’s been years since we got that teaser for it on this site and still nothing. weird huh?

    • K-Dogg

      The Host RULES !!!

    • No idea on The Host 2. But if we find out anything y’all will be the first to know!

    • GunsOfNavarone

      Splinter is awesome.

  • Great list. Love Bait 3D, the Relic and Deep Rising. Also Critters and Mimic.

    • LOVE Critters (I actually have a soft spot for Critters 3…don’t shoot me) and Mimic, but I didn’t think they were underrated.

      • You’re probably right, I didn’t think much of it they just came to mind.

  • Harley Mitchel Dirk

    A fun list no doubt, with variety. I definitely have to agree about The Reef being better than Open Water. It’s probably the best Shark movie I’ve seen.(Besides Jaws, of course)

    Komodo is a movie I remember watching(at least glimpses) when I was a kid. I checked it out again recently. It didn’t hold up very well, but it wasn’t all bad.

    • Good to know. I’ll probably re-watch Komodo soon just to see.

  • MakeThisAMovies

    I believe we share the same horror brain. My favorite sub genre is also slasher followed by the creature feature. If you haven’t seen it, definitely check out “THE Nest”, another awesome killer cockroach movie and “The Rift”, a super cheesy but highly entertaining aquatic horror. It’s on Amazon Prime. Check it out.

  • diapers

    Oooh, never seen nor heard of Deep Rising, will check it out. Relic was awesome, I remember being taken aback by the nifty gore.

    • I used to get Deep Rising confused with Daylight all the time because I thought their VHS covers looked similar. I never knew Deep Rising was a creature feature until I was out of high school!

  • zigwardScissorHands

    The Reef is extremely well done. Trapped in the open endless ocean with a shark hot on your tail, that’s two of my biggest fears right there! So it doesn’t take much effort on this movies part to scare me, but even so it is a legitimately good film. It also came at a time when shark movies were pretty much a joke with crocoshark vs land jellyfish style films released all over the place. So its very cool this one took sharks seriously.

  • Jason Hobbs

    Love the list thought I was only
    One that liked bait 3d and rouge

  • Chrissie-Watkins

    I have never heard of Bait, I definitely need to see it. When I read “creature features”, I thought we were talking monsters, so lets do that list next! Hahaha.

    • I might do that one day! And Bait was one that I waited a long time for because I love the concept. It’s not great by any means, but it’s entertaining!

  • Chrissie-Watkins

    Would The Bay qualify for this list? I loved it, so creepy, so gory, and the way the ‘creature’ was explained in the movie, you could see it really happening.

    • J Jett

      Chrissie, i really like THE BAY (and i say that as someone who really doesn’t like found footage-ish type films which the movie is). it’s incredibly creepy and in parts downright gross. drinking a glass of water after seeing the movie always makes me wonder…

      • Zachary Paul

        I enjoyed that one a lot too. It’s a shame it got dumped on VOD. I think it could have hit a nerve with wider audiences.

      • Skrub Tre

        I know right, The Bay will have you not wanting to drink a glass of water,or drink a bottle of water, or shower, or wash your hands, or even look at water after watching it. Hell, The Bay will have you scared to go outside in the rain! That’s how awesome that movie was

      • Chrissie-Watkins

        Right? The same way Jaws (my forever favorite) made people afraid to swim in even their swimming pools, I think The Bay was effective enough to make people skittish about water supply in general. The scene with the first sick woman at the festival, UGH.

    • I did really like The Bay. But as the creature wasn’t prominently featured in the film (as in: creatures attacking people) I left it off. I like it a lot though!

  • Edgar Pinkerton

    If you consider yourself a fan of minimalist horror and creature features, you owe it to yourself to rent Of Unknown Origin (1983), with Peter Weller. This was a movie I first saw as a kid but still has a special place in my heart. Definitely underrated, and I honestly thought that’s what the cover image was to this article. Check it out!

    • Added to my personal “Must Watch” list! Thank you!

  • J Jett

    how could i have forgotten EIGHT LEGGED FREAKS! i love that movie a lot.

    • Ah! I love that movie too! EXTREMELY underrated!

    • Chrissie-Watkins

      I love that movie, too, except that I always have to watch it alone! Nobody I know will go near a spider movie.

  • prettyscary

    I agree with you on Black Water and The Reef; during each of them I kept thinking that this was the movie I wished Open Water would have been. Want to find Rogue. Great List!

  • prettyscary

    I believe I just located They Nest on YouTube!

  • Trioxin83

    Being an aquatic creature feature horror fan how could you forget Leviathan (1989)?!?

    • I’ve never seen it! But it looks like I’ll be fixing that soon!

      • Trioxin83

        Oh wow, you are in for a treat!

    • WindowsIsDead

      Best underwater The Thing to date!

  • ILStrange

    I have seen Black Water and Rogue and didn’t think they were very good…Bait, The Ruins and The Reef are on my watch list…The Relic and Deep Rising are decent films…I have no interest in Komodo and Black Sheep…They Nest might be a possible watch.

  • r.j.

    What about “the Bay”?!?! that was one of my favorite creature features of all time. to each his own I suppose.

    • James Allard

      The Bay was freakin’ brilliant. Intelligent director makes the difference. 🙂
      I was watching it, about maybe 20-30 minutes in, and my oldest son came in, caught maybe 10 minutes, walked to his computer and ordered it. I followed suit. (His PS3 had Netflix.)

  • Mike Mitchell

    If you liked The Relic, you should read the book

    • I actually own the book! I bought it years ago after I saw the movie for the first time, I just never got around to reading it. I might give it a shot now!

  • WindowsIsDead

    Love The Relic, but the CGI in the end still throws me away.

  • Rob

    Burning Bright, Feast, Splinter, Frankenfish

    • Holy crap I completely forgot about Burning Bright. That one is INCREDIBLY underrated!

  • liltrav88888

    the ruins counts as creature feature?

    • I did make a point to mention that it technically doesn’t count in the traditional sense, but it is about a living, moving, thinking plant. So that is a creature in my book.

  • renz bernardo

    I saw you put int the ruins. I love you

    • Thanks! It’s one of my favorites and definitely doesn’t get the praise it deserves.

  • aFriendlyAgenda

    Interestingly there’s also “The Nest” from ’88 which is also about cockroaches by Terrence Winkless who also wrote the Howling and Foster’s Release.

    • Michael Fairlamb

      Criminally underrated film

  • Poppy Madsen

    Perhaps tangental, but the pit scene in King Kong freaked me out forever. Truly a moment of horror, and only a 12-rating with that scene considered! Phallic-worms erupting from the ground and consuming the team and huge bugs infesting them…possibly the one thing I didn’t expect in that flick. Ever.

  • ProwlerInTheYard

    So, seeing as the boundaries of a “creature feature” seem to be quite thin, do any of these count?

    Starship Troopers
    Arachnophobia
    Gremlins
    Pacific Rim
    The Burrowers (no, not the one with the little people)

  • Evan3

    Rogue is on my list to see one of these Halloweens, glad to see your stamp of approval.
    Agreed that the Ruins is one of the greatest horror novels of all time, and the movie did an ok job at adapting it (and agreed, many of the changes were nonsensical).
    I did hate the Relic though.
    I guess that Slither doesn’t count as underrated anymore? How about Blade 2? Yes it is vampires, but the reapers were real creatures and changed vampire fx to this day.

    • art123guy

      Don’t wait until Halloween. Rogue is fantastic. It makes a great double feature with Lake Placid. One being serious and the other comedic.

      • Evan3

        And I do love Lake Placid

    • KazeMunashii

      you dont like the relic? relic and ruins are both novel adaptations.

      • Evan3

        To be fair, I hated the Relic when it came out and I was roughly 9 years old.

  • ~Adam~

    Of Unknown Origin

  • shinyneweyes

    Lots found footage here & live danger. Good stuff but not too sure if those are creature features in the classical sense. Wheres the feasts, tremmors, burrowers, right to die, or even pacific rims of the world. Things have definitely changed. Imo of course.

  • shinyneweyes

    Do like the love the ruins is finally getting. Good movie, definitely need to check out the book.

    • Evan3

      You absolutely do. The book has a completely different series of events and it is SO damned good. Scarier, more compelling, and more depressing than the movie (which I thought was really good til I read the book).

  • liltrav88888

    i would count the descent movies as creature feature

    • Evan3

      I don’t think the Descent is underrated though, pretty much everyone loves it.

  • Leon

    Who made this list? 90 percent of these were terrible movies. Bad pace and bad acting. This writer should be fired.

    • Thanks for that! Unfortunately 9 months later and I still haven’t been fired. I appreciate your input though!

  • Caleb Gladfelter

    Black Water was so slow and boring, I’m stunned that its even on this list.

    • brian selway

      Madness. I loved Black Water. It’s a classic, pure suspense.

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