Every time I wandered into my local video store, surveying my land of horror flicks if you will, I always acknowledged the neighboring land of Sci-Fi which was just to the border of my horror kingdom. When it comes to the gray zone of the Sci-Fi/Horror genre, I’ve always gone back and forth on where certain films truly lie, just in case a war of genres break out of course. Would Aliens be recruited to the horror world while The Faculty remained faithful to Sci-Fi? When it comes to the HORROR gem, Tremors however, I was always confused and a bit annoyed why it always ended up in the Sci-Fi genre. I remember moving the movie into the horror section, only to see it moved back to Sci-Fi again the next day. The cover alone was enough to just throw it over to the horror section, an monster’s gaping mouth full of sharp teeth below the main characters with fear in their eyes from above. When I first saw the cover, I was already familiar with Kevin Bacon, even as a kid I remember the goofy guy from Footloose. The premise of the cover made it pretty clear; there are definitely some monsters below that were ready to rip some humans part, so naturally I was sold! Once I got to watching this film however, I discovered that this film had much more thought put into it than I had originally speculated. Although this flick had plenty of the entertaining kills and lack of self-awareness that I thoroughly enjoy in all my horror flicks, the things I usually choose to ignore such as plot and acting were also quite enjoyable in Tremors. I mean, it’s got Kevin Bacon, so the acting must be top notch right? Besides him though, the cast itself was very dynamic and the worked well together as they sold the plot to the movie which made it even more enjoyable.
The film follows our two wayward heroes, Val (the BACON) and Earl (Fred Ward) in the dreary setting of the little town, Perfection, Nevada. The action picks up however when people begin to disappear and as Val and Earl discover that the culprits are horrifying giant worm creatures that dwell below. The townspeople band together when they all discover that these creatures have a super sense of detecting vibrations from underground and devour anything that they sense. The plot now thickened, the group must now survive these creatures using their wits and instincts…and a lot of firepower certainly helps.
I love how this movie creates the perfect tone of “what would I do in this situation?” With a plot of having deadly creatures that can sense vibrations on the ground in your mind, you start to strategize how you would survive this situation. Sure you can go to the roof, then what? Food and water need to be collected at some point and an exit strategy would eventually have to be hatched. It’s something that one can do alone or discuss with friends during or after the flick! It brings the watching experience to another level of entertainment. Another factor that I usually ignore in horror flicks but are so good in this movie is the group dynamic of the characters! The perfect blends of archetypes are thrown together and are challenged to be clever enough to outwit the monsters below. We have the duo consisting of reckless youth and old wisdom, the cute brainy gal (Finn Carter), the goofy old timer, the annoying teenager that you hope dies sooner rather than later and my personal favorite, the trigger happy husband and wife team that own an arsenal that would make any Republican proud. Watching these characters get themselves out of scraps end up being some of the most entertaining moments of this flick.
Although, you could watch this flick by yourself, do yourself a favor and watch it with some pals that are good at conversation or hell, throw in one or two that just love to argue. Watch this film and decide what would you do in this sort of situation and then decide which characters are most like you and your friends. In the end though, I’m pretty certain the six degrees of Kevin Bacon game will most likely pop up!