Tremors, staring Kevin Bacon and directed by Ron Underwood, is a survival monster movie with a similar premise to classic survival monster horror movies like Alien (1979) and the Thing (1982). Set in the small isolated town of ‘perfection’ in Nevada, tunnelling monsters start picking off the towns folk one by one and they must try to survive and escape. The film has a very simple premise and doesn’t try to make it more complicated than it is, it doesn’t take itself too seriously or get bogged down with explanations. It is in no way a perfect film and if you wanted to you could spend your time picking out all the plot holes, but then you’d miss the point as its just a fun monster horror movie and a great popcorn flick. Once you relax and get into the story it has some funny moments and is a very entertaining film.
The film is full of really fun characters and cheesy over the top dialogue, but some very questionable performances. While the characters have good chemistry the acting is quite bad. There are points when the thought of being eaten alive seems like more of an inconvenience than anything else. It isn’t annoyingly bad though, more like comically bad, so it adds to the overall enjoyment of the film as some of the line delivery is absolutely hilarious. Despite the performances the characters are still likeable. My favourites were the couple of gun nuts, as they made me laugh so much. I won’t spoil it but the scene in their basement was hilarious! There are a lot of comedic moments throughout which I’m sure where intentional, making this a sneakily good horror comedy.
What makes this film such a blast to watch are the monsters. They’re made with some outstanding practical effects that still look incredible today! The monsters are gross, huge, and technically amazing, I marveled at the puppetry and design work that must have gone into crafting them. They are the real stars of the film as whenever they’re on screen I was cheering and on the edge of my seat watching them. They are the reason the film actually has some quite tense moments because they were made so well. You can see the love and care that went into every detail and so they are what makes this film an entertaining flick rather than cheap and forgettable. They are up there with the best practical monsters of all time.
Tremors is a great guilty pleasure popcorn film that is a lot of fun! It’s plot might be very simple and been done before, but the amazing monsters bring a sense of originality. A fun film if you can switch your brain off, and even if you can’t, and find the acting and plot annoying, you’ll still appreciate the work that went into the underground creatures.
P.S. I’m a sucker for practical effects monsters, John Carpenters The Thing is one of my top 10 films ever, so I naturally enjoyed this film. On an unrelated note I am very happy that Spotlight won best picture, I was sure Revenant was gunna get it but I’m glad Spotlight did.