Saturday, October 1, 2016

Halloween Movie Madness 2016: THEM

The leaves are dying, the sky is cloudy, and even more things than usual are pumpkin spice flavored.  That can mean only one thing: It's October!  This year marks the return of Halloween Movie Madness!

THEM (1954)

I figured I would start this year's Halloween Movie Madness off with something that I had never seen, and what better way to do that then with a movie that was made over 20 years before I was born.

THEM is a movie that stars Marshall Matt Dillon (James Arness), Mark Twain (James Whitmore), and Santa Claus (Edmund Gwenn) facing off against giant, mutated, radioactive ants in New Mexico and Los Angeles.

The movie starts out with the police finding a little girl wandering through the desert.  This girl happens to have one of the best thousand yard stares I have ever seen in a movie.

The police then find a travel trailer that they think might belong to the girl's parents.  The only problem is that the side of the trailer has been torn open, and no one is around.  After sending the girl off to the hospital to be checked out, the two police officers head off to a nearby general store to see if the proprietor noticed anything.  When they arrive, they find the owner dead, and a big hole in the side of his store.  Things escalate from there.

To avoid any spoilers, I'll stop there.  I will say that this movie doesn't go the way I expected it to.  There wasn't a ton of action in it, but it never really felt too slow to me.  I actually quite enjoyed the movie.  It didn't seem super cheesy, and that is impressive to me because giant ants.

The only thing I didn't like was the noise when the ants were around.  It was some recorded tree frogs, and it was just a bit too grating for me.  It sounded like the area behind my grandma's house in the summer.

If you haven't seen THEM before, I suggest that you watch it.

I give THEM four somersaulting ants out of five.

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