Monday, October 31, 2011

10-30-11: A Picnicker's Worst Nightmare

THEM! (1954) **** D: Gordon Douglas. James Whitmore, James Arness, Edmund Gwenn.

A cop, an FBI agent and a pair of scientists are in a race against time to discover what is behind a series of strange attacks and murders in a Nevada desert town.

Easily this is the best of the giant insect monster movies that proliferated theatres during the early days of the atom bomb.

Smartly written, great acting and outstanding visual effects make for a memorable viewing experience. Going into the film the audience already knows what is behind the attacks...giant mutant ants. However, the film plays as a solid mystery. A mystery that doesn't unfold as campy or tongue-in-cheek. It greatly benefits by the fact that it is played completely straight.

For a film made in the '50s, the special effects still hold up to this day. The practical creatures look fantastic and are still quite effective. It's quite amusing when you compare them to the effects in "Empire of the Ants", it's like night and day.

I've seen this many times but watched it in the theatre for the first time and it was a fun experience.

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