There are too many movies about boring vampires and not nearly enough about gigantic bugs. On this, there can be no reasonable disagreement.
On Saturday, I watched Them!, the 1954 classic about mutant ants. To a modern watcher, the special effects are primitive. Yet they did their job: On Sunday morning, driving home from hockey practice, I received a short lecture from my eight-year-old on how he will protect our family in the event of a mutant-ant attack. His plan involves steak knives and targeting the antennae. He had spent some time thinking about this.
The film is full of stock characters and scenes–the handsome federal agent, the attractive female scientist, their argument about entering the ant lair. (“I’m coming with you!” “No, you’re not!” “Yes, I am!” “Oh, alright!”) Yet it reminded me a little of the old line about the guy who sees Hamlet for the first time and says he liked it except for all of the clichés. I’d wager that in 1954, Them! was inventing clichés as much as adopting them.
Them! is available for instant watching on Netflix.