10 Best Animal Attack Horror Movies | TheReviewGeek Recommends

Animal lovers beware! Not every creature has your best interests at heart, as horror filmmakers have often shown us. Creepy crawlies, rampaging rodents, and various other beasties feature in our list of the best animal attack horror movies ever made. 

Do you agree with our ‘best’ picks? Or have we failed to include a movie that you think deserves a mention? Let us know in the comments below.

Arachnophobia (1990)

Most of the movies on this list are for adults only but this entertaining chiller is actually suitable for family viewing, unless, of course, any family member has the titular phobia. 

Frank Marshall’s movie follows Jeff Daniels’ doctor as he moves from the big city to a quiet town hoping for some peace and quiet. He isn’t the only newcomer in town as a large spider from the jungles of South America also ends up there after hitching a ride in a crate.

When this scary arachnid mates with another of its kind, it’s not long before the entire town is overtaken by eight-legged freaks. This is bad news for the local residents who are attacked by the spider’s offspring and it’s bad news for any arachnophobe who dares to watch this frighteningly good movie!

Alligator (1980)

It’s a myth that giant alligators exist in America’s sewer networks but in Lewis Teague’s Chicago-set movie, an alligator, that years before was flushed down the loo when it was just a baby, does grow to giant size after munching on genetically modified laboratory dogs that have been discarded in the sewers. After making a meal out of a bunch of sewer workers, this great beast escapes its underground confines and goes on a rampage around the Windy City in search of its next meal.

Alligator is clearly a rip-off of Spielberg’s Jaws but unlike many of the other copycat movies that were made at the time, this has a refreshing sense of humour and a handful of genuine scares that give it must-see status for monster movie fans. 

Rogue (2007)

Rogue director Greg McLean’s previous movie was Wolf Creek, a terrifying tale about three backpackers who come face to face with a leering serial killer after becoming stranded in the Australian Outback. Rogue is another movie where terrors await in the Outback, but this time around it’s a man-eating crocodile rather than a maniacal murderer that is responsible for multiple scenes of terror.

The unlucky protagonists of this movie are a group of tourists who are confronted with something that definitely wasn’t on the travel brochure when they booked their vacation. Thankfully, they have Radha Mitchell’s tough tour guide on their side when the crocodile strikes, although, like Roy Scheider’s hero cop in Jaws, she isn’t able to save everybody from becoming the scaly beast’s dinner.

The Birds (1963)

Birds aren’t particularly scary – unless you’re a worm – but thanks to Alfred Hitchcock, they certainly have the capacity to terrify anybody who sits down to watch this suspenseful horror masterpiece. 

The movie stars Tippi Hedren as a wealthy socialite who pursues a potential boyfriend to the small Californian village of Bodega Bay. Upon her arrival, she is attacked by a seagull for no apparent reason. This is just the first bird attack as not long after, the whole community are forced to take refuge when thousands of other birds descend on anybody that dares to venture outdoors.

This movie is guaranteed to make you run to your home the next time you spot a flock of birds keeping an eye on you from atop a telegraph pole!

Cujo (1983)

In this Stephen King adaptation from Alligator director Lewis Teague, a cuddly St Bernard dog named Cujo undergoes a terrifying transformation after contracting rabies from a rabid bat. After suffering the bite that causes him to become sick, this once-friendly dog conducts a reign of terror on the people of the small American town of Castle Rock. 

The movie predominantly follows a mother and her young son who become trapped in their car by the slathering animal. The sight of his foam-filled jaw pressed against the car window is absolutely terrifying, more so because it’s a chilling reminder that our four-legged friends could one day become ravenous monsters if they ever fall ill because of a rabies infection. 

Piranha (1978)

Just when audiences thought it was safe to get back in the water after being terrified by Jaws came this early movie from Gremlins director Joe Dante, about a group of people vacationing at a lake who fall victim to a bunch of flesh-eating piranhas that have accidentally been released into the local rivers.

Piranha is clearly a copycat version of Jaws but it holds its own against Spielberg’s movie thanks to John Sayles’ witty script and some gory scenes of terror. James Cameron directed the sequel 3 years later and in 2010, a 3D remake hit our screens, but neither was as good as this fun B-movie that quickly gained a cult following after its release. 

Black Sheep (2006)

Rabid dogs are certainly very scary and so too are poisonous arachnids. But sheep? Not many people are terrified of these farmyard animals and for good reason – they are far too lovable to be terrifying! But in this black comedy horror from New Zealand, the sheep on one sprawling farm are turned into bloodthirsty killers after being experimented on in a weird breeding program.

This isn’t a movie to be taken seriously – laughs take precedence over scares – but there is enough gore on display here to please any fan of blood-soaked horror. The movie is also rather cathartic, especially for vegetarians, who might take pleasure from watching sheep munching on human legs in a reversal of fortune for those folk who enjoy eating legs of lamb! 

Them! (1954)

By far the best of the creature features that were popular in the 1950s, this science-fiction shocker once again sees civilization under attack, this time by ants that have mutated into giant man-eating monsters because of atomic testing in the middle of a Mexican desert. When two Queen Ants fly away to Los Angeles and start a huge colony in the city’s underground tunnels, it’s up to an FBI agent and his team to destroy the colony before the human race is trampled upon by these enormous insects. 

The mechanical beasties in this classic movie aren’t always convincing but thanks to an intelligent script that makes us question the harm we do to nature, it’s more thought-provoking than the glut of similar movies that flooded cinema screens at the time of its release. 

Willard (1971)

If you’re afraid of rodents, you might want to steer clear of this movie which stars a young Bruce Davison as a social misfit whose only friends are a group of rats that he uses to attack his bullying work colleagues.

Willard was a box office success and it inspired a number of animal-themed horrors in the years following its release, including Frogs and Rattlers (you can probably guess what those movies are about), as well as a sequel. Unlike some of the other movies on this list, this one didn’t achieve classic status, but with a few good jump-scare moments and several scenes of squirm-inducing terror, it’s still a worthwhile watch for horror fans. 

Long Weekend (1978)

The next time you drop litter at your local beach, beware! Mother Nature might not be in an accommodating mood for your lack of environmental awareness. The bickering couple in this Australian movie learn this lesson the hard way when they spend a weekend in the wilderness, chopping down trees for no reason and laying waste to ants, kangaroos, and other members of the local wildlife. 

After causing carnage on their camping trip, nature rises up to bite them in the guise of eagles, possums, and other beasties that don’t take kindly to the destruction that these ignorant holidaymakers are causing. The movie is often tense and terrifying but it’s cathartic too, as seeing these two interlopers get their comeuppance at the hands (and claws) of the local wildlife is actually quite satisfying.

So, there we have it, our pick for the 10 best animal attack horror movies. Do you agree with our picks? Or have we missed any movies that you think deserve a mention? Let us know in the comments below. 


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