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There’s something inherently terrifying about underground horror. Being trapped underground creates a tense survival scenario thanks to various dangers. But what about what hides in the dark? Survival horror with carnivorous creatures provides fertile ground for fear.
Neil Marshall (Dog soldiers, the descent) is back with the brand new underground monster movie The lairreleased in theaters and on Digital and VOD on October 28, 2022.
In The lair“Royal Air Force pilot Lt. Kate Sinclair (Charlotte Kirk) is shot down over Afghanistan and finds refuge in an abandoned underground bunker where deadly artificial biological weapons – half human, half alien – are awake.”
Jonathan Howard (Thor: The Dark World) and Jamie Bamber (“Battlestar Galactica”) also stars.
Charlotte Kirk co-wrote the screenplay with Neil Marshall.
In anticipation of Marshall’s return to the subterranean creature feature, we look back at eight horror movies featuring subterranean monsters.
Before video game writer JT Petty scared gamers with the Survive to series, he helmed this 2008 horror western set in 1879. With a cast full of names like Clancy Brown, Doug Hutchison, Jocelin Donahue, and more, burrowers follows a rescue team in search of a missing family under strange circumstances in uncharted territory. It’s not the alleged hostile Native Americans behind the disappearances, but a species of monstrous subterranean creatures. It’s the perfect fusion of horror and western; the growing tension between American soldiers and Native Americans provides an excellent backdrop for the unique mythology of monsters that provides supernatural terror.
Photographer George (John Heard), his partner Lauren (Kim Greist), soup kitchen owner AJ “The Reverend” Shepherd (Daniel Stern) and Captain Bosch (Christopher Curry) all find themselves embroiled in a series of cases of missing persons in New York City. For most of the runtime, CHUD is said to be an acronym for “Cannibalistic Humanoid Underground Dweller”. Eventually, he was revealed to be a disposable distraction for the truth: “Contamination Hazard Urban Disposal”. These man-eating mutant monsters that inhabit the labyrinthine tunnels beneath the city were created by man.
quarter of cemetery
In this over-the-top horror film based on the Stephen King short story, a rat-infested textile factory has something far more dangerous lurking in the basement. Brad Dourif puts on an insane performance as the exterminator, rivaling John Goodman for scene-stealing exterminators in 1990. But of course, it’s the giant creature that dwells below that steals the show, especially in the third act. savage.
Guillermo del Toro’s second feature was set in Manhattan, where cockroaches were the harbinger of a deadly disease that targeted children. Under orders from the CDC, entomologist Dr. Susan Tyler (Mira Sorvino) created a new hybrid species derived from the DNA of termites and mantises to eradicate the cockroaches and die soon after. Only they don’t die. Unbeknownst to all, Tyler’s Judas race evolves into human-sized creatures that can mimic their prey; humans. Imitate answers the question of how deadly bugs could be if they were big enough, and it’s made even creepier thanks to the grimy subterranean setting.
A year after a tragic accident, Sarah embarks on a caving adventure with her friends. Too bad Juno leads the group into an unexplored cave system, which traps them due to a cave-in. As if no hope of rescue weren’t enough, this cave system is inhabited by man-eating creatures. The struggle for survival has never been so primal and bloody as in Neil Marshall’s fantastic entry into the annals of claustrophobic horror. Deep in the bowels of a cave, Creepers have long adapted to unlit terrain where the sun cannot reach. These creatures hunt in the dark and never come out during the day.
The Midnight Meat Train
Based on Clive Barker’s 1984 short story of the same name, The Midnight Meat Train follows a photographer obsessed with dark subjects beyond him when he discovers a serial killer who massacres unsuspecting night commuters in macabre fashion. Director Ryuhei Kitamura unleashes a lot of gore in what plays, for the most part, like gruesome subway slasher. It will be necessary to wait for the third act so that an even more underground, less human threat is revealed.
Framed as a documentary, this found footage nightmare sees a reporter enlist a small film crew to investigate a government cover-up that leads them into a network of abandoned train tunnels deep beneath the heart of Sydney. The tunnel sets up a government plot after water recycling plans are silenced, followed by the disappearance of homeless people who live in the tunnels. The documentary aspect of this narrative serves as a chilling diversion for something far worse. What stalks the crew underground makes for a chilling watch.
Perfection, Nevada, is a remote former mining town in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. In other words, it’s a small desert town with a tiny population. So, there’s no outside help to fall back on when strange subterranean creatures begin to take them out. Perfection is a city filled with a personality of its own. Directs Valentine McKee (Kevin Bacon) and Earl Bassett (Fred Ward) to bring a buddy comedy sensibility to this fantastic creature feature. But it was Tom Woodruff Jr.’s Graboid design and creation that delivered one of the most unique movie monsters and inspired an entire franchise. For the residents of Perfection, the monsters underground proved to be very problematic due to the scorching desert sun.
Walk in The lair in theaters and on Digital & VOD on October 28, 2022.