The Ten Pest-Themed Horror Films You Should be Watching This October

pest horror movies

Looking for some scary movies to get you into the Halloween spirit this month? We’ve put together the perfect list of pest-themed horror films guaranteed to spook you. Infestations, experiments gone wrong, psychopaths and mysterious events to extraterrestrial beings, there’s something for everyone!

Willard (2003)

If you’re scared of rats, don’t expect a good night’s sleep after watching Willard. The 2003 version is a remake of the classic Willard (1971). Though the plot is identical, the crew of the more recent version managed to make a nice original production that didn’t turn out to be a cliché.

The plot? Basically, a young man uses rats to take revenge on his bullies. Willard is a social outcast who is bullied by his co-workers. When he is forced out of a company started by his deceased father, his only friends become a couple of rats he’s been raising in a dingy old mansion where his ageing mother also resides. However, when one of the rats is killed at work, Willard goes on a rampage-exacting revenge by using his rats to attack those who have been tormenting him. Led by the unusually intelligent, and deadly rat, Ben, an army of rats descends upon the office, committing a series of grisly murders.

One thing is for sure, after watching this movie – you will either regret for humiliating someone or you will never think of bullying anyone at all.

Phenomena (1985)

Phenomena (also known as “Creepers”) is a classic pest-themed movie worth checking out. Teenager Jennifer Corvino, arrives in an expensive board school in Switzerland. Jennifer is capable of telepathically communicating with insects and has had trouble with sleepwalking for some time.  Her problem is so bad that she has been warned that it could even lead to spilt personality… a personality that she finally discovers while staying at the boarding school when someone starts murdering students.
One of the movie’s best / worst scenes is when someone falls into a pool full of body parts unexpectedly. After watching this, your interpretation of ‘dead pool’ might totally change!

The Mist (2007)

This masterpiece is based on  Stephen King’s novel adaptation of the book, and even exceeds the book itself in some aspects.

A group of citizens get trapped inside a supermarket after a deadly mist covers the whole area. Along with it, comes something even more terrifying that spreads terror across the place and leaves nothing but blood. This film is not a mindless massacre, it’s a battle for survival of people led by David Drayton (Thomas Jane, who starred in Punisher) who is ready to do anything to save himself and his family from the mist.

This movie is a must-see for any fan of King who hasn’t seen it (even if you’ve read the book). The writer himself admits that the ending in the movie is what he wanted to be in the book, but at the time of writing the novel he made it different. Mistakes were made but also fixed and this movie ends just the way Stephen King wanted it to.

While most creatures in the movie are inspired by pests, they actually resemble creatures from H.P. Lovecraft’s universe more, some of the monsters the mist brings are an improved version of what’s currently crawling on Earth, but more deadly. These spiders will creep you out when you see what they do with their web:

But keep in mind that, compared to the ending, this is scene is nothing!

Starship Troopers (1997)

How could we not include this one in the list?It’s the true definition of a pest-themed movie. Some describe it as satirical, military sci-fi movie and … what’s wrong with that? What we are sure about is it’s downright scary and it’s gonna remind you of some first person shooter video games.

Based on Robert A.’s novel, this film won’t just terrify you, it might also leave you with some mixed feelings. Consider yourself warned though, there are some extremely violent scenes and dialogues closely related to  American Imperialism, so it’s not for the faint of heart. Some even confuse these scenes as Nazi propaganda –  but, rest easy, that’s a misconception. Director Paul Verhoven has also done amazing job with the cinematography for the times which makes the movie worth seeing, if for no other reason.

Wanna see what happens with a world in the future where militarism is a norm? Eager to find out what people would do if they find an insect-like alien civilization? If the answer to those questions is yes, then Starship Troopers is the pest-themed movie for you. To warm you up a little bit, check this scene of a violent, human-unfriendly insect attack.

In case you enjoyed this, watch the whole movie on Youtube.

District 9 (2009)

Nominated for 4 Oscars, this movie is certainly noteworthy. If you’re expecting the standard, throw-away pest-themed film where the main characters fight against an infestation, better pick something else from the list. If, however, you like aliens and anything closely related to them, District 9 is the film for you.

In 1982 an alien ship comes to Earth in seek of a shelter and lands in Johannesburg. After an investigation, it turns out that the ship is filled with insect-like creatures which humankind later calls “prawns”. The South African government decides to leave the prawns alive and separates them from society. The thing is, although they don’t live together, people and aliens live very close to one another and direct contact is inevitable. 20 years later a conflict between the two races forces the government to relocate the aliens and this leads to series of events.

The fun trivia fact about this film is that the aliens are made to look humanoid in order for the viewers to be able to feel empathy towards them. Turns out it’s scientifically proven that if something resembles a human we are more eager to have feelings for it. After seeing District 9, you might start to question whether we are really better than what we might term a “monster”.

Arachnophobia (1990)

This title speaks for itself – obviously a film about spiders,  this will leave you with a feeling that something is crawling up your sleep. Despite the fact that the movie was made 26 years ago, both its cinematography and special effects have stood the test of time. The plot is fairly predictable  – a spider brought from a desert place mates with a domestic spider, which gives life to a very deadly creature of new kind. But don’t take our word for it.

Arachnophobia is great for all those who just want to spend some time watching a movie about arachnids terrorising people in a spine-chilling way. We especially like John Goodman’s role of the local pest exterminator. Bet of all, the full movie is available on YouTube.

Mimic (1997)

First of a  trilogy, this film is both entertaining and terrifying for the viewer. Dr. Susan Tyler creates a modified insect species that is supposed to exterminate disease-spreading cockroaches and calls the new species “Judas breed”. The experiment is successful, but with one big hitch. The new species, which were supposed to live only one generation, have found a way to mutate and survive. Initially created with a strongly increased metabolism, only for 3 years, the cockroach-killing insects evolve into creatures the size of a human and do what is most natural for them – mimic their natural predator – humans … who are now the target for extermination.

This film is also available on YouTube.

They Nest / Creepy Crawlers (2000)

Anyone OK with being a human incubator for some cockroaches?  We thought not… In this film, a pathologist takes some much needed leave following a stress-related breakdown and can no longer cope with his job. While he’s on leave in Maine some strange things start to occur and he seeks medical help. After examining a few bodies, the pathologist realises there is something very sinister going on.

Turns out the whole place is infested by cockroaches, which can put people to sleep with a single bite and then infect their victim with a parasite that uses their bodies as a host… What happens next, you’ll have to find out for yourself, but here’s a little clip designed to intrigue:

You can enjoy the full movie on YouTube at any time.

Slither (2006)

It all begins when Grant goes to the crater where a meteorite has fallen. Grant swiftly gets infested by an unknown alien parasite that causes a total transformation of his body. Turns out the parasite slowly transforms its host into a zombie, with physical skills on a whole other level.. Though this is not exactly a pest-themed horror film, it still leaves you with the same skin-crawling feeling of dealing with a pest infestation – so we couldn’t leave it out!

In this clip,  Grant’s wife, Starla, and the local sheriff try to stop the creature from transforming its host completely – but deformed zombie Grant goes into beast mode and just splits:

The Fly (1986)

Last but certainly not least, the one everyone will at least have heard of is all time classic, The Fly. Not the average cliche of a pest infestation taking over the world, this film focuses on a man whose DNA gets infused with a fly during an experiment. Interestingly, this actually evolves into one of the most tragic love stories of the 80s.

A very youthful Jeff Goldblum plays the main role perfectly. In contrast to most contemporary horror movies, this one doesn’t have all the bells and whistles when it comes to special effects, but that’s not to say they aren’t good enough to keep you glued to the screen. In addition to this, this classic has got what contemporary cinema often lacks –  great character development. The transformation of the main character from a caring person into a hideous monster will give you all the chills a good horror movie should. Here’s one of the most revolting scenes (imagine what the rest of the film is like)

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