Killer Animal Movies

(Welcome to Now Scream This, a column where horror experts Chris Evangelista and Matt Donato tell you what scary, spooky, and spine-tingling movies are streaming and where you can watch them.)

Matt: With Crawl in theaters, Chris and I have an easy thematic narrative this week: When Animals Attack! Who doesn’t love a right turning of the tides when Mother Nature’s kingdom punishes humanity? Maybe it’s primates, possibly reptiles, sometimes insects – in any case, our picks could populate the most horrific zoo exhibition imaginable. Perhaps you’ll think twice about that up-close-and-personal safari vacation you’ve been planning?

Chris: Crawl is now in theaters, and The Lion King opens this week. So what better way to celebrate these films loaded with CGI animals than by highlighting horror movies where animals attack? This week, Matt & I sing the praises of movies all about beasts who’ve had enough of human beings and their bullshit.

Now Streaming on Shudder

How much more Australian can you get than a killer boar movie starring John Jarratt and an actor named Ernie Dingo? Chris Sun’s outback creature flick is all about brute animal savagery. His titular aggressor stands larger than any warthog you’ve ever glimpsed, goring its way through anyone unlucky enough to be in its trample trajectory. Boar only hit Shudder a few weeks ago, so chances are you might be new to hearing about this title. By streaming standards, it’s worth the watch.

Chris: I have this sitting in my Shudder queue, but as usual, I’ve yet to watch it. But it sounds pretty amazing. 


Now Streaming on Shudder

Sticking with boar-centric titles, why not try South Korea’s Chaw? Same principles above, given the larger than life attacker. More emphasis is put on the hunt, with darkly lit nightmare sequences traded for horror-comedy tones. Detectives, legendary trackers, and other animal hunters team up for the chase of a lifetime. I always like to recommend offbeat titles since hey, you’re streaming these for “free” from the comfort of home. How better to try out a zany yet horror-inspired title like Chaw?

Chris: Uh-oh, I have a feeling this is going to be one of those lists where I haven’t seen a single title Matt mentions…


Burning Bright
Now Streaming on Tubi

You’ve seen Crawl, now imagine the same scenario sans flooding and with a tiger on the loose instead. That’s Carlos Brooks’ criminally underrated Burning Bright, your new favorite “killer kitty in a boarded-up house during hurricane season” movie. Garret Dillahunt plays a stepfather who spends his stepdaughter and stepson’s educational funds on a tiger for his “safari ranch” exhibit. Kelly (Briana Evigan) and Tom (Charlie Tahan) then find themselves fighting the ferocious feline while all their windows and doors are boarded shut because there’s a hurricane raging outside. If that doesn’t sound enticing enough, let me promise that real performance cats are used (Katie, Schicka, and Kismet!). What was it you’re waiting for, again?

Chris: Yep, I’m sensing a pattern here: stuff I haven’t seen. I actually was looking to watch this this week, but I have no idea what Tubi is, so I guess that ain’t happening. 


Now Streaming on Starz

It’s back to Australia, this time for a crocodile movie from Wolf Creek director Greg McLean. If you’re familiar with Mr. McLean’s work, you know what level of viciousness to expect. Turns from Radha Mitchell, Michael Vartan, Sam Worthington, and more ground this violent primal screamer in a realm of constant fear. Wait, is that another John Jarratt sighting? Of course! Which oversized animal do you think he fares against better, a boar or a crocodile? Go ahead, start your “John Jarratt Faces Murderous Animals” double feature right now. Australians know how to make a damn-fine creature flick, I’ll tell you.

Chris: I remember the trailers for this when it hit theaters, and how hard they tried to hide the fact that the movie was about a crocodile.


Now Streaming on Hulu

Benni Diez’s Stung flocks towards the “comedy” recesses of horror, but there’s nothing funny about gargantuan wasps with spear-like stingers. Matt O’Leary and Jessica Cook lead a high-class socialite’s party against attacking insects, with support from the likes of Clifton Collins Jr. and Lance Henriksen. Oh, right. I never told you how the oversized wasps appear. When “mini” first wave wasps sting humans, people-sized wasps burst from their very dead bodies. Super-fun creature work and an upbeat tempo won me over in an otherwise forgettable Tribeca Midnighter class that year, as Stung leaves a tasty late-night flavor in your mouth.

Chris: Congrats, Matt. You’ve done it. An entire list of things I haven’t seen. I hope you’re proud of yourself.

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