Movie of the Day – The Relic
August 1, 2012 Leave a comment
I am not so much a horror film fan as I am more of a fan of monster movies. The Host, Godzilla series, and pretty much any Sy-Fy steroid induced mega fish, I am pretty much invested from the start. Sure enough, the monster movies turn into horror movies, which is unavoidable, but they inclusion is way more fun since we get to see twisted monster designs and awesome monster attack scenes. Today’s film made me realize that Tom Sizemore is a good actor and that Penelope Ann Miller looks hot as a nerdy scientist in the science fiction/horror movie The Relic.
Penelope Ann Miller stars as Dr. Margo Green, an evolutionary biologist at Chicago’s Field Museum of Natural History who receives a shipment of artifacts from a colleague performing fieldwork in Brazil. Among the contents are leaves containing a rare fungus that, unbeknownst to Green or anyone else, attracts the palate of a rapidly mutating, lizard-like monster called Kothoga that has stowed away on a Brazilian freighter and has found a subterranean route into the museum from Lake Michigan. Before long, several museum employees have become decapitated snack food for the beast, which prefers to dine on human hypothalamuses and pituitary glands. Despite dire warnings from the museum staff, a gruff coroner (Audra Lindley) and the investigating detective, Lt. Vincent D’Agosta (Tom Sizemore), the Windy City’s oblivious mayor orders a black-tie museum fundraiser to proceed. During the event, the building’s high-tech security system locks Green, D’Agosta, the mayor, and many chi-chi party guests in with the hungry animal, forcing everyone to attempt an escape through an underground waterway with which Kothoga is all too familiar. ~ Karl Williams, Rovi
Channeling a little bit too much from Alien and other sci-fi horror films, The Relic is a monster film that is eerie, but also fun as hell to watch. It might remind you of other films it tries to emulate, but the monster, setting and unfolding of the action is unique and frightful with jump scares and visceral gore. I never realized how utterly huge that museum was in the movie, big enough to hid a monster the size of a Rhino. That thing hides so easily amongst the crypts of museum underbelly it almost seems laughable. That’s beside the point as The Relic just takes you on a ride full of gore and horror movie scares.
I enjoyed, even to this day, the whole mythology of the beast and the relation it had to the studies that Miller did in the movie. It added a supernatural feel to the story, building up this psychotic beast of a monster that just destroys everyone in it’s path. I do have to say that the monster design wasn’t shabby and scared the shit out of me when I saw it. Lots of razor sharp teeth and shit, you know, what every monster has.
The Relic was a forgettable film when it came out. Kind of the throwaway horror movies that get churned out and borrow a familiar premise from other movies in the genre. For me though, it was an awesome little ride in an enclosed space that reminded me so much of Alien. The enclosed, claustrophobic space is enough to enhance element of fear and make the monster more menacing. Miller and Sizemore actually play their respective parts well and it was a good, Saturday night type of horror film.