Hitting theaters this weekend is The Meg, a story about a megalodon that emerges from the ocean's depths to terrorize the crew of an underwater research facility and nearby swimmers. To celebrate the film that depicts a massive fish wreaking havoc on humanity, we've rounded up some of the best films that depict animals taking out their vengeance on whoever is in their path.
The horrors of the untamed world have regularly become the subject of horror movies, with virtually every creature in the animal kingdom ultimately taking center stage in these horrific narratives. As proven by The Meg and the previous two summers' The Shallows and 47 Meters Down, sharks might be the animal that most regularly becomes the villain, likely due to the animals themselves and the ocean both being rife with a mysterious intimidation.
Having previously compiled the best shark-themed horror movies, which you can read here, we're leaving these animals off the list in hopes of shining a light on other powerful beasts.
Scroll down to see some of the best animal attack horror movies!
Even Alfred Hitchcock, considered by many to be one of the greatest filmmakers of all time, knew the inherent unease of seeing massive flocks of winged animals that humanity seemingly has an unspoken agreement with to avoid.
In The Birds, a small coastal community finds itself under siege by a variety of local species, including gulls, sparrows, and crows, with the attacks starting off small and specific to individuals before the chaos escalates to the whole town falling under attack.
One of the most effective components of the film is that, rather than there being a specific inciting incident that ignites the retribution, the birds attack without warning and ultimately leave without explanation. Additionally, birds are rarely considered dangerous, as compared to other well-known predators, until they all flock together and attack in unison. After witnessing The Birds, audiences will surely think twice about walking by a group of the creatures gathered together in a tree despite previously feeling relatively safe in the company of the animals.
Jaws proved that taking an aquatic animal and depicting them as bloodthirsty monsters was a box office and critical success, leading to countless imitators that aimed to recreate the familiar formula. Sharks are easily the most recognizable aquatic predators, though piranha
Unlike Jaws or The Birds, the bloodthirsty animals in Piranha aren't an example of nature going
While the film might not be entirely frightening, it's fully entertaining, delivering both violence and laughter to viewers.
In the vein of Piranha, Prophecy serves as a cautionary tale of the deadly impact human civilization has on an ecosystem, as you never know what monstrosity might be created in the wake of "progress."
Researchers head to a small town in Maine to ascertain the impact of a new lumber yard, discovering that fish in nearby waters have begun growing to immense sizes. Aquatic animals aren't the only ones to be subjected to bizarre mutations, as a monstrous bear creature begins fatally attacking many citizens of the nearby town.
The conceit of man's impact on nature isn't the only thing Prophecy shared with Piranha, as this film also serves up equal doses of humor and horror, in addition to one of the more unique creature designs of the subgenre.
Since the debut of Stephen King's novel, "Cujo" is a nickname given to virtually any dog that appears to be violent or angry. This image of an angry dog was aided by the film adaptation of his novel, which offers a more grounded approach to animals on the attack.
After a saint bernard chases a rabbit into its den, only to be infected by a bat with rabies, it begins causing carnage in its journey back home, no matter who stands in his way. When a mother and son's car breaks down near Cujo, they are trapped in their vessel as the creature poses an intimidating threat.
Virtually everyone has had at least one bad encounter with a dog, with Cujo taking that concept to its extreme. While the film is compelling and effective, we can't help but feel bad for the dog that started the film as nothing more than a big, cuddly canine.
Much like Cujo plays on primal fears of large, domesticated animals, Arachnophobia cashes in on seeing creepy crawlies invading your house and potentially hiding just out of sight.
After a researcher is killed in a South American rainforest by a venomous tarantula, the body is shipped back to his small hometown, with a deadly species of spider also hitchhiking along with the corpse. The invasive species
A majority of interactions humans have with spiders end up with the eight-legged critter becoming a casualty, but Arachnophobia plays on that instinctive fear we have of the arachnids. Emphasizing those horrors is that many scenes use actual spiders, inspiring countless chills to run down our spines.
The premise of Jaws was that a larger-than-life shark terrorized a small beach community, regardless of human interference. Anaconda attempted to emulate this structure, as there was nothing special about the animal other than its size was slightly exaggerated, which apparently resulted in it becoming a bloodthirsty monster.
When a documentary crew heads into the Amazon in hopes of catching a glimpse of a remote tribe, they end up crossing paths with a snake hunter who leads them on an expedition to capture a massive anaconda, only for the crew to suffer one fatal interaction after another.
Anaconda might not have genuine thrills, but it offers hilarious special effects, ridiculous acting performances, and endlessly quotable bits of absurd dialogue. It might be tough calling the film "good," but it's incredibly watchable.
Much like its predecessor accomplished 30 years earlier, Piranha 3D focused on delivering an audience an entertaining adventure as opposed to delivering a believable premise.
When an earthquake opens up a chasm to an underwater lake, a prehistoric species of piranha emerges and begins to terrorize a popular spring break destination.
The film takes full advantage of the burgeoning 3D technology, delivering audiences buckets of blood and gore splattering across the entire screen. In hopes of giving audiences a ludicrous experience, Piranha 3D also offers viewers