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horror movies with insects arachnophobia

Horror Movies About Insects Worth Checking Out

One of humanity’s primal fears concerns insects, since bugs bring with them a feeling of invasion, potential diseases, uncleanliness, and a general repulsive quality. Their appearance, so different from that of the cuddliness of mammals, also is a source for our unease, since they might as well be space monsters as far as we’re concerned.

Pop culture has gotten a lot of mileage out of our fears of insects, with everything from “don’t let the bed bugs bite” being a warning for children to the slew of roaches, spiders, worms, bees, and other creepy crawlies that have infested our multiplexes for decades. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the most interesting flicks about insects that send shivers down our spines once the lights go down.


Produced by famed production company Amblin, and directed by Amblin cofounder Frank Marshall, this creature feature from 1990 focuses on an arachnophobic big-city doctor who travels to a small town for work and soon gets embroiled in an outbreak of deadly spiders on his farm.

It’s a good, spooky treat that’s safe for families – at least those with older kids – since it has that familiar Steven Spielberg touch that lets you know things won’t get too out of hand. John Goodman’s appearance as a brash and heroic exterminator is a highlight.

The Nest

This 1988 film is part of the 1980s’ fixation on gruesome, realistic practical effects, something that horror fans simply cannot get enough of. With genetically engineered cockroaches taking over a town, and human mutations ensuing, you can probably guess that this one wasn’t going to win any BAFTAs.

Still, its effects work is incredibly impressive, so if you’re looking for something different to put on your horror watchlist, and if you’ve burned through all the heavy hitters, this is a strong choice.

creepshow movie 1982 cockroaches
Creepshow Movie (1982)


Only one segment of this 1982 anthology film focuses on insects – “They’re Creeping Up on You!” – but it’s a solid little segment that finds a misanthropic E.G. Marshall doing battle with a swarm of cockroaches. Anyone with a fear of bugs will surely feel their skin start to crawl as much as the film’s pests do, so this is a must-watch for horror fans.

The film also features numerous other amazing segments, all delivered by the horror maestros Stephen King and Georg A. Romero, tied up in an E.C. Comics tribute. A classic through and through.


Before James Gunn was making superhero movies for DC and Marvel, he was pushing himself past his Troma roots and trying some different genre film approaches. One of his most satisfying efforts is 2006’s Slither, a comedic sci-fi/horror film that finds a small town getting invaded by worm creatures from beyond the stars.

With good jokes, fun characters, and some truly terrific practical effects the likes of which hadn’t been seen in horror in some time, Slither is one of the better creature features of the new millennium, and one that surely should be on your list.


William Friedkin, renowned director of The Exorcist, returns to the horror genre with this tale of drug abuse, paranoia, and madness. As Agnes White and Peter Evans, played by Ashley Judd and Michael Shannon, slide deeper and deeper into instability and insanity, they believe they have bugs crawling inside them, and seek ways to end the threat.

A host of other paranoid thoughts inflict the characters, as they dive into conspiracy theories and begin to damage their surroundings and themselves, making for a truly unsettling but of psychological horror.

phase IV 4 movie ants
Phase IV Movie (1974)

Phase IV

Following a mysterious cosmic event, ants begin to evolve incredibly quickly and start building bizarre towers in the desert, while humanity struggles to make sense of the phenomena and where it is all heading.

Though this 1974 film was a financial and critical failure, and even found itself shown and mocked on Mystery Science Theater 3000, its status as the only film famed graphic designer Saul Bass ever directed makes it stand out. Bass worked as a designer for many prominent directors including Stanley Kubrick, Alfred Hitchcock, Billy Wilder, and Martin Scorsese, and this film finds his skilled and unusual artistic eye being put to use behind the lens. Worth it for the visuals alone.

The Fly

No list of Hollywood insects would be complete without the 1986 masterpiece by David Cronenberg, featuring the dazzling performances by Gena Davis and Jeff Goldblum.

While the 1950s’ original is beloved by some horror fans, it’s this remake that truly gets to the heart and horror of the matter, showing the grotesque results that can come about from playing God. It’s disturbing, stomach-churning, operatic, and hauntingly beautiful, and it is simply one of the genre’s best.

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Thanks for viewing ‘Horror Movies About Insects Worth Checking Out’ written by Linton Lewis.

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