The Relic (1997)

It’s surprising that this effective monster movie hasn’t developed much of a fan base, given how atmospheric and fun the whole thing is. The natural history museum is a unique setting for a horror movie, while Penelope Ann Miller’s brainy heroine makes for a compellingly unusual horror lead. In addition, the creature effects are surprisingly solid for its era, and there are a number of tremendously well-directed sequences that stand out. But really, it’s the oppressive atmosphere that makes this movie so special: From the first few moments, director Peter Hyams captures an eerie mood that suggests that anything could happen and manages to keep it for the entire duration of the movie. It’s not great cinema but it’s a lot of fun for creature feature fans.

Rating: ★★★ (out of 5)

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