The Relic (1997)

I vaguely remember seeing this movie in the theater when it came out. It’s one of those horror movies that tries really hard to be exactly like every other horror movie, but it keeps moving fast enough to engage the viewer.

The beginning shows an anthropologist guy in South America involved in some tribal ritual before heading back to Chicago with some cargo for the museum where he works. The ship arrives, but no crew or passengers are alive. The story then shifts to the meat and potatoes with the mainish character being evolutionary biologist, Dr. Margo Green (Penelope Ann Miller). She works in the museum and as people start dying in brutal ways, she investigates the cargo that arrived from South America to piece together what might be doing the killing. Tom Sizemore plays a police detective investigating the ship and murders. He’s smart, so he puts things together for the audience.

The suspense builds nicely as the creature of the movie is not seen until the end. I have to imagine this was done less for the suspense and more for hiding the awful CGI. The real creature FX from Stan Winston were great, though, it’s just when they had to pop in some CGI that it all went to hell.

The gore was also a plus as it’s got bodies, severed heads, blood, bones, brains, autopsies, you name it. For a mainstream Hollywood movie from the late 90s, it’s pretty nasty.

Overall, it’s nothing special, but fun for a creature flick. Once was definitely enough.

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Currently available for streaming on Amazon Prime