Reviewed by: JimmyO
What's it about
When a group of ants invade an island somewhere around Brazil, a group of glorified bug b gone are dispatched to control the little beasts and send them straight to hell. But these ants soon turn into millions of really smart insects that can f*ck with this team of so-called bug killers.
Is it good movie?
You know why there was a point in time that these man vs. nature movies were freaky? I think I finally figured it out. Movies like Kingdom of the Spiders, The Swarm or Ants were creepy because they were killing in our own backyard. You could watch one of these flicks and then see a damn spider crawling on the floor are realize that it was all true. Well, okay maybe it wasn’t true. But there was a sense that this could happen. But with The Hive, it wasn’t CG that killed the beast, it was the sheer sense of, ‘So?’ that brought down these little critters. This is some island somewhere that has a bunch of extras running when the director yells CUT. The actual characters, basically The Thorax Team, are so dull that you don’t feel a thing when the CG critters attack. And it’s really far away so I know those pesky insects aren’t coming to my neck of the woods.
The story revolves around this ant attacking this island. Hell, they even kill a baby in the opening scene. So this group of bug killers come along and torch the place. I’m guessing this is a bad idea, because soon the ants are back, and this time they can band together and create “ant tentacles“ which look really silly. It seems that they are pissed off that people are invading their island. But you know human beings, no damn ant is going to chase them away. There are several shots of people being covered by ants and it looks fake. Director Peter Manus is able to offer a couple of suspenseful scenes but in general, this is by the numbers, killer insect filmmaking. Not the worst of its kind, but it still isn’t any good.
I liked the idea of these insects getting under everyone’s skin because let’s face it, swarms of ants are really disturbing. I’ve seen a number of killer ant movies and I usually like them. But this Sci-Fi Channel, “Maneater” series is much like the others in this killer animal series. The special effects are bad and the script and direction are painfully unimaginative. Although I think this was sadly one of the better ones, mostly because I did like both Kal Weber and Elizabeth Healey as the heroes of the piece. The stunt casting of ex-good ole’ boy, Tom Wopat was fine (you know, fame). He did what he had to do, and that was to be used as some sort of conduit for the ants. But as for a creepy crawly horror adventure, this is one that you’d best just catch on Sci-Fi if nothing else is on.
Video / Audio
Video: This 1.66:1 Presentation is good as expected from Genius.
Audio: Also good is the Dolby Stereo. When the ants are chompin’, don’t bother knockin’ cuz they sound like killer ants chowing down on human feed.
We get a preview of the other films in the “Maneater Series”. I guess the ants got to the extras.
While not the worst in this series of films, The Hive is still a very predictable man vs. nature flick. It lacks the impact of those Seventies flicks that didn’t happen on an island somewhere far, far away, they happened in your own back yard. But for a modern day killer ant flick, it was passable, as long as it was on the Sci-Fi Channel and you have nothing better to do. And without the extras, you might as well just watch it on T.V. instead of purchasing (or renting) the DVD. It is almost worth watching for the surprise sci fi “twist” at the end… well, maybe not.