Movie Review: Tremors (1990)

by StevenHelmer

A review of the 1990 horror comedy starring Kevin Bacon and Reba McEntire.

Synopsis: The dozen or so citizens of Perfection, Nevada normally live a quiet life. That is, until, they begin to be terrorized by gigantic, man-eating creatures that live underground and are attracted to sound.
Adding to the town’s problems is the fact the only road in and out of their valley has been blocked by a rockslide that also knocked out their phones. They aren’t able to escape and they are unable to call someone for help.

Who's in it?


I had an opportunity to watch this particular movie for the first time in a while this past weekend. And, I have to say, I enjoyed this film as much as I did the first time I saw it.

The thing that really stands out about this film is the way the writers successfully manage to include quite a bit of comedy, making this a funny movie, without losing the horror aspect of it. This is actually something that is not the case with many other movies I’ve seen. A lot of films will attempt to do that but will either completely lose track of the fact the movie should be somewhat scary too or the jokes are poorly written, don’t fit with the story and, as a result, the entire film ends up being painful to watch (sadly, this is something that ended up being the case with the various sequels to this movie).

I think one of the things that really has a positive effect on the movie is the “graboids.” Monsters that can’t be seen always tend to be a bit scarier and these could pop up from under the ground without any sort of warning. And, since they follow sound, there was no easy way of escaping them once they were near you. This creates a few somewhat intense scenes that would normally be unexpected from a film like this, especially since the graboids are smart enough not to fall for the same tricks twice.

Another thing I really like about this movie is the ensemble cast. Films like this only really work if you have a strong group selling the terror. That was the case with this group. Just as important though is the fact you have to really believe their characters. This is something that can be a bit difficult because you have to give them some depth. But, in this particular case, the writers did just enough to make the characters at least seem like someone you would expect to meet in a small town in the middle of the desert.

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Tremors: The Complete Series

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Final Opinion

Final Opinion:  The fact it is mixed with comedy does keep this from becoming a true horror movie. However, I would rate this higher than many other so-called scary movies and, if nothing else, would describe it as a film that is just fun to watch regardless of how many times you’ve seen it.

My Grade: A

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Updated: 12/22/2016, StevenHelmer
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DerdriuMarriner on 02/19/2022

StevenHelmer, Thank you for product lines, pretty pictures and practical information.
The library system here has this film, which I don't recall ever seeing. It lists no sequels so I won't have a chance to find out how disappointing they are.

What would you envision as a worthy sequel?

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