Paramount Pictures | Release Date: January 10, 1997
8.7
USER SCORE
Universal acclaim based on 56 Ratings
USER RATING DISTRIBUTION
Positive:
46
Mixed:
8
Negative:
2
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6
GregEFeb 16, 2008
Yes, another monster-in-the-hallway horror movie. You saw it in 'Alien' and countless (fun) ripoffs thereof since, and here it is again, with whiz-bang CG effects, high-polish production values and Stan Winston creature design. Yes, another monster-in-the-hallway horror movie. You saw it in 'Alien' and countless (fun) ripoffs thereof since, and here it is again, with whiz-bang CG effects, high-polish production values and Stan Winston creature design. While true that some who haven't read the book thought this movie was just "fine", those who know the book, myself included, are most assuredly disappointed by the marginalization of the nastiness, adventure and suspense, in favour of simply "showing off" the monster effects. Peter Hyams may know how to make a fun thriller, but there is ZERO scare factor here -- something the novel had oodles of... too bad, because if this film had been scary (good) enough, there could have been a sequel, like the book had. Expand
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5
TheQuietGamerOct 18, 2016
It's got the workings of a decent creature-feature. There are even moments that hint at potentially deeper elements than your average B-movie. Unfortunately all of that ends up squandered. The monster still ends up being the most enjoyableIt's got the workings of a decent creature-feature. There are even moments that hint at potentially deeper elements than your average B-movie. Unfortunately all of that ends up squandered. The monster still ends up being the most enjoyable part of the movie, and it hardly feels even apart of it at all.

The Relic wastes so much time fleshing out it's characters. This may sound like a stupid complaint, especially since the genre is very commonly criticized for not doing that, but I've never seen so much work go into building up characters this unlikable. So I can respect the movie for trying to make us care about it's characters by actually telling us who they are and letting us in on their little quirks, but I can't praise it for failing to do so.

There are some interesting themes running in the background here. There's lite talk of the balance between science and mythology, superstitions, and peaks into scientific analysis among other things. However these elements are only mentioned in passing. These deeper topics that could have made the film more interesting do not get touched on. They only feel included as references to the themes of the book it's based on.

So what about the actual monster? Well, when it's finally let off of it's leash and really gets to causing mayhem, the movie gets much more entertaining. It's just a shame it takes so long for it to happen.

Things get fun in that B-movie sort of way. There are some gory kills and a really cool looking monster. You definitely wish more of this took place in the light though. Director Peter Hyams leaves the majority of the action in the dark. You still get to see the good stuff though, but the squinting isn't exactly appreciated.

Overall The Relic is a B-horror movie that takes way too long getting to the fun stuff. Before the monster gets on with it's killing spree the movie goes on for way too long trying to flesh out the characters and setting. Neither of which are interesting. It also manages to gloss over the more interesting topics in favor of cheesy humor and goofy moments. There's still some fun to be had here in it's final act when it gets to the stuff you showed up for in the first place. The question is whether or not it's worth wading through the other stuff to get there. It all depends on your attention span. Personally, I recommend skipping this one in favor of the B-flicks that deliver the goods all the way through.

5.8/10
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4
WriteFilmLive21Dec 1, 2012
"The Relic" certainly had potential in concept, but in its overall execution, it is something of a failure. Most of the movie is very visually dark, leaving you only barely understanding what's going on, and the great creature effects are"The Relic" certainly had potential in concept, but in its overall execution, it is something of a failure. Most of the movie is very visually dark, leaving you only barely understanding what's going on, and the great creature effects are thus mostly hidden in shadow and given few opportunities to shine. The acting is okay, and in terms of suspense and attack scenes it's decent. But the poor lighting really hurts the film, and the ultimate demise of the creature is cliched and exaggerated. This movie might have been better had it focused more on the transformative nature of the creature - as is, however, it's fairly missable with only moderate entertainment value. Expand
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