Eco-Horror is a sub-genre of horror that explores environmental themes and plotlines. It takes an earth-centred approach to horror and addresses how human culture’s connection to the physical world – which it is both affecting and affected by it – can result in terrifying events. Anything earth related technically falls under eco-horror, but they are usually films about animals or creatures, plants, and environmental disasters, both natural and man-made.
Our world is becoming more aware of our role in the environment thanks to climate change activists like Greta Thunberg and animal environment activists like Steve Irwin’s kids Bindi and Robert, but horror has been ahead of the curve with this understanding for a long time.
We can expect the horror genre to engage with this topic more in the coming years, but here are some of the best films we have so far.
10. Creature From The Black Lagoon (1954)
The last classic monster from the Universal Monster cycle, Gill Man from Creature from the Black Lagoon is a perfect example humanity’s fear of the unknown, and perhaps a lesson about when we should leave well enough alone. Gill Man lives peacefully in the Amazon jungle until his habitat is disturbed by a scientific expedition and because we just can’t help ourselves, the scientists decide that he must be captured and studied.
Creature from the Black Lagoon features many moments of pure, unadulterated horror but it also confronts us with an important question: do we have the right to remove this creature from its home and use scientific (and often inhuman) methods to study it? Gill Man’s willingness to kill to preserve his freedom is shocking to the scientists, but would we do anything different in his shoes?