The original Tremors is one of those nostalgia inducing movies from my childhood. I picked that movie off the shelf of the Blockbuster more than once. I loved the tension of the graboids being able to sense your movement and it made walking around on dirt like going into the water in a Jaws movie. The sequels have mostly just been ways to not do that original concept anymore with things like smaller versions of the monster that walk around called shriekers that sense heat to the assblaster, a version that farts fire to launch itself into the air and glide around. Seeing that this installment has at least gone back to the standard underground worm monster as being the main threat is nice.
The only character to survive and star in all the movies so far is Burt Gummer, a survivalist nut that is trying to turn his monster hunting thing into a reality show. He gets a new camera guy, Travis Welker (Jamie Kennedy), that wants to help make Burt famous. The opportunity for that arises as a South African man shows up to ask for Burt’s help as apparently there has been an assblaster attack. What had previously been thought to only be a creature that was in North America, the graboids are now attacking people in Africa at a nature preserve. This time it seems like the creatures have evolved yet again and are now larger and smarter than their American cousins.
I like the reality show conceit as an intro to the movie since it gives a more natural way to introduce anyone that hasn’t watched the movies to the various types of graboids. It’s weird though that for the first act of the film, it’s all about Travis trying to film things and get the “Gummer Brand” going and then it just gets completely dropped till the end of the movie. He is supposed to be a badass cameraman and then as soon as they get to South Africa and things are happening the camera disappears and is not mentioned again. Instead we get a movie that feels like it’s really trying to sell us on Jamie Kennedy being a badass action guy which I don’t understand why it wants to do that but whatever. There is an almost love triangle between Travis, a doctor at the animal refuge, and one of the other workers there that I was pleasantly surprised to have it play out that the worker becomes an action badass in his own right and ends up with the girl.
The odd thing about this movie is that over the course of the film, it causes me to start to root more and more for the monsters. It turns out that the only reason they are attacking people is because one of their eggs went missing. Given that in the internal history of the movies, graboid attacks were only spotted in North America; it would seem that they have lived in relative peace with humans for a long damn time. Instead of returning the egg, though, they blow up the entire nest and electrocute the mother to death. I don’t know if they were trying to make me see the main characters as huge assholes but that’s how it ended up. Also, the twist is that Travis is Burt’s son so that Bloodlines is referring to both the characters and the monsters. Oh movie, you so clever.
I ended up liking the film a fair deal more than I thought I would. For a sequel to a lesser known franchise, this had a lot going for it plus several scenes that were fun plays on stuff from the first film. I’d give this a 3.5 out of 5 and say that it’s a fun monster romp if you’re into those.
Favorite part of the movie: One of the assblasters recreates the kitchen scene from Jurassic Park.
Least favorite part: Shriekers do not show up at all in this. If you’re going to go to the trouble to tell us about them and how they are part of the graboid life cycle, at least put one in the movie.