We made it through another March fiends! A new month means a new theme here on Nightmare on Film Street, and this April we are celebrating Reaper Madness Month as we honor all our favorite horror movies involving the Grim Reaper and drug trips. Name a better duo. Today we’re leaning towards the latter with this list and taking a look at the mother of all drugs…plants! They give us oxygen, they give us joy when we place them around our house, and in horror, they give us some seriously big scares. Read on to find out my picks for the 10 biggest, baddest, and most evil plants of them all.
10. Scary Movie 2 (2001)
Ah marijuana, it’s the reason for the season. It’s also the reason for many of the scenes in the Scary Movie franchise, including this memorable entry from Scary Movie 2. After watering a marijuana plant with bong water, Shorty (Marlon Wayans) inadvertently creates a giant weed monster. Using bedsheets, the weed monster rolls Shorty into a massive joint and lights up. While iconic, this evil plant ranks low on our list because Shorty seems to sincerely enjoy the experience, burnt hair and all.
9. In the Tall Grass (2019)
Let’s add grass to the list of everyday things that Stephen King has managed to make terrifying. Based on the novella written by King and Joe Hill, In The Tall Grass centers around siblings Becky (Laysla De Oliveira) and Cal (Avery Whitted) who get lured into the depths of some very mystical, very evil, very tall grass. Too tall to see over, the grass has the ability to imperceptibly transport the people within it, sending them way off their course in any direction. While off course, our characters are subjected to a myriad of horrors that can all be traced back to the grass, making it a very evil plant indeed.
8. Annihilation (2018)
Annihilation is a very trippy and highly recommended movie that follows a group of women exploring an area called “The Shimmer” where some sort of alien presence has mutated all living things in the vicinity. And, you guessed it, plants are alive so naturally some of the plants become very evil. At first, they don’t seem so bad, the plants are actually quite pretty, and they can turn themselves into figures resembling humans, which is pretty cool! But as time goes on, the ability of the plants is revealed to be much more sinister and I am left angry that some pretty flowers were able to deceive me so horribly.
7. Altered States (1980)
I bet you weren’t ready for evil MUSHROOMS! In Altered States, psychopathologist Edward Jessup (William Hurt) travels to Mexico to participate in a ceremony to further his studies of states of consciousness. This involves him ingesting a mixture of sacred mushrooms, flowers, and roots (three plants in one!), and is almost instantly thrust into vivid hallucinations and loses control of his actions. On their own, drugs are not inherently evil, but the things that Eddie does as a result of consuming the mixture rank pretty high on the evil scale. Stop reading now if you haven’t seen Altered States, but at one point my guy gets so high that he turns into a caveman, breaks into the local zoo, and tries to eat a rhino. And that’s not even all! It’s epic, but still evil.
6. Poltergeist (1982)
Ah trees, the biggest of the plants. With great size comes great potential for evil and the tree from Poltergeist certainly lives up to that potential. This tree is spooky enough on its own and dad Steven (Craig T. Nelson) tries reassuring his son Robbie (Oliver Robins) by telling him the tree is there to protect them, which is very sweet, but couldn’t be more wrong. During a thunderstorm one night, a big gnarled branch crashes through the bedroom window and grabs Robbie, pulling him out of the house as the tree tries to eat him. Bad tree!
5. Creepshow (1982)
More Stephen King?! You betcha. In this section of the anthology, titled The Lonesome Death of Jordy Verrill, the hapless Jordy (Stephen King) witnesses a meteorite crash land onto his property and after touching it, his body becomes overtaken by this moss-like plant. Living in fear that any doctor would cut off the parts of his body afflicted by this moss, he seeks no treatment and before he knows it, his entire home and farm, as well as his body, have been consumed by the fast spreading plant. Poor Jordy didn’t stand a chance.
4. Little Shop of Horrors (1986)
We cannot talk about evil plants for too long without mentioning the mean green mother from outer space, Audrey II (Levi Stubbs). Initially, the Audrey II is nothing more than an adorable venus flytrap picked up on a street corner by Seymour (Rick Moranis) and named after his unrequited love (Ellen Greene). Soon enough though, Audrey II will only grow if fed human blood, and once Seymour can no longer provide the necessary amount of blood himself, he must find some more creative/murderous solutions. Don’t be fooled by this plant’s beautiful baritone singing voice, it goes from a bad influence to straight up evil at the drop of a hat.
3. The Ruins (2008)
Spoiler alert for those who have never seen The Ruins: it’s about evil plants! Who knew? I sure didn’t, so you can imagine my surprise when after a group of friends’ vacation goes horribly wrong, leading to a pretty gnarly leg injury, Stacy (Laura Ramsey) wakes up the next morning to find a freaking vine growing out of the open wound. These vines are mean, aggressive, and much sneakier than you’d expect. They really get under your skin…if you know what I mean.
2. The Happening (2008)
Okay. The Happening is a movie where plants and trees make people kill themselves all over the Northeastern part of the United States. We’re not here to talk about the quality of the film, but we are here to talk about the evilness of the plants, and these plants are downright diabolical. Initially mistaken as some sort of terrorist attack via biochemical warfare, the toxin that the plants release causes humans to lose all of their self preservation tendencies and leads to them killing themself in whatever way is most readily available to them. There are A LOT of rules to this plant toxin, but the long and short of it is that it has the capacity to wipe out entire populations of people in five minutes flat and that is pretty dang evil.
1. The Evil Dead (1981)
Now if you think that asshole from Poltergeist was a bad tree, then you aren’t ready for the evil tree we encounter in The Evil Dead. Five friends vacationing in a cabin in the woods, awakening a demonic entity. What could go wrong? Things go very wrong for poor Cheryl (Ellen Sandweiss) when she goes out into the woods to investigate a strange noise (NEVER do this!) and is attacked by an evil tree. The tree scratches her, rips her clothes, and restrains her, all of this culminating in the infamous tree rape scene. This tree is the worst tree and far and away the most evil plant.
Are all plants born evil? Or do they have evilness thrust upon them? Did I miss any of your favorite evil plants in cinema? Let us know over on Twitter, Reddit, and in the horror movie fiend club on Facebook! For more horror straight to your inbox, be sure to join the Neighbourhood Watch!