What came first, the chicken or the egg? This question has baffled scientists, philosophers, witches, and warlocks alike for the span of recorded history. Luckily, I can answer this riddle. Not in a “meaning of life” way or with a witty “Darwinian” limerick, but through the lens of horror cinema.

Have you ever seen a horror film where a creature is birthed right there on the screen, and then it begins its pursuit of survival and destruction of all that lies in its path? Of course you have! Have you by chance watched that film with someone so scared they ran for their lives into the next room for the remaining hour until the creepy, scary thing on TV is gone and they are free to return for mild shaming and a light game of Yahtzee or Scrabble? Most definitely. Well, my friends, that person is a chicken; and that beautiful creature on the screen that hatched before your very eyes, well that monster came out of an “egg.”

Check out this list of the Top 10 Most Horrific Hatchlings in Horror History!

 

10. Critters 2: The Main Course (1988) – Right in the Tehachapi!

critters 2 easter bunny
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Oh, the horror! Oh, the humanity! Look at those foul fluffy little beasts! Aren’t they adorable? Critters 2: The Main Course hit the screen in 1988 putting us right back on earth, but this time these little hatchlings want a bigger bite of the pie, they want the whole town. The film received much criticism including a review from Roger Ebert saying, “It lacks all of the style and sense of fun of the original Critters (1986) and has no reason for existence…”. Is he wrong? Eh. But would we miss that iconic {Spoiler Alert} Easter Bunny scene where he finds a freshly hatched Critter egg outside of the church leading him to a painful death via his hoo-ha? I know I would. Stop reading, watch the movie, then come back to finish the list. You’ll want to prepare for the new T.V. Series Critters: A New Binge (2019) which premieres on Shudder March 21st.

 

 

9. Anaconda (1997) – This river can kill you in a thousand ways.

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Welcome back. Here’s a fact about Anacondas you probably didn’t know. They regurgitate their victims back up so they can kill and eat them again for pure joy and satisfaction. Yeah, I know, it’s freaking insane! In Anaconda (1997) we follow a documentary crew, including the talented Jennifer Lopez (The Cell), Ice Cube (Ride Along), and Owen Wilson (Night at the Museum), journeying through the Amazon where they pick up the wrong man, Jon Voight (Midnight Cowboy), who takes them captive. This leads them on a mad hunt to capture a legendary giant Anaconda. Simple, yet effective. This creature feature isn’t the best movie ever made but that behemoth snake, a mix of practical puppetry and CGI, holds up pretty well. I know we don’t get to see the Anaconda hatch, but science is science and snakes come from eggs!

 

8. Q: The Winged Serpent (1982) – Its name is Quetzalcoatl…just call it “Q.”

Q-the-winged-serpent
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Fun fact: Winged serpents also come from eggs. Do you know how I know? Because “Mama Q” has nested at the top of the Chrysler Building in this masterpiece by Larry Cohen (The Stuff). The basic premise of this film is that Aztec murders happening in New York City summons a flying mythical lizard queen Quetzalcoatl, and she’s going to wreak havoc on all the city dwellers walking down below. This monster movie belongs in the annals of history somewhere between Godzilla (1954), and Frankenstein Conquers the World (1965). The stop motion “Q” tied in with the cinematography of Fred Murphy (Freddy vs. Jason) makes this a must-see on any bucket list. If you need any more convincing, Michael Moriarty (The Stuff), as Jimmy Quinn, gives us the performance of a lifetime.

7. The Birds (1963) – The next scream you hear may be your own.

the birds
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It’s a bird, it’s a plane…no, well yes! It’s many birds in Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds (1963)! The master of suspense, Alfred Hitchcock (Psycho), delivers one of his top contributions to cinema with this solid gold horror gem. Poor Melanie Daniels, played by Tippi Hedren (Roar), falls for Mitch Brenner, played by Rod Taylor (Inglorious Basterds), and follows him along the coast to his home town. Unfortunately, for her, these two love birds are about to get stuck in the middle of an avian attack, one that has scared viewers ever since. There’s a beautiful scene in this film involving a group of children and Tippi Hedren running for their lives as they are swarmed down upon by a murder of crows. You can easily see the movie magic that was used to pull off this stunt but, it makes every bit of this film all the better.

 

6. Gremlins (1984) – Never let them eat after midnight.

gremlins getting wet
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In Gremlins (1984) we follow Billy Peltzer, played by Zach Galligan (Hatchet 3), who is one of the luckiest boys alive. His inventor father, played by country/folk singer Hoyt Axton, brings home a pet from Chinatown, a Mogwai. This adorable little fellow named Gizmo sings, dances, and loves cable T.V. But, after getting wet, more Mogwai pop from Gizmo’s back. These don’t like following the rules. After sneaking in a midnight snack, they cocoon themselves, and out hatch a batch of Gremlins leaving Billy to defend the town along with his new pal Gizmo. This Christmas staple continued to its sequel Gremlins 2: The New Batch (1990).

5. Slither (2006) – Don’t let em’ in your mouth!

Slither-Bathtub-
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A sleepy little town gets a significant wake-up call when a meteorite crashes in the forest and hatches a parasitic alien worm species. Grant, played by Michael Rooker (The Walking Dead), stumbles upon the meteor and is soon infected by the extraterrestrial slugs. In a “Cronenberg” fashion the people of the town become infected and turn into mutant slug sacks spreading the parasite to whoever crosses their path. This directorial début by James Gunn (Guardians of the Galaxy) leaves no stone unturned when it comes to the horror comedy sub-genre. Even though Slither (2006) bombed at the box office, it’s offensive, hilarious, and gruesome nature puts it on top as one of the best horror films of the 2000s and rightfully earns it the cult following it deserves.

4. The Mist (2007) – Don’t go out there! There’s something in the mist!

the-mist-movie
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The Mist (2007), an adaptation of Stephen King’s novella The Mist, is about a military experiment gone awry that unleashes a plague on a town in Maine. An epidemic where creatures, quick to kill,  hide in the mist leaving the people to defend themselves in the only safe place they can find — a grocery store. You’re probably wondering how The Mist (2007), directed by Frank Darabont (The Walking Dead), managed to get on a list of horror hatchlings. You might be asking yourselves “Don’t the creatures just come out of the mist?” or screaming at your screen “We never see them hatch…you’re a liar!” Well, there is one scene that will serve as pure nightmare fuel. {Spoiler Alert} A guy in the back of the store is tied up in a web, and interdimensional Lovecraftian space spiders proceed to hatch out of his face! Oh, and when he falls to the ground as the team is fighting all the mama spiders, his body explodes into a million little spiders like a hot pocket.

 

3. Jurassic Park (1993) – Hold onto your butts.

jurassic park birth scene
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Arguably the Citizen Kane (1941) of any egg hatching sequence to grace the silver screen. A scene as iconic as Rocky celebrating at the top of those steps in Rocky (1976), or Danny riding his trike down the hallway only to turn the corner and see those creepy twins in The Shining (1980), and even Tom Greens performance of “Daddy Would You Like Some Sausage” in Freddy Got Fingered (2001). Directed by Steven Spielberg, Jurassic Park (1993) brought to life the dinosaur in a way we have never seen. The combination of CGI and practical effects was mind-boggling. The birth of that baby velociraptor was and remains a heart-wrenching moment and one of the most significant images captured in cinematic history. Does anyone else wonder what scrambled dinosaur egg would taste like?

2. Alien (1979) – There seems to be life…organic life.

The Greatest Year in Horror Film History- Alien
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This hatchling, in Ridley Scott’s magnum opus Alien (1979), is the cream of the crop of anything ever to spawn from an egg and be caught on celluloid. The Facehugger. The one creature from any cinematic universe that I would never want to run across. It’s like a camel spider on LSD. Its legs look like long bony fingers, and it latches to its victims face, planting its seed deep inside their stomachs. In the film, we follow the crew of the Nostromos spaceship which intercepts a distress signal from a distant planet. Responding to the call, they discover a chamber of alien eggs. Crew member Kane, played by John Hurt (Harry Potter), gets a little to close and a Facehugger leaps out and latches to his head. The crew gets him back onboard, but they are unaware of the parasite growing inside of his body.

1. Alien (1979) – Xenomorph – So nice it hatches twice!

chestburster alien
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That’s right fiends! You didn’t forget about the Xenomorph, did you? The most horrific hatchling in horror history! Nothing beats John Hurt (Harry Potter) having a baby Xenomorph burst out of his stomach while all of his friends watched around him knowing they are all doomed.

 

 

What are your Top 10 Most Horrific Hatchlings in Horror History? Let us know on the official NOFS Subreddit, Twitter, and in the Horror Movie Fiend Club on Facebook!