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Them! (1954)

Them! is a classic b-movie sci-fi horror directed by Gorgon Douglas. After strange goings on and several unexplainable deaths in the New Mexico dessert, the police and army call in a scientist to investigate.

The British scientist and his daughter soon discover that a race of gigantic ants are living under the dessert, and are mutations created from latent radiation left over from earlier atom bomb tests.

Them! is well acted, frightening, and engaging from start to finish. The cast is pretty damn good, especially James Whitmore as the pretty intelligent cop who found a five year old girl, aimlessly walking through the terrain of the desert— miles from her family's wrecked travel trailer—unresponsive by some catastrophe.

After a failed attempt to kill the ants in the dessert, they soon spread to the city and its a race against time to prevent them from breeding and spreading all over the country. Given the year this film was made, the special effects are very convincing, and a great soundtrack adds to the atmosphere. The last battle at the end of the film, between the army and ants in the storm drains of L.A. was the perfect ending, well acted and filmed.

Them! is one of the best monster films ever made. Certainly the best horror of the fifties, and is a must watch for all horror fans.

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