Brilliant '50s monster movie, arguably the best, about ants who grow to man-eating size after being exposed to atomic radiation in New Mexico. Extremely suspenseful movie moves at lightning pace and seems more potent than ever thanks to ingenious plotting, truly dazzling direction. Many classic vintages; climatic sewer battle with flamethrowers is highlight. Blink-literally-and you'll miss Leonard Nimoy at a teletype machine. Special effects are a wow!
This movie started the trend of normal animals get mutated by radiation and then goes on a rampage. While utterly laughable by today's understanding of radiation, this movie plays strongly into the fear of 1950's audience of not knowing what the ramifications of such technology could bring about. The future was bright and scary all at the same time. The treat of being wiped out by other nations was a constant lingering thought and this movie suggests that we might not need another nation to exterminate us, but we car capable of doing it on our own with the monsters of our own creations.
Originally, this was going to be released in color, which is why the opening title card is a bright red to this day, but it was decided to have the film remain in black and white, which is all for the better I'd say. The atmosphere of the bleak landscapes and striking figures of the giant ants would not have been quiet so terrifying if audiences could see them as they were, giant hand held puppets. Good on you Warner Brothers, for once a studio note that vastly improves a film instead of hindering it.
Effects are very good for 54. Quite impressive actually. While 1 or two things may not be explained the overall puzzle of Them! is simple yet effective.
It may be a by the numbers atomic age create feature, but the way it was done was great. They make no attempt to blame anyone for the creation of Them, but it's simply a new reality to face.
Well done and a must for any monster movie fan.