15 Amazing Movies Featuring Bugs

Have a fascination with spiders and other crawlers or on the contrary, a fear of them? 

You are not alone. One in three movies show an insect, either a solo fly or ant that pops up in a movie you wouldn’t qualify as a bug movie, or an entire colony taking over a town which then becomes much more important to the plot. 

Either way, bug movies are a big deal and there are even “Bug Wrangler” who will take care of those bugs on set. Do not worry, the U.S. Humane Society makes sure that no bugs are harmed during filming.

If you’re fascinated with bugs, here are fifteen bug movies you should watch!

Disclaimer: The first ten are horror movies. 


1. Arachnophobia (1990)

Personally, my worst nightmare! A small town in America finds itself taken over by millions of spiders. 

Genre: Horror, Thriller, Comedy

Length: 109 min 

Logline: A species of South American killer spider hitches a lift to the U.S. in a coffin and starts to breed and kill.

Starring: Jeff Daniels, Harley Jane Kozak, John Goodman 

Writers: Don Jakoby (story) (screenplay) | Al Williams (story) | Wesley Strick (screenplay) 

Director: Frank Marshall

Budget: $22 Million Dollars

US Box Office: $53.2 Million Dollars

World Box Office: $53.2 Million Dollars

2. Them (1954)

A black and white movie influenced by the rise of atomic energy (a big concern in the 50s), this movie still is terrifying today and won an Oscar for its special effects.

Genre: Horror, Sci-Fi

Length: 94 min

Logline: The earliest atomic tests in New Mexico cause common ants to mutate into giant man-eating monsters that threaten civilization.

Starring: James Whitmore, Edmund Gwenn, James Arness, Joan Weldon

Writers: Ted Sherdeman (screenplay) | Russell S. Hughes (adaptation) (as Russell Hughes) | George Worthing Yates (story)

Director: Gordon Douglas

Budget: $2.35 Million Dollars

US Box Office: $2.2 Million Dollars

World Box Office: Not reported

3. The Fly (1986)

Scientist Jeff Goldblum accidentally matches his DNA with a fly, soon turning him into a human-fly hybrid. 

Genre: Horror, Drama, Sci-Fi

Length: 96 min

Logline: A brilliant but eccentric scientist begins to transform into a giant man/fly hybrid after one of his experiments goes horribly wrong.

Starring: Jeff Goldblum, Geena Davis, John Getz

Writers: George Langelaan (from the story by) | Charles Edward Pogue (screenplay by) | David Cronenberg (screenplay by)

Director: David Cronenberg

Budget: $15 Million Dollars

US Box Office: $40.4 Million Dollars

World Box Office: $60.6 Million Dollars

4. Mimic (1997)

New York city is infested by cockroaches. Scientists create a new kind of bug that will kill them. You guessed it, the new bug adapts and starts feeding on humans.

Genre: Horror, Sci-Fi

Length: 105 min

Logline: Three years ago, entomologist Dr. Susan Tyler genetically created an insect to kill cockroaches carrying a virulent disease. Now, the insects are out to destroy their only predator, mankind.

Starring: Mira Sorvino, Jeremy Northam, Alexander Goodwin, Charles S. Dutton, Giancarlo Giannini

Writers: Donald A. Wollheim (based on the short story “Mimic” by) | Matthew Robbins (screen story by) (screenplay by) | Guillermo del Toro (screen story by) (screenplay by)

Director: Guillermo del Toro

Budget: $30 Million Dollars

US Box Office: $25.4 Million Dollars

World Box Office: $25.4 Million Dollars

5. Tarantula (1955)

One tarantula is transformed into a giant monster by a scientist. 

Genre: Horror, Sci-Fi

Length: 80 min

Logline: A spider escapes from an isolated Arizona desert laboratory experimenting in giantism and grows to tremendous size as it wreaks havoc on the local inhabitants.

Starring: John Agar, Mara Corday, Leo G. Carroll, Ross Elliott, Nestor Paiva

Writers: Robert M. Fresco (screenplay) (story) | Martin Berkeley (screenplay) | Jack Arnold (story)

Director: Jack Arnold

Budget: Not Reported

US Box Office: $1.1 Million Dollars 

World Box Office: Not Reported but since it’s an old movie, most likely not much


6. The Swarm (1978)

Killer Bees are attacking people. Not so fun fact: real bees were used for this production.

Genre: Horror, Thriller

Length: 116 min

Logline: A huge swarm of deadly African bees spreads terror over American cities by killing thousands of people.

Starring: Michael Caine, Katharine Ross, Richard Widmark

Writers: Arthur Herzog III (novel) (as Arthur Herzog) | Stirling Silliphant (screenplay)

Director: Irwin Allen

Budget: $21 Million Dollars

US Box Office: 7.7 Million Dollars (considered a commercial failure)

World Box Office: Not Reported

7. Ticks (1993)

 A bunch of teenagers camp far away from civilization and get attacked by mutated ticks. 

Genre: Horror, Sci-Fi

Length: 85 Min

Logline: A group of troubled teenagers are led by social workers on a California wilderness retreat, not knowing that the woods they are camping in have become infested by mutated, blood-sucking ticks.

Starring: Rosalind Allen, Ami Dolenz, Seth Green

Writer: Brent V. Friedman

Director: Tony Randel

Budget: $2 Million Dollars

US Box Office: Not Reported

World Box Office: Not Reported

8. Bug (2006)

A couple is convinced their hotel room is hosting a flesh eating bug. A psychological thriller that takes you on a ride where nothing is what it seems. 

Genre: Horror, Thriller, Drama

Length: 102 min

Logline: An unhinged war veteran holes up with a lonely woman in a spooky Oklahoma motel room. The line between reality and delusion is blurred as they discover a bug infestation.

Starring: Ashley Judd, Michael Shannon, Harry Connick Jr., Lynn Collins

Writer: Tracy Letts (screenplay) (play)

Director: William Friedkin

Budget: $4 Million Dollars

US Box Office: $7 Million Dollars

World Box Office: $8 Million Dollars

The Wasp Woman (1959)

A Female Cosmetic Company owner promises a cure based on wasp royal jelly against aging but the results turn her into a wasp.

Genre: Horror, Sci-Fi

Length: 63 Min

Logline: The head of a major cosmetics company experiments on herself with a youth formula made from royal jelly extracted from wasps, but the formula’s side effects have deadly consequences.

Starring: Susan Cabot, Anthony Eisley, Barboura Morris

Writers Leo Gordon (screenplay) | Kinta Zertuche (story)

Director: Roger Corman

Budget: $50 Million Dollars

US Box Office: Not Reported

World Box Office: Not Reported

10. They Nest (2000)

A deadly cockroach breed is infesting a small town in Maine and is eating people from the inside.

Genre: Horror, Sci-Fi

Length: 92 Min

Logline: A Maine island becomes infested with lethal insects that root inside their victims, while a local doctor battles the bugs and incorrigible locals that don’t believe him.

Starring: Thomas Calabro, Dean Stockwell, John Savage, Kristen Dalton

Writers: John Claflin | Daniel Zelman

Director: Ellory Elkayem

Budget: $4 Million Dollars

US Box Office: Not Reported

World Box Office:  not reported

11. Eight Legged Freaks (2002)

In the same vein as Arachnophobia, a small town is taken over by big dangerous spiders. 

Genre: Action, Adventure, Comedy

Length: 99 min

Logline: Venomous spiders get exposed to a noxious chemical that causes them to grow to monumental proportions.

Starring: David Arquette, Kari Wuhrer, Scott Terra, Scarlett Johansson, Doug E. Doug

Writers: Ellory Elkayem (story) (screenplay) | Randy Kornfield (story) | Jesse Alexander (screenplay)

Director: Ellory Elkayem

Budget: $30 Million Dollars

US Box Office: $17.3 Million Dollars

World Box Office: $45.8 Million Dollars

12. Honey, I shrunk the kids (1989)

An inventor accidentally turns his kids into bug-size. We now follow the kids on their journey in the backyard, which through their eyes is like a gigantic city filled with bugs. 

Genre: Comedy, Adventure, Family

Length: 93 min

Logline: The scientist father of a teenage girl and boy accidentally shrinks his and two other neighborhood teens to the size of insects. Now the teens must fight diminutive dangers as the father searches for them.

Starring: Rick Moranis, Matt Frewer, Marcia Strassman, Kristine Sutherland

Writers: Stuart Gordon (story) | Brian Yuzna (story) | Ed Naha (story) (screenplay) | Tom Schulman (screenplay)

Director: Joe Johnston

Budget: $18 Million Dollars

US Box Office: $130.7 Million Dollars 

World Box Office: $222.7 Millions Dollars

13. A Bug’s Life (1998)

Genre: Animation, Adventure, Comedy

Length: 95 min

Logline: A misfit ant, looking for “warriors” to save his colony from greedy grasshoppers, recruits a group of bugs that turn out to be an inept circus troupe.

Starring (Voice Over): David Foley, Kevin Spacey, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Hayden Panettiere

Writers: John Lasseter (original story by) | Andrew Stanton (original story by) (screenplay by) | Joe Ranft (original story by) | Don McEnery (screenplay by) (as Donald McEnery) | Bob Shaw (screenplay by)

Directors: John Lasseter | Andrew Stanton (co-director)

Budget: $120 Million Dollars

US Box Office: $162.7 Million Dollars

World Box Office: $363.2 Million Dollars

14. Antz (1998)

Genre: Animation, Adventure, Comedy

Length: 83 min

Logline: A rather neurotic ant tries to break from his totalitarian society while trying to win the affection of the princess he loves.

Starring (Voice Over): Woody Allen, Dan Aykroyd, Anne Bancroft, Jane Curtin

Writers: Todd Alcott (screenplay) | Chris Weitz (screenplay) | Paul Weitz (screenplay)

Directors: Eric Darnell (directed by) | Tim Johnson (directed by)

Budget: $105 Million Dollars

US Box Office: 90.7 Million Dollars

World Box Office: 171.7 Millions Dollars

15. Bee Movie (2007)

The adventures of a bee. 

Genre: Animation, Adventure, Comedy

Length: 91 min

Logline: Barry B. Benson, a bee just graduated from college, is disillusioned at his lone career choice: making honey. On a special trip outside the hive, Barry’s life is saved by Vanessa, a florist in New York City. As their relationship blossoms, he discovers humans actually eat honey, and subsequently decides to sue them.

Starring (voice over): Jerry Seinfeld, Renée Zellweger, Matthew Broderick

Writers: Jerry Seinfeld, Spike Feresten, Barry Mrder, Andy Robin, Chuck Martin, Tom Papa

Directors: Simon J. Smith | Steve Hickner

Budget: $150 Million Dollars

US Box Office: $126.6 Million Dollars

World Box Office: $293.5 Million Dollars

Halloween might have passed, but it’s always a good time for a bug movie! Enjoy these 15 classic bug movies!

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