Directed by: Roger Donaldson
Starring: Natasha Henstridge, Michael Madsen, Ben Kingsley
Species has all the elements that most cheap horror movies have; plenty of boobs and blood and a cast of one-dimensional characters teaming up to stop a monster. What sets it apart entirely is the monster, which is not only not some dumb crazy alien thing, but which is a character that actually has an arc and you, the audience, can associate with her.
Ben Kingsley finds a code for some alien DNA in a transmission from space and decides to use it to fertilize a human egg and grow some half-human half-alien monster girl. She grows up extremely quickly and escapes when they try to kill her. She’s on the run from Kingsley’s crack team of two scientists, a psychic, and Michael Madsen, who must catch her before she mates and spreads her deadly species.
Like I said, the high point of this film is the monster, who we spend time with before really knowing what’s going on and who we genuinely feel sorry for, even through the first few killings. That’s an impressive thing to pull off in a horror movie! Not only that, but they do a great job of reflecting the audiences feelings with the soft-hearted psychic Forest Whitaker who even at the end doesn’t necessarily want to kill her, but knows he has to. There’s an emotional involvement in the hunt for the monster, and it actually makes for a good slasher-type movie. Also yeah, there’s cool monster effects and boobs galore, I’m not going to deny the obvious draw those things also bring to the table.