Swamp Thing

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"Science transformed him into a monster. Love changed him even more!"
  • PG-13
  • 1982
  • 1 hr 31 min
  • 5.3  (15,882)
  • 50

Swamp Thing is a 1982 comic book adaptation directed by horror and suspense specialist Wes Craven. The film follows the story of a government scientist named Alice Cable (played by Adrienne Barbeau) as she moves to a remote Louisiana swamp to work on a secret project. Her boss, the villainous Dr. Anton Arcane (Louis Jourdan), is also there, running secret experiments which he hopes will allow him to create a formula for immortality.

As time passes, Alice encounters the mysterious, supernatural Swamp Thing (Ray Wise), a humanoid monster that arises from the swamp. At first, Alice is understandably frightened, but eventually ends up befriending the creature. Swamp Thing is, in actuality, Dr. Alec Holland, who worked on the same project as Alice until an explosion in the lab turned him into the monster. Now, Alec seeks to reverse the transformation and, with Alice's help — and some interference from Dr. Arcane and his henchmen — he sets out to destroy the experiment and regain his humanity.

The plot of Swamp Thing may not be groundbreaking, but the film is notable as one of the first attempts to bring the beloved comic to the big screen. Wes Craven's direction is more subdued than what fans of his later horror films (such as A Nightmare on Elm Street and Scream) might expect, but he keeps the film moving at a steady pace, and the film features some of the then-state-of-the-art special effects that make it visually impressive even today.

In addition to the impressive effects, the film benefits from the casting of Adrienne Barbeau as the film's leading lady, Alice. Barbeau, known for her roles in TV's Maude and the classic horror anthology Creepshow, brings an undeniable charisma to the film, grounding it and elevating the material. Louis Jourdan, meanwhile, brings a sense of little-understood evil to his portrayal of Dr. Arcane, creating a character that is both powerful and menacing. Even Ray Wise, who spends the majority of the film encased in Swamp Thing makeup, is able to convey a sense of humanity and emotion through his performance.

Despite its flaws, Swamp Thing is a fun and nostalgic classic, offering up a thrilling mix of action, suspense, and horror. Its focus on practical effects, rather than CGI, makes it a charming relic of a bygone era of filmmaking. Fans of the comic book series will appreciate the faithfulness to the source material, while newcomers will find themselves drawn in by the film's captivating characters and exciting set pieces.

Overall, Swamp Thing is a worthy entry in the canon of creature features, and it represents the first step in the journey of a beloved comic book hero to the big screen. It may not be the most technically impressive film, nor the most compelling, but it is a testament to the enduring power of the comic book format and the imagination of Wes Craven.

Swamp Thing is a 1982 horror movie with a runtime of 1 hour and 31 minutes. It has received mostly poor reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 5.3 and a MetaScore of 50.

Swamp Thing
Where to Watch Swamp Thing
Swamp Thing is available to watch free on Plex. It's also available to stream, download, buy and rent on demand at The Roku Channel, Apple TV, Vudu, Amazon, Google Play and YouTube VOD. Some platforms allow you to rent Swamp Thing for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 31 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    5.3  (15,882)
  • Metascore