Thanks to the never-ending deluge of sequels, spin-offs, reboots, remakes, and everything in between, it’s a lot more difficult these days to name a horror franchise that hasn’t been into the ground. Species is one of many, but even at that, it would be a stretch to say the opening chapter is anything more than a cult favorite.
It was certainly a success at the box office after hauling in $113 million on a $35 million budget back in 1995, but respective Rotten Tomatoes scores of 42 and 31 percent from critics and audiences are what you’d generously describe as less than stellar. And yet, because it was a high concept genre film that turned a tidy profit, the world was gifted with three sequels spread out over the next 22 years, all of which made the original look like a classic by comparison.
On paper, a psychosexual genre-bender that finds a scientist obtaining the genetic sequencing for alien life and then using it to create a human/extraterrestrial hybrid – which then escapes from containment and sets about a gruesome quest to find a human male willing to impregnate her and begin repopulating – has the potential to be something special, but Species was a lot more interested in showing skin above anything else.
Not even the combined star power of Ben Kingsley, Alfred Molina, Forest Whitaker, and a young Michelle Williams could elevate it above “meh,” but looking at the fact it’s currently one of the most-watched movies on both Prime Video and iTunes per FlixPatrol, there’s an eager audience out there willing to wade into its mundane waters.