[Some spoilers included. It's mostly opinions though.]
Squirm is a movie released in 1976. The genre here is something I have seen done many times, but not always well: swarm horror. The idea of a swarm horror is you take something that is small and normally not a problem and then have them swarm the characters of the film with such great numbers that it makes them more dangerous than they normally would be. In this case the swarm is... worms.
The problem with a lot of swarm films is that the swarm itself tends to be rather soulless and uninteresting. Say, if a small town is being terrorized by a big, angry bear, there tends to be a bit more impact behind the singular creature, even if it is just an animal. But swarms tend to be less compelling and mindless.
That problem doesn't necessarily mean that the swarm movie is going to be trash. Where a swarm lacks impact, the human characters are fully capable of picking up the slack. This was the case with Squirm. It was the humanity of the film that held my interest. and in some cases, a stark lack of humanity became the true horror of the film.
The film takes place in Fly Creek, Georgia, a fictional town that is about as rural as you can imagine. Everyone here is simple and mind their own business. The protagonist, Mick, is from the polar opposite of this place, New York City. He also comes across as the most "alive," if that makes sense.
Everyone in this town already feels dead... on the inside. They are just going from day to day, not really trying to be anything more than what they are. So when there ends up being a worm swarm crawling up from the ground beneath their feet, nobody seems to have the ability to accept or even acknowledge it. Mick seems to be the only person able to "see" what's happening and acts as a sort of lifeline to all these zombie-like people.
And the latter point is really where the horror of this movie happens. As weird as the worm situation is, there is something wrong with the inhabitants of Fly Creek! I'm not even sure if the makers of the film had that in mind. I was more interested in the people than I was in the worm swarm.
Even the sheriff was trapped within his own mind. He could not see what was happening right in front of him. He was more worried that Mick was causing trouble because of how he was acting. It was entirely reactionary. He wasn't even using any of his intelligence.
If you decide to watch Squirm, pay very close attention to the people in this film. They are what make the movie work. The swarm of worms are only made interesting by their interactions with the main character set. It was a fascinating movie about the pitiful mental condition of many humans, and I do recommend it for the horror that that portrays.
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