While cute critters frolicked innocently in Anastasia, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, and Dharma & Greg, the darker — and hungrier — side of animal life came to the fore this year as a gruesome new trend: animals eating people.
It started in April with Anaconda, a delectable piece of Amazon camp featuring a snake that hugged its human victims real hard before swallowing them whole. Ice Cube and Kari Wuhrer’s characters vanished relatively early, but perhaps as punishment for his ridiculously unplaceable accent, Jon Voight’s was eaten, upchucked, then eaten again.
In May, various explorers served as lunch for ticked-off dinosaurs in The Lost World: Jurassic Park, and in August’s Mimic, two boys exploring a decrepit subway tunnel fell victim to giant cockroaches with an eye toward world domination — and tender, free-range Manhattan tykes.
September brought the goriest slaughter in The Edge, in which a territorial Kodiak bear tore a yelping photo assistant (Harold Perrineau) limb from limb, while co-castaways (Alec Baldwin and Anthony Hopkins) and audiences looked on. Two months later, Starship Troopers boasted a brain-sucking bug that brought the IQ of army brat Zander (Patrick Muldoon) from 130 to 0 in five seconds.
Finally, there was South Park’s resilient cartoon Kenny, who bought it each week. Our favorite: the Thanksgiving episode, in which he was picked to bits by a flock of rabid turkeys, who sauntered off with his eyeball. Somewhere, Fiona Apple was smiling.