The GBHBL Definitive Ranking of The Tremors Movie Series

The original Tremors is a beloved movie, seen by fans as a fun, tongue in cheek monster horror not to be taken too seriously. What followed could never hope to live up the original’s quality even when trying out new ideas and variations.

The star of the movies are subterranean monsters that look like giant worms given the name of Graboids. Assaulting the town of Perfection, Nevada several times throughout the series, it’s a location many are familiar with thanks to these movies.

Think Perfection, think Graboids.

Burrowing its way out of the ground back in 1990, it might surprise some to know that the Tremors’ franchise is now 7 films deep. The latest called Tremors: Shrieker Island released in 2020.

This ranking is based on our original scores when we first reviewed the movies. As always, if two movies scored the same then they will be in order of which we’d prefer to watch again.

7 – Tremors 5: Bloodlines (2015)
Our Score: 5/10

The Tremors franchise seemed to be running out of steam way before they went back to the past with Tremors 4: The Legend Begins. The 4th movie in the series was a prequel and suggested they had run out ideas on how to move forward. Well, it only took 11 years to release Tremors 5: Bloodlines and after seeing it, they probably shouldn’t have bothered.

A perfectly watchable film, enjoyable while it is on but instantly forgotten. The problem lies in the overly familiar plot even if they try to mix things up by evolving the Graboids yet again. This time though it comes across half-baked and not thought out.

If you’ve watched every film in the series so far then check it out. It pushes the story on a little bit but for everyone else, don’t bother, you’re not missing out.

You can read our full review here.

6 – Tremors: Shrieker Island (2020)
Our Score: 5/10

Tremors: Shrieker Island moves the Graboid action to a remote island known as Dark island. Got Graboid problems? Who are you going to call? Why Burt Gummer of course, played once again by Michael Gross.

If there is one reason, and often it’s the only reason to keep watching Tremors’ movies, it is Burt Gummer. Michael Gross has somehow turned the surely bastard that played third fiddle to Kevin Bacon and Fred Ward in 1990, into a star. No Burt Gummer, no Tremors. It’s as simple as that.

The problem here is just how often we’ve seen this same set of events over and over again. There’s nothing new or interesting going on and in some scenarios the rules are changed to such an extent that the ‘horror’ aspect of this series goes right out the window.

The most important part of the monster movie series Tremors feels so neutered that it stops being fun to watch.

You can read our full review here.

5 – Tremors: A Cold Day in Hell (2018)
Our Score: 5.5/10

Tremors: A Cold Day in Hell doesn’t try too hard but has enough positives to make it an enjoyable enough watch.

It depends what you expect at this stage. If you’re going in having not seen any of the sequels then you might be in for a rude awakening. However, followers up to this point will feel right at home.

A Cold Day in Hell opens in the frozen land of Canada’s Nunavut Territory. There, a team of researchers are attacked by what seems to be a Graboid. That’s impossible, though…right? They stick to the Southern Hemisphere only.

Anyway, it turns out that global warming increased the Arctic conditions making them prime for Graboids. It’s a decent explanation and also allows the film-makers to explain away the non-snowy environment.

Ultimately, Tremors: A Cold Day in Hell is a movie that doesn’t harm the franchise nor do anything to improve it. It has its moments but many more that disappoint. Not essential viewing.

You can read our full review here.

4 – Tremors 3: Back to Perfection (2001)
Our Score: 5.5/10

After two good films in the franchise, they just couldn’t leave it alone. Tremors 3: Back to Perfection is a disappointing and unnecessary entry. However, it’s not without some of the classic charm thanks to a returning cast. I mean, it’s called Back to Perfection after all.

It’s not that Tremors 3: Back to Perfection is a bad movie. More that it really didn’t need to be made and certainly doesn’t enhance the series as a whole. A forgettable entry that is only really worth watching to see the characters you remember from the first interact again!

You can read our full review here.

3 – Tremors 4: The Legend Begins (2004)
Our Score: 6/10

Having worn out its welcome with the disappointing third entry in the series, it’s amazing that a fourth movie was released in 2004. What possible direction could they take it now? We’ve had Graboids, Shriekers and Ass-Blasters. What could they possibly evolve into now?

The answer is nothing as Tremors 4: The Legend Begins chooses to instead go down the prequel route.

It’s an improvement over the third film in the franchise. Had it been the final one, it would have been a satisfying conclusion to the series. It’s a pity we didn’t really get to learn anything new about Graboids though. However, thanks to Michael Gross it’s well worth a watch.

You can read our full review here.

2 – Tremors 2: Aftershocks (1996)
Our Score: 6.5/10

After the runaway success of the 1990 monster movie, Tremors a sequel was inevitable but it wouldn’t be until 1996 that we got one. A direct to video release (for reasons that make little sense once you’ve seen it), Tremors 2: Aftershocks is an entertaining movie that holds up well in the story department and the creature effects.

Keeping it silly, just like the first film makes Tremors 2 a lot of fun to watch. While some of the characters don’t connect it the same way, the acting from most can’t be faulted.

It would have been easy to just rehash the same story in a different location so credit has to be given for the change in direction that comes midway. It’s a brave move and pays off as the new monsters, Shriekers are just as dangerous.

You can read our full review here.

1 – Tremors (1990)
Our Score: 7.5/10

In Perfection, Nevada something is wrong. Very wrong.

The first and still the best, Tremors is a wonderful mix of classic monster movies and B-movie horror. Its appeal comes from the top cast and impressive effects. As the leads, Kevin Bacon and Fred Ward are very likeable and convincing as uneasy heroes. They play off each other brilliantly and are backed up by a varied and well-acted cast even when there are a few cheesy lines of dialogue to spit out.

The film is paced perfectly. Building to the reveal in such a way that the shock felt by the actors is felt by the viewer. Early on we’re made aware that it’s something under the ground but what it is, no-one could have imagined. It really helps that the effects are so good and still hold up nearly 30 years later.

You can read our full review here.


  • Carl Fisher

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