Skip to content

The Relic (1997) Review

The Relic is a 1997 American science fiction horror film directed by Peter Hyams and starring Penelope Ann Miller, Tom Sizemore, and Linda Hunt. The film is based on the novel Relic by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child.

The film centers on an anthropologist, Dr. Margo Green (Miller), who is called to a museum in Chicago to investigate a series of mysterious deaths. The deaths are linked to a rare African artifact, and Green soon realizes that the artifact is actually a relic of a primitive, prehistoric creature. The creature is now loose in the museum, and Green must stop it before it kills again.

The Relic sticks out in my mind for having one of the most bizarre looking creatures that I’ve seen in a horror flick. Created by the late, great Stan Winston, it’s like a cross between a lizard, a lion and a boar. Very unusual, but it works well. The general special effects are solid enough, even though at times they looks too damn CGI like, but thankfully this doesn’t happen very often.  The gore scenes are great, nothing better than seeing folks getting heir heads ripped off, or cut in half by a giant, grizzly beast. Fun stuff.

Scares wise this movie can be pretty damn creepy at parts and the suspense is layed on thick. You never quite know when the monster is going to jump out and in the atmosphere of the museum it makes for a real unnerving viewing experience. Penelope Ann MIller does wonders performing her character Dr Green, also Tom Sizemore puts in a solid act as the Police Lt hell bent on finding out who the ‘murderer’ is and conveys across the frustration of his character well. To sum up, fine performances from all of the cast.

Pacing wise, The Relic is slow to start off with, things start to roll about half way through however. The SWAT raid on the museum is an an awesome scene and worth watching this movie for in itself. So am I gonna recommend The Relic? Yeah I am. If you can get a hold of the new Blu-ray I’d recommend it. The movie is dark (as you may gather from the screenshots) though, so be warned, you may have to up the brightness on the TV, but to be honest, i find the darkness helps to make it that much more unnerving. Definitely worth a watch anyways.

The Relic is an entertaining and suspenseful thriller. The creature effects are well done, and the film features a solid cast. The story is a bit far-fetched, but that doesn’t make it any less enjoyable. If you’re a fan of horror films, or simply a fan of good films, then you should check out The Relic.


The Relic is a 1997 American science fiction horror film directed by Peter Hyams and starring Penelope Ann Miller, Tom Sizemore, and Linda Hunt. The film is based on the novel Relic by Dean Koontz.

Dr. Margo Green (Penelope Ann Miller) is a zoologist at the Natural History Museum in Chicago. She is investigating a series of brutal murders in which the victims have been mutilated. The police suspect that the killer is an animal, but Green believes that the culprit is something far more dangerous.

Green’s investigation leads her to a remote jungle in Brazil, where she discovers a horrifying creature that is responsible for the murders. The creature is a relic from a lost civilization, and it is now loose in the city of Chicago. Green must stop the creature before it kills again.

The film was a box office success, grossing $33 million worldwide. It received mixed reviews from critics, with some praising the film’s atmosphere and acting, while others criticized its plot and pacing.

Movie Details

Director: Peter Hyams
Writer: Douglas Preston, Lincoln Child, Amy Jones, John Raffo, Rick Jaffa, Amanda Silver
Actors: Penelope Ann Miller, Tom Sizemore, Linda Hunt, Clayton Rohner
Release Year: 1997