Spring is in the air. We all know what that means: eggs. They look so innocent cuddling in a basket, lingering on the lawn, and hiding out in curio cabinets wearing Fabergé disguises, but we know better.
Awful and oblong, harboring secrets within slick, sneaky shells, eggs are scary because of the secret terrors they contain. Shells wiggle, crack, and then—oh, god—hatch. Anything could be inside. Dinosaurs. Aliens. Spiders. Zombified chickens. All outcomes are bad. It’s best to prepare ourselves. The terror of springtime’s biggest threat is acknowledged in these films of egg-related horror.
The first rule of egg horror is never steal an egg. It might look abandoned, and you might think yourself sneaky and clever, but this act will come back to bite you—in the most horrific way. Writer-director Lee Thongkham’s 2022 film The Lake deals with this very scenario. An egg theft prompts the arrival of a hungry lake monster. Find out if the isolated locals will catch the beast in time to avoid becoming tasty morsels in this film starring Chakrit Boonkeaw, Naiyana Bumee, and Wanmai Chatborirak.
Who hasn’t brought home a mysterious egg and incubated it inside their stuffed animal? In Hanna Bergholm’s relatable 2022 film, The Hatching, Tinja (Siiri Solalinna), a 12-year-old gymnast, finds an abandoned egg and nurtures it in secret. She’s expecting a typical bird, but the egg grows extra-large, and she’s surprised by what’s inside. Her influencer mother (Sophia Heikkila) makes it difficult to keep her newborn a secret. This eggish film tells of the perils of trying to look perfect on social media.
Eyelids are the chicken coop of your nightmares in Yukihiko Tsusumi’s 2005 arthouse film Egg. A woman, Tsukiko Arai (Inuko Inuyama), has a bizarre condition: she sees an egg every time she closes her eyes. This nightmarish scenario escalates when the shell begins cracking (never a good thing). Also starring Hye-yeong Jo and Jirô Satô, Egg combines elements of horror and fantasy in an egg-cellent, unexpected way.
The egg is symbolic in Wang Quan’an’s 2019 slow-build, Mongolian arthouse murder mystery. Opening with the discovery of a dead body and the beginnings of a police procedural, this film ultimately focuses on the life of a local herdswoman. A fossilized dinosaur egg offers a meditation on cycles of birth and death. Wide shots of the vast Mongolian landscape set the scene for this unexpected and artistic take on egg horror.
Gooey alien eggs are a huge problem in Luigi Cozzi’s 1980 sci-fi horror film Contamination. These eggs release a toxic substance causing humans to explode upon contact. Never a good thing, unless you’re the egg. Commander Ian Hubbard (Ian McCulloch), Colonel Stella Holmes (Louise Marleau), and NYPD Lieutenant Tony Aris (Marino Mase) must stop the wrath of not only the eggs, but also a cyclops alien.
Alien and Aliens
Egg horror abounds in Ridley Scott’s 1979 film Alien and James Cameron’s 1986 sequel, Aliens. Starring Sigourney Weaver as Lieutenant Ellen Ripley, Alien follows the crew of a commercial space tug exploring an abandoned spaceship. They make a strange discovery: hundreds of large eggs. This might seem like a sexy pre-omelet event until eggs slowly peel open, birthing dreaded Facehuggers. In the sequel, the discovery of the alien queen laying eggs is a badass moment for flame-thrower-wielding Ripley. It’s not brunch, but a massacre.
Not all eggs are bad! Maybe. Eggs represent hopes as well as fears in Stephen Spielberg’s 1993 film, Jurassic Park, an adaptation of Michael Crichton’s novel by the same name. Starring Sam Neill, Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum, and Richard Attenborough, this is a story of a dinosaur amusement park gone very wrong. Baby dinos hatch in a lab, but when big hungry beasts get loose, the discovery of broken shells implies unrestrained breeding in the wild. Maybe egg-hatching was a bad choice, but you’ll never know if you don’t try.
Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead
The laying of eggs is especially wild and perverse in Lloyd Kaufman’s 2006 cinematic classic Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead. Zombie chickens exact their revenge by taking over a fast-food restaurant. This is a basketful of chicken horror goodness. Just when you think the mayhem is under control, the chickens lay more eggs.
Bonus: Twilight Zone Season 2, Episode 10—“You Might Also Like”
You probably need an egg. All the cool kids have one. Eggs are coveted possessions in writer-director Osgood Perkins’s 2020 Twilight Zone episode, “You Might Also Like.” People have been convinced they need a giant egg, but no one knows what’s inside. Mrs. Warren (Gretchen Moi) questions the situation, though her friend Ellen Jones (Greta Lee) is eagerly awaiting her appointment time. Set in the universe of “To Serve Man,” a popular episode of the show that aired in 1962, “You Might Also Like” implies the eggs have alien origins.
So many spooky eggs, so little time. Special mention goes out to Frank Marshall’s 1990 Arachnophobia, with its giant spider egg sac on the verge of hatching and a desperate man with a nail gun. Let’s not forget the hungry, alien monsters hatching in a coastal Irish town in John Wright’s 2012 Grabbers. And, of course, Ivan Reitman’s 1984 Ghostbusters, with eggs jumping out of shells to cook by themselves on the counter—a clear indicator of past life intruding on the present time. Finally, in Mick Garris’s 1988 film, Critters 2: The Main Course, a bunch of eggs hatch little monsters who descend upon the town.