In the midst of the tiresome slasher revival of the late 90s that 'Scream' began, this nifty little creature-feature flitted into cinemas by the skin of its wing and dared to take us back to that greatly missed and brilliant animal-attack horror pack of the 1970s, and along with 1999's other equally ignored but typically fine animal pedigrees ('Shark Attack' and 'Komodo'), which were then followed by the creepy-crawlers of 'They Nest'. On a budget almost as miniscule as the world's smallest bat, director Louis Morneau should be applauded for assembling a small group of quietly impressive character actors in a charming location and letting rip with some of the finest not-so-obviously digital FX seen in a movie of this type, and unlike the slipstream of pop-culture saturated, bloodless slashers and moribund car-crash twist-enders resulting from 'seeing dead people', 'Bats' commits the cardinal sin among 90s critics by playing it absolutely straight, and giving something familiar, yet clearly unhip for the 'new' audience. Bloody tough, that, cos on DVD, revellers who appreciate some finely-tuned suspense in a recognisable setting, which also won't scrimp on some well-achieved attack sequences, will actually invite a bite. Or two.
Add to this the gorgeous Dina Meyer who convinces as a batologist far moreso than the usually big-boobed pretenders in the scientific roles, the caring, deliberately unstereotypical sheriff winningly rendered by Lou Diamond Phillips who actually cares about his flock (sorry) of townspeople, and Bob Gunton, who has fun as an amalgamation of just about every nutty nature-meddler that's ever set foot in a lab, and you're in great company and there's so very little to find fault with her. Even the disc has a nest of extras, very rare for a flick of this type.
Rip the jugular out of the miserable snobs who declare something like this "bottom horror" (whatever that means) and wrap yourself in this little cloud of terrors who'll bite and suck with relish, while the movie happily dispenses with the latter. Bat-tastic.