Snakes, like spiders, are among the most feared creatures in our animal kingdom. It seems ripe for some seriously scary horror films, but surprisingly the snake films go far beyond the typical long films about creatures one would expect.

We’ve scoured the archives to compile a list of favorite movies in which snakes play a central role – or are an important part of the main plot. As always, if you think we missed any of your favorites, leave a comment below!

Master Yin-Yang: A dream of eternity

Something like: Fantasia

The latest Chinese epic opens with a dizzying fight scene that combines elements of Doctor Strange with grandiose magic, as an evil serpent begins to stir and threatens to kill the Guardians sent to protect their country.

In this world, demons and humans occupy the same space, and in a true fantasy, our protagonist Qingming happens to be half human and half demon. He goes to the imperial city, but immediately encounters the demon-hating Boya Guard, who shines in Qingming.

A murder at the palace forces the two men to work together to track down the killer, resulting in a race against time to stop the evil snake before it’s too late.

A Dream of Eternity, well-written and full of gorgeous sets, is a very decent film that is well worth watching.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Something like: Family, Drama, Fantasy

You could say that any Harry Potter film could be on this list, but the second film in the collection is the one that draws the most inspiration from the mythology and ideas of the snake.

In Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, our young wizard returns to his magic school and finds himself at the center of yet another plot to take his life and bring Voldemort back from the dead.

Chamber of Secrets may be one of Potter’s least memorable films, but it remains one of the most terrifying snake films.

Anaconda

Something like: Horror / Comedy

The late 90s produced a lot of crazy supernatural creatures. The 1997 film Anaconda was one of those films. The first one here is about a film crew who wanted to make a documentary. Led by anthropologist Steve Cale and in collaboration with director Terry Flores, the two men fall into the clutches of Paul Sarone, who happens to be a snake hunter.

After taking control of the boat, he takes them on a crazy mission to try and catch a giant snake. With amusing computer-generated imagery and practical effects, Anaconda is more of a comedy/horror film than a horror film, but it’s certainly one of the best snake films ever made.

Snakes on a plane

Something like: Horror / Comedy

Snakes On A Plane is absolutely ridiculous, but undeniably memorable – especially because of Samuel L. Jackson’s desperate cry on campus after the snakes are dropped into (yes, you guessed it) a plane. Jackson plays the role of FBI agent Neville Flynn, who ends up on a plane filled with poisonous snakes.

Deliberately released to kill a witness, Neville and the passengers fight to survive and try to avert the threat.

It is better not to start this adventure with high expectations and to take it with a grain of salt. If you can, the film offers some good humor and some golden segments worth watching.

Hooks (1974)

Something like: Terror

Unlike the disjointed CGI and practical effects of the Anaconda, all the snakes used in Fangs were real. This is sure to upset many people who suffer from ophidiophobia, and the film capitalizes on this idea with its central plot.

Fangs follows a grumpy old man named Snake Bender who collects snakes and sells them to the university. Unfortunately, a preacher in town turns everyone against him, causing Old Serpent to take revenge by killing his enemies with various poisonous snakes.

There’s nothing particularly complicated or unique about this image, but it’s still a classic snake jump.

Poison (1981)

Something like: Horror/Thriller

Venom is one of those movies that basically seems completely ridiculous, but is still good with a decent performance.

The story here revolves around a group of international terrorists trying to kidnap the child of a wealthy couple. Unfortunately, their plan fails completely when the murderous Black Mamba pursues several hostages and terrorists who are trapped together in this London house.

An evening of suspense inevitably follows a deadly snake crawling through the house, taking several characters with it.

Poison is a typical film, but despite its simplicity, it makes good use of its running time.

Ssssssssss

Something like: Terror

Ssssssss absolutely not allowed to be as nice as possible. On paper, the premise seems rather ridiculous, but the film has a rather serious tone, which helps reinforce much of the drama in the film.

Our main character is David, a student looking for a job. He is hired by Dr. Stoner as a lab assistant for his snake research. Turns out Dr. Stoner has secretly created a serum that can turn anyone into a cobra snake…. and David would be his test subject.

There is also an interest in love here, interestingly enough in the form of Stoner’s daughter Christina, but for the most part this film plays like a dark drama with some exciting effects given the timing of its release.

Conan the Barbarian

Something like: Action/Action

Conan the Barbarian is an absolute classic, with an interesting snake mythology at its heart. It’s also the film that catapulted Arnold Schwarzenegger into the Hollywood spotlight.

The story here revolves around Conan, who sees his entire village attacked by an evil snake cult leader named Thulsa Doom. After being enslaved by Conan, our barbarian becomes a mighty warrior and gladiator who is eventually freed.

Determined to avenge his parents, he joins a motley crew to save the princess from the snake cult and stop Doom before it’s too late.

The film takes all the usual science fiction pitfalls of the genre, but wraps the story in an engaging and highly entertaining adventure story from start to finish.

Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark

Something like: Action/Action

Although there is only a small part about snakes in the film, it is an important part, given the Indians’ fear of snakes. Raiders of the Lost Ark is also undoubtedly the best Indiana Jones film, and the action here is set in the heart of the year 1936.

In the jungle, the opening of Lost Ark is one of the best openings in a mainstream film. After a thrilling chase, Jones gets wind of a biblical artifact known as the Ark of the Covenant. This inevitably sends Indy all over the world, from Nepal to Egypt, on the hunt for this prize. The only problem is that there is also a group of Nazis lurking around.

Well written, beautiful and undeniably timeless, In Search of Lost Treasure is the adventure film par excellence.

Wizard and White Snake

Something like: Fantasia

Another Chinese film, Sorcerer and the White Snake, is an action film full of fantastic visuals, solid cinematography and an engaging story. The plot is based on the story of a wizard named Abott Fahai who becomes embroiled in a battle with demonic seducers.

Abbott wants to save a man’s soul from an ancient snake, but soon discovers that the snake has nestled in a woman’s body. Everything that happens is a desperate struggle to stop that snake.

While not like the other films on this list, The Sorcerer and the White Snake is a very entertaining story based on an interesting mythology about snakes.

The Jungle Book (1967)

Something like: Animation (hand drawing)

The Jungle Book is a Disney classic and follows Mowgli, a cube-shaped male who was raised by wolves but is no longer welcome when the feared tiger Shere Khan declares him a threat to the animals under his control. Guided by the panther Bagheera and the free-spirited bear Baloo, Mowgli embarks on a journey to find his own place in this world full of animals.

Among these animals is a treacherous snake named Kaa, and it’s hard to forget the infamous scene of Mowgli in the clutches of this slithery snake. Although Kaa is only a secondary character in this film, he is still a decidedly memorable addition.

So this is our list of the best snake movies of all time. Don’t you think? Are there any major gaps? Let us know in the comments below, and if we missed some of your favorites, we’ll be sure to add them to the list!

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Snakes on a PlaneAnacondaFangsKing CobraAnaconda 3: OffspringAnacondas: Trail of BloodVenomBoa vs. PythonMega Python vs. GatoroidPythonSnakes on a TrainSilent Predators

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