Updated On: November 06, 2023 by   Nour Hany   Nour Hany  

Lion movies have always kept us on the edge of our seats, especially if we watch them with the chilling vibes of the night! But is it really what lions do in the wild? If we ever encounter a lion, would we be attacked as seen in these movies? As the debate continues, are lions harmless to humans, or are they not? The film industry benefits from that and creates incredible movies that convince us they are indeed maneaters!

The Ghost and The Darkness (1996)

The Ghost and The Darkness is undoubtedly one of the scariest lion movies ever made! For those who have watched it, you can probably still remember the feeling you got while watching and the fear that lived within you for a while after watching. The idea of two giant lions (Ghost and Darkness) hunting and preying on random people is more frightening than anything we can think of right now! What is even more terrifying than that is that the movie is entirely based on a true story! Yes, you heard that right. It is based on the actual events that took place in the 1800s in Tsavo, Kenya. 

On behalf of the British government, an engineer, Lt. Colonel John Henry Patterson, was sent to the Tsavo region in Kenya, Africa as a supervisor on a railway bridge construction there. At the time, India was under British colonisation, so half of the construction workers on that project were Indians. The horrific events began when two male lions started to attack the workers and killed them one by one. In the movie, we can clearly see how mighty these lions are, but it was reported that, in reality, they had twice that power! In addition, it was not only their power that was strange; it was their behaviour and the way they worked together and carefully planned for each attack. 

It rarely happens that we see two male lions hunting together, and what made it even weirder is that they did not even eat their prey; they were hunting just for the thrill of it! They used to attack the hospital tent at the construction site, drag the people out, and viciously kill them. Moreover, they were so smart to the point that they never attacked the same location twice. Eventually, they killed over 35 people, as the official reports suggest, and 135 people, according to Patterson. Patterson’s autobiography, The Maneater of Tsavo, was published in 1907 and contained all the horrific details of the events. 

The movie stars Val Kilmer (John Henry Patterson) and Michael Douglas (Charles Remington) and is directed by Stephen Hopkins.

Prey (2007)

In this fantastic story, we follow Jessica, David, and their stepmother Amy, as they visit Tom (the children’s father and Amy’s husband) in Africa. Tom hires a guide to take his family on a safari adventure, only to find vicious, hungry lions that attack them and kill the guide. Stranded and alone, Amy and the children must fight for their lives with all they got.

The movie stars Bridget Moynahan (Amy Newman), Carly Schroeder (Jessica Newman), Conner Dowds (David Newman), Peter Weller (Tom Newman), Tumisho Masha (Ranger at), and Jamie Bartlett (Crawford). It is directed by Darrell Roodt and was released precisely on January 30, 2007.

Beast (2022)

This 2022 thriller starring Idris Elba, follows Dr Nate Daniels and his two daughters as they try to survive the horrific attack of a lion. The story begins when Nate loses his ex-wife and decides to take his daughters on a healing trip to Africa to visit his old friend Martin Battles in his game reserve in South Africa. Martin rescues a lot of animals, including lions; they all know him, love him and appreciate everything he does for them. However, the fight is on fire with the local poachers who constantly hunt down and kill those innocent souls.

While these poachers were hunting, they managed to kill a lion, and the others escaped with nowhere to be found. Filled with rage, the lion began to horrifically kill the locals, leaving behind bits and pieces of their torn-off bodies! To their misfortune, Nate, his daughters, and Martin become targets of this vengeful lion. Will they survive his attacks? And most importantly, will they survive the poachers? 

The movie is directed by Baltasar Kormakur and stars Idris Elba (Dr Nate Samuels), Sharlto Copley (Martin Battles), Leah Jeffries (Norah Samuels), and Iyana Halley (Meredith Samuels).

Burning Bright (2010)

Who said that horror big cat movies are all about lions? In fact, there are plenty of other movies involving tigers and other cat breeds that are more than enough to give you those chills!

Burning Bright follows Kelly and her autistic brother as they are trying to survive the attack of a killing tiger trapped inside their house during a hurricane. Directed by Carlos Brooks, this one stars Briana Evigan (Kelly), Garret Dillahunt (Johnny), Charlie Tahan (Tom), Peggy Sheffield (Doctor Orsi), and Tom Nowicki (Sheriff). The amazing fact here is that Carlos Brooks chose to use real tigers instead of CGI effects.

Needless to say, the scenes of the tiger moving around the house were not shot in the presence of any of the actors; instead, the two shoots were filmed separately and combined together later.

Filming with real animals is always better than using poor CGI effects while, of course, keeping in mind the safety of the animal and the crew. Speaking of poor SGI effects, let’s check out the next movie!

Rogue (2020) 


Samantha (Megan Fox) leads a group of soldiers in this movie to save hostages in Africa. However, their mission takes an even darker turn when they are threatened not only by criminals but by lions as well! The plot could have created a good film, but unfortunately, the movie received negative reviews, and there are many factors leading to that.

To begin with, Fox’s cast for the role received the most negative opinions among all the other factors that led to the failure of the movie. In addition to that, the plot did not really seem original, though it could have turned out to be a fantastic production only if it was done right! The actors seemed to be enjoying their time, throwing jokes here and there in the midst of a battle with lions viciously eating their friends! Moreover, the poor CGI effects made it even harder for the average viewer to barely like the movie! The lions were cartoonish, to say the least, and the idea of soldiers killing endangered species itself is horrible.

So, if you are into this kind of CGI effects and plot holes, you should probably give it a go!

Roar (1981)

As Tippi Hedren and her husband, Noel Marshall, were filming in Africa, they discovered an abandoned house inhabited only by lions! What they saw there inspired them to create a movie to spread awareness and help save these great creatures from going extinct. However, they wanted to cast real wild animals in the movie, and they did not really have another choice as this idea came to them in 1969, way before the usage of CGI effects.

Although many animal experts warned the couple from doing that, they kept going anyway. In order to use mature wild animals on set, they had to raise them at their house from a very young age to be able to reach a level of understanding and comfort with them while filming. That is when the couple and their children adopted Neil the lion to live with them as a member of their family. As crazy as it sounds, they went on with their idea, and for almost a decade, the filming and breeding of wild animals continued.

In 1981, the movie was officially released, featuring a safari-gone-wrong story where most of the attacks were shown. As a matter of fact, the injuries that the crew suffered were severe to the point that one of them suffered from blood poisoning, and another got 50 stitches in the face! Moreover, during filming, a flood hit the location and killed three lions from the cast.

Although the budget of the movie was way higher than what it earned at the box office, the crew was still happy with the result as they reached their goal and raised awareness about these amazing animals, which in turn resulted in building more than one animal reservation including one that carries the name of the movie.

Safari (2013)

The plot follows a group of American tourists on their South African safari trip. However, in the midst of their safari, they get lost and become prey for both lions and poachers. The group left nothing behind but a video showing the attacks they had to endure. The movie stars Cloe Kirby (Maya Garza), Kim Argetsinger (Jess Moore), and Rocky Myers (Zac Corel).

Now that we have displayed all of these movie plots, let us know which one you are excited about the most! 

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