Remember them? Those classic B-Movies with dramatically alluring titles like “The Fly”, “Attack of the Crab Monsters” or “It Came From Beneath the Sea” and usually involved some variety of enlarged insects or small animal, and while looking through the eyes of a modern day perspective look somewhat lame and corny, at the time- still probably looked lame and corny. Just less so.
One film in particular which gets branded as a creature feature is “The Incredible Shrinking Man” as everyone remembers the titular character’s fights with Spiders and Ants and tend to forget the 50s cold war paranoia story unfolding on screen. I think it is an example of this as to why the creature feature died a death for so long.
There have been attempts at reviving the genre over the years. Steven Spielberg could be said to have done at least two (I don’t count Jurassic Park or its numerous sequels as creature features) with Jaws and later Arachnophobia, both of which work by playing on fear and phobia. Neither have souped up monsters, just naturally dangerous creatures in recognisable and relatable environments. Arachnophobia even utilising the spider in the bathroom to dramatic and comic effect.
Both movies do suffer from a similar foe; not very convincing animatronic versions of their monster, though Arachnophobia did utilise a number of (non-deadly) spiders as well.
Jaws managed to overcome the shortcomings of the Shark with a couple of floating barrels and *those* few notes of music.
Other attempts to revive the genre have failed and have been shockingly bad. Quite how on Earth “Arachnoquake” and the numerous Sharknado movies got made in the first place let alone spawned sequels is beyond me.