[[caption-width-right:300:Everything old is new again.]]

''The Relic'' (or ''Relic'') is a 1997 film adaptation of a novel by [[Literature/AgentPendergast Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child]], directed by Creator/PeterHyams, starring Tom Sizemore, Penelope Ann Miller, and Linda Hunt.

A string of gruesome murders plagues the Chicago Museum of Natural History in the days leading up to a massive gala to open a new exhibit. The strange mutilations of the bodies suggests the killer may not even be human. But with so much at stake, the museum officials decide to push through the opening despite the dangers.

!!This film provides examples of:

* AdaptationNameChange: The monster in the film is called the Kothoga, possibly because actually ''saying'' "Mbwun" out loud is a lot harder than reading it.
** Dr. Julian Whittlesey, [[spoiler:the monster's human identity]], becomes Dr. John Whitney in the movie.
** Gregory Kawakita becomes Gregory Lee. Also, doubles as a RaceLift with Greg being Chinese-American in contrast to his novel's counterpart being Japanese-British.
* AdaptedOut: Pendergast was cut from the film, though some of his characteristics were merged with D'Agosta. Smithback isn't as lucky to even afford that (somewhat fitting in a meta sense, [[TheChewToy considering his character]]) and his role is completely absent.
* AdaptationalAttractiveness: In the original novel D'Agosta was in his late 50's and very out of shape and overweight (although in later books in the Pendergast series he does get back into shape and slim down a little). In the film, he's a lot slimmer and in his mid 30's.
* AdaptationalHeroism: In the novel, Cuthbert was an arrogant ObstructiveBureaucrat. [[GenderFlip The film's version of the character]] is more of a ReasonableAuthorityFigure.
* AdaptationalVillainy: In the novel, Gregory Kawakita was an intellectual loner; in the film, Greg Lee was an underhanded SmugSnake.
* AssholeVictim: [[spoiler:Lee and Tom Parkinson]]
* BlackDudeDiesFirst: The black security guard Frederick Ford ([[ActorAllusion played by the same actor who is the raptors' appetizer in]] ''Film/JurassicPark'') is the first to get it.
** With a slow zoom on the reefer he was smoking in the restroom as he's mauled off-screen, no less. DrugsAreBad, folks, and can result in a KarmicDeath.
* BuxomIsBetter: The Mayor proudly boasts that his wife's cleavage won him the last election.
* BrainFood: The Kothoga. Human brains aren't its first choice, though; it prefers to eat the plants from the Amazon used as packing material in some specimen crates, which have much higher concentrations of the hormones and such it needs. The events of the novel happen because the crates are moved to a more secure area of the basement after a curator notices they've been broken into, forcing it to search for alternatives (read: brains).
* CatScare: An inexplicable cat is aboard the cargo ship. It serves to make the audience jump and to once again point out that D'Agosta is superstitious.
* ChekhovsGun: The maceration tank and the storage area Margo walks D'Agosta through.
* CompositeCharacter: The film version of D'Agosta contains characteristics of both his novel counterpart as well as the novel-exclusive Aloysius X.L. Pendergast.
** DecompositeCharacter: D'Agosta's part in the last act of the book is largely taken over by [[CanonForeigner Hollingsworth]] in the film, with D'Agosta filling Pendergast's role.
* DeathByAdaptation: [[spoiler: Lee/Kawakita and Frock]]
* {{Foreshadowing}}: D'Agosta jokes that the storage area would be a bad place to light a match.
* GenderFlip: Dr. Ian Cuthbert from the original novel becomes Ann Cuthbert.
* GoshDangItToHeck: Margo calls Greg a gerbil.
* HardOnSoftScience: Margo doesn't see any worth in Dr. Whitney's anthropological expeditions.
* HollywoodDarkness: Deliberately averted, almost to an unwatchable degree as it's very difficult to see much for the second half of the movie,
* HorrorHunger: For human hypothalamus.
* HotScientist: Margo is especially [[{{Fanservice}} fanservicey]] when she's changing into her dress for the gala.
* IndyHatRoll: Panicked party guests try to flee the museum as the security doors are activated. Some don't make it and are caught and crushed by the steel doors. Seeing as what the rest were trapped with, they were probably the lucky ones.
* InfantImmortality: Averted in the novel, as the first museum victims are two young boys who wander off in a closed area. The movie turns and plays it straight though, changing the boys to the discoverers of the body and the victim becomes the [[BlackDudeDiesFirst old black security guard.]]
** The Kothoga encounters a dog, but ignores it because it doesn't have a suitable hypothalamus to consume.
* ItCanThink: Kothoga is able to recognize traps, hide bodies, and do what it can to stay out of sight from humans, [[JustifiedTrope justified]] by the fact that it [[spoiler:used to be human itself]].
* {{Jerkass}}: [[SmugSnake Dr. Lee]] throws his hat in against Margo for a grant he doesn't even need (and she will have to close down without) and then to up his odds of getting said grant, he has her "accidentally" locked into the labs during the party so he can brown nose the benefactors in peace.
** Tom Parkinson as well, due to being a loud-mouth who ignores the warnings of D'Agosta of the case not being closed.
* KillItWithFire: [[spoiler:Margo takes out the Kothoga by setting a lab on fire.]]
* {{Lockdown}}: The damaged security system effectively locks everyone in the museum with the monster.
* NationalGeographicNudity: In the opening, Dr. Whitney is in the company of South American natives who wear little to no clothes.
* NonMaliciousMonster
* OurMonstersAreWeird: The Kothoga, more so than the book: [[spoiler:Mbwun was recognizably human once, with saurian legs and tail, a gorilla-like head and apelike facial features. Kothoga still has the saurian legs and tail, but the head looks like a Lovecraftian cross between a lizard, insect, [[{{Franchise/Alien}} Xenomorph]], and deep-sea fish. It also definitely had a lizard-like tongue.]]
* OutrunTheFireball: Featuring the slowest moving explosion of all time.
* PlotHole: The movie places the first murder and the break-in for the crates on the same night. If the Kothoga had gotten to the crates, why did it need to kill?
* PoliceAreUseless: The SWAT team sent in are immediately picked off one by one by the Kothoga. None of them even attempt to shoot it and [[TooDumbToLive apparently sending them in one at a time is not a good idea.]]
* SendInTheSearchTeam: The SWAT team sent into the museum to rescue those trapped and kill the Kothoga.
* SparedByTheAdaptation: Although Cuthbert didn't die in the original book, he was DrivenToMadness by the end. The version here fares a lot better.
* TragicMonster: Kothoga, once its full origin is revealed.
* ViralTransformation: [[spoiler:The retrovirus creates monsters out of anything that ingests it]] by inserting saurian and reptilian DNA into host cells; but the victim needs a steady supply of specialized hormones to [[spoiler:retain its new form, the victim-turned-monster]]; in order to acquire these hormones, the victim must go right to the richest source available and ''[[HorrorHunger eat the hypothalamus]]'' of its victims or go mad from the pain of being unable to sustain [[spoiler:its new form]].
* WasOnceAMan: [[spoiler: The Kothoga]].