Unpretentiously and likeable Peter Hyams is one of the few hacks still working at this budget level, and he relishes the chance to make an audience jump, not only with some neat monster effects and a pile of mutilated corpses but also with some subtleties of editing and lighting, plus one of the loudest jump-out-of-your-seat soundtracks in a recent memory.
Stephen HoldenThe New York Times
Yes, we've seen it all before. But The Relic proves that the hoariest cliches, when stirred together with enough money, shaken vigorously and artfully lighted, can still make the adrenaline surge.
Roger EbertChicago Sun-Times
All of this is actually a lot of fun, if you like special effects and gore.
There are moments when The Relic is almost enjoyable, albeit in a visceral sort of way. Unfortunately, when all is said and done, this horror/science fiction amalgamation seems like nothing more ambitious than a bad reworking of elements from Aliens, Species, Jaws, and Predator.
The monster effects, as designed by Stan Winston, are stunners, but after Twister, it should be obvious that it's not the quality of the effects that matter so much as the quality of the film in which they appear.