Monsters are the things that nightmares are made of. They are the things that go bump in the night. They are the reason why small children (and perhaps some adults) sleep with the lights on.
I know many of us grew up watching these classic monster movies. I am sure most of them are some of the first horror movies you remember seeing when you were a kid. Remember those days? Staying up past your bedtime on a Saturday night to catch the late show?
Maybe you even had a local horror host introduce it? Anyway, here is my list of 25 Monster Movies that are absolute must sees for any Horror fan. What better way to spend a lazy afternoon than watching a good old fashioned creature feature?
25. Them! (1954)
During the 50s the threat of the cold war and nuclear war created an entirely new sub-genre of monster movies. Big Monster movies were very popular in the 50s. A few examples include The Black Scorpion, Tarantula, and It Came from Beneath the Sea. Them! was one of the most popular of the big bug movies. The story is about a colony of Ants that get irradiated during some early nuclear tests and grow to an enormous size. Yes, the giant rubber Ants seem pretty cheesy now, but Them! is still a really fun film to watch.
24. Humanoids From the Deep (1980)
Roger Corman’s Humanoids From the Deep has a lot going for it… plenty of violence, nudity, gore, and monsters. The creatures are a result of some military experiments that involved blending Salmon and Humans together. The Humanoids escape and try to kill all the local men and rape the women in order to get them pregnant with fish babies! The final scene with the Humanoids attacking and killing or raping everyone at the Salmon Festival is really something.
23. Trollhunter (2010)
I guarantee you will never look at natural rock formations in the same way after seeing Trollhunter. This found-footage movie shows giant Trolls living in the Norway countryside. A film crew follows a Troll Hunter as he tracks and kills as many Trolls as he can. He finds them under bridges, living in caves, and hiding in forests. Trollhunter is hilarious and the CGI Trolls are amazingly life-like and well done. However the real star of the film is the beautiful Norwegian scenery in every shot.
22. Slither (2006)
Slither is something straight out of an H. P. Lovecraft story. A meteorite crashes into a small town and tons of space worms invade the locals. The first person (played by Michael Rooker) that is infected slowly turns into this giant tentacled monster. But all he wants is to get his wife back. Slither is full of some really great special effects including a balloon like woman that explodes into thousands of space slugs! EWWWww!
21. Monster Squad (1987)
Monster Squad is like watching The Goonies with the Universal Monsters mixed in. The kids have to battle the Monsters, led by Count Dracula, in order to stop them from taking control over the world. The monsters have an updated 80s look thanks to Stan Winston. The Gill-Man (Creature From the Black Lagoon) gets a whole new scary look. What makes Monster Squad really special are all the funny one-liners including “Wolfman’s got Nards!” and the nostalgic look back at what it was like to be a kid in the 80s.
20. Nightbreed (1990)
Clive Barker’s Nightbreed is about a group of mutants that hide away in an underground city called Midian. The mutants are monsters that must hide from the Humans that want to destroy them and their home. Nightbreed is actually one of my favourite movies based on Barker’s work along with Hellraiser and Candyman. Nightbreed is based on Novella called Cabal by Barker. Clive Barker has talked about a television series that is in the works for Nightbreed, saying that it will be made for cable TV so it has a chance to be as sexy or as graphic in terms of violence as it needs to be.
19. Q the Winged Serpent (1982)
Q the Winged Serpent is directed by Larry Cohen, the same guy who gave us God Told Me To, Maniac Cop, The Stuff, and It’s Alive. The Q stands for Quetzalcoatl, an ancient Aztec deity that is brought back to life by an evil cult in New York City. Michael Moriarty plays a thief that stumbles upon Q while running from the cops after a robbery. Q is in fact a girl and has set up her nest in the Chrysler building by laying a giant egg. The monster resembles a Harryhausen style of rubber stop motion monster. It might be slightly on the cheesy side of the FX scale, but the performances by Moriarty and David Carradine more than make up for it.
18. Super 8 (2011)
Super 8 tells the story of 5 friends that are filming a Zombie infection movie on a Super 8 camera. While filming, they witness a spectacular train derailment, and soon realize that someone was trying to stop that train on purpose. After the train accident, people all over town start disappearing, all the dogs run away, and soon the military marches into town. Super 8 feels like an old time movie. You would swear it was from the early 80’s instead of the 2000’s. JJ Abrams has been compared to Spielberg a few times in his career and much like Spielberg before him, Abrams tells a charming coming of age story. The best part of Super 8 is the movie that the kids made at the end. Apparently Romero chemical was to blame for everything!
17. Nosferatu (1922)
One of the first Monster movies ever made was Nosferatu. Even to this day Max Shreck’s portrayal of the famous Vampire is one of the most chilling to watch. Rumors are that Max Shreck was actually a real Vampire and that is why the film is so haunting. In reality though he was a well known Theatre actor and went on to do many more films after Nosferatu. For an interesting and very entertaining movie about the “real” Max Shreck check out The Shadow of the Vampire starring William Dafoe.
16. The Host (2006)
The Host is a bit of a throwback to some of the classic monster movies also on this list. The Host is a giant mutant killer amphibian that wreaks havoc on a South Korean beach. However the Monster isn’t the real story in The Host. The movie centers on a dysfunctional family that is trying to survive the Monster mayhem around them. A small girl is kidnapped by the monster and the rest of her family has to organize themselves enough to rescue her. Sometimes oddly comical and sometimes heart breaking, The Host has some strong messages to tell about politics and family.