How much do you like monster movies? A little bit? A lot?
If you like monster movies – and I mean really like monster movies – then you need to watch the BEST monster movies. What are they? Well, I am glad you asked.
In this post I serve up 15 of the best monster movies. From horror classics to forgotten flicks, these are the films you need to watch.
King Kong (1933)
First up, no list of monster movies would be anything if it didn’t include King Kong – the eighth wonder of the world! Not only is Kong a legendary monster in his own right, but he is also front and centre of a really good creature feature.
If you have never watched the original King Kong, then give it a whirl. Despite its age, the film still stands up – especially every scene with Kong.
Arguably the most famous monster alongside Kong is Godzilla. He may not have appeared on screen until 21 years after King Kong, but he is easily just as famous.
In his debut picture, Godzilla gets to do what he does best – smashes and bashes things up with force. Tell me that isn’t the recipe for a good movie?
Rampage, is the Dwayne Johnson-starring monster movie about an albino ape that grows in size. Based on the computer game of the same name, the movie is big, dumb, but a heck of a lot of fun and if you like monster movies it is certainly one to watch.
Rampage‘s greatest asset is its monsters – yep, there is more than one. So, while the human characters are paper thin, there is much to enjoy when the creatures let loose.
The Blob (1988)
In 1958, Steve McQueen appeared in the iconic monster movie, The Blob. The low-budget sci-fi film certainly had its charm, but alas it does not make this list.
However, in 1988, thirty years after The Blob first opened in cinemas, director Chuck Russell unleashed his far superior remake. The film – also called The Blob – was slicker, gorier and simply better; becoming not only a good monster movie but a rare example of a remake being much better than the original.
Speaking of which…
The Thing (1982)
Another great remake, this time from director John Carpenter. The Thing is one of Carpenter’s best-loved films and centres around a research centre in Antarctica, besieged by a mysterious creature.
The Thing is a remake of The Thing From Another World (1951), which was based on the 1938 novella, Who Goes There?. It is a masterclass in suspense, with some fantastically gruesome imagery.
Long before he found fame with Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, writer/director James Gunn brought a gross monster movie to the big screen in the shape of Slither. The film – which starred Elizabeth Banks and Michael Rooker – focused on an extra-terrestrial parasite which infects a small American town.
Slither is a true gem of a movie that sadly gets overlooked. If you haven’t seen it, but you like Gunn’s work, Slither is one to seek out.
Kong: Skull Island (2017)
Kong: Skull Island contains similar components to Rampage. It has a giant ape, a bunch of monsters and a lot of smashing and bashing about.
Of course, Kong: Skull Island has a little more going for it than just “smashing and bashing” as it is also a wickedly fun monster movie which benefits from good direction and a cool ’70s/Apocalypse Now-vibe. In my opinion, it is the best thing to happen to Kong since the original King Kong – yes, even better than the Peter Jackson Kong film from the ’00s.
20 Million Miles to Earth (1957)
Directed by Nathan H. Juran, 20 Million Miles to Earth features stop-motion animation from legendary visual effects wizard, Ray Harryhausen and is one of the best creature features from the 1950s. The film tells the story of a creature (Ymir) that comes from space, grows to an incredible size, and terrorises a city.
Originally produced in black & white, the movie was colourised in 2007 for the film’s 50th anniversary. Watching either version is fine – they both look awesome!
Deep Rising (1998)
In Deep Rising a cruise ship is overtaken by a monster. The crew and various unexpected guests get picked off one by one, leaving few survivors.
OK, so it doesn’t sound all that original – and it isn’t. But this Stephen Sommers directed creature feature from 1998 is a heck of a lot of fun, yet, as with Slither, it often gets overlooked, which is a real shame – so give it a go!
In the small town of Perfection, the local residents are systematically killed off by worm-like creatures, that travel underground. Kevin Bacon and Fred Ward lead, and lots of blood is thrown at the screen.
There have been multiple Tremors movies over the years, but the original remains the best. If you have not watched it in a while, now is the time to reconnect with this classic.
The Invisible Man (2019)
When we think of monster movies, we often think of grotesque creatures with extra-terrestrial or supernatural origins. What we don’t think about are the real monsters – the people we let into our lives who knowingly do us harm.
Leigh Whannell’s 2020 film, The Invisible Man, places the spotlight firmly on the real-life monsters in this superb movie about what really lurks in the shadows. The film is very different to the other films on this list, but equally as satisfying for fans of monster movies.
Call it an action movie, call it a sci-fi film, but never forget that at its heart, Predator is also a monster movie – and what a monster movie it is!
Arnold Schwarzenegger and a rag-tag group of mercenaries square off against the ultimate hunter. The result? Blood, guts, and some kick-ass dialogue. Basically, it’s perfection.
Aliens is one of the best monster movies of all-time. I will argue with anyone who says different.
Countless xenomorphs, lots of guns, and Sigourney Weaver in her most iconic role – what more could anyone want?
Jurassic Park (1993)
In Jurassic Park, dinosaurs are brought back to life to become the star attraction of a theme park. That is, until they take over the park and begin to eat the staff.
But I don’t need to tell you all this, because no doubt you have watched Jurassic Park 100 times already, because it is THAT GOOD. And it is – so watch it for the 101st time, you know it makes sense.
And finally, arguably the most famous monster movie of them all – Frankenstein. This black and white classic from 1931 looks at the relationship between man and monster and boasts a career-defining, scene-stealing performance from Boris Karloff.
The 15 best monster movies:
- King Kong (1933)
- Godzilla (1954)
- Rampage (2018)
- The Blob (1988)
- The Thing (1982)
- Slither (2006)
- Kong: Skull Island (2017)
- 20 Million Miles to Earth (1957)
- Deep Rising (1998)
- Tremors (1990)
- The Invisible Man (2019)
- Predator (1987)
- Aliens (1986)
- Jurassic Park (1993)
- Frankenstein (1931)
If you want to indulge in a monster movie, pick one from the list and enjoy! All are sure to entertain!