In all honesty, monster movies are fun to watch, especially when we have brave characters fighting against some giant creature or alien. There are so many monster movie classics and others, which were absolute garbage.
So, which are the best monster movies that Hollywood ever produced?
Six years after 9/11, the spectacular destruction of Manhattan is once again the premise of a Hollywood fantasy. Cloverfield consists of unaccountable trauma and captures it on a home video camera as its whole aesthetic.
The film implements the found footage style, which was also used in ‘ The Blair Witch Project’. The contents of a camcorder discovered in the aftermath of a mysterious behemoth’s catastrophic rampage through New York.
The film is produced by JJ Abrams and it leaves the big picture vague while furnishing enough local information to keep the ride compelling.
Frank Darabont sets this movie in smalltown Maine, which fleshes out a horror novella Stephen King wrote in 1980. Admittedly, it may not achieve ‘classic’ status, but it makes for a surprisingly engaging, pleasingly old-fashioned feast of well-worked-out narrative and B-movie-style thrills.).
What’s interesting about Darabont’s frightfest is the care and efficiency he takes ensuring the audience’s involvement with those tense – and frustrating – internal store dynamics. There’s a clear sense of national crisis and military culpability in the air – rumours spread of local Defense Department scientific experiments gone wrong and a couple of implicated soldiers shopping at the time are shitting their army boots.
Darabont places his trust in old and venerable genre credentials, taken from ’50s paranoid exploitation movies and sci-fi horror films, to which he applies an adroit Hitchcockian attention to detail, and a series of well-differentiated character performances that lets the icky flying beasts, the tantalising human stupidity, the chaos and the primal fear speak for themselves.
Big Arnie straps on the fetishistic military hardware for a rumble in the jungle with a merciless, camouflaged alien (Hall). A routine operation to rescue a cabinet minister captured by South American guerrillas turns into a fight to the death when Arnie’s crack platoon is picked off one by one by an invisible adversary, which then makes itself visible, removes its protective helmet, and challenges him to a fair (!) fight. With its stilted dialogue and hammy acting, the film has the look of an expensive production but the feel of a B movie, delivering the sort of undemanding monster mayhem Arnie’s fans have come to expect.
No 3D enhancements or spiced-up SFX, just a straight digital restoration for Steven Spielberg ’s multiplex marvel, the film which established CGI as the dominant force in mainstream moviemaking.
Time cannot dull the jaw-dropping impact of the film’s key sequences: the first brontosaurus encounter, the T-rex chase, the velociraptor attack. Famously, the film was edited concurrently with the shooting of ‘Schindler’s List’, and one can’t help thinking that it must have been as much of an escape for its director as it went on to be for his audience.
Either way, this is one of the peaks of modern blockbuster cinema: a little rough around the edges, perhaps (that ultra-convenient ending is still a let-down), but crammed with invention, wit, skill and, as usual for Spielberg, more than its fair share of perfectly judged, off-kilter character moments.
Representing all monster movies, this is one of the best horror films ever made. It’s filled with everyday family drama, and endearing characters, who must confront an unseen force. It’s probable that the protagonist left the city precisely to avoid the kind of violence that Amity’s shark has wrought, and now he must confront it. That, in addition to his fear of the sea. In any case, this is the most realistic and effective story about a killer animal.
And yet, it’s consistently noted that the shark is not behaving normally. It’s larger and stronger than it ought to be. It is an incredible force of nature, which humans have done their very best to remove themselves from. And that makes it a foreign threat, which is more terrifying to most people than anything else. Just hearing that iconic John Williams soundtrack, is enough to send chills