We take a look back at some of the best movie monsters…
GODZILLA returns to our screens this week, 60 years after his first big screen outing. The daddy of the modern monster movie, Godzilla launched a whole genre of monster movies – the kaiju genre – and managed to throw some social commentary in with the monsters, making the Godzilla movies some of the smartest creature features ever. With all of this in mind, we decided to take a look back at some of the great monster movies of recent times…
OK OK, the Jurassic Park movies are about historical creatures as opposed to mythical ones, but the dinosaurs in Jurassic Park are used in a monstrous way, and who could ever forget the terror of the T-Rex’s first appearance!? This scene is iconic for a reason, with tension and terror built up to just the right level before we get a glimpse of the prehistoric marvel for ourselves… And immediately cower in fear!
JJ Abrams’ monster movie is not only a nod to all the great movies that have gone before – not least E.T. – but it s a darn fine movie about monsters, first loves and the magic of childhood. SUPER 8 also takes a leaf from the old GODZILLA movies, and doesn’t truly show the creature that is striking fear into the hearts of adults all over town, until almost the end of the film. Talk about ramping the tension up!
LILO AND STITCH
A Disney movie!? We hear you shout. Yes. A Disney movie! Stitch is a genetic experiment gone wrong, who escapes captivity and finds his way to Earth, where he is mistaken for a dog and adopted by Lilo. Stitch is programmed to destroy large cities and, as his creator says ‘…steal everyone’s left shoe’, but when he finds himself in Hawaii, Stitch realises he has to adjust to a different way of life. LILO & STITCH shows Stitch both as a mischievous little monster, and a creature searching for a home and while he causes chaos initially, it is not long before Stitch gets in touch with his gentler side. Also, he’s cute and fluffy!
CABIN IN THE WOODS
Penned by Joss Whedon, CABIN IN THE WOODS is an example of the man behind BUFFY doing what he does best, taking expectations and turning them on their heads. Yes, this is a teen horror movie, but it is so much more than that, with constant hints at something deeper through the involvement of a research facility and their surveillance of the titular cabin… in the woods. When the monsters come, they come thick and fast with nods to everything from HELLRAISER to the EVIL DEAD and some vicious fairytale creatures. CABIN IN THE WOODS’ modus operandi seems to be shlock and awe, and while it is completely over the top, that’s what makes it work.
Stolen from his jungle home and forced to perform as a curiosity for the good people of New York, King Kong soon escapes to cause havoc in the big city, culminating in his famous climb to the top of the Empire State Building. King Kong is another iconic movie monster, who has spawned several movies over the years, as well as a musical due to open on Broadway later this year. King Kong is a movie icon in much the same way as Godzilla, and the two even starred in a movie together – KING KONG Vs GODZILLA – in 1962.
Honourable mentions to: JAWS, CLOVERFIELD, GREMLINS and BRIDE OF THE MONSTER.
Do you have a favourite monster movie? Let us know in the comments below.
Words: Brogen Hayes