My Top 3 Monster Horror Movies
In case you missed last week’s post, I’m dedicating the glorious month of October to all of my favorite horror movies in each subgenre! Last week I covered gore, and this week I’m taking a look at monsters!
The monster subgenre is quite a big umbrella, covering everything from zombies and aliens to vampires and werewolves, and a ton of other classic creatures to downright weird ones.
It was really hard for me to narrow this list down, but I tried my best! Here are my 3 favorite monster horror movies!
Monster Movie #3:
Gremlins is not only one of my favorite monster films or one of my favorite comedy horror films- it’s also one of my favorite Christmas movies. It’s a true classic, iconic for a whole slew of reasons, and still entertaining today.
Between the gorgeous Phoebe Cates, the fresh Zach Galligan, and the friggin’ adorable Gizmo, I could watch Gremlins on repeat for days, especially around Christmas. (Despite their mischief, Stripe and the other reptilian Gremlins are cute in their own way. But nothing is cuter than a furry little Mogwai.)
The film isn’t nearly as violent or scary as more recent monster films, but the fact that the PG-13 rating was created after a suggestion from Steven Spielberg himself in response to complaints about this film (and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom) is fascinating to me.
Monster Movie #2:
The Ritual (2017)
Okay, so weird story. I didn’t get around to watching this film until the summer of 2018, about eight months after it’s release. I was in Virginia with some of my family right after a pretty tragic event in our lives, and something the four of us shared was our love for movies and the way we often use them as distractions or, sometimes, even coping mechanisms.
We had watched a variety of movies over the course of that week, and decided we had to watch at least one good horror movie. My dad had already seen the Ritual and insisted that we give it a try.
Holy hell, this movie is incredible.
Aesthetically, it’s beautiful. At some moments, it’s even breathtaking. I can only imagine what the views from Kungsleden (King’s Trail) look like in person, and the snippets of the Sweden hillsides that we get in the Ritual are so alluring. (At the start of the film, I had some thoughts about adding King’s Trail to my bucket list, but by the end of it I was vowing to never go anywhere near Sweden, ever.)
The whole story is brilliantly written and beautifully executed, but most notably, this film is eerie AF. We don’t see the creature that has stalked them until the final act, but the nightmares, moments, and found tokens leading up to it are creepy and bizarre enough to unsettle you.
But the creature itself- Jötunn, the bastard son of Loki- is more wilder than you could ever possibly expect and is a nightmare all its own. It’s undoubtedly one of the weirdest creatures I’ve ever seen in a movie, and one of the first things that comes to mind when I think of a monster film.
Monster Movie #1:
A Quiet Place (2018)
I already dedicated a lengthy post to A Quiet Place after seeing it early last year. But after seeing it twice more in theaters and a few more times again at home, it has secured the number one spot on my favorite monster horror movies list and remains unchallenged.
I don’t like to cry, but I inadvertently cry very easily, and in response to almost every emotion. Because of this, I rarely watch sappy movies, chick flicks, rom-coms, etcetera in an attempt to avoid anything that might make me cry. So I typically go for horrors, thrillers, comedies, and the occasional action films that I can enjoy while my eyes stay dry.
But despite how much I loathe crying and my ability to do it at the drop of a hat, there is one type of movie that is an exception to the rule and I’ll gladly subject myself to any day. And that type of film is what I like to call a visceral horror.
Scare the shit out of me, but also make me feel something.
Horror, in general, is great. But if you don’t scare super easily, and there isn’t another element in a film to connect to, it can get painfully boring sometimes. But if you have a believable chemistry or a risk of loss that you can relate to or understand on top of a chilling score, some good jump scares, and an ominous plot, then the experience is more immersive and the film is more memorable.
And I think that’s what makes A Quiet Place so effective. The monster is unique, the pace is comfortable, the post-invasion aspect is refreshing, the score is incredible, and the whole thing is filled with ebbs and flows of beautiful calms and overwhelming tensions. But above all else, per the words of John Krasinski, this is a film about family. And it is truly one of the most captivating, heartbreaking, and visceral monster movies I have ever seen.
So there you have it, my top three favorite monster horror movies! If you missed last week’s post, I covered my favorite gore horror films. Next week, I’ll be going through the supernatural subgenre!
If you have a favorite monster horror film, or if you think you can guess my three favorite supernatural horrors, tweet me!
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