Renegade Cinema Staff Picks: Monster Movies

Godzilla 2
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Best Giant Monster Movies

 

best monster movies

Cloverfield

Caliber Winfield: Godzilla 1998 – This film was an absolute masterpiece. Godzilla had never looked better, and the babies it hatched I believe influenced the raptors from Jurassic Park. Man, wouldn’t it be awesome if I really believed that?

Seriously, my choice is Cloverfield. While I loathe found footage films, this was created at the beginning of the boom period, and it was a perfect example of how things are done. The atmosphere was fantastic, with a legit feel of panic. Plenty of times I jumped out of my seat, as the monster was legit scary, and the build to his reveal was fantastic. I worked at Hollywood when this came out, and a lot of people had complaints of “They didn’t explain where the monster came from! Or what happened in the end!”. That’s the point, you dolts! That’s the brilliance, as this film truly put you in their shoes. If it happened to you, you wouldn’t know where the monster came from, or why it was doing what it did. And if you found the footage, you’d have no clue what happened to the people. This was a damn fine film.

 

best monster movies

Crank 2: High Voltage

Bethany Lewis: My choice is Crank 2: High Voltage for that Godzilla style fight scene between Jason Statham and Art Hsu. I love both Crank and its sequel for its over the top, bad movie, pop-culturey style and the joy they take in upping the ante at every turn. In High Voltage, that meant turning the battery powered Statham into a Godzilla sized version of himself battling the also monstrous Hsu at an electrical power station. The scene is complete with roaring sounds, electrical sparks, cheesy special effects, and stiff and stagey fight choreography. It is, of course, all a fun stylistic way to convey the epicness and importance of the completely normal fight happening as part of the story – and just how ridiculously badass Jason Statham really is.

 

best monster movies

Tremors

James C: Might be considered a gimme, but f**k it! Tremors is not just a badass giant monster movie, it is a damn good movie. Footloose and Remo Williams and that Chinese guy from Big Trouble in Little China battling underground tubular (in size and in awesomeness) worm-like monsters in the middle of a dying town, in a dying desert. What might be the coolest part of this monster is you don’t really get any stupid origin story- it’s just monsters doing monstery things, and people you like, being tormented. Kaboom!

 

best monster movies

Pacific Rim

Derek Johns: Pacific Rim wasn’t my second favorite movie of 2013 for nothing. Thanks in no small part to some fantastic directing from Guillermo del Toro and special effects that rival anything James Cameron has ever made. Also adding to the film’s excellence are some bad-ass performances from Charlie Hunnam, Rinko Kikuchi, Ron Perlman, Charlie Day and of course Idris Elba. The film even manages to make that one jerk from Torchwood likable, which is no easy feat. Pacific Rim is admittedly not the most intelligent film to ever grace the silver screen but it’s so undeniably awesome that it really doesn’t matter.

Shawn S. Lealos:  Is Godzilla a more important movie? Probably. I don’t care. Guillermo Del Toro brought us what might be the most action movie in many, many years. Giant robots vs. giant monsters – what more can you ask for? Is the story great? Who cares. It’s Giant Robots vs. Giant Monsters! Is the acting award worthy? Who cares, it’s Giant Robots vs. Giant Monsters? Was it exciting? Hell yeah. Was it fun? Hell, yeah. I loved Pacific Rim.

 

best monster movies

Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring

Derek Ciapala: I’ll never forget seeing the Balrog in “Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring” for the first time. The big, bad orcs and trolls of Moria ran in fear the moment the Balrog began to emerge, and even Gandalf looked like he was about to poo himself. Not too shabby for a demon of the underworld.

 

best monster movies

Ghostbusters

Ruby Le Rouge: Ghostbusters. How can you beat roasting the stay puffed marshmallow man? I still laugh with glee when I see his angry puffy face.

 

best monster movies

The Host

Mike Luxemburg: Gotta be The Host for me. Not the post Twilight nonsense, but the Korean monster movie from the great Joon-Ho Bong. The film approaches the appearance of a massive beast not as a fun gift, but as a brutal destructive reality. It’s the rare monster movie in which the characters capture your attention whether or not the monster is onscreen. Plus, it’s a crazy underwater snake monster, what’s not to like about that?

 

best monster movies

Jurassic Park

D-Rock: I must go with the Steven Spielberg classic Jurassic Park. I remember when I was young being fascinated by Dinosaurs and this film brought out the magic of wanting to see these creatures come to life. Everything about this movie is just fantastic, from the animatronics which were way ahead of its time, to the memorable characters we will never forget, and finally to the thrilling story packed with moments of adventure, wonder, and survival. Jurassic Park is a monster movie of the finest caliber! I’ve seen it dozens of times and the movie never gets old or feels dated.

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About the Author

John "D-Rock" Dotson
is a film critic and film-maker from Dallas, Texas. He attended Midwestern State University where he received a Bachelor's in Business Administration in the field of Marketing. He's a huge lover of all things cinema... except The Last Airbender. Follow him on Twitter @DRockDot
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