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Called Spiders 3D in theaters, this so bad it’s freaking awesome movie follows a horde of giant mutant spiders who attack New York City after an old Soviet satellite crashes into the subway system. Turns out the Russians were working on zer0-gravity arachnids to be used for military purposes and now they are here on Earth and they are not planning on leaving anytime soon. Plenty of CGI monsters both big and small with even more cheesy dialogue, this is straight up silly but lots of great fun that never takes itself too seriously. At least no one will complain about the rats anymore. Grab the biggest bowl of popcorn and indulge.
Let’s head to China and check out this special effects epic about a startling discovery on the Mongolian border in the late 1970s where massive fossils are found along with an interdimensional portal that unleashes a wave of Hell-Beasts. What fun. Now in the present, a survivor of the event looks for answers and what he finds is even more disturbing as those thought dead are … hold onto your butts … still alive. Meanwhile, a mining town in the north falls under attack from a horde of giant, unknown monsters. Look like the past as caught up with the present. Loaded with fantastical beasts and great visual effects, the story is a bit complicated but mostly easy to follow. By no means a masterpiece, if you’re in the mood for some monster mayhem and don’t mind reading the occasional subtitle, this could hit the spot.
Another foreign film, this one set in South Korea, it sees a strange aquatic creature emerge from the Han River in Seoul, then begin a rampage through the streets, slaughtering fleeing onlookers. Escaping into the sewers and underground water system, the creature continues to collect and harvest victims. One is a young girl named Hyun-Seo (Ah-sung Ko) who survives and hides in the cavernous labyrinth while her family sets out to find her. A creepy and often nail-biting monster thriller, it’s filled with great action and a terrific creature that is like nothing you’ve seen before. Director Joon-ho Bong (whose recent Okja is just as good) packs in plenty of social commentary along with more than enough chills. A classic creature feature. Read more here.
Okay, okay, so one more foreign film but relax, there’s not much dialogue and honestly, this movie is so good, you won’t even mind reading. Following a group of student documentarians investigating a slew of strange ‘bear’ killings, they discover things are not quite what they seem. Tracking down a mysterious hunter named Hans (Otto Jespersen), they quickly learn he’s not a typical hunter but rather one who heads into the woods but not for bears, instead … wait for it … trolls. Hard to believe at first, the students soon find themselves facing a nightmare as trolls be real and they be hungry. Excellent cinematography, a fantastic legend-filled story, and amazing visual effects, Trollhunter is a must see. Read more here.
Unconventional might best describe this monster movie, one that is unique for sure in both expectations and execution. Starting six years after an unusual alien invasion, most of Mexico is divided into a quarantined area where the great beasts roam and are contained though it’s not sure for how long. Meanwhile, a journalist (Scoot McNairy) takes to escorting a troubled tourist through the zone back to the US border, learning much about the monsters and themselves. Far from the shoot ’em up alien monster movie, this is a thinking cap film with some absolutely breathtaking moments of both humanity and alien life that while sometimes scary are also quite touching. Directed by Godzilla‘s Gareth Edwards, this is truly a mesmerizing experience unlike anything else on this list. Don’t let this one slip by you.
Yeah sure, this one is a bit of a cheat as it’s hardly a ‘monster movie’ but does feature a huge metal robot that is seen as a monster by many in this often moving tale of a young boy who befriends an alien robot who arrives on Earth and panics the US government. A heartwarming tale of friendship and tolerance, The Iron Giant is an animated film but should not deter you if you are looking for a great movie experience. Beautifully-rendered and voice-acted, the movie is a charming and challenging film that is surprisingly impactful. Monsters aren’t all bad. Read more here.