The Last Good Monster Movie?

Johnny Angell

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I got to thinking when was the last really good monster movie. I’m not thinking about Marvel or Star Trek, but a movie where the monster is the star and the movie was really good. It doesn’t have to be great, that would be too limiting.

The past 2 Godzilla’s were entertaining, but I don’t think of them as really good. Good maybe. Kong-Skull Island could have been better. It’s not really good. The last really good monster movie I can think of is Shape of Water. The Gil-man in this movie make it a monster movie, but he is not the real monster.

Am I forgetting a good movie? If there was something on the tube, that was really good, please list it.

Waiting for your ideas.
 

Tino

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I think King Kong (2005) is absolutely fantastic. Made with love for the original, a love for the world they create and an insane amount of money to do whatever they wanted.
Absolutely. Peter Jackson’s King Kong is a modern classic imo and definitely the last great Monster movie. Nothing comes close.
 
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BobO'Link

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I felt both Cloverfield and Jackson's King Kong were overblown and just mediocre monster movies, especially Cloverfield.

I'd have to go with Trollhunter (2010) which is also one of the few "found footage" movies worth watching.

Runners up would be Black Sheep (2006), The Host (2006), and Pitch Black (2000) although it could be argued that the "monster" is not the star in either Black Sheep or Pitch Black. So... with that as a major criteria I'd put Tremors (1990) and Alien (1979) in their places. There truly haven't been many really "good" monster movies since the 1950s.
 

Malcolm R

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Not a lot of good monster/creature features in recent years. A couple I have enjoyed are Howl (2015) and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (2012). I also liked Kong: Skull Island better than either of the recent Godzilla films.

Yes, I would count A Quiet Place. Would we count The Meg, or is that just considered a shark film? I thought that was OK. I did not like The Shape of Water.
 

Reggie W

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The last really good monster movie I can think of is Shape of Water.
I thought this was a GREAT monster movie and was the first that came into my head in terms of recent films. Are you defining monster movie as a picture that features a single monster and that monster is central to the story?
 

Johnny Angell

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I think King Kong (2005) is absolutely fantastic. Made with love for the original, a love for the world they create and an insane amount of money to do whatever they wanted.
Made with love yes, but PJ takes way too long to get to the island. The movie soars when Kong gets to NYC.

Absolutely. Peter Jackson’s King Kong is a modern classic imo and definitely the last great Monster movie. Nothing comes close.
IMHO, it’s not a classic, but this is a discussion and I’m not trying to deny anyone’s opinion.
Does A Quiet Place count?
I haven’t seen it yet, but it’s got aliens, so yes.
I felt both Cloverfield and Jackson's King Kong were overblown and just mediocre monster movies, especially Cloverfield.
I'd have to go with Trollhunter (2010) which is also one of the few "found footage" movies worth watching.

Runners up would be Black Sheep (2006), The Host (2006), and Pitch Black (2000) although it could be argued that the "monster" is not the star in either Black Sheep or Pitch Black. So... with that as a major criteria I'd put Tremors (1990) and Alien (1979) in their places. There truly haven't been many really "good" monster movies since the 1950s.
I hated Tollhunter, I found it odd and didn’t finish it. Maybe I’m tired of found footage. Cloverfield is really good.

Not a lot of good monster/creature features in recent years. A couple I have enjoyed are Howl (2015) and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (2012). I also liked Kong: Skull Island better than either of the recent Godzilla films.

Yes, I would count A Quiet Place. Would we count The Meg, or is that just considered a shark film? I thought that was OK. I did not like The Shape of Water.
Haven’t seen Howl, will look for it. Yes, Meg is a monster IMHO. I own the 3D version and watch it, but I feel I’m lowering my IQ when I do.

I thought this was a GREAT monster movie and was the first that came into my head in terms of recent films. Are you defining monster movie as a picture that features a single monster and that monster is central to the story?
No, there can be many monsters like Pitch Black. That is a very good movie. I’m happily surprised by all the comments.

If you think it is a monster movie, then it is a monster movie. It would be interesting to see what others consider a monster movie. Just keep it non-human or at least partially non-human. Hannibal from Silence of the Lambs is a monster human, but doesn’t belong in this discussion.
 

Reggie W

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One thing with monster films is we obviously get a lot of "classic" monsters redone in new films with present day effects. The issue for me with the Jackson King Kong remake is I just felt it pales in comparison to the original Kong film. I mean it looks pretty and all but I just never get as invested in it as I do watching the original Kong. I even kind of like the 1976 version more than Jackson's just because I like the cast much more. If the Jackson film had the 1976 cast I probably would like it a lot more.

One of the last "great" monsters designed for a film was the Xenomorph in Alien. That thing was the stuff nightmares are made of. It seems there are not really people designing new monsters these days and if they do they are fairly lousy.

In terms of recent "monsters" in a movie I really thought the mutated bear creature in Annihilation was creepy both in how it looked and sounded. However, I would not call Annihilation a "monster movie" as it is more sci-fi head trip and I mean to me a monster movie should be about the monster.

In terms of a recent remake monster movie I actually really like The Wolfman from 2010. I just think Joe Johnston knows how to do a classic monster movie. Yes, some of the CGI shots of the Wolfman bouncing around the dark forest are a bit off but on the whole the entire enterprise I think works as a classic monster movie.

Let me think on this a bit...
 
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TravisR

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Made with love yes, but PJ takes way too long to get to the island. The movie soars when Kong gets to NYC.
I think I love the world that Jackson created almost as much as he did so I don't mind that the movie takes a realllly long time to get going. That being said, I understand how other people would be looking at their watches and wondering when Kong was going to appear.
 
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dpippel

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I don't consider Jackson's Kong to be a classic either. I applaud the effort and the obvious love that went into the film, but for me it's WAY too long (and that's just the theatrical cut!) and overindulgent. More time in the editing booth to tighten it up would have worked wonders on this movie IMO.

I definitely think A Quiet Place qualifies as a monster movie, and I'd agree that it's probably the most recent "good" one.
 

Jeffrey D

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I’ve read somebody that considers Jaws a monster movie, and I’m inclined to agree. If you think of Jaws as a monster film, it’s one of the best ones made, along with Alien.
 

Malcolm R

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I’ve read somebody that considers Jaws a monster movie, and I’m inclined to agree. If you think of Jaws as a monster film, it’s one of the best ones made, along with Alien.
Yeah, I wasn't sure if we were including shark films as "monster" films. If the creature is part of the natural world (like Jaws or Grizzly), I'm not sure that really qualifies as a monster in my mind. It's kind of a fine line.
 

Jeffrey D

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Yeah, I wasn't sure if we were including shark films as "monster" films. If the creature is part of the natural world (like Jaws or Grizzly), I'm not sure that really qualifies as a monster in my mind. It's kind of a fine line.
Good point that an animal may or may not be considered as a monster.
 

LeeBob

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Stephen Summers Mummy trilogy.
I agree, I especially liked the first one, while crafted as an action comedy, it kept the horror elements of the Mummy at the core of the story (unlike the latest Tom Cruise Mummy adventure).
The second was good up till the end - the bad cgi on the Rock's Scorpion King was very distracting to me. To be honest, I never saw the third.

Not especially new, but John Carpenter's The Thing is an excellent monster movie.

A very recent entry which I really liked was IT: Chapter I - although many may not consider a Clown to be a monster per se, at it's core, IT is a "monster" that can read a person's greatest fears and present itself in a form that most reflects that. Pennywise the clown is just one of the forms the creature chose to take.
 
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LeeBob

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...In terms of a recent remake monster movie I actually really like The Wolfman from 2010. I just think Joe Johnston knows how to do a classic monster movie. Yes, some of the CGI shots of the Wolfman bouncing around the dark forest are a bit off but on the whole the entire enterprise I think works as a classic monster movie....
Agree 100% - This flick did not get a lot of love and it is not without some issues, but I loved that it was done as a period piece of classic gothic horror.
 

Malcolm R

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I'm another that also loved the 2010 Wolfman. Unfortunately, they spent so much money on it ($150m production budget) that it was almost destined to be a financial failure.
 
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