?Often movies are where we all go to be entertained by watching people who aren’t us being traumatized or eaten. Since it’s really disturbing watching humans do that to each other, the best way to show that in a movie is have those people get attacked by monsters.
Monster movies have been popular throughout the entire history of cinema, as creatures, beasts and ghouls have filled the screen and terrorized people, cities, and even the world. We think we’ve narrowed it down to 10 different classes of monsters who do the terrorizing — the 10 types of outbreaks, if you will. If you won’t… well, reading this list is going to be awkward for everybody.
People like werewolves because its like mixing man’s best friend with man. werewolves are their own best friend, and that’s pretty convenient. Except of course your own best friend tends not to want to savagely tear people apart (hopefully). It’s okay though, because it only happens every once in a while, when the moon is full. You will see werewolf outbreaks in Silver Bullet and American Werewolf in London, or Teen Wolf, though the latter isn’t really frightening as it is a role-model for life. Although Teen Wolf 2 is also strictly horror.
9) Giant Insects
We spend a huge amount of time making sure that little crawling creatures aren’t in our home, waking us up by crawling into our nose. So it’s pretty natural for us to use insects as an inspiration for monstrosities. Take for example Them! from 1954 — it consists of giant ants THAT WILL DESTROY AMERICA, enlarged by (of course) atomic radiation. There’s also the notable Kingdom of the Spiders, featuring William Shatner, The Wasp Woman (not featuring William Shatner) and Mimic (also sadly lacking William Shatner). A case could be made for Starship Troopers as an insect movie as well, though they are technically extremely bug-like aliens. There’s also the case of The Fly which asserts one of humanity’s worst fears: turning into Jeff Goldblum.
8) Little Creatures
There’s always some sort of little mischievous murderous creature that’s ready to wreak havok. From Gremlins, to Critters, to Troll 2s, we sure like the little bastards to show up and kill us. Usually innocently at first and small in number, then grow to a horrible multitude that screws things up royally. The solution always seems to get them together in one little spot and then someone blows them up with a huge explosion. Maybe humanity just really like to blow up midgets. Perhaps it’s best not to examine this too much further.
Giant beasts are always good for a show, mostly because they are so giant and they look really impressive on the big screen. Or they don’t look impressive at all, and it’s really funny to watch them with a large group of people. Godzilla is of course the gold standard when it comes to giant monsters, along with Godzilla vs. Mothra, and Godzilla 1985 oh, and something not Godzilla, like the Cloverfield… thing, and I guess King Kong. Oh and Megashark vs. Giant Octopus. We just like the idea that somehow nature will get the upper hand on us by simply being way way bigger than us.
Oh our metal machines, can you ever stop killing us? That Man’s own robots will be smart and decide “hey screw this noise” is a premise that has been going on for a long long time. From Metropolis to the Terminator movies to The Matrix, they show up to kill all us meatbags and replace us with a smooth, iPhone-like society. Who doesn’t love a good metal monster pulling apart humans like fresh bread? Nobody, that’s who.
With movies like Daybreakers, The Lost Boys and From Dusk to Dawn, there’s just a whole lot of vampires running around nowadays. People just love the immortal bloodsuckers, their over-styled hair, and their penchant for sucking and/or sexing everything. Vampires are sex and violence mixed into one monstrous package. Vampires could not be more American. Sorry, Bram Stoker.
Oh man, do we love space… things. There are almost too many films to name from Independence Day, to The Day the Earth Stood Still, to Day of the Triffids, to War of the Worlds, to simply Aliens and on and on and on. The thing about aliens is that they come from space, and therefore can be anything. Mostly though, they seem to be horribly ghastly creatures who want to zap everything with ray guns and then use our bodies for nourishment. Kind of puzzling that they always seem to come here and decide that they won’t just eat the animals, and instead take on the highly aggressive, sentient creatures with the atomic weapons.
Men apparently don’t hate women enough in real life, so they frequently use them as monsters in movies. Take Attack of the 50 ft Woman, Queen of Blood, or Lifeforce. Note that almost all monstrous women are all sexy. Also, it seems that some women monsters are successful male monster with a female gender, like or The Invisible Woman, Bride of Frankenstein or Bride of Dracula. Apparently the men who made those hate women so much that they didn’t even bother with trying to be creative in the ways they marginalized and exploited them. Still, watch out for their horrifying sexiness, right?
As monsters, Nazis tend to be removed from their historic context, like the Nazi zombies in Dead Snow or the space Nazis in the independent film Iron Sky. Nazis tend to get less entertaining as the portrayal gets more realistic, as unfortunately they were real monsters.
This heads the list because zombie films are so prevalent that zombies really have become the vanilla ice cream of the monster outbreak. If you need a go-to for monster outbreak and you have no creativity or originality you reach into the zombie bag and PRESTO! Though only a few zombies were portrayed in film in the classical sense (a person under the effects of voodoo), they didn’t really start appearing in the form we know today (dead rising from the grave really hankering for a human-wich) until 1969 when George Romero went and made Night of the Living Dead. Since then we got Zombi 2 (with a shark vs. zombie fight), Day of the Dead, Land of the Dead, McDonald’s of the Dead, etc. Also thanks to 28 Days Later, in which we now have “fast” zombies, we are starting to classify zombies like wine. Which zombie goes better with chicken or fish? The answer: STOP MAKING ZOMBIE MOVIES.