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Best Monster Movies Of All Time

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Last Updated: 03 November 2020

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Director Guillermo del Toro inherits generations-old legacy of Timeless Monster movies when he signed onto Pacific Rim, sci-fi feature of colossal proportions that pit mechas against seaborne terrors. From Godzilla trashing Fifties Tokyo to Creature from Cloverfield stomping around New York in 2008, weve watched onscreen monsters of all shapes and sizes try their hand at destroying humanity for almost a century. Pacific Ri's baddies, then, have some pretty big shoes to fill. Here we take a look back at the Greatest Monster films in cinematic history. 20. Pacific Rim After centurys worth of monsters coming from outer space, Pacific Rim shifts paradigm: stop looking at the sky, monsters are coming from deep beneath the Pacific Ocean floor. Know as Kaiju, these monsters intend to exterminate humanity. Only hope of defeating them? Massive Man-make machines called Jaegers which are controlled by two pilots whose minds are connected by a neural bridge. 19. Thing it is pretty tough to trust your friends when a parasitic, extraterrestrial life form has infiltrated your remote research station located in Antarctic Tundra. Things assimilate other organisms and mimic them, making it nearly impossible to tell whom they are inhabiting. That is, until it manifests itself into horrifying and unimaginable creatures. Relate Aretha Franklin: My Favorite Songs of All Time Rolling Stone's Greatest TV Shows of All Time relate Robert De Niro's Best, Worst and Craziest Performances Farewell, Peter Green: Timeless blue Perfection of Fleetwood Mac's Original Guitar Hero 18. Gremlins intend as Christmas gift, this cute Furby-esque creature named Mogwai is more devious than it appear. Water causes it to multiply into hundreds of rampaging creatures that, when fed after midnight, transform into grotesque little reptilian monsters that specialize in mayhem. 17. Mummy iconic movie Monster, Mummy is a classic story of the mysteries of ancient Egypt. Imhotep, high priest, has been buried alive for centuries, only to be awakened by passage in the Book of Dead. He isnt only one to look out for, as his mummified priests and swarm of flesh-eating beetles have tomb surround. Youre guarantee to be wrap up in this thriller, or your Mummy back. 16. Cloverfield this find-footage blockbuster crushed the box office with over 170 million, much same as how this destructive space Creature devastated New York City in a matter of days. The concept behind Monster is likened to that of a spooked elephant on rampage, only on a mammoth scale. After it sever head of the Statue of Liberty, its message is clear: Run for your lives. 15. Little Shop of Horrors amidst all-star cast of Rick Moranis, Ellen Greene, Vincent Gardenia and Steve Martin, real show-stealer in this musical adaptation happens to be a massive, foul-mouth extraterrestrial plant named Audrey II who feeds on human blood. Audrey II grows in size and power with everything it gulps down, rendering even the most formidable weed-whacker useless.

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15. Spring (2015)

In a perfect world, we have an annual holiday that lends itself somehow to appreciation of horror films & dash just one day out of the year where people are encouraged to share their love for cinema of scary, creepy, and gory kinds. Pipe Dream, I know, so until that day comes well have to settle for an end of year list like this one to point people towards the best genre has to offer. Great Horror films that only play festivals and have secure release dates for 2016 & Dash Invitation, Black Mountain Side, Witch, Nina Forever & Dash are ineligible for this list, but I am including fest titles that have yet to be so lucky.

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14. Monsters (2010)

Monsters, Inc. May very well be the most lovable film in the illustrious Pixar canon, even if IT might feel out of place on the list of best Monster movies. But given that IT literally revolves entirely around Monsters, how can you keep IT off? Base on everything from the exhilarating door-chase sequence to the brilliant decision of naming its colorful Monsters Run-Of-mill things like Mike Wazowski, IT might be Pixars ' most inventive, encapsulating spirit of childhood unlike any other companies ' singular creations. Billy Crystal and John Goodman make an endearing and iconic odd couple. And that ending? Perfection.

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13. It Follows (2015)

The specter of Old Detroit haunts It follow. In dilapidating ice cream stand on 12 Mile, in 60s-style ranch homes of Ferndale or Berkley, in Game of Parcheesi played by pale teenagers with nasally, nothing accentsif youve never been, you will never recognize stale, gray nostalgia creeping into every corner of David Robert Mitchells terrifying film. But it is there, and it feels like SE Michigan. Music, mute but strangely sumptuous color palette, incessant anachronism: in style alone, Mitchell Is auteur seemingly emerge fully form from the unhealthy womb of Metro Detroit. Cycles and circles concentrically fill Out It follow, from particularly insular rules of films Horror plot, to the youthful, fleshy roundness of the faces and bodies of this small group of main characters, never letting the audience forget that, in so many ways, these people are still children. In other words, Mitchell is clear about his story: this has happened before, and it will happen again. All of which wouldnt work were Mitchell less concerned with creating a genuinely unnerving film, but every aesthetic flourish, every fully circular Pan is in thrall to breathing morbid life into a single image: someone, anyone slowly separating from the background, from one nightmares, and walking toward you, as if Death itself were to appear unannounced Next to you in public, ready to steal your breath with little to no aplomb.

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12. Colossal (2017)

This is a monster movie with a twist. While the world panics over a terrifying creature wreaking havoc in South Korea, alcoholic single woman from New England discovers that she is somehow controlling monsters ' every move. When her friend Oscar attempts to help, he manifest giant robot in South Korea, creating a strange Pacific Rim vibe, but with human puppeteers. It is a weird tale of alcoholism, relationships, jealousy, and emotional manipulation. And monsters. Dont forget about monsters. Its hard to peg Colossal into just one film genre since it is part sci-fi, part romantic comedy, part black comedy, and part classic monster movie. Audiences loved it when it debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2016. We think youll like it too.

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11. Attack the Block (2011)

It is always worrying when an artist you admire in one field decides to branch out into another. Bob Dylans painting career, Russell Crowes band 30 Odd Foot of Grunts, novels by William Shatner-are all destined for the trash pile of cultural history. But on the strength of his feature debut, Attack Block, it is already clear that, in decades time, no one will even remember that Joe Cornish used to be a comedian. At first glance, it looks as though Cornish has set the bar low for his first movie. Storyline inspired by 80s genre movies he grew up with, tied to the currently popular film fad-London yoof movie-and set literally on his doorstep, Attack Block could easily have been lazy, smug sci-fi parody: Morons from Outer Space go gangsta. But, like aliens that rampage through Brixton tower Block, this is an entirely unexpected beast. Unrecognisably well-speak Jodie Whittaker plays Sam, jobbing nurse whose decision to move into a South London estate backfires when shes first mugged by teen thugs, then chased by marauding monsters. But Whittaker, and comic relief Nick Frost as weed dealer Ron, are merely the audience-friendly commercial face of Attack Block. The real stars are those thugs, lead by taciturn wannabe player Moses, whose decision to tool up and defend their turf kicks the plot into high gear. And this is an astonishingly fast-moving film. Cornish doesnt do eerie build-ups or character-establishing dialogue scenes: it pedals to metal from word go, and we learn on hoof about Mosess family issues, Rons business troubles and complex relationships within the gang. This can make opening scenes confusing: there are a lot of characters to keep up with. But it pays off in pure adrenaline: were never give second to settle, and the result is exhilarating. Gradually characters emerge, and its here that Cornish skill as writer and director becomes evident. These kids start out as caricatures-moody leader, speccy geek, mouth-but respect show to them is hugely refreshing, and their progressions are heartfelt and wholly believable: Shane Meadows would be proud. All of which elevate Attack Block from fun creature-feature throwback to this years unmissable British movie, and Cornish from just another geek-turn-filmmaker to major talent: if he can strike a similar balance between sympathy, insight and crowd-pleasing thrills in future projects, his status is assure. Attack Block isnt perfect-aliens are tad unremarkable and the final blowout never hit the frenzied peak it might have-but it is hard to imagine British audiences having more fun in cinema this year. Now, who is going to fund Adam Buxton movie?

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50. Prophecy (1979)

Scoop: 1979, rat PG, directed by John Frankenheimer, starring Robert Foxworth, Talia Shire, Armand Assante summary Capsule: in the forests of Maine, EPA researcher investigates a land dispute and finds much more than he expectsthere are dangerous things in the Forest. Joels Rating: 2 1 / 2 bullfrog size tadpoles Out of 5 joels Review: Just to be absolutely clear, this is not about angels and does not star Christopher Walken. Dr. Robert Verne is a doctor who tends to patients of inner City New York and he feels that he isnt really doing any good. He is one of those that believe IT is irresponsible to bring new baby into such a messed up world. He accepted a short-term job with Environmental Protection Agency to research effects paper Mill is having in wilderness area in Maine as there is a dispute there between Mill and local Native Americans who live there. Rob takes his wife Maggie so they can use the trip as a working vacation. As soon as they arrives, Vernes finds out that the land dispute has become very tense and violent. Some search and rescue workers have been found murderers and authorities are sure violent Indians are killers. Natives believe that the legendary Creature to them, Katahdin, has awaken to protect and avenge them. Not only does Rob look closely at the paper mill, at the request of one of the Natives, John Hawk, he also looks at some strange neurological effects that people who live in the Forest are suffering from, and he discovers effects on local wildlife. Rob is the only person willing to look at both sides of the conflict, but even as he investigates, killings continue. Soon, ITs all running and screaming and mutant bears and Om Nom Noms! And that, my friends, was serious and skillful dance around giving Out any Spoilers For Movie, heh heh! So, little backstory here: this was the very first Horror Movie I ever saw in theaters, and one of the first modern scary movies I had a chance to see. Back then, cable was new, there was only one Movie Channel, and it took some time for new Movies to make IT to regular TV, so in 1979, most of the horror movies I had seen were old black and white Monster Movies on Saturday afternoon Creature Feature type shows. So yeah, I have a soft spot for this film, even if I run up to the theater door every time creepy music starts and peek around the corner to make sure something scary is happening! And believe me, what we have here is a Monster Movie, folks, make no mistake. I find IT better than many Monster Movies, but IT is still just beasty Out to scare viewer. It is ambitious beasty, though. I have always loved this movie, but It does have plenty of faults.


63. Dead of Night (1945)

You don't come across too many horror films that create their very own subgenre, but that's pretty much what George. Romero's original Night of Living Dead pulled off. The word zombie was around long before 1968, but that was the film that introduced legions of re-animated corpses who wander around in large groups and devour any living human they can get their hands on. The original film remains one of the most influential horror movies ever make, and the sequel is pretty much the Casablanca of zombie cinema. Watch it now on HBO Max, Criterion Channel, or Shudder


The Devil Rides Out (1967)

There's tendency to let great horror movies percolate for a few years before putting them on any sort of all-time greatest lists, but, oh well, Get Out is just that good. After all, how many horror films can you name that won Best Original Screenplay? Astute horror fans will notice all sorts of DNA floating through this tale of abduction and alienation, but first-time feature director Jordan Peele brings more than enough originality to the partypartially, because he's not afraid to bring up difficult questions relating to racial inequality, but he's also damn insistent on delivering smart, strange, unpredictable thriller that doesn't skimp on what horror fans want. Rent it now on Amazon Prime


The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1973)

Despite scores of imitators, sequels, reboots and homages that have followed in its wake-and continue to proliferate to this day-there has never been a horror movie quite like the Texas Chainsaw Massacre. There will also probably never be one quite like it again. Tobe Hoopers ' feral, sun-drenched slice of pure nastiness remains remarkable for its raw power; for primitive, hypnotic wildness that will likely never be replicate. The cast and crew go through sweaty hell to make it, sweltering among raw meat, various animal carcasses and bones and bloodstained, unwashed costumes-and results lend finish project authenticity that many more polished horrors lack. The story itself is simple: five young people encounter a cannibalistic family, deep in the rural backwaters of Texas, and all but one of the group meet a nasty end. But sound and image-Gunnar Hansens Leatherface swinging his Chainsaw in frustrated rage; cathartic screaming of Marilyn Burns-are impossible to erase.

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48. Basket Case (1982)

Wonders of seeing the unknown have always been luring temptation of movies, and so Horror feels especially close to this medium, genre that exposes audiences to beyond normal, and into death. So were pulling from 100 years of movie history, from those early days of German expressionism and Universal Monsters. Creature feature nestle with Best Picture nominees. Slashers, zombies, vampires abound with terror of more psychological persuasion. Or so it would seem. And we honor recent stabs and strides made by female horror directors and directors abroad. Each of these Best Scary movies thrown into our bubbling cauldron had to have at least 20 reviews with a Fresh rating, before being sorted by the Adjusted Tomatometer. Dead last but not Dead least, weve expanded the guide to 200 movies, making room for the latest in cutting edge terror like Invisible Man, Scary Stories to Tell in Dark, Crawl, and Midsommar. Meanwhile, bunch of classics also get to creep in. Ready to settle in for Dark nights of Fresh fear? Then flip the switch on 200 Best Horror Movies of All Timeits alive! Its alive! 90 Best 70s Horror Movies | 84 Best 80s Horror Movies 80 Best 2000s Horror Movies | 140 Best 2010s Horror Movies 40 Best 90s Horror Movies | Best & Worst Horror Movies of 2020

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47. Grabbers (2012)

Surprisingly well-act Irish / British indie sci-fi horror flick, Grabbers is unabashedly goofy but wholly professional and charming in spades. The story follows an alcoholic police officer who has to face a new threat to a sleepy seaside community when octopus-like Aliens begin emerging from the sea and killing townspeople. These grabbers, as theyre quickly say, have only one weakness: human blood is fatal to them if it over a certain percentage of alcohol. Therefore, to combat monsters and make themselves unpalatable, police and townspeople have an obvious choice to make: Get totally hammer and grab a bunch of weapons. That may sound rather close to the summary of the direct-to-video movie by Asylum, but Grabbers is surprisingly intelligent, witty and well-write in such a way that it easily escapes fate in DVD bargain bin hell.

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46. Troll Hunter (2010)

Its downright scary to think that it's been more than 20 years since the release of Blair Witch Project, arguably the most iconic find-footage Film in history. But, in case you do know, it is not only one genre which includes movies Film in hand-held style, those presented as faux documentaries or as films within films. It is also isnt first. Blair Witch Project, however, is definitely among the greatest and most successful in the genre, along with these others: 20 Best found footage Horror films. The goal of Italian director Ruggero Deodato wasnt just to make a movie about an American documentary crew who get captured and devoured by a remote tribe in the Amazon rainforest, but to make a film so believable that audiences might think it was actually real. He succeed, and the result was so shocking and graphic that Deodato was brought up on obscenity and murder charges, with the latter arising because the director made the cast sign confidentiality agreements in which they agree not to publicly promote Film leading some to believe they were actually killed on camera. Once Deodato proved the cast was alive, charges were drop, and the Cannibal Holocaust subsequently became an icon in both Cannibal and found footage genres. Purport to be an actual snuff film sent to Japanese director Hideshi Hino, Guinea Pig 2: Flower of Flesh & Blood was actually made by Hino himself. However, movie about a man drugging and dismembering a woman was so convincing that, when given a copy of the then-obscure film in 1991, Actor Charlie Sheen believed it was real and sent it to MIAA, who passed it to the FBI. Hino was investigate, but charges were dropped after the Flower of Flesh & Blood director explained and demonstrated some of the special effects used in the film. First find-footage Film Horror or not that most people think of is Blair Witch Project. Direct, written and edited by Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sanchez, 1999 Film uses unknown actors as its trio of faux documentary filmmakers who get lost and eventually vanish in the Maryland woods while searching for the titular Blair Witch. Murick and Sanchez then promote the film as factual, make websites with fake police reports and interviews, and even hand out flyers at film festivals advertising actors as missing. Shot on a budget of just 60 000, Blair Witch Project earned critical acclaim and nearly 250 million at the box office. The incident at Loch Ness is remarkable for numerous reasons. After all, it is not just a faux documentary, and it is not just a film within a Film within another film, but it is also a mockumentary because it prominently features director Werner Herzog, producer Zak Penn and about a dozen actors, filmmakers and crew members playing themselves. However, they are not filming Incident at Loch Ness, but instead Herzog in Wonderland, fictional documentary about Herzogs fictional documentary Enigma of Loch Ness.

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35. The Wolf Man (1941)

Every Werewolf movie weve ever had pretty much owes itself to this Universal Monster. It arrives in 1941, full decade after the launch of Universal horror hits. But lightning struck twice. Its clearly date that the werewolf threat is accompanied by the appearance of mysterious Gypsies, who are present as strange and mystical people. However, legend itself is fascinating. It is bolstered by superb performances, and chilling visuals. Transformation may look silly now, but atmospheric fog and woods remain completely effective. Its classic, with death and comeuppance for the protagonist who is actually invading on another mans relationship. Its intriguing twist on Jekyll and Hyde, borrowing that theme for an even scarier concept.

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34. Pacific Rim (2013)

Sci-fi monster film that pits humans in giant robot suits fighting off equally giant monsters. How could you possibly go wrong? Director Guillermo del Toro has made his name with movies such as Hellboy and Pans Labyrinth, but took his game to the next level with the film Pacific Rim. It is an unapologetic popcorn blockbuster about a group of humans who use Jaegers to battle Kaiju, colossal monsters that have emerged from an interdimensional portal on the bottom of the Pacific Ocean. Intentionally big, dumb, and fun, Pacific Rim nods and winks to many Japanese monster movies that inspire it, and never ceases to be anything less than exciting. Significant special effects and snappy dialogue help move this film along at a brisk pace and keep the audience glued to their seats throughout. One of the better modern monster movies. A 2018 sequel called Pacific Rim: Uprising follow, with new characters and new adventures.

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33. Cloverfield (2008)

Cloverfield is a type of movie that grows in audiences over time. The 2008 find-footage monster film produced by JJ Abrams is the type of film that people enjoy more and more as time goes by, and a film they frequently recommend to friends and family. The movie, which is presented as home camcorder footage ala Blair Witch Project, follows six New Yorkers as they flee from a gigantic monster that attacked the city while they were having a farewell party for a friend. The film was well-review by critics and grossed 170. 8 million at the box office on a 25 million budget, making it a sizable financial hit. The Find-footage technique works excellent in this movie. It helps low budget films succeed, as it enables filmmakers to conceal much of what monsters look like, and only reveal scary snapshots through shaky camera angles. Like other movies on this list, Cloverfield is also a lot of fun and doesn't take itself too seriously. It spawns some sequels in what now call Cloververse, best of which is 10 Cloverfield Lane.

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32. Tremors (1990)

Tremors was a surprise hit when it was released in 1990 because it shrewdly combined comedy, action, and horror into one movie. Starring Kevin Bacon and Fred Ward. As a couple of handymen working in the Sierra Nevada mountain range, they soon discover giant worm-like monster creatures burrowing under the ground of a nearby town and threatening community inhabitants. Joining forces with locals, it is up to Kevin Bacon to save Day-the only catch being that he and other people in the community cannot step on the ground, or they risk being swallowed whole by Graboids. Instead, they have to stay high up on rooftops and use pole vaults to jump from building to building, or rock to rock. Exciting, funny, and unpredictable, Tremors are real treat. It consistently impresses with its unpredictability and offbeat humor. This movie inspires four direct-to-video sequels and the Tremors television series, but most of them are entirely skippable.

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30. King Kong (2005)

It wasnt first monster movie made by Hollywood, but 1933s King Kong set a standard and expectations for audiences that directors today are still struggling to live up to. First King Kong was an entirely original monster movie-one that plays on people's emotions as well as their fears. The giant ape in this movie is both fearsome and tender. He handles actress Fay Wray delicately even as he destroys downtown New York. While special effects may seem date now, they were triumph back in 1933. Audiences had never seen special effects like the ones in this movie. This film set a new standard in stop-motion animation and helped bring King Kong to cinematic life. Nearly 100 years after its release, King Kong retains the grandeur of it despite antiquate visuals. This was, and remain, truly epic film. When King Kong climbs up the Empire State Building, swatting away fighter planes like flies, it is a classic moment for both monster movies and the entire cinema industry.

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29. Gremlins (1984)

In same vein as Die Hard, Joe Dantes Gremlins is a yearly Christmastime argument waiting to happen: Both are annually tossed onto best Christmas movie lists, but when it comes to the latter, at least, those debates often overlook dark comedy of expertly crafted 80s horror film from Dante at the height of his powers. Taking lessons he learnt as a 70s Roger Corman protege, Dante borrows character actors like Dick Miller to create a cynical, biting rebuke of maudlin sentimentality and children's entertainment. Films surprising counterpoint between comedy and graphic violence was the source of consternation that matriculate it into the early class of genre films that lead to PG-13 rating, but its more important impact was shaping aesthetic of nearly every horror comedy to come.

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17. The Curse of Frankenstein (1957)

Base on Mary Shelleys ' 1818 novel of the same name, James Whales ' gothic monster movie Frankenstein, starring Colin Clive, Mae Clarke, and Boris Karloff, remains one of the most famous Horror films ever make. The story is about a young scientist named Henry Frankenstein and his assistant, Fritz, who dig up various corpses and piece them together in an attempt to create life. Back in 1991, Whale iconic monster movie was recognized by the Library of Congress as being culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant, and, as a result, was selected for preservation in United National Film Registry. Frankensteins monster has now been featured in dozens of movies and television shows, ranging from family-friendly comedies to revamped Horror tales.

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11. Aliens (1986)

Ridley Scotts ' 1979 sci-fi horror masterpiece Alien spawned entire franchise, including three direct sequels, Alien vs. Predator spin-offs, and a new prequel series. That does not even mention multiple comic books, video games, novels, and collectible items that also appeared after the success of the first two Alien movies. The first two movies are the best of the bunch, which is why they the ones highlighted in this list, but Xenomorph is now a classic monster. For those of you arguing that it is not a monster since it Alien, we say this: does it really matter? The combination of face-hugging, chest-bursting, extra protruding mouth, and acidic green blood creates a terrifying creature that has haunted nightmares of movie audiences for generations. Between the deadly Xenomorph, and badass Officer Ripley trying to stop it, Alien and Aliens are worthy additions to our list of monster movies even if only on technicality.

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5. The Fly (1986)

Jeff Goldblum got a lot of critical applause for his portrayal of scientist Seth Brundle in director David Cronenbergs 1986 classic Fly. The movie is a combination of sci-fi and horror, as Goldblums character has his DNA accidentally fuse with that of a common housefly during a teleportation mishap. He then slowly disintegrates into a larger than life insect. The twist on this monster movie is that the main character morphs into a monster. The movie is about Goldblums transformation, in this case, to human-size Fly. Special effects are gruesome and gross, but Goldblums ' ground performance makes far fetched situation seem strangely plausible, and he manages to make audiences care as his character gradually becomes less and less human. In hands of a lesser director, this movie could have descended into farce, but Cronenberg made sure that it all worked incredibly well. He holds film together with his directorial talent.

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4. Jaws (1975)

The movie that is credited with being the first true summer blockbuster, Jaws, is one of the best movies featuring a real-world monster that we all know-Great White Shark. Part horror movie and part adventure film, Jaws tells the story of a menacing Shark that is eating beachgoers in the seaside town of Amity, and three men who set out to find and kill deadly fish. While Jaws features first-rate performances by Roy Scheider, Robert Shaw, and Richard Dreyfuss, real star of the movie is the massive Shark itself. Direct by Steven Spielberg and based on a novel by Peter Benchley, Jaws is a magnificent example of suspense, excitement, and satisfying payoff at the end. It also involves great point-of-view filmmaking and was the first big hit of Spielberg's career. Jaws became a cultural phenomenon when released in 1975, and it spawned three sequels. While sequels never live up to the original, Jaws continues to reverberate in popular culture.

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1. The Thing (1982)

Swamp Thing was one of horror legend Wes Cravens earliest movies released two years before Nightmare on Elm Street hit theaters and made everyone afraid of falling asleep. Although some have dismissed it for being a bit cheesy, Swamp Thing remains a classic monster movie. The story, loosely based on the comic book series of the same name, involves a scientist who is tragically transformed into a gross, green, slimy monster while trying to escape attack. The twist here is that Swamp Thing is trying to help good guys in this movie, rather than hunting them. The film is a bit campy, but isnt that precisely what you want from an 80s monster movie? It has action, betrayal, and a classic comic book battle for a secret formula. A sequel followed in 1989, but it tank at the box office. The TV series featuring Swamp Thing aired on USA Network from 1990 to 1993 and more closely followed Cravens original dark tone.

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