These are the 10 Best Monster Movies to Watch This Halloween

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Monsters are the real stars of Halloween. Really, who needs the Brad Pitts and Tom Cruises of the world when you have a Frankenstein’s monster or a Godzilla? Those big, spooky boys land on our list of the best movie monsters of all time, along with some modern favorites as well. Here, we’re not talking about slasher villains or ghosts or extra terrestrials—we’re interested in good old fashioned monsters. That’s the man-made creations, the big underground worms, and various underwater creatures.

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Frankenstein (1931)

Why not start the month off with a little bit of old Tinseltown magic. Boris Karloff plays author Mary Shelley’s monster from her original 1818 novel. In a village in the Bavarian Alps, Dr. Henry Frankenstein tries to create another human life from devices of his own invention. Things go scarily wrong when the man who emerges from Dr. Frankenstein’s laboratory is … not exactly a man.

Tremors

A true ’90s movie, this monster film has both Kevin Bacon and country music’s own Reba McIntire. It’s about a village called Perfection, Nevada, filled with people who get inexplicably swallowed up by the ground. The easiest explanation is an earthquake, but even a seismologist can’t explain what, exactly, is going on. Maybe start with the giant, worm-like monsters underground; they probably know the answer.

Godzilla

There have been nearly 30 Godzilla movies made in the franchise. You could start with the 1954 original title and work your way up to 2019’s Godzilla: King of the Monsters, featuring Stranger ThingsMillie Bobby Brown, who’s pretty used to monsters trying to end the world.

Creature from The Black Lagoon

If you’re having an old-school monster movie party, this one might be another to add to the mix. A prehistoric monster lurks in the jungle, which means a group of scientists want to capture and study it. The spookiest thing? People who interfere with and take credit for what is not theirs.

The Shape of Water (2018)

The winner of Best Picture at the 2018 Academy Awards, Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape of Water is a modern homage to monster movies like Creature From the Black Lagoon. The film stars Sally Hawkins as a woman who falls in love with a mysterious sea creature. And yes! The film explains how they have sex!

The Mist

Based on a Stephen King novel, this 2007 film is about the small town of Bridgton, Maine, where monsters emerge from an unnatural mist after a thunderstorm. As a resident of Maine who is horrified of mysterious creatures, this one’s a little too close to home (literally). But if you want monsters, it’s got ’em.

King Kong

Like Godzilla, you can span the decades with this one. You could have even seen this show on Broadway last year, if that’s how far you want to take things. From 1933 to 2005, the larger-than-life gorilla has charmed and terrified audiences for years.

Jaws (1975)

The worst monsters are the real-life ones. Steven Spielberg’s masterpiece follows a group of heroes trying to capture a massive killer shark. The film revolutionized the monster genre and films as a whole. It also introduced the world to a new shark phobia.

The Thing

In 1982, Kurt Russell starred in a film about a creature that shifts into the appearance of its victims. Russell’s character, a helicopter pilot, sets out on a mission to fight the terrifying creatures that threaten humanity.

The Descent

Beware anyone with even an inkling of claustrophobia. The Descent follows a group of women who go spelunking and find some mysterious underground monsters lurking in the darkness and tight spaces. It’s a modern horror masterpiece that will leave you gasping for air, and space.

Hilary Weaver is a freelance writer based in New York who writes about politics, queer issues, Meryl Streep, Glenn Close, and every woman the Queen has ever made a dame.

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