Top monster movies

This list is life. Well, maybe unlife. Or at least supra-life. These represent a more monstrous bent than supernatural, having certain films representing the best of a genre or group of films. Of course, this is peppered by subjective favorites, but I still tried to stick with some aspect of quality over just my favorites. Enjoy.
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1.
The Thing (1982)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
A research facility in Antarctica comes across an alien force that can become anything it touches with 100% accuracy. The members must now find out who's human and who's not before it's too late. (109 mins.)
Director: John Carpenter
“ Nuff said. Just a great movie, monsters or not. ” - hkakatsakis
 
2.
Jaws (1975)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A giant great white shark arrives on the shores of a New England beach resort and wreaks havoc with bloody attacks on swimmers, until a part-time sheriff teams up with a marine biologist and an old seafarer to hunt the monster down. (124 mins.)
“ Ditto. ” - hkakatsakis
 
3.
Alien (1979)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
After a space merchant vessel perceives an unknown transmission as distress call, their landing on the source moon finds one of the crew attacked by a mysterious life-form, and soon realize that its life cycle has merely begun. (117 mins.)
Director: Ridley Scott
“ Double ditto. ” - hkakatsakis
 
4.
King Kong (1933)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A film crew goes to a tropical island for an exotic location shoot and discovers a colossal giant gorilla who takes a shine to their female blonde star. He is then captured and brought back to New York City for public exhibition. (100 mins.)
“ This is this high, not just because of the quality of the film, but for the influence and accomplishment at the time. ” - hkakatsakis
 
5.
Bride of Frankenstein (1935)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
Mary Shelley reveals the main characters of her novel survived: Dr. Frankenstein, goaded by an even madder scientist, builds his monster a mate. (75 mins.)
Director: James Whale
“ James Whale kicks ass. ” - hkakatsakis
 
6.
Godzilla (1954)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
American nuclear weapons testing results in the creation of a seemingly unstoppable, dinosaur-like beast. (96 mins.)
Director: Ishirô Honda
“ Godzilla is a personal fanatical favorite. The Japanese original was a very dark, horror inducing film. The birth of the King. ” - hkakatsakis
 
7.
Aliens (1986)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
The moon from Alien has been colonized, but contact is lost. This time, the rescue team has impressive firepower, but will it be enough? (137 mins.)
Director: James Cameron
“ James Cameron's best film. ” - hkakatsakis
 
8.
The Fog (1980)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
Legend says that Antonio Bay was built in 1880 with blood money obtained from shipwrecked lepers, which no one believes. On the eve of the town's centennial, many plan to attend the celebrations, including the murdered lepers. (89 mins.)
Director: John Carpenter
“ How can I forget the angry revenants? This is a great film. ” - hkakatsakis
 
9.
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.9/10 X  
Gandalf and Aragorn lead the World of Men against Sauron's army to draw his gaze from Frodo and Sam as they approach Mount Doom with the One Ring. (201 mins.)
Director: Peter Jackson
“ This really represents the Trilogy. This one is my favorite. ” - hkakatsakis
 
10.
The Fly (1986)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
A brilliant but eccentric scientist begins to transform into a giant man/fly hybrid after one of his experiments goes horribly wrong. (96 mins.)
“ Jeff Goldblum should have been nominated. ” - hkakatsakis
 
11.
Trollhunter (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
A group of students investigates a series of mysterious bear killings, but learns that there are much more dangerous things going on. They start to follow a mysterious hunter, learning that he is actually a troll hunter. (103 mins.)
Director: André Øvredal
“ Of all the POV movies, this one is the best and most logical. The guy playing the trollhunter is awesome. An imaginative, quality film. ” - hkakatsakis
 
12.
The Howling (1981)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
After a bizarre and near fatal encounter with a serial killer, a television newswoman is sent to a remote mountain resort whose residents may not be what they seem. (91 mins.)
Director: Joe Dante
“ Best werewolf movie ever made. The creature effects still hold up and the epitome of what a werewolf should look like. That's my story and I'm stickin' to it. ” - hkakatsakis
 
13.
Predator (1987)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A team of commandos on a mission in a Central American jungle find themselves hunted by an extraterrestrial warrior. (107 mins.)
Director: John McTiernan
“ One ugly motha' you know what. Another quality film that lasts. And it's an awesome 80s action movie too. ” - hkakatsakis
 
14.
Frankenstein (1931)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
An obsessed scientist assembles a living being from parts of exhumed corpses. (70 mins.)
Director: James Whale
“ Not James Whale, but one of the first great monster movies ever made. ” - hkakatsakis
 
15.
Dawn of the Dead (1978)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
Following an ever-growing epidemic of zombies that have risen from the dead, two Philadelphia S.W.A.T. team members, a traffic reporter, and his television executive girlfriend seek refuge in a secluded shopping mall. (127 mins.)
“ The only zombie movie on the list, but I believe the best of all of them. Any other quality zombie movie is represented by this. Since all zombie apocalypse movies have basically the same story. I really dig zombies too. ” - hkakatsakis
 
16.
Let the Right One In (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
Oskar, an overlooked and bullied boy, finds love and revenge through Eli, a beautiful but peculiar girl. (115 mins.)
Director: Tomas Alfredson
“ An adult monster movie about children. Who'd have thunk it. 'Let me In' is also lumped in with this one. Equally as good. ” - hkakatsakis
 
17.
Jurassic Park (1993)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
During a preview tour, a theme park suffers a major power breakdown that allows its cloned dinosaur exhibits to run amok. (127 mins.)
“ The Sfx still holds up and despite it's dramatic short comings and forced suspense it is nerve wracking as heck. ” - hkakatsakis
 
18.
An American Werewolf in London (1981)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
Two American college students on a walking tour of Britain are attacked by a werewolf that none of the locals will admit exists. (97 mins.)
Director: John Landis
“ Another solid movie. Didn't love the creature design, but the change effects and story are classic. ” - hkakatsakis
 
19.
Nosferatu (1922)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
Vampire Count Orlok expresses interest in a new residence and real estate agent Hutter's wife. (94 mins.)
Director: F.W. Murnau
“ To me this is the true original. Props to the Bela Lugosi version, that doesn't really stand up to the silent one, with it's indelible imagery. ” - hkakatsakis
 
20.
Gamera: Guardian of the Universe (1995)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
A hibernating species of giant carnivorous bird is awakened on a Japanese island shortly after the Japanese military encounters an unidentified mass moving beneath the water off-shore. (96 mins.)
Director: Shûsuke Kaneko
“ The 90s resurrection of another Japanese heavy hitter. Shûsuke Kaneko does a great job of reinventing the Kaiju genre after some dismal Godzilla movies. This represents the Gamera trilogy that he directed. ” - hkakatsakis
 
21.
Creepshow (1982)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
An anthology which tells five terrifying tales based on the E.C. horror comic books of the 1950s. (120 mins.)
“ George Romero doing a non-zombie movie. I dig anthologies, and the acting and effects are very good. ” - hkakatsakis
 
22.
Mighty Joe Young (1949)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
A young woman who has raised a giant gorilla from an infant brings him to Hollywood years later seeking her fortune in order to save her family's ranch. (94 mins.)
“ Harryhausen's first major film and a collaboration with Willis O'Brien. That ape will break your heart. ” - hkakatsakis
 
23.
The Hunger (1983)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
A love triangle develops between a beautiful yet dangerous vampire, her cellist companion, and a gerontologist. (97 mins.)
Director: Tony Scott
“ A sexually charged monster movie about getting old and becoming obsolete. How can I not put in a vampire movie with David Bowie, Catherine Deneuve and Susan Sarandon? ” - hkakatsakis
 
24.
The Mist (2007)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
A freak storm unleashes a species of bloodthirsty creatures on a small town, where a small band of citizens hole up in a supermarket and fight for their lives. (126 mins.)
Director: Frank Darabont
“ This is a modern version of a good old fashioned, classic monster movie. Something you'd see from the Atomic age. The paranoia and ending are a bit heavy handed, but it's very good. ” - hkakatsakis
 
25.
I Am Legend (2007)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
Years after a plague kills most of humanity and transforms the rest into monsters, the sole survivor in New York City struggles valiantly to find a cure. (101 mins.)
“ Will Smith's terror makes this one. The alternative ending where the vampires are just misunderstood is much better and closer to the source material. ” - hkakatsakis
 
26.
The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms (1953)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
A ferocious dinosaur awakened by an Arctic atomic test terrorizes the North Atlantic and, ultimately, New York City. (80 mins.)
Director: Eugène Lourié
“ A Harryhausen Kaiju movie in America. Before Godzilla. These 50s films must be taken with a grain of salt for the antiquated story telling, but this is an influential film with some great stop motion effects. ” - hkakatsakis
 
27.
Cloverfield (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
A group of friends venture deep into the streets of New York on a rescue mission during a rampaging monster attack. (85 mins.)
Director: Matt Reeves
“ Had some reservations about this one. Didn't love the monster design. Didn't love the twenty something Hollywood leads. Didn't love the fact that they just kept filming when it became illogical. But, much of the film making is excellent. The verite, 9/11 feel of the destruction, the paranoia of not knowing where that huge thing will show up next and the desperate, all is lost feel of the resolution was very effective. ” - hkakatsakis
 
28.
Dragonslayer (1981)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
A young wizarding apprentice is sent to kill a dragon which has been devouring girls from a nearby kingdom. (108 mins.)
Director: Matthew Robbins
“ A really underrated film. The Dragon effects were the best of it's time. Good sound track. Good atmosphere. And, Ralph Richardson kicks ass. His monologue about the age of the Dragon is amazing. ” - hkakatsakis
 
29.
Super 8 (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
During the summer of 1979, a group of friends witness a train crash and investigate subsequent unexplained events in their small town. (112 mins.)
Director: J.J. Abrams
“ Beautifully directed film, but I felt that Abrams was split between two opposing derivatives. You had your "Iron Giant/ET" derivative and your "Cloverfield" derivative. They didn't quite mix for me, but the film making is undeniable. ” - hkakatsakis
 
30.
The Golden Voyage of Sinbad (1973)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
Sinbad and his crew intercept a homunculus carrying a golden tablet. Koura, the creator of the homunculus and practitioner of evil magic... (105 mins.)
Director: Gordon Hessler
“ My personal favorite Harryhausen film. The monsters are the most original. Tom Baker is the man. And they were followers of Islam. They invoked Allah many times. A quality that kept the film honest and something that would never be done today. Gotta love the creative freedom of the 70s. ” - hkakatsakis
 
31.
Them! (1954)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
The earliest atomic tests in New Mexico cause common ants to mutate into giant man-eating monsters that threaten civilization. (94 mins.)
Director: Gordon Douglas
“ THE Atomic age giant monster movie. The suspense and seriousness with which they took the monsters holds up today. ” - hkakatsakis
 
32.
Jason and the Argonauts (1963)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
The legendary Greek hero leads a team of intrepid adventurers in a perilous quest for the legendary Golden Fleece. (104 mins.)
Director: Don Chaffey
“ Probably Harryhausen's best film. An epic telling of a classical Greek myth. ” - hkakatsakis
 
33.
The Thing from Another World (1951)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
Scientists and American Air Force officials fend off a bloodthirsty alien organism while at a remote arctic outpost. (87 mins.)
Director: Christian Nyby
“ A very different version of the source material "Who Goes There?" But a quality genre film and James Arness is a bad ass. ” - hkakatsakis
 
34.
Wolfen (1981)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  
A New York cop investigates a series of brutal deaths that resemble animal attacks. (115 mins.)
“ Awesome detective film with giant wolves. The cast is awesome with Albert Finney, Gregory Hines, Edward James Olmos and Diane Venora. The sound track is creepy in that late 70s/early 80s way and it has social commentary about the top %1. Occupy giant, intelligent wolves! ” - hkakatsakis
 
35.
Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack (2001)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
Three ancient guardian beasts awaken to protect Japan against Godzilla. (105 mins.)
Director: Shûsuke Kaneko
“ Shûsuke Kaneko take on the Godzilla mythos. Probably the best Godzilla movie since the original. ” - hkakatsakis
 
36.
King Kong (2005)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
A movie crew, travelling to a mysterious island to shoot their picture, encounter a furious gorilla, taking their leading actress and forming a special relationship with her, protecting her at all costs. (187 mins.)
Director: Peter Jackson
“ Though there were some flaws in the film, mainly the length, erroneous dinosaur scenes and Jack Black's lack of pathos (and I like Jack Black), this film is ultimately effective. The emotional life of Kong and the relationship with Ann is incredibly deep and makes the whole movie. This also represents a shout out the the Jeff Bridges, Jessica Lange King Kong from 76. One of my personal favorites. One of the best, romantic soundtracks ever. And Rick Baker was pretty bad ass as Kong. ” - hkakatsakis
 
37.
The Blob (1958)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
An alien lifeform consumes everything in its path as it grows and grows. (86 mins.)
“ The blob is creepy as heck. Always had bad daydreams about being devoured. And Steve McQueen is very serious which sells the stakes. Ahead of its time. Shout out to the remake. I liked that movie. The blob effects were pretty creative, gruesome and Shawnee Smith is a cutie pie. ” - hkakatsakis
 
38.
Reign of Fire (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  
A brood of fire-breathing dragons emerges from the earth and begins setting everything ablaze, establishing dominance over the planet. (101 mins.)
Director: Rob Bowman
“ This movie is pretty good. Very underrated. One of Matthew McConaughey's best performances. Batman is pretty good too. ” - hkakatsakis
 
39.
Mothra vs. Godzilla (1964)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
A greedy developer unwittingly hatches a gigantic baby moth upon Tokyo, while Godzilla strikes once again. (89 mins.)
Director: Ishirô Honda
“ The best Showa Kaiju film after the original. The special effects were pretty frickin cool. Only time Honda used stop motion. ” - hkakatsakis
 
40.
Dracula (1979)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
In 1913, the charming, seductive and sinister vampire Count Dracula travels to England in search of an immortal bride. (109 mins.)
Director: John Badham
“ My favorite Dracula film. Frank Langella is at his gesticulating, sophisticated best. And the undead Mina scared the crap out of me. ” - hkakatsakis
 
41.
Jabberwocky (1977)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  
A young peasant, with no interest in adventure or fortune, is mistaken as the kingdom's only hope when a horrible monster threatens the countryside. (105 mins.)
Director: Terry Gilliam
“ Only "comedy" on the list, if you want to call it that. Terry Gilliam's first non-Python movie. You only see the monster at the climax, but it's a great example of how the unknown affected such superstitious people, and the utter filth that they lived in in the middle ages. ” - hkakatsakis
 
42.
Monsters (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
Six years after Earth has suffered an alien invasion, a cynical journalist agrees to escort a shaken American tourist through an infected zone in Mexico to the safety of the U.S. border. (94 mins.)
Director: Gareth Edwards
“ Interesting film. Very well done. Kind of like an indie romance across Mexico...with giant land locked octopi. ” - hkakatsakis
 
43.
Hellraiser (1987)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
An unfaithful wife encounters the zombie of her dead lover; demons are pursuing him after he escaped their sadomasochistic underworld. (94 mins.)
Director: Clive Barker
“ Gotta have some Clive Barker. ” - hkakatsakis
 
44.
The Descent (2005)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
A caving expedition goes horribly wrong, as the explorers become trapped and ultimately pursued by a strange breed of predators. (99 mins.)
Director: Neil Marshall
“ How do you make a bunch of hot women seem legitimate? Make them British. ” - hkakatsakis
 
45.
Rodan (1956)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
Mutant pterosaurs and prehistoric insects terrorize humanity. (82 mins.)
Director: Ishirô Honda
“ The scenes in the beginning in the mines are creepy, claustrophobic and uncomfortable. Then when the monster shows, it reflects how quick the destruction would be compared to the lumbering Godzilla. ” - hkakatsakis
 
46.
Starship Troopers (1997)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
Humans in a fascistic, militaristic future do battle with giant alien bugs in a fight for survival. (129 mins.)
Director: Paul Verhoeven
“ Gotta love teenyboppers being torn apart by giant insects. Well done movie, with an awesome anti-fascism theme. ” - hkakatsakis
 
47.
The Giant Behemoth (1959)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  
Marine atomic tests cause changes in the ocean's ecosystem resulting in dangerous blobs of radiation and the resurrection of a dormant dinosaur which threatens London. (80 mins.)
“ One of Willis O'Brien's last films. A pretty decent non Japanese Kaiju. What it lacks in drama, it makes up in bad ass stop motion animation. ” - hkakatsakis
 
48.
Pumpkinhead (1988)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  
After a tragic accident, a man conjures up a towering, vengeful demon called Pumpkinhead to destroy a group of unsuspecting teenagers. (86 mins.)
Director: Stan Winston
“ How can I not give props to Stan Winston's baby. God bless you, Stan, you are sorely missed. ” - hkakatsakis