Although some of them may not be the most critically acclaimed films to hit the cinematic world, they undoubtedly have quite large a fan base in the sci-fi genre. This list will be focused on some of my personal favorite "creature feature" films. Aside from this year's Jurassic World and 2014's Godzilla, it seems like there aren't as many monster films in the mainstream cinema as there were in the early 2000s and the '90s. For the newer generation of fans that are interested in these types of movies, it may be a little difficult to find some good ones in today's world, so I cooked up a lineup of some of my personal favorites.
1. Eight Legged Freaks
If you thought these eight legged arachnids were terrifying as it is, just imagine them being the size of a house! Over the years there have been many giant spider movies to release, but none of them quite hold that special charm that this one does. The plot is pretty run-of-the-mill focusing on a local spider farm being exposed to toxic waste that has been accidentally released, turning them into giant spiders that wreak havoc on the nearby town.However, the great cast, comedic and horror elements as well as the visual effects truly make the film shine. Plus, who wouldn't want to see young Scarlett Johansson fighting these giant creatures?
This late '90s film quickly went on to become a cult classic and gain the tittle of a "so-bad-its-good" movie. A documentary crew journey into the Amazon jungle in search of a lost native tribe, but what they encounter instead is a large and deadly, slithering predator set on devouring them all. Jennifer Lopez, Ice Cube, Jon Voight and Owen Wilson star in this tongue-in-cheek adventure horror. Campy acting, great visuals and beautiful cinematography make this one a must watch for all B-movie fans out there. It was also quite successful at the box office, bringing in over $136 million on a $45 million budget, spawning a semi-financially successful sequel and two more straight to DVD sequels.
3. Piranha 3D
When an underwater earthquake releases a strain of bloodthirsty piranhas near a lake resort filled with partying teens and young adults, the results end up being incredibly graphic and bloody...very bloody. It's not often remakes surpass their original, but once in a while there will be one that just does it so well. In this adaptation of the 1978 classic (that is also worth a watch), the gore has been amped up...a lot! It's overloaded with blood and violence. Both factors that contribute to a horror film that fans of the genre would call generic or lousy. However, this formula works, in this situation in a very satisfying manner. Remember not to take this off-the-wall film too seriously and you will have yourself a blood soaked, gut wrenching good time.
You've most likely heard of this one, unless you've been living under a rock for, well, your entire life. Not only one of the greatest classic monster films out there, but one of the greatest films of all time. Steven Spielberg's infamous masterpiece about a great white shark that terrorizes the locals of Amity terrified audiences everywhere, making them fear going back into the water. It also pretty much invented the "summer blockbuster." Not much more is needed to be said, just make sure you catch this one, if you haven't.
5. Lake Placid
Get ready to face a large and menacing monster with its mind set on chomping up your bones for its next bloody meal. Bill Pullman and Bridget Fonda join forces to investigate a series of strange events taking place at Black Lake. It's not long before the dysfunctional duo and a group of others discover the lake is home to a 30-foot-long, man-eating crocodile with a very large appetite. In an effort to try and kill the intimidating creature, the question soon arises if there is only one beast lurking in the eerie water.
Although the found-footage genre isn't the most appreciated one out there, it doesn't mean you should pass on every film in that category, especially Cloverfield. This intense, witty creature feature tells the story of New Yorkers trying to figure out what the hell is happening when all of a sudden their city is attacked by something large and unidentifiable. It may sound almost exactly like Godzilla, and, while the two are somewhat similar, Cloverfield manages to create its own lane and make a name for itself among other films in the sci-fi genre. An action-packed film with ominous scares makes this one a can't miss.
There are far too many sequels in this long running franchise to choose just one. I, personally am a fan of all of the Godzilla films and yes, that includes the 1998 American version as well. 2014 saw the release of another, what I think was a great installment in the mega-hit series, with yet another one being reportedly produced in 2016. Most of us all know about the atomic breathing, gargantuan beast, but how many of the Japanese films have you seen? Fans of the series are well aware of the multitude of sequels out there, but those who haven't really gotten around to watching all 28 of them should indulge in the entertaining cultural experience.
8. King Kong
This next, classic and beloved creature has been around since 1933 and since then we've seen a couple remakes, unnecessary sequels and even the giant beast fighting Godzilla on the big screen in 1962. However, Peter Jackson's 2005 remake will take the cake for this list, because it's a pretty fantastic film. Jack Black and Naomi Watts star in this fast paced, action-adventure focused on a group of filmmakers traveling to an unknown island referred to as Skull Island. Here they meet the very emphatic and terrifying beast, Kong, along with a couple extinct animals and a hostile indigenous tribe. When the damsel in distress, Watts is captured by Kong, the mission soon turns into a search and rescue. It's a scary, loud, beautiful and exciting motion picture. Truly a fantastic film and definitely one of the greatest remakes out there.
This batch of comedy mixed with action and horror turns out really well in this cheesy, yet slick monster movie set in an isolated, quite town called Perfection. Before all hell broke loose, the citizens of Perfection noted the town for being absolutely barren. This all happens to change when they are forced to fight for their lives as giant, hungry, ferocious worms come digging through the ground in search of any food they can get. With the most popular meal on the menu being humans, the characters must do all they can to survive. The tricky part being, the worms are always underground and are attracted to noise. A nice ensemble of humor and horror results in a movie that will make you fear setting one foot on the ground.
10. Alien and Aliens
I can't possibly choose between two of the greatest sci-fi movies out there. In 1979, audiences got the terrifying pleasure of meeting one of the most gruesome beasts to ever hit the big screen, in the movie, Alien. This is such a cleverly set up film with a great cast and terrific special effects that still manage to hold up today. Not so much focused on blood or gore, but suspense and the immense, creepy feeling of desolation made this film stand out among all the others and even got submitted into the United States National Film Registry. Seven years later, its sequel, Aliens, was released, and although it had a drastic change of tone from its predecessor it was and remains a kick-ass, thrilling adventure from start to finish that will leave you on the edge of your seat.
11. Jurassic Park
What kind of list would this be without the one and only masterpiece that revitalized the imaginative child in you. Without a doubt my favorite Steven Spielberg film to date, Jurassic Park roared into the cinema in the summer of 1993 and exploded at the box office. Based off of Michael Crichton's best selling novel, Jurassic Park tells the ill-fated tale of scientific engineers who've set their minds on creating the most thrilling and wondrous theme park known to man on a remote island. The source of the excitement being, living dinosaurs. To cut to the chase, things go south quickly and the immense beasts escape, wrecking havoc on the island. A terrifying, yet electrifying ride into the prehistoric era made this movie a staple in pop culture and will forever stand out as one of the greatest films ever made.
Arnold Schwarzenegger has played some of the most insane roles in movie history. One of my personal favorites is when he faced the stealthy, odious alien life form known as the Predator. In the movie, Arnie's character is the leader of special forces team that has a mission to rescue hostages located in Central America. What the team doesn't know is that the combatants aren't their only enemy. Soon enough, they are all stalked and hunted down by a powerful, sneaky creature with thermal vision and invisibility functionalities. With danger lurking around in every corner, it sets a menacing atmosphere that will send you on a ride to hell.
Have you seen all these "creature features"? Tell me down below which ones are your favorite and any other films you enjoyed that weren't on this list.