The Best Monster Movies to Watch on Netflix Canada
In case ‘The Meg’ wasn’t enough.
Images via YouTube.
I hear Jason Statham fights a giant shark in The Meg. That’s all that needs to be said when it comes to decent monster movie because the ridiculousness brings half the fun.
The great (to me) Cloverfield might be about a giant monster, but it still boils down to a bunch of dumb pre-Instagram modelled millennials being chased down by a big unknown, bug eyed indestructible force. Train to Busan is dramatic while still being about some some zombies stuck on a train. And Jurassic World is just as dumb but it has a giant crocodile. In celebration of this genre I love and hate, here’s a list of the few monster films on Netflix chosen by dictionary definitions of what a monster is: an imaginary creature that is typically large, ugly, and frightening.
Keep your nerdy semantics to yourself.
Sharknado 1-2 and 3
Yes, it’s the bad-movie franchise that Twitter and director Anthony C. Ferrante built, so get off your lawn and take that copy of Citizen Kane with you. This beautiful epic is about a man (Ian Ziering), some other people (John Heard, Tara Reid), a storm, and some mother fucking sharks in a mother fucking Tornado–86 minutes of absolute bullshit that defies the standards of every film critique without a soul. They made five of these damn things, boldly putting the B in bullshit.
Think about it: a slithery unassuming thing that wraps itself around you, squeezing until it swallows you whole–that’s 1997 Jon Voight and that's your vocal lung when it bursts at his bad spanISH accented, ponytail having, dumb faced-assed camp. There’s also Jennifer Lopez, Ice and a giant snake in this Luis Llosa creation. But watch out for Jon.
So get this: You got this theme park made from top-notch technology that could resurrect extinct species from frog DNA. Things go bad because your top-notch technology isn’t good enough in the event of a power failure. Cool. People die, park is shut down, end of story. Fast forward to Colin Trevorrow’s Jurassic World, where some dumb people open up another park based on the original site that failed. Things go bad again and it’s up some terrible philosoraptor trainer Chris Pratt and gang (Bryce Dallas Howard) to save the day. Watch this as a lesson in what not to do in the event that giant human eating beasts suddenly come back to life.
This Jennifer Kent directed horror film ventures into the unknowns of the mind—the monster in the closet or the thing that goes bump in the night. Here’s the setup: You got Amelia (Essie Davis) is a widow and nurse who lives quietly with a six-year-old son Samuel (Noah Wiseman). Enter in The Babadook, a pop-up book about a mysterious and monstrous thing that knocks three times at your door...and well, I’ll leave it at that as this plot is not entirely what it seems. BABBBBBAAADOOOOOOOOK.
Yes, shaky cam films are about as inspired as burnt toast glazed with unsalted margarine but damn, does Matt Reeve’s Cloverfield still hold up as a mechanical and visual spectacle. It starts off at a New York based party involving a relationship no one cares about and throws you to a group of friends on a rescue mission as a giant monster attacks the city. Films of this kind wrestle with issues of scale from an audience POV. A camcorder seemed to solve this issue in 2008 and equally produce new ones in the vomit it induced in its wake.
Is it scary? Yup. Does it feel like Godzilla without being Godzilla? Oh yes. Will it reduce you to a trembling mass of Jell-O Gelatin? Nah, but it does the monster movie proud either way. Director Bong Joon-Ho ( Memories of Murder) uses the U.S. Army as a bases for the creation of a lethal lump of mysterious goo created from military pollutants in the Seoul Han River. It’s a movie completely Korean in function and style - dumb American survivors be damned.
Shot using a single camera on location, Gareth Edwards managed to create one great anti-James-Cameron of a film, not relying as much on CGI but rather the mystery of what isn’t shown on camera. Six years after Earth suffered an invasion, a pessimistic journalist (Scoot McNairy) agrees to escort an American tourist (of course) played by Whitney Able (the pair are married IRL) through an infected Zone in order to reach the US border. Monsters aside, the whole idea of a world that succumbs to a new species is mysterious, sad and daunting in a way that separates it from the rest in this list.
Remember that Everybody Loves Raymond episode when Frank (Peter Boyle) dresses up as Frankenstein and mistakenly gives out colour coated condoms instead of candies? No? Whatever. Apparently in 1974, Peter Boyle played the same monster in Young Frankenstein, a parody of the many monster movies from the 1930s. The comedic genius Gene Wilder played the title role as the convincing and mild-mannered physician who became obsessed with the idea of bringing a corpse back to life, just because it would make for a funny watch. And it was.
I suppose it’s a spoiler to even include this movie on this list, but trust me, it’s worth it. It’s a pretty dour premise: A bunch of 30-something British dads go hiking in northern Sweden to honour one of their friends who died tragically. After one of them is injured on the hike, they take a shortcut through the woods and….freaky stuff happens. Anyway, the movie keeps you guessing for most of its running time, but the big reveal at the end is a masterclass in creature design.
Train to Busan
Directed by Sang-ho Yeon, this feels like the sort of movie where you wish Samuel L. Jackson could pull up and scream, “I'm tired of these mother fucking Zombies, on this mother fucking train! It would make sense. You got Zombie monsters on a train, and a man with his estranged daughter trying to survive in a speeding train. Let’s get a remake going.
The more twisted and horrifying ideas of humanity come straight out of Japan. I don’t know what's in sauce up there, but Gantz: O is no deviation from any of that: Diseased people are brought back to life and given high-tech weapons in order to defeat an army of demonic looking monsters in this 3D animated Tokyo. Japan...never change.
Video game adaptations. You either love them or hate them. You’ll mostly hate them. Silent Hill based on the Konami survival horror title isn’t completely hateable though. You’ve got a mother in Rose (Radha Mitchell), who goes on a search for her adopted daughter that happens to be missing within the confines of a foggy town called Silent Hill. The problem? Well Silent Hill has a nasty habit of transforming into the literal gates of hell every now and then.Spasmodic nurses without faces here, sword wielding pyramid heads there. Like Rose, they do have private investigators that can do this kinda thing ya know.
Like some super-serious version of Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead (1981), this 2013 remake by Fede Alverez brings together five good-lookin people (Jane Levy, Shiloh Fernandez, Lou Taylor Pucci, Jessica Lucas, and Elizabeth Blackmore) to a rustic cabin death trap, set deep in the heart of a forest, where no one can help, and there just so happens to be a dusty old book that can summon demon hoards with a knack for possession and murder...they opened the book.
It can’t be that bad right? At the very least, you got Will ‘Wild WIld West’ Smith in Southern California playing cop living in a world of elves, and monsters - like an L.A.P.D Lord of the Rings thing thing. Add in the urban realism of graffiti-doing hood orcs that “curse the police” with fists raised in the air, and you got a David Ayer made film I hate to my core, so much so that I placed it on this list as an excuse to rant about how stupid as hell this shit is. I hate this movie so much.
Let’s face it, Zombies have stopped being scary the moment The Walking Dead stopped being good (give it up). It’s really about the people surrounding the apocalypse that make it all worthwhile. Zombieland is the funhouse of a zombie movie that zeroes in on a Twinky obsessed Woody Harrelson, nerdy Jesse Eisenberg, beautiful Emma Stone and a cutesy Abigail Breslin. Much like Shaun of the Dead, director Ruben Fleischer managed to mix slapstick comedy with believable fright in a way that The Walking Dead should probably try to mimic at this point.
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