There’s a new Frankenstein movie coming out, made by the Peaky Blinders director Otto Bathurst! Until that launches, check out the best monster movies and shows in history – there’s a few hidden gems in our list.
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There’s a new Frankensten movie coming out, made by the Peaky Blinders director Otto Bathurst! Until that launches, check out the best monster movies and shows in history – there’s a few hidden gems in our list.
Confession time: I seriously wanna just kick back, turn my brain off and see some people getting eaten by some monsters. You with me?
If you were looking for some really monster movies and shows, sit here for a minute and listen – I got all the great stuff I bet you didn’t know about!
So, I just saw in the news that there’s a new Frankensten movie coming out, made by the Peaky Blinders director Otto Bathurst.
New Frankenstein Movie
He said, somewhat pompously, that he wants to take a really deep dive into the original text and deliver the arrestingly relevant truth that Mary Shelley has so powerfully embedded in this incredible story.
Still, adjectives aside, Frankenstein is really a great story – and I know a show that did it perfectly!
The Best Monster Shows: Penny Dreadful
If you want a deep dive in Victorian gothic stuff, check out the first season of Penny Dreadful.
This underrated gem from a few years back has a seriously cool ensemble. Eva Green plays Vanessa Ives, a woman trapped between a host of supernatural creatures, from vampires to werewolves and, of course, Frankenstein’s monster.
Rory Kinnear, which you might know as Tanner from the latest Bond Movies, delivers an incredible performance and really shows the full tragedy…and potential of Frankenstein’s monster.
This next series ain’t no X Files, but it will really scratch that itch if you were looking for a procedural series to watch as a treat from time to time. Or binge…cuz who am I to judge your consumption habits!
The Best Monster Shows: Carnival Row
A human detective and a fairy rekindle a dangerous affair in a Victorian fantasy world, where the city’s uneasy peace collapses when a string of murders reveals an unimaginable monster.
I discovered Carnival Row a few weeks back thanks to my TiVo Stream 4K, which connects to all my streaming apps and gives me the best recommendations for new stuff, and I’ve been hooked ever since.
This one sounds cheesy as hell, having a human detective in love with a fairy and trying to solve some monstrous murders…but it’s actually pretty hardcore.
It also has a real Victorian doom, gloom and glam feel to it.
Looking at the IMDB page, I felt the need to reach for a monocle to read those character names.
Rycroft Philostrate, Vignette Stonemoss, Tourmaline Larou, Absalom Breakspear.
*in voce posh asa* Yes yes, quite fetching.
Anyway, if you want monsters and mood, add Carnival Row to your list.
The Best Monster Shows: The Witcher
The same goes for The Witcher. I don’t know why, but outside stuff like Reddit, I literally don’t know anyone who gave this series a shot, and it’s a damn shame.
The very opening of the Witcher series has a badass monster and a scene so high-stakes, you’ll be on the edge of your seat holding your breath.
Fortunately, there’s Henry Cavill in the main role, so there’s not many creatures that could handle going up against this monster hunter.
I won’t give out any more spoilers but you should add this one to your list – and expect to be so bewitched, you’ll probably download the Witcher games next.
The Best Monster Shows: Fortitude
But if you want more realism with your monsters, I got just the thing.
It’s called Fortitude, one of my top rewatches in my TiVo and quite the hidden gem, though you wouldn’t think so if you look at the cast.
It has two major Game of Thrones characters and Dumbledore, aka Michael Gambon, so the producers didn’t skimp on the talent.
But let’s look at the contents.
Fortitude is one of the moodiest, most engaging police dramas I’ve ever seen. Think Mare of Easttown in terms of believable, lovable characters, but set in a remote small town in the arctic, with horrifying monsters plaguing the population.
If you’re in a place with high temps and your AC is out, give Fortitude a watch. The Arctic atmosphere is captured so well, you’ll feel a chill in your bones.
The Best Monster Shows: Being Human
If that sounds a bit much for a summer watch, I do have one last series to recommend, before going to the best and most underrated monster movies.
It’s called Being Human and it’s probably one of the best UK series in the last decade. And since it’s one of the best, US producers already got their hands on it and remade it…with a lot less of the edgy, cool factor of the UK original.
So yes, look for Being Human but make sure you’re watching the UK version from 2008. Bonus points, it has Lenora Crichlow in the main cast. You might know her from White Bear, arguably the best Black Mirror episode.
Anyway, back to Being Human. This show has a premise that’s going to make you think about those stupid “a dude, another dude and yet another dude walk into a bar” jokes.
In Being Human, a werewolf, a vampire and a ghost live in a flat in Bristol…but there isn’t really a joke. All the characters are monsters but they’re so human, you won’t be able to help relating to their troubles. The plot is dramatic, gritty and unpredictable, and the way the producers took fantasy and set it in the real world is nothing short of spectacular. There’s violence, there’s action, but also a great look at addiction and mental illness.
The Best Monster Movies
And yet…it might not be quite the monster stuff you were looking for. Sorry, I got carried away with my favorite series, which are arguably pretty heavy stuff, and forgot the basics of what people really want when they click on the monster stuff.
I bet you want the bigass creature, the action, the gore…and all of it in one put-your-brain-on pause, under two hours watch, right?
Don’t worry, fam.
Let’s look at the best monster movies you probably missed the first time around.
The Best Monster Movies: Attack the Block
I’ll start with Attack the Block, a little known UK movie that’s so simple and so well-executed, it would be impossible to see it in Hollywood. If it made it to the US, it would probably have some stupid kids doing stupid things for stupid’s sake, and probably a wife that would turn up the melodrama to the 11.
But since it’s from the UK, Attack the Block has none of that. What it has is simple: some werewolf-looking monsters attack the block. That’s it.
This movie unleashes monsters on the UK’s equivalent of the projects, and has some no BS, no chill inner city kids defending the block from them.
If you try to imagine how an alien invasion might pan out against a tracksuit wearing gang… Well, try as you might, you won’t predict where Attack the Block goes.
It’s of a similar mood to Shaun of the Dead or The World’s End, and even has Nick Frost in it.
Oh yeah, and it’s the first major movie for John Boyega, who you now might know as Finn from the new Star Wars. He actually got his start in Attack the Block, and you can see here why he went on to play in the Major Leagues.
The Best Monster Movies: Reign of Fire
And speaking where they got started, can you imagine Jeoffrey from Game of Thrones as a 10 year old?
I know, I know, everyone is disappointed by Game of Thrones nowadays, but you have to admit that, a few years back, everyone loved it…and loved hating Jeoffrey!
If you want to see him in a short but sweet role, check out the monster movie to end all monster movies. It’s called Reign of Fire and I tell you, it.is.criminally underrated.
This is a movie where dinosaurs didn’t disappear, but they were actually killed off by dragons. It sounds cheesy but it’s anything but…it has the big budget, the big monster and the big names.
Remember when people were saying Matthew McConaughey turned serious actor with True Detective?
Well, he actually did it back in 2002 in Reign of Fire, where he played a bald-headed badass that few people would recognize.
He’s joined here by Christian Bale, Gerard Butler and Alexander Siddig, so this is a movie with a cast on par with the latest Godzillas…but way better in my opinion.
The Best Monster Movies: Pitch Black
And now for my personal favorite, a monster movie that came out of the left field and cemented Vin Diesel as a badass.
Check out Pitch Black, the movie that launched Riddick as the best monster hunter there is.
This is not so much a little known movie but it is a seriously underrated one, and I’d say quality-wise is on par with the first Alien…despite having a fraction of the budget.
If you want to be on the edge of your seat and watch a SciFi flick that doesn’t treat the audience like it’s dumb, do stream Pitch Black this weekend.
The Best Monster Movies: Troll Hunter
Speaking of “not dumb”, Troll Hunter is another personal favorite of mine…and this one is little known, since it’s a flick from Norway.
That doesn’t mean it’s a low budget one that skimps on the monster aspects, just that it didn’t get major Hollywood distribution.
I’d say TrollHunter has major Cloverfield vibes, being a fake documentary type of movie, but it heavily uses Norwegian mythology to guide the plot.
Basically, it follows some students who want to make a documentary about some bear killings but soon figure out there’s more to them than that, and start following around a government-paid troll hunter.
The creatures here are very diverse and the plot is really unpredictable, with a couple of scenes that will make you burst out laughing.
So, those were my “not dumb” monster movies…but I wanna end on a “totally dumb, totally crazy, totally awesome note” sooo…i give you….
The Best Monster Movies: Bubba Ho-Tep
I can hear you asking “wut”, but bear with me.
Bubba Ho-Tep came out in the same year as Reign of Fire, 2002, so that was a pretty good time to hit theatres if you like monster movies.
Buut, where Reign of Fire plays it all serious, Bubba Ho-Tep is a cheesy masterpiece with Bruce Campbell playing Elvis in a nursing home.
The tagline for this movie pretty much tells you what to expect: The King versus The King of The Dead.
Elvis here switched places with an impersonator way before he supposedly “died”, and ended up in a Texan nursing home. There, an evil egyptian entity is doing… you know, evil things, so Elvis teams up with a dude who thinks he’s John F Kennedy to take it down.
If you love cheesy horror movies like The Evil Dead or Army of Darkness, give this one a stream.
And by the way, if you missed my previous show, check out the best sports movies of all time!
Thanks to my TiVo Stream 4K, which went all out on golfing this month, I discovered some really good movies to stream – and I bet you will find your next great watch.
Until next time, do hit like and subscribe to my channel, if you didn’t already. It helps me bring you weekly shows like this, so you don’t have to endlessly scroll through streaming apps to find something good to binge.