All Women's Talk

9 Creature Features to Make You Scream ...

By Neecey

I don’t have much interest in horror movies but I do love creature features! From old classics where the “creature” is almost laughable due to lack of technology to modern fantastical movies where special effects add the element of believability, I love them all. It doesn’t matter how improbable the story is, creature features are just plain good fun to watch.

1 King Kong

On iTunes at: itunes.apple.com

Perhaps the most memorable and lovable of the creature features known to our generation is King Kong. This remake was as well received as the original black and white movie and was in many top ten lists in 2005, the year when it was released. It also bagged three Academy Awards. It is about a giant gorilla that some filmmakers find on an island and bring to New York to put on display. Everything about this movie is impressive, be it the cinematography, sound design or the soundtrack.

2 Godzilla

On iTunes at: itunes.apple.com

It is definitely worth having a look at what a huge, radioactively mutated lizard is going to do when it comes to Manhattan. Also known as the ‘King of the Monsters,’ the Hollywood version of Godzilla is a step up from the Japanese creature features that inspired it. The monster is bigger, the scale is better and the effects way more advanced. Matthew Broderick plays the geeky “worm guy” very well and it’s worth watching just to see Jean Reno’s impression of Elvis!

3 Jurassic Park

On iTunes at: itunes.apple.com

On a fictional island near the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica, a billionaire builds a wildlife park that is home to cloned dinosaurs. The animatronics and CGI are stunning and incredibly real but I think the action actually helps much of the excellent dialogue get passed over. There really are some very clever lines in the movie, such as Dr. Alan Grant saying “T-Rex doesn't want to be fed. He wants to hunt. Can't just suppress 65 million years of gut instinct” – he said this pretty early on and the sets the tone. It’s good to see the studio got the full worth out of the investment by putting out two sequels – shame they are a pale imitation of the first. After the first, the thrill and amazement has subsided. Maybe they’ll rekindle that frisson of amazement in Jurassic Park IV?

4 Moby Dick

On iTunes at: itunes.apple.com

Based on the classic novel by Herman Melville, it is set in the 19th century and is about a ship and its crew that encounters a big white whale known as Moby Dick. The captain of the ship is nearly killed during an encounter with the big mammal. However, he then sets out on a revenge journey which eventually results in … well you’ll just have to read the book or watch the movie to find out if Captain Ahab did indeed get his revenge. (And if you’re going to watch the movie – go for the Gregory Peck version, not the later one.)

5 Tremors

On iTunes at: itunes.apple.com

Tremors is about large worm-like creatures that live in the earth and are named ‘Graboids.’ These creatures follow vibrations on the surface of the earth to detect their human prey but they cannot tunnel through rock, so in theory stand on a large rock and you’ll avoid their snapping jaws. This is hardly the best of the creature features but I have a very personal memory of watching it with my mother and grandmother who was knitting. She was a speedy knitter anyway, but oh, if you could have seen those pins fly faster and faster as the music score to the movie built the tension! It provided me a lasting memory.

6 Critters

On iTunes at: itunes.apple.com

For a change, here is a creature movie with some comedy in it. Another that bred sequels, Critters is the story of a family farm held hostage by some alien “critters.” Cue the inept intergalactic bounty hunters! It is said to have been inspired by the movie Gremlins, but its creators argue that it was written before Gremlins and is an original movie.

7 The Birds

On iTunes at: itunes.apple.com

Directed by the awesome Alfred Hitchcock, this movie is about Bodega Bay in California. The Bay receives several attacks from birds over a period of few days. The attacks are unexplained and the movie shows how a family survives through these attacks that have the residents in a state of confusion and fear. It is the only movie where Hitchcock used animals to create his suspense and mayhem instead of humans.

8 Arachnophobia

On iTunes at: itunes.apple.com

Plenty of movies focus on giant spiders – probably because they are among the most common fears of people anywhere. The best of the spidery creature features, however, has to be Arachnophobia. It’s made all the more scary because the spiders are just common household spiders made deadly by being the offspring of a Venezuelan spider right out the rainforest jungle mated with an American native spider. If you don’t like spiders this will make our skin crawl!

9 Jaws

On iTunes at: itunes.apple.com

Jaws is a masterpiece. It is the perfect tale of a gigantic great white shark that starts to instill terror in the hearts of people living on the small island of Amity. Based on the bestselling novel by Peter Benchley, Jaws performed so well that it set standards experts now use to describe other similar creature flicks. It wouldn't be wrong to suggest that this movie made Steven Spielberg popular in the real sense, and that's mainly because Jaws succeeds on every level, be it its story, graphics or cinematography.

Do you enjoy creature features? Which are your favorites?

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