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    Jan 9, 2017

    A Definitive List Of The Best (And The Rest) Creature Feature Movies Ever Made

    All the monsters that go bump in the night, from sharks and crocodiles to mutant-hybrid fish-snakes. No serial killers or possessions - just good old fashioned campfire scares. We don't just rank the science fiction creature features - but all the monster movies that made you laugh, cry and stay up all night under the covers with a flashlight.

    117. Alligator (1980)

    116. Crocodile 2: Death Swamp (2002)

    115. Jinn (2014)

    114. Wolfcop (2014)


    Main themes: Comedy, shock

    Production Quality:

    MPAA Rating:

    Run time:


    Gore level:

    Body Count:

    Fear type:

    113. From the Dark (2015)

    112. Jurassic City (2015)

    111. Exists (2014)

    110. Jeepers Creepers 2 (2003)

    109. Lake Placid vs. Anaconda (2015)

    108. The Lair of the White Worm (1988)

    Hugh Grant is in it. That's something.

    107. Lake Effect (2015)

    106. Silverhide (1977, 2015)

    105. Critters (1986)

    104. The Legend of Boggy Creek (1972)

    103. The Blob (1958)

    This movie is weird and scary as hell, and it's still painfully gory after nearly 60 years.

    102. Nightlight (2015)

    This movie took a scary concept that works only if you're out in the woods. On screen, it's just a lot of darkness with jarring shocks.

    101. Zombeavers (2014)

    100. The Relic (1997)

    99. Crocodile (2000)

    98. Unnatural (2015)

    Listed as one 2015's "8 films to die for"

    97. The Thing (1982)

    96. The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms (1953)

    95. Piranhaconda (2011)

    94. Mega Piranha (2010)

    This clip right here is why the awesomeness of Mega Piranha is at 93.

    93. Animal (2014)

    92. Willow Creek (2013)

    Oh no, camp cam!

    91. Eight Legged Freaks (2002)

    I wanted to rank this one higher up on the list - because it's campy syfy style actually works. David Arquette and a taser-equipped young Scarlett Johansson

    90. Prey (2007)

    89. Anacondas: Search for the Blood Orchid (2004)

    88. Predator (1987)

    87. Starship Troopers (1997)

    Doogie Howser!

    86. Attack of the Giant Leeches (1959)

    85. Event Horizon (1997)

    84. I, Frankenstein (2014)

    Butchered the original Mary Shelly classic, but haven't they all?

    83. Rogue (2007)

    82. Leviathan (2015)

    81. Komodo (1999)

    A little known independent thriller about a lesser known real-life monster.

    80. Into the Blue (2008)

    Ok, ok. It's not really a monster movie, but it has Paul Walker and Jessica Alba and has one pretty intense shark attack scene.

    79. Wind Walkers (2015)

    78. Jurassic Park 3 (2001)

    While Universal would like us to forget this movie ever existed, syfy fans know better.

    77. Boggy Creek (2010)

    76. Silent Hill (2006)

    While I personally found most of this movie boring, there are a few critical scenes that cement it's place in syfy-horror.

    75. Primeval (2007)

    74. Jeepers Creepers (2001)

    73. Night Of The Lepus (1972)

    72. Orca (1977)

    71. Splice (2009)

    If you're more into the sexually-charged kind of syfy movies, here ya go.

    70. Warm Bodies (2013)

    Surprising, Warm Bodies is really good. It's one of a few syfy/horror movies that can include camp, humor and horror.

    69. Bait (2012)

    Without giving too much away, Bait is about a large tsunami that floods an area of Australia, trapping two great white sharks inside a crowded grocery store. Great white sharks - in a grocery store.

    Bait is my go-to "I need to get some work done today so I'll watch this in the background" film.

    68. 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954)

    67. The Hallow (2015)

    66. The Pyramid (2014)

    I wanted to like this one more than I did in the end, largely because of it's leading actor (Denis O'Hare of True Blood and American Horror Story fame). There were some legitimately frightening scenes, but mostly just "we're lo'st inside this pyramid that is really labyrinth being chased by something (s).

    65. Black Sheep (2006)

    Sheep are evil.

    64. Splinter (2008)

    63. Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954)

    62. Dream Catcher

    I know, I know. The aliens come out of their butts. It's weird and kind of stupid. But if you just look past that, you'd see Morgan Freeman in the background in one of his less suitable roles.

    61. An American Werewolf In London (1981)

    60. The Breed (2006)

    59. 47 Meters Down (Previously In the Deep) (2015)

    You're going to have a hard time finding this one - even though it was first released in 2015, it's being re-released in limited theaters in 2017.

    58. Godzilla (1998)

    57. Grizzly Maze (2015)

    56. Deep Blue Sea (1999)

    "A shark ate me! A mother-fucking shark ate me!"

    Nah, this one's decent. A good time if you're into shark movies (which I am)

    55. Godzilla (2014)

    We were all disappointed that Bryan Cranston's appearance in the US remake of "Godzilla" was so limited, but once you accept that and move on, it's actually a really good movie.

    54. Mimic (1997)

    Guillermo del Toro's first (but not last) movie on our list, staring Mira Sorvino, Josh Brolin, and a young Norman Reedus.

    53. The Host (2006)

    Don't complain about the subtitles - the lead character is awkward and imperfect and yet endearing (the typical hero in the modern-monster cinema of South Korea)

    52. Germlins (1984)

    51. King Kong (1933)

    The remakes owe the original - one of the first true creature features.

    50. Cloverfield (2008)

    Shaky cam got old pretty quickly, but with T.J. Miller narrating an unknown (but soon to be very well known) cast, it was an interesting change from those boring movies like "Blair Witch."

    49. The Happening (2008)

    It's weird, and maybe the idea of the movie is better as a book or... not a movie. But it's originality (despite Marky Mark's "acting") earn it some serious points.

    48. Signs (2002)

    M. Night Shyamalan's second best film, in my opinion. It's got all that feel-good spiritual stuff in it, too.

    47. Willard (2003)

    46. Quarentine (2008)

    First-person shaky cam done right with a pre-Dexter Jennifer Carpenter.

    45. Pitch Black (2000)

    44. The Mummy and The Mummy 2

    While Tom Cruise sets out to destroy the series in a few month's time, there's nothing like the original Mummy movies.

    Say what you like, but I loved the Mummy sequel - I would go as far to say that it is one of those very, very rare sequels that outdoes its predecessor.

    43. The Shallows (2016)

    42. King Kong (2005)

    Peter Jackson said Kong inspired him to be a filmmaker as a child, and that making this movie was the realization of a lifelong dream. Let's see if Tom Hiddleston's upcoming adventure-comedy take on the classic outdoes it.

    41. Shark Night 3D (2011)

    Along with Deep Blue Sea and Bait, Shark Night 3D is among my favorite syfy shark movies. The special effects are among the best of post-2000 shark movies, and the characters are likable/interesting. The gore also isn't so rampant that the fear is lost.

    40. Snakes on a Plane (2006)

    39. Tremors (1990)

    Kevin Bacon.

    38. Congo (1995)

    Michael Crichton's lesser-known novella with a short cameo by Bruce Campbell. There's a talking monkey, too, FYI.

    37. The Fly (1986)

    36. Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011)

    If you're a special-effects driven junkie, this one's for you.

    35. Slither (2006)

    Director/Producer/Writer James Gunn is one of my favorite syfy creators. His accolades are ridiculous - Guardians of the Galaxy, Dawn of the Dead (2004), Thir13en Ghosts (meh). Slither, starring Michael Rooker and Elizabeth Banks is all the cool and creepy of Gunn's best work.

    Gunn currently has two films in the works - Guardians of the Galaxy 2 (coming out May 5, 2017) and the Belko Experiment, which was already completed but has yet to be put out on wide release.

    34. World War Z (2013)

    Yes, World War Z was a colossal mess - issues between Brad Pitt and director Marc Forster, a fourth act that never was, Matthew Cox making a four-second appearance cut from an entire sub-plot, delays in filming, delays in production, $190 million spent, only $200 million made, re-shoots of two-thirds of the movie a year after production wrapped....

    But the movie is pretty damn scary, but also exciting, which is a combination we don't get enough in "monster (aka zombie)" movies.

    A lot of people were surprised that the sequel was rushed for a 2017 release date at first, but after Paramount secured David Fincher (Gone Girl, House of Cards, Fight Club, Se7en, Girl with the Dragon Tatoo, The Social Network and so on...) as director and Brad Pitt as the star, the sequel started to make sense. The second may very well outdo the first by leaps and bounds.

    33. This is the End (2013)

    Staring the so-called Frat Pack members James Franco, Seth Rogen, Jonah Hill, Jay Baruchel, Danny McBride and Craig Robinson (with fun appearances from Emma Watson, Rihanna and others), this movie is easily one of the funniest movies made this century, and legitimately terrifying.

    32. Piranha 3D (2010)

    Let's be honest - the first Piranha movie wasn't all that great. But Christopher Lloyd and a cameo by Richard Dreyfus bring light into this hilarious, gore-filled, college-spring-break-themed scarefest.

    31. Dark Tide (2012)

    Sure, the whole Great White Shark-thing has been done, but Dark Tide goes well beyond just your standard "Large shark stalking and slowly killing the same group of people" schtick. Halle Berry shines in this suspense film, which begins and ends with tragedy.

    30. Predators (2010)

    If we could rank the best syfy/suspense/action/horror movies of all time by their opening scene alone, Predators would definitely rank in the top 10. Adrien Brody kills it as an action star, and Predator gets updated universe.

    29. Resident Evil Series

    Maybe six (or is it seven?) was too many for any good thing, but so long as the special effects keep getting better and Milla Jokovich keep's getting sexier, why stop?

    28. In the Heart of the Sea (2015)

    The true-story behind the infamous Legend of Moby Dick is much more disturbing and horrifying than its more famous fiction version. I read the book after seeing this film and learned a bit about the true backstory, and it still makes me cringe to think about everything that happened to the Essex and her crew.

    27. The Mist (2007)

    I don't like thinking about this movie simply because of the ending. But it has all the usual suspects of a Stephen King movie - crazy religious person messing everything up, imperfect but endearing hero, adorable child, a monster(s) of unknown origins, and a very, very horrible (as in sad) twist ending.

    26. The Grey (2011)

    Liam Neeson slays in one of Ridley Scott's lesser-known writing accomplishments - pre-Direwolves, people.

    25. The Ruins (2008)

    Maybe I'm alone in my bias toward The Ruins, but for some reason it really, really freaked me out. Watch it for yourself and decide.

    24. Jurassic World (2015)

    The reboot of the Jurassic Park serious couldn't have been more impressive - a star-studded cast, new monsters, great special effects, and tons of scares. Maybe World leaned on Park a little too much for nostalgia, but I have a feeling the currently un-named sequel will drift further from the source material than others have before.

    23. Backcountry (2014)

    This movie did for the woods what Jaws did for the ocean. No cute and cuddly Smokey here, just one very pissed off Black Bear and a lot of build up.

    22. The Descent (2005)

    Sometimes the scariest monsters are... well, people. Mutated cave-dwelling cannibals, to be exact. After a cave-in traps six climbers deep underground, they realize they're not alone underground.

    21. Pacific Rim (2014)

    Not "scary," and mostly action, but definitely one of the coolest syfy-action movies made in the last few decades.

    20. Dawn of the Dead (2004)

    The Zach Snyder-James Gunn remake of the George A. Romero classic was the perfect zombie movie - it had action, comedy, a wee-bit of romance, stupid people, loud people, good people, bad people.... and Ving Rhames.

    Monster: Zombies

    Monster's M.O.: Run, Kill

    Fear type: Shock, horror

    Gore level: Extreme

    Body count: The world?

    19. Edge of Tomorrow (2014)

    You may have mixed this up with one of the other crappier Tom Cruise movies that came out about this time, but Edge of Tomorrow is nothing if not unique. The real star of this movie is Emily Blunt as the ass-kicking soldier leading the war against an army of aliens - a truly new, different and creative type of alien.

    Monster: Mimics

    Monster's M.O.: All-knowing, invincible

    Fear type: Shock, suspense, terror

    Gore level: More fear than gore-driven

    Body count: Not even going to try to guess that one..

    18. Lake Placid (1999)

    I'm still a little confused as to how Brendan Gleeson, Bill Pullman, and Betty White all ended up in the cast of what at first-glance seems like a Syfy B-movie... But I'd argue that Lake Placid has been shunned its rightful claim to the best non-shark water monster movie ever made, except for maybe one or two others (below).

    Monster: Giant crocodile

    Monster's M.O.: Surprise attack

    Fear type: Shock, suspense, terror

    Gore level: Fair amount

    Body count: Just two

    17. Anaconda (1997)

    I have an unexplained fascination with the Amazon Rain forest, and all the creepy and crawly things that lurk there.

    Monster: A giant Anaconda

    Monster's M.O.: Stalking

    Fear type: Suspense, some shock

    Gore level: Low

    Body count: 6

    16. Cabin in the Woods (2012)

    This movie kicked ass. Not just because Chris Hemsworth (Thor) starred in it, or because Drew Goddard (The Martian, Lost, Daredevil, World War Z) wrote and directed it, or because Sigourney Weaver made a guest appearance. No, this movie kicked ass because it turned cliche college-vacation-gone-wrong on its face and made something both terrifying and hilarious.

    Monster: Every type imagineable

    Monster's M.O.: see: Monster

    Fear type: see: Monster

    Gore level: Extreme

    Body count: Unknown (at least 7 shown in detail, many others shown quickly)

    15. The Reef (2010)

    No shark movie comes close to the masterpiece that is Jaws, but The Reef sure does keep you on the edge of your seat. With strong lead actors and just the right amount of seeing/unseeing, this is one of the best shark movies ever made. The scene right here, for example - I jumped out of my seat and screamed. I don't do that often.

    Monster: A Great White Shark

    Monster's M.O.: Stalking, swift

    Fear type: Suspense, shock

    Gore level: Minimal

    Body count: 4

    14. Black Water (2007)

    This breakthrough film from Australian directors David Nerlich and Andrew Trauki made everyone who's ever visited Australia think twice before going anywhere near the water. It's a classic "It's what you don't see" kind of horror film (taking a page from Jaws), and focuses on three characters as they hide from a killer croc.

    These are the same writers/directors of #10 The Reef.

    Not to mention we get one hell of a nursery rhyme out of it:

    "Three cheeky monkeys jumping in the tree, teasing Mr. Crocodile, "Can't catch me!" Along comes Mr. Crocodile, quiet as can be.... snap. snap. snap."

    Monster: Large crocodile

    Monster's M.O.: Waiting below

    Fear type: Shock, terror

    Gore level: Minimal

    Body count: 3

    13. Arachnophobia (1990)

    Jeff Daniel's mutant-spider movie still gives everyone the creeps.

    Monster: Hybrid Spiders

    Monster's M.O.: Infestation

    Fear type: Creeps, Shock

    Gore level: Minimal

    Body count: Unknown (8 shown)

    12. The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997)

    The Sequel to Spieldberg's 1993 classic (and directed by him, as well) managed to up the fear factor as our heroes try to survive the park's sister island, where the dinosaurs roam freely.

    Monster: Dinosaurs

    Monster's M.O.: Can "Dinosaurs" be an MO?

    Fear type: Terror, shock

    Gore level: Moderate`

    Body count: Unknown (8 shown)

    11. Pet Sematary (1989)

    Pet Sematary [sic] won't be the last Stephen King thriller on this list, but it's certainly one of his most disturbing. King doesn't hesitate with his use of fear and pain - he goes after your worst fears.

    Monster: people/creatures brought back from the dead (not really zombies though)

    Monster's M.O.: Ripping your heart out

    Fear type: Terror, shock

    Gore level: Moderate`

    Body count: Four

    10. Frankenstein (1931)

    When Frankenstein was first released in 1931, scenes that were too "terrifying" for the general public were cut in the most deliberate of ways - to make the movie even more terrifying. While the original Frankenstein film follows more closely to its source material than any later interpretation, the fear of Mary Shelly's original work has yet to be captured on the big screen in full.

    Monster: Frankenstein's creation

    Monster's M.O.: Stalking, waiting

    Fear type: Sustained fear

    Gore level: None

    Body count: Three

    9. Alien Franchise (1986, 1993, and 1997)

    Whether you're true to the first, in love with the second, or anxious for 2017's sequel, the Alien franchise has capitalized well on the stranded against a stronger enemy brand more than any other series in our list.

    Monster: Alien

    Monster's M.O.: They're smart - they find ways to trap you

    Fear type: Terror

    Gore level: Depends on which film (moderate to high)

    Body count: Across all films? 40 maybe?

    8. Independence Day (1996)

    Alien invasion and attack movies have been done (and done badly) over and over again. But Roland Emmerich's 1996 alien-war movie boasts one of the most talented casts, some of the best writing, and superb special effects of any movie ever made. The sequel is set to come out in summer 2016, with everyone but Will Smith returning.

    Monster: aliens

    Monster's M.O.: calculating, cold

    Fear type: suspense

    Gore level: low

    Body count: most of the world

    7. Pan's Labrynth (2006)

    Don't be fooled - Pan's Labryinth (originally El laberinto del fauno) is no kids movie. Guillermo del Toro's Spanish Civil War piece is a dark and twisted fairy tale gone awry. Stephen King himself said he had never been so afraid during a movie in his life. That's some serious cred.

    Monster: Many (Captain Vidal, fairies, a faun, the Pale Man, others)

    Monster's M.O.: Each monster has its own, unique M.O.

    Fear type: Suspense, terror, shock

    Gore level: Moderate-High

    Body count: 5

    6. The Birds (1963)

    Alfred Hitchcock's classic horror film, based on British playwright Daphne du Maurier's novel of the same name, scratched all the basics we're used to seeing in horror movie's today: for starters, he decided not to use any music, no score, and to use the sound effects with dead silence to terrorize his audience. Eerily enough, Maurier's play was based on the real-life bird attacks of Capitola, California in 1961, which was later determined to be caused by domoic poisoning.

    Monster: Birds

    Monster's M.O.: Surrounding, Waiting

    Fear type: Suspense, shock

    Gore level: Moderate

    Body count: Unknown

    5. The Babadook (2014)

    This critically-acclaimed independent film scared the bejesus out of anyone who could manage to sit through it - not just parents who "related" to our protagonist, but pretty much everyone. The film tapped into the realest, rawest emotions possible for a film about a monster you hardly see. Not to mention it created an entirely new monster to add to the syfy repertoire. And the most terrifying children's book ever written.

    Monster: The Babadook

    Monster's M.O.: Harassing, Driving you crazy

    Fear type: Shock, suspense, terror

    Gore level: Minimal

    Body count: 1

    4. Cujo (1983)

    No creature feature list would be worth the time of day if Stephen King's Cujo didn't make the top five. Stephen King really likes trapping his characters so that they're just within reach of salvation, but unable to grasp it.

    Monster: A rabid Saint Bernard

    Monster's M.O.: Watching, waiting

    Fear type: Terror

    Gore level: Minimal

    Body count: 2

    3. Nosferatu (1922)

    Not only the original Dracula film, but the first major motion picture monster movie ever made. First screened as a silent, black-and-white motion picture, the film was ordered to be destroyed after Brahm Stoker's heirs sued for copyright infringement. A few copies remained, and now it is regarded as one of the greatest monster movies of all time.

    Monster: Vampire

    Monster's M.O.: Deception, seduction, creeping

    Fear type: Dread

    Gore level: Minimal

    Body count: 3

    2. Jurassic Park (1993)

    Spielberg really capitalized on scaring children. While science doomed us all from ever taking the movie seriously (like how velociraptors are more like birds than lizards), no one walked out of the theater the same. Although Michael Crichton wrote novels and screenplays for some of the greatest movies and tv shows ever made - HBO's Westworld, ER, Twister, Congo, and the Andromeda Strain - Jurassic Park was and will forever be his greatest work.

    Monster: Dinosaurs (mostly raptors and t-rex)

    Monster's M.O.: Biding its time, then ripping apart

    Fear type: Shock, suspense

    Gore level: Minimal

    Body count: 6

    1. Jaws (1975)

    Based on the true story of the 1916 New Jersey shark attacks, no movie has stood the test of time like Jaws. To this day, two simple notes ("da-dum") strike fear in the hearts of beach goers across the planet.

    Monster: Great White shark

    Monster's M.O.: Stalking

    Fear type: Terror

    Gore level: Moderate

    Body Count: At least 5