Since the birth of cinema in the early 1900s, viewers have been captivated by giant monster movies and stories.
From Godzilla to King Kong to enormous ants, the giant monster genre always aspires to surpass itself with larger and stranger creatures. Some, like Jurassic Park, are milder and more realistic.
Some are made to showcase spectacular Kaiju battles, such as Godzilla: King of the Monsters, while others have little to do with the monsters themselves. Colossal is an example of a beast that plays a supporting role in the story and characters.
As a subgenre of science fiction filmmaking, the giant monster subgenre encourages viewers to see and hear things they otherwise wouldn’t.
Below is a list of giant monster movies.
- Director: Gordon Douglas
- Star cast: James Whitmore, Edmund Gwenn, and Joan Weldon
- IMDB rating: 7.2
While ants may be a nuisance, it would be easy to write off a movie about enormous ants as a complete waste of time. Gordon Douglas’s movie ‘Them!’, which is the greatest presentation of the subject of huge ants, should not be approached in that manner.
When the movie finally reveals that huge ants are to blame for the damage in the New Mexico desert, it switches gears into an exhilarating “bug hunt” adventure.
It’s filled with sequences of attacks on underground nests using gas bombs, machine guns, and flamethrowers.
The desert isn’t the only place where things are happening. Mutated by atomic bomb testing, these creatures manage to leave New Mexico and set up nests elsewhere, posing a danger that might wipe out humanity within a year.
- Director: Ishirô Honda
- Star cast: Kenji Sahara, Yumi Shirakawa, and Akihiko Hirata
- IMDB rating: 6.2
Rodan, directed by Ishirô Honda, starts with a murder mystery similar to My Bloody Valentine, in which victims are mysteriously killed by being stabbed to death in a mine. It turns out that ancient insect larvae are doing the slashing.
Also, the mine is the birthplace of the supersonic Rodan, whose egg was trapped in the earth by a volcanic explosion until it was disturbed by nuclear bomb experiments.
The movie Rodan is a lot of fun, from the opening sequence of underground murder to the last scenes of a flying monster fighting planes and destroying a city.
Rodan needs his movie franchise since this is the only one to have a sequel in nearly 60 years. It’s one of the most remarkable giant monster movies in history.
King Kong (1933)
- Director: Merian C. Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsack
- Star cast: Fay Wray, Robert Armstrong, and Bruce Cabot
- IMDB rating: 7.9
King Kong, released in 1933, is the oldest movie on this list and one of the two masterpieces that paved the way for current giant monster movies.
A teenage photographer is attempting to shoot his next wildlife film, and his quest takes him to Skull Island, legendary for housing monstrous creatures of all kinds.
King Kong, a gigantic gorilla, is the scariest and most dangerous creature in all of Skull Island. They brought the little ape to life, along with its live-action counterparts, using stop-motion animation and some clever camera work.
When they return Kong to New York City, however, everything goes wrong, producing some of movie history’s most memorable moments. In addition, it has been included in several aggregated lists top 100 movies of all time.
- Director: Ishirô Honda
- Star cast: Takashi Shimura, Akihiko Hirata, and Akira Takarada
- IMDB rating: 7.5
If you’re looking for one of the great giant monster movies, go no further than Gojira, released in 1954. This movie is a fantastic piece of the Japanese movie; it is also a technical masterpiece of the giant monster genre.
Japan’s cathartic encounter with the horrors of nuclear war, with Godzilla standing in for the atomic bomb. Gojira was released barely nine years after Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Nevertheless, the movie’s understanding of the human suffering that inspired its horror makes it one of the greatest in the kaiju genre.
The Mist (2007)
- Director: Frank Darabont
- Star cast: Thomas Jane, Marcia Gay Harden, and Laurie Holden
- IMDB rating: 7.1
A little town is surrounded by a strange mist called The Mist, and inside it is various giant monsters and animals that terrorize the people.
However, the suspense and anxiety caused by the people not being able to see those creatures and having to protect themselves from them are what makes The Mist so good.
People try to avoid accidents of all kinds by acting as though they are driving a car through dense fog on a winding mountain road. However, if the monsters they are watching are too large to be avoided, they are still likely to cause accidents.
Although The Mist is most recognized for its suspense, tension, and enormous many-legged creatures, its finale is often considered to be one of the most depressing in cinematic history.
Destroy All Monsters (1968)
- Director: Ishirô Honda and Jun Fukuda
- Star cast: Akira Kubo, Jun Tazaki, and Yukiko Kobayashi
- IMDB rating: 6.4
Before there was the Marvel Cinematic Universe, there was virtually something similar to a cinematic universe that Toho ran, and it was called Avengers.
Endgame was the monster movie battle ‘Destroy All Monsters’ from 1968. The movie features eleven of Toho’s monster stars, from Godzilla and King Ghidorah to Mothra to the lesser-known but fantastic Gorosaurus and Manda.
The novel’s central premise is an alien invasion, a classic element of kaiju fiction. Many gigantic creatures rampage over the world, leading up to a showdown between King Ghidorah and the monsters of Earth.
Destroy All Monsters is one of the best giant monster movies to watch if you want to see various monsters from the Toho kaiju classics.
Jurassic Park (1993)
- Director: Steven Spielberg
- Star cast: Sam Neill, Laura Dern. And Jeff Goldblum
- IMDB rating: 8.2
Jurassic Park debuted in 1993 and instantly positioned itself as a cultural icon. It became an immediate classic, because of its groundbreaking special effects, compelling characters, and iconic musical soundtrack.
Also, just 47 movies have made more than $1 billion at the box office, making this one of the uncommon movies. Jurassic Park is a contemporary classic that has produced two sequels and a spinoff series. It is a family adventure movie full of suspense, dread, and amazing but dangerous dinosaurs.
- Director: Nacho Vigalondo
- Star cast: Anne Hathaway, Jason Sudeikis, and Austin Stowell
- IMDB rating: 6.2
Colossal was directed by Nacho Vigalondo and starred Anne Hathaway as Gloria. Gloria is an alcoholic who discovers that if she walks through the park in her small New England hometown, a giant monster will appear in Seoul, South Korea, and mimic her movements.
This is one of the more peculiar giant monster movies on this list and has the least amount of giant monster action.
The desire to make changes in her life comes from this. Unfortunately, Gloria’s friend Oscar is a complete jerk who wants to run Gloria’s life from his giant Seoul robot.
The monster and the robot both begin fighting in the park at the same time in Seoul. This is a very original and unusual take on the genre of giant monster fights, and it’s a lot of fun.
Even while the monster and the robot don’t get nearly as much screen time as Hathaway and Sudeikis, their fights are just as entertaining.
Although this movie is relatively recent in comparison to the others on this list, it deserves to be included among the best giant monster movies.
- Director: Matt Reeves
- Star cast: Mike Vogel, Jessica Lucas, and Lizzy Caplan
- IMDB rating: 7.0
Cloverfield is a modern horror classic that uses the same found-footage style as ‘The Blair Witch Project’ but adds in one of the most terrifying monsters ever.
It depicts a regular group of people going about their lives until suddenly, their world is turned upside down by a huge monster invading New York City.
Then, while the monster is still at loose, the group must make its way across a ravaged New York City. However, its excellent CGI, persistent success, and other factors have resulted in two sequels and may lead to a third.
The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms (1953)
- Director: Eugène Lourié
- Star cast: Paul Hubschmid, Paula Raymond, and Cecil Kellaway
- IMDB rating: 6.6
When a nuclear bomb is detonated beyond the Arctic Circle as part of a research experiment, a Rhedosaurus emerges from the frozen earth and heads straight towards Manhattan. Manhattan happens to be where it formerly lived during the dinosaur era.
Unfortunately, this generates a lot of problems since human beings do not react positively to the arrival of the deadly dinosaur.
However, they must use great caution since the creature’s blood carries a very contagious virus. The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms, directed by Eugene Lourie, is notable for several reasons.
Firstly, it was the first of many movies in which nuclear bombs awakened a monster. Secondly, it was inspired by a story by Ray Bradbury.
Thirdly, the incredible stop-motion special effects that allowed the beast to wreak havoc were created by Ray Harryhausen. This is one of the best giant monster movies.