Ten Days Of Horror Films – Day #9: Monsters

The Thing

Please note: Ten Days Of Horror Films is compiled into ten separate lists which identify individual genres of horror with each day in the list containing three movies: my favourite movie from that specific genre, an honourable mention, and a big ol’ loser.

Holy crap, that picture is disgusting! I apologize to your eyes! When I wrote out my list of horror movie genres, I thought I’d have nothing to say about the “monster” genre because surely someone who likes horror grounded in reality would dislike monster movies. But this is my biggest list so far! In fact, I had to pare it down so people might actually read it. My honourable mentions are still awesome, but I just feel my two favourites mean a bit more to me because some seriously sinister stuff happens in the two I’ve put at the top of the heap. Let’s get our backs up off the wall and start this monster mash!

MY FAVOURITE:

The Descent

Let me just say that I think the explanation for these monsters is pretty fresh and somewhat plausible. When a movie doesn’t just explain something weird with a blanket explanation (i.e. “they were dead all along”…I’m looking at you LOST), it shows that the writers respect your intelligence and don’t think you’re just a bunch of dollar bills; they actually want to put out an entertaining story. This movie isn’t only about monsters; you have the added tension of this troop spelunking through unknown territory in very small spaces. I’m not claustrophobic, but I do have issues with being in any place where I can’t see a feasible exit. So imagine being underground with no exit in sight, and then having flesh hungry monsters after you and your friends. Oh, also, it’s dark, so add that into the mix there. All of that, plus a swim through a literal pool of blood and you’ve got one scary movie. Watch this in the dark and I guarantee you’ll get some tightness in the tummy.

The Mist

File this under another horror movie with a lesson. You’d think that if you had around 50 – 75 people in one place where there’s a terrible situation going on outside that at least all of those people could hold it together for a few days and not turn into a bunch of nutcases. But no. Let this movie teach you that cooler heads prevail and that if you’re ever in a tense situation with a group of strangers that cooperation is vital to your survival. Beyond that turmoil (which helps add suspense to the story, so well done), we have monsters that are large (at times gigantic), unpredictable and super strong. If the crazies in the confined space don’t kill you, death is pretty much imminent outside in the mist. Beyond all of that, my favourite part of this movie is the final scene. Let’s just say that I (and probably most people) was not expecting that, but I was very happy they decided to “go there”. This movie is a little long, but I promise you, the ending is well worth the wait.

HONOURABLE MENTION:

Predator

First off, this movie has so many quotable quotes in it that I’m sure they’re in your vocabulary without you even knowing where they came from  (“I ain’t got time to bleed” “You son of a bitch” “Get to the choppaaaaaa!”). The characters are all super tough and oozing stereotypical machismo. You’re basically watching a bunch of He-Man action figures on screen for over an hour. Aside from the cheesiness (which is amazing), you have insane character design on the Predator mixed with perfect audio through the monster noises, soundscape, and haunting score. This may look like a BS ’80s movie or like they were just trying to make The Terminator in the jungle, but this film is the perfect blend of action and horror that can stand on its own as not just another Arny flick.

The Thing (1982)

That picture at the top of my post is from this movie. Do I really need to convince you to watch this after knowing that terrifying creature is in this movie? On top of the disgusting design of the monsters, the terror also lies in the fact that this movie takes place way up north in the middle of nothing but snow and ice. Isolation can be done well when there’s a good reason for it (take note “cabin in the woods” movies), and when there’s a good reason for not being able to escape. You might think a movie from the early ’80s has nothing on the remake of this film from just three years ago, but the fact that the remake insisted on using the same practical creature effects from the original film rather than CG should tell you something: this movie stands the test of time.

LOSER:

Don’t Be Afraid Of The Dark

Oh Guillermo Del Toro. How did you go from Pan’s Labyrinth to this? How did we go from talking about some seriously kick-ass movies to this now? This is just like so many other movies, where the kid is the only person who can see the horrible thing that is inside the house and no one believes the kid because those darn kids with their imaginations! The CG design on the little monsters in this movie is so boring – I wasn’t sure if they were supposed to be scary or just annoying. The story is bland and hard to pay attention to, and the ending is a tiny cliffhanger that honestly doesn’t really make sense. SPOILER: Katie Holmes lives with the monsters now? What? I just named four awesome movies that you can watch with monsters in it, so don’t even give this garbage your time.

Phew! That was a lot of movies! And I still feel like I could have easily mentioned The Terminator, Silent Hill, or Alien in there. So you tell me…what’s your favourite monster movie? How about that ending on The Mist? That’s some crazy stuff!

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