Your Top Three is a series here at Movies.com where we choose a topic and you give us your top three picks.
It has taken 60 years, but Hollywood has finally made a good Godzilla movie. It’s not perfect — there’s some bad acting and dialogue and a disappointing lack of clear subtext for something involving this particular monster — but the new remake from Warner Bros. is very entertaining, and it features some of the most interesting shots we’ve seen in a blockbuster in a long time. Director Gareth Edwards makes up for any of the movie’s faults with visuals that are both spectacular and clever.
But is it one of the best giant-monster movies of all time? Close, in my book. Comparisons might be difficult, especially if we count movies that simply feature giant monsters yet don’t revolve around them, like Ghostbusters and Jason and the Argonauts. Even if we stick to the real monster movies, there are a lot of classic Godzilla installments that are cheesier but admittedly still more fun than this latest incarnation. Also relevant to those are movies like the 1995 Gamera reboot, The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms and Attack of the 50-Foot Woman.
And of course there’s the original King Kong, which is a masterpiece in many ways. For its time, the effects are phenomenal, but I’m even more in love with that movie’s thematic layers. I also have a soft spot for the 1976 remake, yet not Peter Jackson’s version. However, if I have to pick three favorite monster movies, currently I’m most into a few that were released in the last decade. The first of which is connected to the new Godzilla.
Here are my top three giant-monster movies:
Monsters (2010) - The reason Godzilla was my most anticipated blockbuster of this summer is because of this previous low-budget movie written and directed by Edwards also involving giant monsters. They’re just the backdrop, though, as he primarily focuses on two characters in a foregrounded road-picture narrative reminiscent of It Happened One Night.
Incident at Loch Ness (2004) - You can’t deny a monster movie starring Werner Herzog, and that’s exactly what this is. Zac Penn directed this mockumentary in which a documentary crew follows the legendary filmmaker to Scotland as he’s making his own documentary about the mystery of the Loch Ness creature.
Trollhunter (2010) - And another mockumentary, this one from Norway and in the found-footage style — but done better than Cloverfield. It might just have you believing that there are in fact giant trolls residing in Scandinavia. Especially if you recognize that there is footage of a real press conference cleverly integrated into this thrilling, tongue-in-cheek movie.
And here are your picks:
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