Godzilla: King of the Monsters hit the Box and Redbox On Demand this week, and in it, Godzilla fights on the side of humankind and teams up with the moth-beast Mothra and the flying Pteranodon Rodan to defeat the gigantic three-headed dragon Ghidorah. If you’re into monster flicks, this is one you’ll geek out over. The epic battles in the film got me thinking about some of my favorite monster movies — a few of which take a unique approach to the genre. Here are 4 that stand out:

Godzilla (2014) – This is the original film in the planned “MonsterVerse” franchise from Legendary Pictures, with Godzilla: King of the Monsters being the second. I went into it with low “popcorn movie” expectations, but was sucked in quickly by great performances from Bryan Cranston, Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Ken Watanabe and a compelling storyline about humankind’s tendency to want to hurry up and destroy things we don’t fully understand. The visuals were incredible as well.

Colossal – This quirky dramedy/monster movie was one of my favorite films of 2017 — I’ve still never seen anything quite like it, and I recommend it to anyone who’ll listen to me. It stars Anne Hathaway as an alcoholic who moves home to try and clean up her act, and while there she reconnects with a childhood friend (Jason Sudeikis). Oh and while all that is happening, a monstrous Godzilla-like creature is destroying Seoul, Korea. But I won’t spoil how everything is connected! Just watch it!

Cloverfield – This 2008 “found footage” film is one of the best in its genre and created quite the buzz when it first came out. It pieces together videos of an attack on New York City by monsters big and small, and the destruction begins during a house party. I found it a little hard to stomach the shaky-cam effects at times, but the thrills were worth suffering through my queasiness. Its distantly related kinda-sorta sequel starring John Goodman and Mary Elizabeth Winstead, 10 Cloverfield Lane, is worth checking out too, even though actual monsters play a much smaller role in that one.

Monsters – Clearly a film called “Monsters” has to be on my list! But seriously, this is the 2010 indie movie from director Gareth Edwards that caught Hollywood’s attention because it was so awesome, and that’s how he went on to direct the 2014 version of Godzilla I mentioned above, as well as a little scrappy film that made a billion dollars called Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. In Monsters, tentacled monsters have invaded Mexico, and Scoot McNairy plays a photojournalist tasked with returning his boss’s daughter (McNairy’s wife in real-life, Whitney Able) to the US — having to travel through the “infected zone” in the process. It’s a high-tension thrill ride and another one I highly, highly recommend if you’ve never seen it.

What’s your favorite monster movie?

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