This week sees the release of Godzilla vs. Kong, a movie which will finally settle the issue (first raised in 1963) of whether a very large ape or an even larger nuclear-powered dinosaur would win in a fight. If this has put you in the mood for more movies about giant monsters (one of the most consistently fun genres out there), then here are some titles to check out.
The Host (2006)
Future Parasite multi-Oscar-winner Bong Joon-ho put his own unique spin on the monster movie with this thriller, in which a Seoul family battles their own dysfunctions even more than the giant mutated tadpole-thing that’s abducted their daughter. Come for the fantastically constructed suspense, stay for the not-at-all subtle blasts of the US military presence on the Korean peninsula.
In the ’50s, people were absolutely convinced that nuclear radiation would turn every conceivable animal into a fearsome giant version of itself. That oddly specific genre was kicked off with this cheesy classic, which features enormous ants menacing the Southwest. It is exactly what you’d expect of a movie with an exclamation point in its name.
Shin Godzilla (2016)
Godzilla gets rebooted a lot, but no recent take on the lovable lizard hews closer to the original 1954 version than this, which reimagines first contact between the iconic monster and humanity in contemporary Japan. It smartly updates the original film’s themes of nuclear anxiety for a post-Fukushima age, and reinvigorates Godzilla with a new sense of awe and sheer terror.