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The Best Monster Movies On Neftlix Right Now

Be it Creature from the Black Lagoon or The Host, monster movies have always been an important staple of pop culture. From Kaiju to vampires, monster flicks can confront anxieties that are largely unexplored in other genres, whether it be the societal fear of the unknown or themes of deep-rooted despair. While this darkness may be a turn-off for many, the macabre — represented in the form of a vampire, lake creature, or alien — allows for a symbolic discussion of societal fears in the media. On a less dramatic note, monster movies provide plenty of off-the-walls action, cool costuming, practical effects, and make-up designs that monster movie aficionados have come to love. 

Luckily for monster fans, Netflix has plenty of movies on hand for even the most seasoned of creature feature fans to enjoy. To help you find the best the streaming service has to offer, here is a list of the best monster movies that are on Netflix right now.

Cloverfield

This innovative 2008 monster movie begins with a group of friends throwing a farewell party for their friend Rob before he starts a new job in Japan. Our point-of-view character is Rob's friend Hud, who's shooting testimonials at the party so Rob can have a record of his friends' wishes. However, the night takes a turn for the bizarre when a kaiju-sized monster begins wreaking havoc in the middle of Manhattan. The desperate friends, including the ever-filming Hud, trek through the city to find their loved ones and hopefully escape.

The found-footage style of filmmaking really adds to the raw, authentic feel of Cloverfield. This is especially evident in the scenes of citizens panicking on the streets, or of the main crew traversing underground subways and dilapidated buildings. More importantly, Cloverfield uses its format to narrow the scope of its story, presenting the viewer with more questions than it does answers. We know next to nothing about this terrifying creature (even as Cloverfield has branched out into a sci-fi franchise with a loosely connected narrative), making survival against the unknown all the more uncertain for the main cast of characters.

The Golem

In 17th century Lithuania, a Jewish village is threatened when a neighboring group of Gentiles blames the residents for an outbreak of plague. The peaceful people of the village are no match for the heavily-armed group that comes for them. But one woman, Hanna, is determined to protect her village, so against the wishes of her husband and their rabbi, she uses the forbidden power of the Kaballah to create a golem. Even though there is tremendous power in the golem, Hanna is warned that the soulless creature is a monster that cannot be fully controlled. Despite this, Hanna comes to find that the golem, which takes the form of a small boy, is like a son to her.

The Golem is a cautionary tale in a similar vein to Frankenstein about mankind (in this case, a woman) playing God. The Golem is a terrifying creature in that it has no feelings or motivations, and that the power associated with it quickly spirals out of control. Aside from The Golem's frightfully effective title monster, the film also succeeds as a compelling period piece that highlights the real-world persecution of Jewish people. On top of all that, it's also an interesting examination of loss, motherhood, and traditional gender roles within Jewish society.

The Ritual

When this Netflix exclusive dropped in 2017, it immediately garnered attention for its dark atmosphere, creepy imagery, and increasingly tense story progression. The Ritual begins with a convenience store robbery that results in the tragic death of Rob, a member of a close-knit group of friends who had been enjoying a seemingly ordinary night of fun just moments prior. To honor their deceased friend's memory, the friend group takes a hiking trip to Sweden.

Almost immediately after beginning their trip, a member of the group becomes injured, and the friends decide to take a shortcut off the beaten path through the forest. The group travels through the forest, where they quickly encounter a gutted elk and human effigies, understandably putting them on edge. To make matters worse, when they awaken the following morning, they have strange marks on their bodies, suggesting that someone, or something, had visited them during the night. We won't spoil the rest of the story for you, but The Ritual only gets stranger and scarier from there.

Tusk

Directed by Kevin Smith, Tusk introduces Wallace, co-host of a podcast dedicated to ridiculing people online. The sick and twisted adventure begins when Wallace stumbles upon an ad offering a free place to stay in exchange for exciting stories. Interested, Wallace makes his way out to the mansion in the middle of nowhere to meet Howard Howe, an old man with plenty of wacky stories, but none stranger than that of Mr. Tusk, the walrus that saved him after he was shipwrecked many years ago. While Howard's stories entrance Wallace, the seemingly harmless old man is just a bit more obsessed with the walrus that saved his life than appears on the surface.

Tusk is a very strange film any monster movie fan should watch at least once. It's certainly an odd entry in the canon of the body horror subgenre, seeing that the horror is in watching a human transform into a walrus. It's clear that the film isn't meant to be taken entirely seriously, as the premise itself is ridiculous, but that's exactly what makes it fun. For anyone who likes campy, not-too-serious horror films, Tusk may just be the right up your alley.

Tremors

Seeking greener pastures, handymen Val and Earl decide to ditch their small desert town of Perfection, Nevada. On their way out, they come across a series of unexpected deaths: a resident who died of dehydration while sitting on a telephone pole with his Winchester rifle and a shepherd, along with his flock of sheep, all massacred. Alarmed by these deaths, Val and Earl become convinced that a deranged serial killer is on the loose in their quiet town, but once the ground starts to shake and ravenous worm-like creatures emerge from the ground to terrorize the surviving inhabitants, it becomes abundantly clear that Val and Earl have to stop the creatures from ruining Perfection. 

Perhaps the best thing about Tremors is that it defies categorization in any one genre, dealing in equal parts horror, action, and comedy. There is hardly a quiet moment, making the film a wild ride all the way through, all while keeping a distinct campy feel that cements Tremors as one of the more unique monster movies on Netflix — or anywhere else, for that matter.

Siren

If you remember the first segment from the horror anthology V/H/S and thought that was impressive, then you're going to want to check out Siren. Siren is a feature-length adaption of the short tale from V/H/S, but with some new twists and turns along the way. 

To celebrate his upcoming marriage, Jonah's brother Mac plans an excursion to a strip club for a night of debauchery. However, Mac finds the location not up to standard and takes the bachelor party to an underground strip club where Jonah is treated to an exclusive performance by a woman with an otherworldly, seductive voice. After her performance, Jonah becomes convinced that she is being held against her will, and with the help of his crew, he breaks her out. However, when the woman sprouts a tail and begins to eat her assailants, Jonah realizes that maybe there was a reason she was being kept locked in a cage.

Stephanie

In a post-apocalyptic world, a young girl named Stephanie is left to fend for herself after being left behind in her home by her parents. With only her plush turtle, her pet rabbit, and the decaying corpse of her older brother Paul for company, Stephanie keeps herself occupied by channel surfing and holding elaborate tea-parties with her stuffed animals. Unfortunately, Stephanie has a monstrous visitor who pays her a visit from time to time, constantly keeping Stephanie on her toes, threatening to attack at any given moment.

Where Stephanie succeeds is in how it drip-feeds information about the world and what has put Stephanie in this alarming situation. The world-building imbues the film with a sense of foreboding and mystery from start to finish. For fans of supernatural horror and creepy kids, Stephanie offers a blend that is sure to leave you wanting a stuffed turtle of your own to hold.

The Monster

The Monster focuses on the troubled relationship between Kathy and her ten-year-old daughter Lizzy. While Kathy is driving, a wolf runs across the road, causing their car to crash. Thinking that the dead wolf lying in the road is the worst the forest has in store for them, the mother and daughter pair wait while a repairman works on their broken car. Unfortunately, it quickly becomes clear that the wolf was running from something much, much bigger, and now Kathy and Lizzy are about to become the monster's next prey. 

Most of the film centers on Kathy and Lizzy's strained relationship and the tension bubbling to the surface while they are stranded and struggling to survive. However, there are also moments of warmth and genuine love shared between them as the two are forced to protect and care for each other against the bloodthirsty monster. There is a healthy blend of quiet, reflective moments and action-packed fight scenes against the intimidating monster that makes the film an enjoyable ride from start to finish. 

Before I Wake

Directed by Doctor Sleep's Mike Flanagan, Before I Wake offers a unique mix of supernatural horror and fantasy. The film centers on the Hobson family, who takes in a foster child named Cody shortly after the death of their son. Things seem perfectly normal until Cody falls asleep. That's when impossible, whimsical things start to occur, such as butterflies fluttering around the living room, symbolizing the Hobsons' deceased son. While this all seems well and good at first, Cody's apparent superpower has a dark side in the form of the "Canker Man," a monstrous creature that is also summoned when Cody dreams.

Before I Wake features an incredibly creepy monster that genuinely feels out of this world. Every time the Canker Man appears, it feels threatening yet still dream-like and fascinating. What makes the Canker Man unique is the connection it shares with Cody and how that develops throughout the film. Before I Wake is an emotional experience, and for fans of monstrous entities, this will surely be one creature feature you won't want to pass up.

Don't Be Afraid of The Dark

This remake of the 1973 television movie of the same name follows the Hurst family as they move into the dilapidated Blackwood Manor in an attempt to restore it to its former glory. However, the family finds that one facet of the manor is resistant to change. Sally, the eight-year-old daughter of architect Alex Hurst, finds that there is a creature that lives in the basement fireplace that is composed completely of ash. When the creature is found to be hostile, the family has to find a way to stay alive and survive this Gothic horror.

Don't Be Afraid of the Dark is a gloomy, spooky horror flick and produced and co-written by Guillermo del Toro. His involvement comes as no surprise, as there is definitely a unique fairytale aspect that you would find in his other works, such as Pan's Labyrinth. Most importantly, the little monsters who lurk beneath the house are creepy enough to keep even the bravest monster hunters from venturing into their basements for a long while.

Sweetheart

Sweetheart opens with our protagonist, Jennifer, washing up injured on an abandoned island. She ekes out a new life by finding supplies and surviving on the island's natural resources. But her relative peace is cut short when she discovers that a man-eating predator is looming in the ocean nearby. In the dead of night, the hulking humanoid creature emerges from the water and comes to the island to feed, threatening to take Jennifer back to the ocean with it. Realizing that the island is no longer safe, Jennifer must find a way to escape quickly, or risk being dragged the bottom of the ocean, never to be seen again. 

Sweetheart premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2019 and has garnered positive reviews from critics since. The film takes some bold risks, being mostly silent for a significant portion of its runtime. It helps that the monster design is top-notch, though we don't see much of it until the latter half of the film. Overall, Sweetheart is a unique survival horror film that you definitely don't want to miss out on before it leaves Netflix.

Backcountry

In Backcountry, the monster isn't some man-made monstrosity or an other-worldly being; the monster in question is a little more realistic. Instead of the supernatural or the unknown, the beast is simply a man-eating bear

Based on a true story, Backcountry tells the tale of two hikers who take a camping trip in the remote wilderness. The hikers, Alex and Jenn, are taken into progressively dangerous situations due to Alex's pride, eventually finding themselves totally lost. As the film progresses, we also learn more about the couple's relationship, which only serves to add to the growing tension that builds as the two of them become more and more unsure of their bearings.

Backcountry has fared excellently among critics, and it's one of those movies where the less you know going in, the better. So if you haven't already, grab your survival gear and your bear mace and give Backcountry a look.