There’s nothing better than sitting down on Halloween with a big bowl of popcorn, choosing either a cheesy horror movie or a downright terrifying one, and enjoying the ride. A genre with a mixed bag of entries from the downright stupid (Thankskilling), to pretty much any on this list of the best creature features in cinema…
American Werewolf In London (1981)
Lauded at the time for its special effects, watching the poor man transform from his normal, human self to a terrifying werewolf is such a visceral sight to behold. Mixed with some fantastic comedy, this is the sort of film that’ll shock you one second and make you laugh the next.
Both a commercial box office success and has become a cult classic in recent years, this was always going to be on the list. Following an unwitting documentary crew into the Amazon Rainforest, they quickly find out they’ve bitten off more than they can chew… unlike the snake.
Jeepers Creepers (2001)
The first certainly, and much less so the following two, Jeepers Creepers is a fantastic example of a creature feature that spends its first half creating tension and hinting at what’s to come, before full-on showing the creature at his disgusting best. That ending with Justin Long is pretty eye-opening too.
Lake Placid (1999)
Featuring Betty White as a lovely old grandmother kindly feeding her livestock to two gigantic crocodiles(!), Lake Placid goes exactly how you go for the main cast. With plenty of dismembered limbs and half-eaten bodies, you’ll certainly enjoy this if that’s your thing.
The Thing (1982)
Directed by one of the kings of horror John Carpenter, The Thing is everything you’d want in a creature feature. Disgusting body horror from the shape-shifting menace in Antarctica, tension throughout the film as to who it could be, blood and guts, and absolutely top-notch special effects.
The Mist (2007)
One of the countless horrors based on the seminal works of Stephen King, The Mist points to a camera and shows us exactly how the average human would react in the face of an unknown threat. It’s not often a creature feature finishes on such a heart-breaking note either.
Almost an outlier on the list due to its action genre roots, Predator is a mixture of guns, blood, muscles, and a particularly humanoid looking alien that just seems to be intent on hunting the strongest of us.
At the time one of the scariest films of its type, Alien had people leaving the cinema early, passing out, vomiting and generally hating their experience. Arguably changing sci-fi and creature features at the time, that chest-bursting scene has long since become iconic in pop culture.
Not many films can boast the unfortunate title of being responsible for generations of humans actively being scared of an animal, but that’s exactly what happened with Jaws. Already a scary prospect with the deep, dark ocean beneath us, throw in a gigantic shark with huge, human-eating teeth and it’ll make anyone scared.
That’s my choice for the best creature features, and there are probably many more I could have added.