Traditional concepts[ edit ] The most common aspect of a monster movie is the struggle between a human collective of protagonists against one or more monsters, who serve as the antagonistic force. In Japanese cinema , giant monsters known as kaiju often take up this role.
The monster is often created by a folly of mankind — an experiment gone wrong, the effects of radiation or the destruction of habitat. Or the monster is from outer space, has been on Earth for a long time with no one ever seeing it, or released or awakened from a prison of some sort where it was being held.
The monster is usually a villain, but can be a metaphor of humankind's continuous destruction; giant monsters since the introduction of The Beast from 20, Fathoms have for a time been considered a symbol of atomic warfare, for instance.
On the contrary, Godzilla began in this fashion yet as time moved on his reputation quickly grew into that of a cultural icon to the Japanese, as much as Superman is a cultural symbol to America. The Godzilla series utilized the concept of a superweapon built by Japanese scientists to suppress him or any of the monsters he fights.
Historically, monsters have been depicted using stop motion animation, puppets , or creature suits. In the modern day, many monster movies have used CGI monsters. History[ edit ] The first feature-length films to include what are regarded as monsters were often classed as horror or science fiction films.
The German silent film The Golem , directed by Paul Wegener , is one of the earliest examples of film to include a creature.
In the s, American movie studios began to produce more successful films of this type, usually based on gothic tales such as Dracula and Frankenstein in , both heavily influenced by German Expressionism , followed by The Mummy and The Invisible Man Classified as Horror films, they included iconic monsters. Special effects animator Willis O'Brien worked on the fantasy adventure The Lost World , based on the novel of the same name.
The book and film featured dinosaurs , the basis for many future movies. He began work on a similar film known as Creation in , but the project was never completed. Since then King Kong has not only become one of the most famous examples of a monster movie, but also is considered a landmark film in the history of cinema. The monster King Kong became a cultural icon , being featured in many other films and media since then.
The film was about a fictional dinosaur, a Rhedosaurus, that was awakened from frozen ice in the Arctic Circle by an atomic bomb test. Movie poster for Godzilla, King of the Monsters. The monster followed the s horror movie formula of a creature created by nuclear detonations.
Also during the 50s, the nuclear concept from The Beast from 20, Fathoms, along with real life historical events helped Japanese film studio Toho produce their first successful Kaiju films;   Godzilla has spawned the longest-running film franchise in history, and the titular monster has become one of the most recognizable monsters in cinema history.
Another Kaiju film from this time was Rodan. A parallel development during this era was the rise of the Z movie , films made outside the organized motion picture industry with ultra-low budgets.
Grade-Z monster movies such as Plan 9 from Outer Space and The Creeping Terror are often listed among the worst films ever made because of their inept acting and amateurish special effects. After , monster movies were less popular yet were still produced. In , Japanese studio Kadokawa Pictures started their own kaiju franchise to rival that of Godzilla, in the form of Gamera. Ray Harryhausen continued to work on a number of films such as The Valley of Gwangi while Toho continued production of Godzilla and other kaiju films like Mothra In the s, director John Guillermin remade King Kong in Just before the technological revolution that made possible to create digital special effects thanks to CGI , the last generation of SFX artists impressed with the quality and realism of their creations: The film was an enormous critical and commercial success and at one point held the title of the highest-grossing film of all time.
The movies also helped generate renewed interest in paleontology. While the films showed allegedly authentic dinosaurs which had been recreated by Genetic engineering and could be understood as science fiction, advanced contemporary animation technology made it also possible to revive medieval legends about dragons.
The successful feature film Dragonheart showed a friendly dragon voiced by Sean Connery. Traditional monster movies re-emerged to a wider audience during the late s. An American remake of Godzilla was made in The Godzilla featured in that film was considerably different from the original and many Godzilla fans disliked the film; despite that, the film was a financial success.
In , a French monster film Brotherhood of the Wolf became the second-highest-grossing French-language film in the United States in the last two decades. Director Peter Jackson , inspired by the original King Kong and Ray Harryhausen films,  remade King Kong in , which was both a critical and commercial success. In , a South Korean monster film, The Host , involved more political overtones than most of its genre. Legend of the Deep was released, and the legendary Loch Ness Monster is a playful creature menaced by overly aggressive humans.
The British Independent Film Award winning film Monsters , in a manner similar to Cloverfield, presented the story of a monster epidemic from the perspective of the humans affected by it. Although not entirely focused on monsters, blockbusters such as The Avengers and Prometheus included scenes that featured monsters posing threats to the protagonists.
In , Warner Bros. Though the film was heavily inspired by the Kaiju and Mecha anime genres, del Toro wished to create something original with the film rather than to reference previous work. The film was a moderate success in the United States but a box office hit overseas.
It received generally positive reviews with significant praise for the film's special effects. Legendary originally intended to produce a trilogy with Edwards attached to direct all films.
The third film in the MonsterVerse, Godzilla: King of the Monsters is currently in production and is scheduled to be released on March 22, Kong , is scheduled to be released on May 22,  and to be directed by Adam Wingard.