If you believe horror movies are only about ghosts and spirits, then you are wrong. Think about movies featuring ghouls, strange creatures, aliens, and every other kind of monster. Not only do these elements send shivers down the spine but also add more depth and diversity to the genre, making it even more thrilling to watch. If you want to watch horror movies that go far beyond your typical ghost movies, how about scary monster movies? Check out our list of 40 best monster movies that you can watch this spooky season.

S. No.Movie & YearIMDb Rating
1.King Kong (1933)7.9
2.Godzilla (1954)7.5
3.Alien (1979)8.5
4.Jurassic Park (1993)8.2
5.Predator (1987)8.1
6.The Thing (1982)8.2
7.Cujo (1983)6.1
8.Pan’s Labyrinth (2006)8.2
9.The Babadook (2014)6.8
10.A Quiet Place (2018)7.5
11.The Shape of Water (2017)7.3
12.Psycho (1960)8.5
13.The Silence of the Lambs (1991)8.6
14.The Witch (2015)7
15.Jaws (1975)8.1
16.The Fly (1986)7.6
17.The Mist (2007)7.1
18.It (2017)7.3
19.Cloverfield (2008)7
20.The Descent (2005)7.2
21.Tremors (1990)7.1
22.Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954)6.9
23.A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)7.4
24.Crimson Peak (2015)6.5
25.Under the Skin (2013)6.3
26.Mimic (1997)6
27.The Host (2006)7.1
28.Maleficent (2014)6.9
29.The Hallow (2015)5.7
30.It Follows (2014)6.8
31.The Ritual (2017)6.3
32.The Others (2001)7.6
33.Lake Placid (1999)5.8
34.Cabin Fever (2002)5.6
35.The Wailing (2016)7.4
36.The Monster (2016)5.4
37.The Invisible Man (2020)7.1
38.Slither (2006)6.5
39.The Relic (1997)5.8
40.The Blob (1958)6.3

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1. King Kong (1933)

best monster movies
  • Lead actors: Fay Wray, Robert Armstrong, Bruce Cabot
  • Supporting Artist: Frank Reicher
  • Director: Merian C. Cooper, Ernest B. Schoedsack
  • Release date: April 7, 1933
  • Run Time: 1h 40m
  • IMBD Rating: 7.9
  • Revenue: $5.3 million
  • Language: English

A film crew goes to a mysterious island for a location shoot. Here, they encounter a giant pre-historic ape who takes the fancy of the film’s leading actress. Chaos ensues when they capture the ape and bring her back to the city.

2. Godzilla (1954)

best monster movies
  • Lead actors: Akira Takarada, Momoko Kôchi, Takashi Shimura
  • Supporting Artist: Akihiko Hirata
  • Director: Ishirô Honda
  • Release date: November 3, 1954
  • Run Time: 1h 36m
  • IMBD Rating: 7.5
  • Revenue: 2.8 million
  • Language: Japanese

An indestructible fire-breathing dinosaur-like monster is created as a result of American nuclear weapon testing. After it goes on a rampage in Japan, the government takes the help of a reclusive scientist to kill the monster.

3. Alien (1979)

best monster movies
  • Lead actors: Tom Skerritt, Sigourney Weaver, Veronica Cartwright
  • Supporting Artist: Harry Dean Stanton
  • Director: Ridley Scott
  • Release date: December 6, 1979
  • Run Time: 1h 57m
  • IMBD Rating: 8.5
  • Revenue: $11 million
  • Language: English

A space crew goes to a planet to investigate it after they intercept a distress call. However, to their shock, their ship gets attacked by aliens.

4. Jurassic Park (1993)

best monster movies
  • Lead actors: Sam Neill, Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum
  • Supporting Artist: Richard Attenborough
  • Director: Steven Spielberg
  • Release date: April 15, 1994
  • Run Time: 2h 7m
  • IMBD Rating: 8.2
  • Revenue: $1.057 billion
  • Language: English

A joyride at an amusement park breaks down due to a power outage, which causes a state of panic. But the situation further escalated when cloned dinosaurs began to react violently.

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5. Predator (1987)

best monster movies
  • Lead actors: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Carl Weathers, Elpidia Carrillo
  • Supporting Artist: Bill Duke
  • Director: John McTiernan
  • Release date: June 12, 1987
  • Run Time: 1h 47m
  • IMBD Rating: 7.8
  • Revenue: $98.3 million
  • Language: English

Dutch and his team of commandos go to a Central American jungle to rescue a group of hostages. But to their shock, they discover that they are being targeted by an extraterrestrial warrior.

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6. The Thing (1982)

best monster movies
  • Lead actors: Kurt Russell, Wilford Brimley, T.K. Carter
  • Supporting Artist: David Clennon
  • Director: John Carpenter
  • Release date: December 10, 1982
  • Run Time: 1h 49m
  • IMBD Rating: 8.2
  • Revenue: $19.6 million
  • Language: English

A team of researchers finds an alien that’s fallen from the sky. But things soon take a more sinister turn when they realise that the creature can take the shape of its victim.

7. Cujo (1983)

best monster movies
  • Lead actors: Dee Wallace, Danny Pintauro, Daniel Hugh Kelly
  • Supporting Artist: Christopher Stone
  • Director: Lewis Teague
  • Release date: August 12, 1983
  • Run Time: 1h 33m
  • IMBD Rating: 6.1
  • Revenue: $21.2 million
  • Language: English

A friendly St. Bernard, Cujo, turns bloodthirsty after he contracts rabies. A suburban housewife and her young son then fend off attacks by the dog to save their lives.

8. Pan’s Labyrinth (2006)

best monster movies
  • Lead actors: Ivana Baquero, Sergi López, Maribel Verdú
  • Supporting Artist: Doug Jones
  • Director: Guillermo del Toro
  • Release date: October 11, 2006
  • Run Time: 1h 58m
  • IMBD Rating: 8.2
  • Revenue: $83.9 million
  • Language: Spanish

a young girl named Ofelia along with her mother moves to her stepfather’s house who is a sadistic army officer. One night, a fairy leads Ofelia to a faun who tells her that she’s a legendary lost princess. But she has to complete three dangerous tasks to claim immortality.

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9. The Babadook (2014)

best monster movies
  • Lead actors: Essie Davis, Noah Wiseman, Hayley McElhinney
  • Supporting Artist: Daniel Henshall
  • Director: Jennifer Kent
  • Release date: May 22, 2014
  • Run Time: 1h 24m
  • IMBD Rating: 6.8
  • Revenue: $10.5 million
  • Language: English

A young and his single mother go into a state of paranoia after they are convinced that an eerie childhood book titled ‘Mister Babadook’ is manifesting itself in their house.

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10. A Quiet Place (2018)

best monster movies
  • Lead actors: Emily Blunt, John Krasinski,
  • Supporting Artist: Millicent Simmonds, Noah Jupe
  • Director: John Krasinski
  • Release date: April 6, 2018
  • Run Time: 1h 30m
  • IMBD Rating: 7.5
  • Revenue: $341 million
  • Language: English

A family lives in a world infiltrated by blind but sound-sensitive creatures. In order to survive they have to communicate in sign language with each other.

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11. The Shape of Water (2017)

best monster movies
  • Lead actors: Sally Hawkins, Michael Shannon, Richard Jenkins
  • Supporting Artist: Octavia Spencer
  • Director: Guillermo del Toro
  • Release date: December 1, 2017
  • Run Time: 2h 3m
  • IMBD Rating: 7.3
  • Revenue: $195.3 million
  • Language: English

Elisa, a lonely janitor stumbles upon an amphibious creature that has been held at a top-secret research facility. She then develops a unique bond with the creature.

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12. Psycho (1960)

best monster movies
  • Lead actors: Anthony Perkins, Vera Miles, John Gavin
  • Supporting Artist: Janet Leigh
  • Director: Alfred Hitchcock
  • Release date: September 8, 1960
  • Run Time: 1h 49m
  • IMBD Rating: 8.5
  • Revenue:
  • Language: English

A secretary embezzles money from her client and goes on a run. She later checks in at an infamous motel, Bates Motel where she meets Norman Bates.

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13. The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

best monster movies
  • Lead actors: Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins
  • Supporting Artist: Scott Glenn, Anthony Heald
  • Director: Jonathan Demme
  • Release date: February 14, 1991
  • Run Time: 1h 58m
  • IMBD Rating: 8.6
  • Revenue: $272.7 million
  • Language: English

A trainee FBI agent, Clarice Starling, seeks help from an infamous serial killer and former psychiatrist Hannibal Lecter to catch another killer who has been murdering women.

14. The Witch (2015)

best monster movies
  • Lead actors: Anya Taylor-Joy, Ralph Ineson,
  • Supporting Artist: Kate Dickie
  • Director: Robert Eggers
  • Release date: February 19, 2016
  • Run Time: 1h 32m
  • IMBD Rating: 7
  • Revenue: English
  • Language: $40.4 million

A banished Puritan family in the 17th century set up their home on a farm where no family had ever lived before. Soon strange and sinister things start haunting them.

15. Jaws (1975)

best monster movies
  • Lead actors: Roy Scheider, Robert Shaw, Richard Dreyfuss
  • Supporting Artist: Lorraine Gary
  • Director: Steven Spielberg
  • Release date: June 20, 1975
  • Run Time: 2h 4m
  • IMBD Rating: 8.1
  • Revenue: $476.5 million
  • Language: English

A giant shark attacks swimmers on a beach community located on Amity Island. Sheriff Martin Brody teams up with a marine biologist and a local fisherman to hunt down the creature.

16. The Fly (1986)

best monster movies
  • Lead actors: Jeff Goldblum, Geena Davis, John Getz
  • Supporting Artist: Joy Boushel
  • Director: David Cronenberg
  • Release date: August 15, 1986
  • Run Time: 1h 36m
  • IMBD Rating: 7.6
  • Revenue: $60.6 million
  • Language: English

Seth, a brilliant scientist successfully teleports himself in his own invention. But to his horror, a fly also gets teleported with him, as a result, turning him into a man-fly hybrid.

17. The Mist (2007)

best monster movies
  • Lead actors: Thomas Jane, Marcia Gay Harden, Laurie Holden
  • Supporting Artist: Andre Braugher
  • Director: Frank Darabont
  • Release date: November 21, 2007
  • Run Time: 2h 6m
  • IMBD Rating: 7.1
  • Revenue: $57.3 million
  • Language: English

A sudden mist engulfs a small town and leashes bloodthirsty creatures who devour anyone that comes in their path. David and his son, along with other townspeople then have to take shelter at a supermarket.

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18. It (2017)

best monster movies
  • Lead actors: Danny Elfman, Chris Sarandon, Catherine O’Hara
  • Supporting Artists: William Hickey
  • Director: Henry Selick
  • Release date: Oct 13, 1993
  • Run Time: 1h 16m
  • IMBD Rating: 7.9
  • Revenue: $91.5 million
  • Language: English

In the summer of 1989, a group of seven bullied kids takes on a shape-shifting monster who disguises himself as a clown and preys on the children of Derry.

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19. Cloverfield (2008)

best monster movies
  • Lead actors: Lizzy Caplan, Jessica Lucas
  • Supporting Artist: T.J. Miller
  • Director: Matt Reeves
  • Release date: January 18, 2008
  • Run Time: 1h 25m
  • IMBD Rating: 7
  • Revenue: $172.4 million
  • Language: English

A group of friends, Rob, Hud, Lily, and Marlena, desperately try to rescue their friend Beth who has been trapped inside her flat after a giant monster attacks New York City.

20. The Descent (2005)

best monster movies
  • Lead actors: Shauna Macdonald, Natalie Mendoza,
  • Supporting Artist: Alex Reid
  • Director: Neil Marshall
  • Release date: July 8, 2005
  • Run Time: 1h 39m
  • IMBD Rating: 7.2
  • Revenue: $57.1 million
  • Language: English

A caving expedition goes horribly wrong after a group of friends get trapped inside the cave. Soon it turns into a nightmare after they get chased by bloodthirsty predators.

21. Tremors (1990)

best monster movies
  • Lead actors: Kevin Bacon, Fred Ward, Finn Carter
  • Supporting Artist: Michael Gross
  • Director: Ron Underwood
  • Release date: 
  • Run Time: 1h 36m
  • IMBD Rating: 7.1
  • Revenue:
  • Language: English

Two handymen try to leave a town in Nevada after getting bored of their dull lives there. But before they try to leave, they encounter a mysterious giant worm-like creature and fight against it.

22. Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954)

best monster movies
  • Lead actors: Richard Carlson, Julie Adams, Richard Denning
  • Supporting Artist: Antonio Moreno
  • Director: Jack Arnold
  • Release date: March 5, 1954
  • Run Time: 1h 19m
  • IMBD Rating: 6.9
  • Revenue: $1,300,000
  • Language: English

A group of researchers take a trip to the Amazon forest to research fossils. They find themselves at the Black Lagoon where they encounter an unknown beast and hope to bring it to the city to study about it.

23. A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

best monster movies
  • Lead actors: John Saxon, Ronee Blakley, Heather Langenkamp
  • Supporting Artist: Amanda Wyss
  • Director: Wes Craven
  • Release date: November 16, 1984
  • Run Time: 1h 31m
  • IMBD Rating: 7.4
  • Revenue: $1.1 million
  • Language: English

Many teenagers are getting killed by Freddy Krueger in their dreams. Nancy Thompson and her friends then try to solve the mystery, or else, they’ll get killed too.

24. Crimson Peak (2015)

best monster movies
  • Lead actors: Mia Wasikowska, Jessica Chastain, Tom Hiddleston
  • Supporting Artist: Charlie Hunnam
  • Director: Guillermo del Toro
  • Release date: 
  • Run Time: 1h 59m
  • IMBD Rating:
  • Revenue:
  • Language:

After ignoring her father’s warnings, Edith marries Sir Thomas Sharpe, a mysterious British aristocrat. She then moves into the Sharpe mansion, her husband’s creepy ancestral home where she discovers some sinister secrets.

25. Under the Skin (2013)

best monster movies
  • Lead actors: Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy McWilliams
  • Supporting Artist: Lynsey Taylor Mackay
  • Director: Jonathan Glazer
  • Release date: March 14, 2014
  • Run Time: 1h 48m
  • IMBD Rating: 6.3
  • Revenue: $7.2 million
  • Language: English

A mysterious woman drives through the streets of Scotland in the evening and seduces lonely men. While her charm works like magic, these men are unaware of her true identity.

26. Mimic (1997)

best monster movies
  • Lead actors: Mira Sorvino, Jeremy Northam, Alexander Goodwin
  • Supporting Artist: Giancarlo Giannini
  • Director: Guillermo del Toro
  • Release date: August 22, 1997
  • Run Time: 1h 45m
  • IMBD Rating: 6
  • Revenue: $25.5 million
  • Language: English

Dr. Susan Tyler, an entomologist, invests a mutant to kill disease-carrying cockroaches. Years later, the mutant evolves into a monster who tries to destroy its own predators, humans.

27. The Host (2006)

best monster movies
  • Lead actors: Song Kang-ho, Byun Hee-Bong, Park Hae-il
  • Supporting Artist: Bae Doona
  • Director: Bong Joon Ho
  • Release date: July 27, 2006
  • Run Time: 2h
  • IMBD Rating: 7.1
  • Revenue: $90 million
  • Language: Korean and English

An unidentified monster emerges from the Han River in Seoul and begins to kill hundreds of people. He then kidnaps Hyun-Seo and her family does everything they can to save her from the monster’s clutches.

28. Maleficent (2014)

best monster movies
  • Lead actors: Angelina Jolie, Elle Fanning
  • Supporting Artist: Imelda Staunton, Sharlto Copley
  • Director: Robert Stromberg
  • Release date: May 30, 2014
  • Run Time: 1h 37m
  • IMBD Rating: 6.9
  • Revenue: $758.5 million
  • Language: English

Maleficent, a kind-hearted fairy turns evil after her lover, Stefan, deceives her. She decides to take revenge after planting a curse on his daughter, Aurora. But later realises that only Aurora can restore peace in the country.

29. The Hallow (2015)

best monster movies
  • Lead actors: Joseph Mawle, Bojana Novakovic,
  • Supporting Artist: Michael McElhatton
  • Director: Corin Hardy
  • Release date: 10 July 2015
  • Run Time: 1h 37m
  • IMBD Rating: 5.7
  • Revenue: N/A
  • Language: English

Adam and his family move to their new home in the woods. But they soon discover that in order to survive, they have to fight away a demonic creature living in the forest.

30. It Follows (2014)

best monster movies
  • Lead actors: Bailey Spry, Carollette Phillips, Loren Bass
  • Supporting Artist: Keir Gilchrist
  • Director: David Robert Mitchell
  • Release date: March 13, 2015
  • Run Time: 1h 40m
  • IMBD Rating: 6.8
  • Revenue: $23.3 million
  • Language: English

After a sexual encounter with her boyfriend, Jay Height, a university student finds herself being followed by a malicious creature.

31. The Ritual (2017)

best monster movies
  • Lead actors: Rafe Spall, Arsher Ali
  • Supporting Artist: Robert James-Collier
  • Director: David Bruckner
  • Release date: October 13, 2017
  • Run Time: 1h 34m
  • IMBD Rating: 6.3
  • Revenue: $1.3–1.6 million
  • Language: English

Four old university friends take a trip to the Swedish wilderness after the tragic death of one of their friends. However, during their hike, the group realises that they are not alone.

32. The Others (2001)

best monster movies
  • Lead actors: Nicole Kidman, Fionnula Flanagan,
  • Supporting Artist: Christopher Eccleston
  • Director: Alejandro Amenábar
  • Release date: August 10, 2001
  • Run Time: 1h 44m
  • IMBD Rating: 7.6
  • Revenue: $209.9 million
  • Language: English

Grace and her two young photosensitive children move to a new house at the end of the Second World War. After she experiences a series of unexplainable things at her house, she starts believing that it’s haunted.

33. Lake Placid (1999)

best monster movies
  • Lead actors: Bill Pullman, Bridget Fonda, Oliver Platt
  • Supporting Artist: Brendan Gleeson
  • Director: Steve Miner
  • Release date: July 16, 1999
  • Run Time: 1h 22m
  • IMBD Rating: 5.8
  • Revenue: $56.9 million
  • Language: English

A giant man-eating crocodile terrorises people at Black Lake, a vacation spot in Maine. Three experts are then called to stop the crocodile.

34. Cabin Fever (2002)

best monster movies
  • Lead actors: Rider Strong, Jordan Ladd, James DeBello
  • Supporting Artist: Cerina Vincent
  • Director: Eli Roth
  • Release date: September 12, 2003
  • Run Time: 1h 33m
  • IMBD Rating: 5.6
  • Revenue: $30.6 million
  • Language: English

A deadly disease spreads in a forest after a group of friends kill an ailing man at a rented cabin. This leads to them devising plans to ensure survival.

35. The Wailing (2016)

best monster movies
  • Lead actors: Kwak Do-won, Hwang Jung-min, Jun Kunimura
  • Supporting Artist: Chun Woo-hee
  • Director: Na Hong-jin
  • Release date: May 12, 2016
  • Run Time: 2h 36m
  • IMBD Rating: 7.4
  • Revenue: $51.3 million
  • Language: Korean, Japanese

After a strange man arrives at a village, a mysterious disease starts spreading. A policeman then tries to solve the mystery in order to save his daughter from the outbreak.

Hope you liked our list of best monster movies to watch in 2023.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Which monster movies are considered classics?

Ans. Some of the monster movies that are considered classics are – Nosferatu(1922), It (2017), The Shining(1980), The Witch(2015), and The Mist(2007).

2. What are some popular movies based on giant monsters?

Ans. Here are some popular movies that are based on giant monsters – King Kong(2005), Godzilla (1954), Alien(1979), and Jurassic Park (1993).

3. Can you recommend some lesser-known but high-quality monster movies?

Ans. Here are some lesser-known but high-quality monster movies – The Host(2006), The Ritual(2017), Monsters(2010), and The Descent(2005)

4. What are some family-friendly monster movies for people of all ages?

Ans. Here are some family-friendly movies for people of all ages – Monster House(2006), Hotel Transylvania(2012), Frankenweenie(2012), and Monsters vs. Aliens(2009).

5. Are there any monster movies that have inspired popular franchises or series?

Ans. Here are some movies that have inspired franchises or series – Godzilla, Alien, Jurrasic Park/World, The Mummy, Predator, Underworld, and Pacific Rim.

Featured Image: IMDb

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