Best Creature Features of the 2000s, Ranked
The early 2000s were undoubtedly a memorable time for the horror genre, spawning tons of original stories and starting several successful franchises. It also saw the debut of some instantly recognizable horror icons, like Samara from the ring and Jennifer Check of Jennifer’s body. A hallmark of 2000s horror is its hard-hitting shock factor, which comes in many different flavors. As Mashable reviewer Alison Foreman said, “What might surprise you (and certainly surprised me) is that the splinter of horror today can be directly attributed to the splatterfest that was genre in the first decade of the 2000s.” The impact these films have continued to leave on the world of cinema is clear, reflecting the cultural anxieties and turmoil of the time.
One of the hallmarks of early 2000s horror is the revitalization of the creature trait. Far from the original claymation Godzilla of 1954, the technological renaissance of the new millennium truly brought these monsters to life. As one of the most beloved horror subgenres, these movies tend to attract fans of all kinds. Coming together to watch malformed monsters battle it out on the big or small screen has bonded audiences for decades. The 2000s definitely saw a resurgence of this, following the release of some of the most successful horror films of that era. Let’s take a look at the best creature traits of the 2000s, ranked.
seven Cloverfield (2008)
Cloverfield is a modern nightmare, pitting ordinary people against a gigantic, monstrous threat. Set in New York City on the eve of an unassuming party, a group of friends soon find themselves in mortal danger. As a towering creature begins to wreak havoc on the city, they document the downfall of the world as they know it on a video camera. Known for its nauseating handheld shaky camera style, this film easily finds realistic roots with its found footage feel. The truly dark atmosphere sees the city descend into utter chaos with apocalyptic odds. Cloverfield‘s two hit sequels, 10 Cloverfield Lane and The Cloverfield Paradoxwill be followed by another installment that will deviate from his found footage fame.
6 Black Pitch (2000)
Vin Diesel stars as Riddick in the famous franchise’s first film following the character. field black sees a crashed transport spaceship land on a distant desert planet filled with hungry ancient creatures awakening from a 22-year hibernation. Riddick, a criminal on his way to incarceration, becomes something of a scapegoat when the bodies start falling, until the group realizes what they’re really up against. The bizarre creatures are photosensitive, emerging from their cave homes to feed on their easy prey after the planet is engulfed in an eclipse. Looking like a cross between a hammerhead shark, a pterodactyl and a pale bat, these monsters are absolutely nightmarish, setting up a string of blockbuster movies.
5 The Mist (2007)
One of Stephen King’s most terrifying adaptations, Mist is a dark foray into an apocalyptic future. After a small town in Maine is engulfed in a mysterious thick mist, a horde of Lovecraftian creatures emerge from it and begin wreaking havoc on the townspeople. Father David Drayton (Thomas Jane) runs to seek refuge in a grocery store with his son Billy (Nathan Gamble) and other neighbors as they all struggle to survive. The mist brings with it a myriad of beasts, including a spider-like entity with hairy spines and a six-legged monster with protruding tentacles. This movie’s ending is absolutely one of the most desperate among 2000s horror, leaving viewers wanting to scream at the sky just like David.
4 Hellboy (2004)
the original Hellboy spawned the titular horror icon, starting the fan-favorite series. At the height of World War II, a baby demon is rescued from the Nazis, who summon him to Earth through a portal in an attempt to further their own evil bidding. The Allies intervene, killing their enemies and picking up the little creature, which they name Hellboy. All grown up, Hellboy (Ron Perlman) works with the Bureau of Paranormal Research and Defense, teaming up with several otherworldly heroes to fight for the United States. Under Guillermo del Toro’s guidance, the big, burly Hellboy becomes a harbinger of judgment, weaponizing his demonic nature to become a force for good. Even at the age of 71, Ron Perlman said he would ask his fans to reprise the role of hell boy 3.
3 The Host (2006)
Bong Joon-ho is considered a historical horror director and The host is the proof. This South Korean epic follows the aftermath of the US military poisoning the Han River in Seoul by dumping toxic chemicals into it, creating a monstrous aftermath. As a creature rises from the depths years later and terrorizes the town, a family finds itself in the midst of madness. Park Hyun-seo (Go Ah-sung), a young girl, is taken by the monster from her father, Park Gang-doo (Song Kang-ho), who springs into action to save her. The film examines the real life horrors of the environmental effects of pollution, developing a truly terrifying story.
2 The Descent (2005)
A review by Roger Ebert entitled Loweringyou “a wild and captivating work that will get your nerves going without leaving your brains hanging.” In North Carolina’s Appalachia, six women descend into cave systems in search of subterranean adventure. Instead, they face unimaginable horrors in the form of terrifying bloodthirsty subterranean creatures. Known as Rampants, these humanoid beings have become skilled hunters under the cover of darkness. Terrifying, immersive, and extremely bloody, the film has been called as claustrophobic as can be, as well as feminist horror.
1 Ginger Snaps (2000)
Ginger biscuits is billed as a cult classic and a thought-provoking entry into the world of werewolf movies. Two sisters, Ginger (Katharine Isabelle) and Brigitte Fitzgerald (Emily Perkins) have a morbid obsession with death. After having her first period, Ginger is bitten by a werewolf under the light of a full moon. As she grapples with her transformation, her humanity begins to slip away in favor of something far more monstrous. She becomes aggressive and violent as Brigitte struggles to find a cure. The film was considered heartbreaking feminist horror, about the gory burdens that come with being womanhood. With an ending as tragic as Ginger is terrifying, it’s no wonder the original film was followed by two sequels. The story should also become a TV show.