1. The really big whale, In the Heart of the Sea (2015)
Honestly, we love this film to bits. The scene where the crew make their first catch is quite something, plus, there’s Chris Hemsworth. Just sayin’. The problem is that when it comes down to it, the monster at the heart of the sea, the one that makes the characters quake in their boots and fills the nightmares of an old man is… a really really big whale. Yup. That’s it. A bigger version of what they’re already hunting. Sure, it’s a bit more intelligent that the average of its species, and so understands what the boat is doing and tries to get revenge. But still, it’s a bit bigger (albeit avenging) whale. Call us jaded, but were kinda expecting something a bit more exotic.
In The Heart of the Sea is on Sky Cinema from Friday 14th October
2. The Leviathan, Atlantis: The Lost Empire (2001)
Atlantis: The Lost Empire is an unsung early 2000s Disney classic, and we challenge anyone to say otherwise. Scientist Milo Tatch joins an expedition to find the lost city and things get a little weird when a creature called the Leviathan attacks their super-submarine. While the Leviathan looks plenty scary (and turns out to be a robot! Eeek), it makes for a major plot hole. The Leviathan kills most of the expedition’s crew but no one brings this up with the people of Atlantis, whom we presume are the ones who set it there in the first place to defend the entrance to their city. But then again, none of the machines in the Lost Empire work anymore - and so if it’s not theirs, whose is it?
3. The piranha, Piranha 3D (2010)
Piranha 3D is a great homage to B-movie horror, and so as such, it’s practically its duty to feature silly monsters. It’s set a small town, where a minor earthquake creates a fissure at the bottom of a lake, which as a result connects it to another underground prehistoric pool of water. So far so good? In that secret lake are an ancient species of piranhas who eat anything they set their sights on. Aside from the piranhas looking quite cute-funny, the (very serious) explanations given to justify their existence are even more delightful. Apparently the species survived for thousands and thousands of years in that underground lake through cannibalism… Uh, what? We’re pretty sure that at some point that system of survival would have defeated itself.
4. The Shark, MegaShark vs Giant Octopus (2009)
A classic entry in the ‘if-you-can’t-make-anything-scary-up-just-make-it-big’ category (yup, right alongside In The Heart of the Sea). This film tells the tale of the escape of a MegaShark and a Giant Octopus, and their ensuing battle, which takes gleefully ridiculous proportions. Out the two we felt we had to nominate the shark, on the basis of this airplane scene alone. The giant creature jumps miles high into the air, bites an airplane, and brings it down. If that’s not first-class monster silliness, we don’t know what is.
5. All the Sharks, Shark Tale (2004)
In DreamWorks’ Shark Tale, we meet the Lino shark crime family, and their sweet, vegetarian son Lenny - who really doesn’t want to kill anybody. So they assign his brother to teach him how it’s done… and then Lenny promptly and accidentally kills him. Whoops. This is the first of many silly developments among the Shark family, which include faking an attack on a town, pretending to be a dolphin, and finally reconciling, agreeing that actually it’s okay not to kill other fish. All set to an awesome soundtrack.
6. Kraken, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest (2006)
Pirates of the Caribbean sequel Dead Man’s Chest is wonderfully swashbuckling and complicated. But perhaps what we love about it best is the sea creature it drags up to stir a fright; yup, even in Jack Sparrow. The Kraken is a spectentacular monster, working at the bidding of Davy Jones, a sort of immortal ship captain that rules the oceans. We’ll admit that the Kraken is pretty scary in itself. But we also think it’s totally unnecessary - Davy Jones and his ship the Flying Dutchman are so creepy and menacing in themselves that the man doesn’t really need to have a giant octopi sidekick to mete out punishment for him. But hey, then he wouldn’t be able to proclaim “Let this day be cursed by we who ready to wake... the *Kraken*!” and that’s like the best line ever.
7. The Orca, Orca: The Killer Whale (1977)
We initially thought this was a small-time movie, but it’s got a big-name director in Michael Anderson and a solid cast. This is what Richard Harris and Charlotte Rampling were doing in their younger days, guys. The film follows Nolan (Harris) battling with an orca who is set on revenge after he’s killed its pregnant mate (orcas mate for life apparently – did you know?). That same orca had also previously saved one of Nolan’s crewmates from a shark, so it’s really poor behaviour all round on his part, we have to say. Watch this cult classic and you’re in for lots and lots of shots of shiny rows of orca teeth and creepy sonar screams.
Recommended for you