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10 Best Monster Movies of the Last 5 Years

June 11, 202411 Mins Read

Monster movies have been around for a long time, ever since 1915’s The Golem, and don’t seem to be going anywhere with the massive popularity of Universals MonsterVerse. Monster movies can deliver some of the best action and most intense and intimidating scenes in movie history or represent a staple in the horror genre. The monster genre is surprisingly flexible as movies such as Alien and Gremlins are part of the same genre.

Since there are so many variations of monster movies, it can be challenging to decide which is the best. That’s why this list will include multiple types of monster movies and rank them based on entertainment value and critical reception. Many monster movies are getting overlooked within the genre as it grows more and more each year. Even in the past five years, there have been so many monster movies that deserve recognition.

10 ‘Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire’ (2024)

Directed by Adam Wingard

Godzilla and Kong roar at the sky in Egypt in Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire
Image via Legendary Pictures

Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire is the latest entry in the MonsterVerse as of 2024. Instead of pitting the two iconic characters against each other, it forces them to join hands to defeat an even greater foe. Godzilla x Kong sees Kong discover a new portion of Hollow Earth where some of his own kind live. Ruling over them, however, is the Skar King, who is hellbent on taking over Earth. However, with Godzilla and Kong teamed up, there aren’t many threats to them.

While Godzilla x Kong may not be one of the greatest monster movies of all time, it is one of the most entertaining of the last five years. The point of recent MonsterVerse movies isn’t to deliver insightful storytelling; they give fans a good time with entertaining fights and Oscar-worthy visuals. The movie is stunning and offers a fun time for fans with its monster-on-monster fights, taking MonsterVerse in a much goofier direction.

Godzilla X Kong The New Empire New Film Poster

Rent on Amazon

9 ‘The Suicide Squad’ (2021)

Directed by James Gunn

Task Force X standing in the jungle looking at the camera in The Suicide Squad
Image via Warner Bros. Pictures

Many won’t think of The Suicide Squad as a monster movie, but it technically is one. The main villain, Starro, is a giant monstrous starfish alien who is even referred to as a kaiju in the movie. The Suicide Squad comprises some of the worst convicts in the D.C. Universe, given tasks ordinary people would never accept or be able to accomplish. The ragtag team must investigate what the leaders of Corto Maltese plan to do and what exactly Project Starfish is.

While The Suicide Squad is mainly a superhero movie, James Gunn gives fans a good showcase of monster goodness with the ensuing fight scene between the squad and Starro. While not too difficult, The Suicide Squad is one of the DCEU‘s best movies ever created and stands out in both that and other monster movies. The witty humor, shocking plot developments, and incredible fun this movie possesses make it a must-watchfor monster movie fans who haven’t given it a chance.

The Suicide Squad poster

The Suicide Squad

Release Date
July 28, 2021


8 ‘Godzilla vs. Kong’ (2021)

Directed by Adam Wingard

Godzilla and Kong standing on battleships in the ocean punching each other in Godzilla vs Kong (2021)
Image via Warner Bros. Pictures

For the first time since King Kong vs. Godzilla in 1962, fans could see one of the most anticipated movie mashups with modern technology. As the name implies, Godzilla vs. Kong takes the two best monsters of the MonsterVerse and has them clash in a battle that could determine the fate of humanity. The movie also features phenomenal actors like Millie Bobbie Brown, Alexander Skarsgård, Brian Tyree Henry and Kaylee Hottle.

Godzilla vs. Kong delivers exactly what fans want: a giant and epic fight between two established titans. The movie is pure fan service and is exactly what it should be. They fight multiple times in the film, satiating fans and giving them what they want before introducing Mecha Godzilla to conclude the film as the main villain. The movie doesn’t shy away from the monster-on-monster fights and delivers a visual spectacle with some of the best fights in the franchise.

Godzilla vs. Kong Film Poster

7 ‘The Sea Beast’ (2022)

Directed by Chris Williams

The Sea Beast may not be the most recognizable film, but the Netflix animated movie tells a fun family story. Following Jacob Holland, portrayed by Karl Urban, and Maisie Brumble, portrayed by Zaris-Angel Hator, the film explores the adventures of a monster-hunting crew. The young Brumble discovers that the legends aren’t what they seem. These monsters aren’t as dangerous as told in fables, resulting in many exciting dynamics and family fun.

Monster movies don’t need to be scary, destructive, or epic to be considered great. In fact, a change in the formula could enhance the genre and make the particular movie stand out. The Sea Beast does just that and offers up a family-friendly monster movie that still delivers. The movie boasts spectacular voice acting and beautiful animation. Still, the writing is the best part, as the film gives the message of revisionist history and how history is made by those who describe it.

Watch on Netflix

6 ‘Barbarian’ (2022)

Directed by Zach Creggor

Poster of Barbarian released in 2022 with Tess standing behind red background
Image via 20th Century Studios

Starring Georgina Campbell, Bill Skarsgård and Justin Long, Barbarian tells a chilling story. Tess rents a house for a few nights only to discover someone else has also rented it. They shortly learn the terrifying secrets of the house when the movie suddenly cuts to a new character, A.J. It turns out this house is his, and he decides to sell it until he runs into Tess and The Mother, a horrifying monster forcing the residents to be her children.

The Mother is a spectacular monster that leaves many fans questioning if she’s the true monster in Barbarian. The movie is shocking, takes the audience on a journey with plot twists, and leaves them scratching their heads when the movie is over. Monster movies don’t need to include giant beasts that fight and destroy cities; sometimes, a smaller-scale but equally terrifying monster can make a horror movie ten times scarier than any hulking titan could.

Barbarian Movie Poster


Release Date
September 9, 2022

Zach Cregger


5 ‘A Quiet Place: Part 2’ (2021)

Directed by John Krasinski

John Krasinski in A Quiet Place
Image via Paramount Pictures

After directing the first A Quiet Place, John Krasinskireturns to deliver a sequel with as many thrills and scares as the first. In A Quiet Place: Part 2, the Abbott family is forced out into the outside world, where they must journey past the death angels and other non-alien threats to reach safety. The 2021 horror movie solidified the franchise and can get fans even more excited about the third installment of A Quiet Place, releasing in June 2024.

Unlike many monster horror movies where they simply chase and attempt to kill the main characters, A Quiet Place: Part 2, like the first movie, uses the monsters to create an entire dynamic of the film. Forcing the characters to remain silent provides the movie with many challenges, but it can make it excel if done successfully. The death angels proved intimidating yet again, filling the audience with a sense of dread and tension whenever they were on or off the screen.


A Quiet Place: Part II

Release Date
May 21, 2021


4 ‘Nope’ (2022)

Directed by Jordan Peele

OJ Haywood, played by actor Daniel Kaluuya, rides away on a horse from the alien Jean Jacket in Nope
Image via Universal Pictures

Jordan Peele‘s third movie, Nope, is another classic horror movie worthy of its praise. Two siblings struggle to keep their family ranch afloat when suddenly the sky starts acting weird. A nearby carnival begins to profit from the strange phenomena until the UFO begins eating horses and, in turn, humans. The plot is filled with twists, turns, and surprises, and the movie keeps the eerie tone and terrifying reveals.

Nope, phenomenally merges the genres of monster, sci-fi, and horror, as it delivers on the scares, mystery, and intrigue. The Jean Jacket is a wonderfully crafted monster, able to blend in as a cloud, act like a UFO, and reveal its true form. Most monsters produce a scary or epically large form, but the Jean Jacket enhances the film through its unsettling nature that makes the audience question what is really causing all these issues. The movie is a spectacle from start to finish and is able to hold the fans’ attention for the entire film, making Nope a modern classic horror movie.



Release Date
July 20, 2022

130 minutes

3 ‘Love and Monsters’ (2020)

Directed by Michael Matthews

Dylan O'Brien as Joel in Love and Monsters sitting next to a robot
Image via Paramount Pictures

Love and Monsters is a movie that not many people have heard of; it was released during the start of COVID and wasn’t marketed heavily. Produced by Deadpool and Wolverine director Shawn Levy, the movie is described as a post-apocalyptic road movie, with Mad Max and Zombieland serving as inspirations. After what is referred to as the monsterpocalypse, monsters rule the surface and force humans underground. After falling in love with his high school girlfriend again, Joel Dawson sets out to find her and reconnect, despite the threat of monsters.

Despite being a monster apocalypse movie, Love and Monsters is still family-friendly and has a satisfying hero’s journey. The film also boasts impressive visuals and was nominated for the Academy Awards. While the monsters are scary and add threat and tension to the film, the best part is the emotion and relatability of the characters and a surprisingly good love story and journey. This wholesome twist on the monster genre makes Love and Monsters stand out from the rest, making it one of the best recent monster movies.


Love and Monsters

Release Date
October 16, 2020

Michael Matthews


2 ‘Prey’ (2022)

Directed by: Dan Trachtenberg

Naru hiding from a Predator
Image via Hulu

Prey is the much-needed revival of the Predator franchise. It puts the predator in a new and very fitting environment to hunt whatever it deems strong. The movie focuses on Naru, a skilled Comanche warrior forced into gender-specific tasks that she doesn’t want to do. She wishes to hunt with the men and gets the chance to prove her skills when an alien predator comes down to Earth, seeking combat. Dan Trachtenberg returns to direct a new Predator movie, as he proved Prey to be a great sci-fi sequel.

Prey is the best Predator movie since the original in 1987 because of its new environment, unique combat techniques, and an interesting monster with a surprising amount of personality. The Feral Predator in Prey proved to be a notable monster with its creative use of weapons and hunting instincts, separating it from other basic movie monsters. The monster showed terrifying feats of strength, like ripping a bear in half and effortlessly dispatching countless Frenchmen. Prey proves to be a worthy monster movie with its intimidating and smart predator and the impressive journey Naru goes on to defeat it.

Prey 2022 Film Poster


Release Date
August 5, 2022

Dan Trachtenberg

Amber Midthunder , Dane DiLiegro , Harlan Blayne Kytwayhat , Dakota Beavers

1 ‘Godzilla Minus One’ (2023)

Directed by: Takashi Yamazaki

Godzilla emerging from smoke with glowing eyes in Godzilla Minus One
Image via Toho

Godzilla Minus One takes the franchise back to Japan after World War II, making the period piece stand out. After the devastation of the war in Japan, Godzilla attacked right after, leaving no breathing room. A deserter named Koichi sees this as an opportunity to redeem his past failures and stop the rampaging beast. The giant monster movie feels like a return to what made the original great, but with better technology, making it more digestible for fans.

The original Godzilla is one of the best monster movies of all time, so the franchise is constantly under pressure to match that high standard. It’s safe to say Godzilla Minus One is one of the best Godzilla movies ever. While fans have enjoyed the MonsterVerse Godzilla movies, the return to villainy did wonders for the franchise, making Godzilla more terrifying than others and making fans even care about the humans in Godzilla Minus One. The stunning and Oscar-worthy visual effects make it seem real, and the pure destruction and devastation are enough for fans to keep coming back to this instant classic for ages.

Godzilla Minus One Film Poster

Godzilla Minus One

Release Date
December 1, 2023

Takashi Yamazaki

Ryûnosuke Kamiki , Minami Hamabe , Yûki Yamada , Sakura Andō

124 Minutes

Watch on Netflix

NEXT: The 20 Best Monster Movies of All Time, Ranked

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