In the last 10 years, we’ve seen a whole, whole lot of movies use the monster tropes of classic horror films. In that group there have been great monster movies and there have been terrible monster movies. But on the whole, I’m just sick and tired of the same monsters being used over and over and over and over again, not only in movies but also TV. It’s gotten to the point where the majority of these movies aren’t saying anything new about these creatures and are just riding the coattails of the popular trends. Variety is the spice of level and we are in desperate need of some new monster blood. Below are the creatures that I would just love to see fade back for a while along with just a few examples from 2000 and after (mostly just to show how much we’ve been bombarded with these monsters).
Examples: True Blood, Twilight, Being Human, Being Human (US version), the Blade sequels, the Underworld series, Let the Right One In, Let Me In, Cirque de Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant, Dylan Dog
Yes, you all knew this was coming. As interesting as vampires can be, they’ve gained the reputation for being … emotional. And lame. You can’t give Stephanie Meyer all the credit for neutering vampires – some of this tortured sex symbol stuff comes from Interview with a Vampire way back in the 90s. But the “vampire as a bad boy with a heart of gold you can totally change” meme has gotten old and fast. This is only exacerbated by the teenagers who see “vegetarian vampires” as the ideal life partner. Even the vampire movies I mentioned above that don’t have sparkly bloodsuckers still add to the vampire trend that just fuels more bad vampire movies. I’d love to see an unique vampire story come out in maybe 5 years so it won’t be in the shadow of Edward and his Volvo.
Examples: Resident Evil series, 28 Days Later, Dawn of the Dead remake, Shaun of the Dead, Zombieland, Land of the Dead, Day of the Dead, Diary of the Dead, Dance of the Dead, Walking Dead, Snow Dead
I might get in some hot water with my horror-loving friends, but come on guys – zombies have been worked to death (yes, I really did make that pun). Some of the examples above are great movies (and Walking Dead is a great TV show), but these monsters are used far too often. More than that, the format is boring. 99.9% of the time, it’s a survival story with characters getting picked off one by one and it’s almost always in the first few days of the apocalypse. Zombieland at least turned the concept into a road trip movie, but the basic zombie format gets boring when you see it again and again.
Examples: The Twilight “Saga”, Red Riding Hood, the Underworld series, Being Human, Being Human (US version), True Blood, Skinwalkers, the Ginger Snaps series, The Wolfman, Dylan Dog
This was a very tricky monster for me to put on the list. Truth be told, a straight werewolf movie is rare these days. I’d love to see more flat out werewolf movies because werewolves have the misfortune of a very painful transformation and little to no control over their actions while transformed. That’s scary! The problem is that werewolves have been turned into glittering werewolves to go with sparkly vampires. Yep, native Americans with washboard abs. That is what werewolves have become. Even when werewolves aren’t in movies that use the term “imprinting,” they’re usually playing second fiddle with other monsters. I’m not saying all of these stories are bad (I review Being Human, for christ’s sake), but it’s getting old. So how about less sexy werewolves and more terrifying werewolves?
Examples: Skyline, Signs, Battle: Los Angeles, War of the Worlds, Super 8, Cowboys and Aliens, Battleship (coming out this year)
Now, the term “alien” covers a wide range of creatures. I’m talking about the very specific alien that comes down to Earth and kills people – these are the alien invasion movies. This is probably the least obtuse of the monsters on this list but like the zombies, invading aliens are boring because it’s all been done a hundred times. And aliens have been popping up more in the last year or two, with Battleship taking the cake. How do you turn a board game about naval strategy into an alien invasion movie? I don’t know, but Hollywood did it. Like werewolves, there are still good alien movies out there that are trying something different (Paul, District 9, Monster). I’d rather see alien movies take risks than the same “we aren’t alone and they want to kill us for our water/gold/blood dust” story.
If you didn’t notice yet, I really don’t want these movie (and TV) monsters to go away. I’m just tired of these monsters being lazily written into bad movies that make just enough money to encourage Hollywood to make more (or in the case of Twilight, far too much money and then far too much encouragement). All I ask is that they give these monsters a break, try some new ones (swamp things, anyone?) and come back to these guys in a decade when they’re no longer the hip thing to do.