Monster movies have a long history, reaching all the way back to Universal’s original horror films. Lon Chaney started the movement in the 1920s with The Hunchback of Notre Dame and The Phantom of the Opera, paving the way for Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi to star as Dracula, Frankenstein, The Mummy and others.
Monster movies hit a new scale with Godzilla in 1954, and they’ve been a Hollywood staple ever since. And with the new Godzilla set to crash into the box office on May 16, there has never been a better time to check out the best monster movies on Netflix.
From the classics to the campy, here’s a look at some of the best Netflix monster movies.
Best Monster Movies on Neflix: Nosferatu
Monster movies started with Universal, and the 1929 film Nosferatu is one of the most iconic (and creepiest) of the Universal Horror lot.
Nosferatu is a a take on Dracula, but the plot of the film is actually much less inspiring than Max Schreck’s haunting performance as the vampire Count Orlock.
While Universal would later go on to include an official adaptation of Dracula in its string of monster movies, Nosferatu remains one of the most iconic depiction of vampires on film.
So if you’re looking for the best monster movies on Netflix, why not start with one of the classics?
Best Monster Movies on Neflix: Monsters
Before Gareth Edwards was hired as the director of the new Godzilla movie, he made an independent monster movie on a tiny budget.
Monsters is the tale of two Americans who must navigate their way through a Central American landscape populated by extra-terrestrial monsters. The story is remarkably layered, and the visuals are impressive — especially considering Edwards did all the computer imaging himself.
If you’re a fan of monster movies, this film is one of the best additions to the genre in recent memory.
Best Monster Movies on Neflix: Mimic
It might not be a household name, but 1997’s Mimic is an easy pick for our list of best monster movies on Netflix.
The film follows Dr. Susan Tyler as she discovers that one of her own creations — a genetically modified insect intended to wipe out cockroaches — has evolved into something far more deadly than she ever imagined. Like all good monster movies, it’s about the monstrosity in humans as much as it’s about the actual monsters.
Mimic dark, a bit philosophical, and despite being more than 15 years old, it’s still pretty relevant.
Best Monster Movies on Neflix: Trollhunter
Some monster movies are allegories (like Godzilla or Ginger Snaps) that use monstrosity to cleverly comment on different aspects of life. Others are just a rollicking good time.
Trollhunter is one of the others.
The film is a strange cross of found-footage horror and B-list creature features. A group of young Norwegian students set out to investigate mysterious animal killings, and end up crossing paths with an unusual hunter — a troll hunter.
It’s weird and funny, and a little dark, but there’s plenty here for fans of monster movies. The international flavor also adds a nice twist to the typical American creature feature.
Best Monster Movies on Netflix: Sharknado
If you follow social media at all, this movie needs no introduction. But for anyone who isn’t glued to Twitter, Sharknado is the Sy-Fy channel original movie that became a phenomenon.
It isn’t likely to top any list of best monster movies if we’re talking about overall quality, but in terms of sheer, ludicrous B-movie fun, Sharknado blows its competition out of the shark-infested water. Don’t believe me? Just look at the premise: A massive hurricane strikes Los Angeles, flooding the city and ravaging it with tornadoes filled with sharks — sharknados.
As the film’s tagline puts it: Enough said.
Adam Benjamin is an Assistant Editor at InvestorPlace.