4 Most Interesting Kaiju Of The New Millenium

rsz_cloverfield3 The kaiju movie genre recalls a more nostalgic time, when the looming threat of nuclear holocaust spawned classic, Japanese cinema like Mothra. The Japanese word "kaiju" translates to "monster," (generally referring to giant monsters). The genre is still alive and well today, with a reboot of everyone's favorite kaiju, Godzilla, slated to release May of 2014. Guillermo Del Toro's new movie, Pacific Rim, which has been marketed specifically as a kaiju movie all over the Internet. Kaiju, and other non-Japanese giant monsters, are great antagonists for a few reasons. First of all, the stakes are much higher when a Kaiju attacks. Kaiju movies are almost always disaster movies (though this list does have some examples of the contrary). Not to mention that the underlying theme is usually clearer. In horror movies, the monster attacks as a result of some overhanging threat we face in the real world, or because of a social anxiety. For example, a pandemic spreads and suddenly humanity faces the zombie apocalypse. Or even wanton teens using a cabin in the woods to fornicate and consume drugs might find some kind of serial killer ready to annihilate their hormone riddled bodies. Unless, you're the prudish virgin, because then you escape somehow. Or reckless nuclear testing during the Cold War's arms race irradiated a lizard in the Pacific ocean, and before we know Godzilla is tearing up Tokyo (or NYC for fans of the '98 remake). Also, due to the monster's scale, the films are so much more grandiose and the destruction is of a far more epic scale, which means, I think, that the film is much more enjoyable. Who doesn't love the spectacle of seeing a giant gorilla scale the empire state building or of a giant mass of jelly eat an entire town? So let's take a look at four of the most interesting kaiju/giant monsters to attack our cities in the new millennium...

4. The Host

the host This Korean blockbuster smashed box office records in 2006. Basically, a mean, old researcher dumps a ton of formaldehyde down the drain, despite his assistant's reservations, which leads right into the Han River. The tadpole monster gets washed along, and eventually grows up in the pollution and wreaks havoc yeas later. The film's story centers around a dysfunctional family as they struggle to find their youngest member, whom the monster takes, amidst all the chaos and mayhem. This movie is particularly interesting not only because of its great characters, and its funny, and heart breaking story, but also because of its strong political messages. The monster does sprout from humanity's reckless pollution, after all. And environmental issues, such as Climate Change, gain more and more import every day, which means the film remains relevant long after its initial release.

An Ithaca College graduate and freelance writer, Andrew reads way too many comics and manga, watches way too many cartoons and movies, and is, overall, a funny, likable kind of guy.