Weekend Watchlist | Big Ass Monsters

By The Pitt News Staff

There are monsters that are scary because they reflect the darkest parts of humanity right back at us. And then there are the ones that are scary because they’re 20 stories tall and can crush you like a bug without a second thought. The Pitt News Staff is giving those big boys some love this week, so get ready to run for your life with these recommendations on the horizon.

Ghostbusters (Hulu) // Sinead McDevitt, Digital Manager

“Who you gonna call” when facing down giant monsters? Four guys in jumpsuits working out of a firehouse, of course. “Ghostbusters” is a classic action-comedy starring Bill Murray, Dan Akroyd, Harold Remis and Ernie Hudson.

Peter Venkman (Murray), Ray Stantz (Akroyd) and Egon Spengler (Remis) are parapsychologists who discover ghosts are real and figure out how to trap them. With the assistance of Louis Tully (Hudson) and their secretary Janine Melnitz (Annie Potts), they open a business “busting” the increasing number of ghosts throughout New York City. 

There are a lot of iconic and funny moments in this film, and there’s a reason it’s spawned off a whole franchise of spin-offs. But the main reason it’s on this list is the climax with the iconic Stay-Puft Marshmallow man. This giant monster, which Ray accidentally summons, is a marvel of practical effects that almost didn’t make it into the final film. If you can, check out his classic.

Jurassic Park (HBO Max) // Diana Velasquez, Contributing Editor

What’s scarier than a fictional monster? How about a real one, with teeth the size of knives and a footprint you could lay down in, no problem? Dinosaurs, of course, have been extinct for 60 million years, but in this classic American blockbuster, we humans just have to go and screw everything up with some hand-wavy science to bring back the big lizards themselves.

One of Steven Spielberg’s crowning achievements, “Jurassic Park” takes place on the tropical island of Isla Nublar where rich industrialist John Hammond (Richard Attenborough) has decided to create a dinosaur theme park. While seeing a real-life dinosaur is no doubt very cool and very lucrative, it brings in some important ethical questions that the protagonists of this story come to face. Should we bring these creatures back if they’ve been extinct for so long? Is it a good idea to pen in a T-Rex like an elephant and sell tickets to watch it eat some tiny goat? Who really thinks it’s a good idea to house a pack of very smart velociraptors? Dinosaur authenticity aside, the movie is a thrill ride with more than enough suspense and iconic moments for your movie night.

Pacific Rim (Prime Video) // Sinead McDevitt, Digital Manager

Some people cower in the face of giant monsters, and some people make giant robots to punch them in the face. Or at least they do in Guillermo del Toro’s 2013 action film, “Pacific Rim.” 

Twelve years prior to the events of the film, alien monsters called Kaiju emerge from an interdimensional portal in the Pacific Ocean called The Breach. The various countries of the world respond by building Jaegers, giant robots that are piloted by two or more people through a mental link. Marshal Stacker Pentecost (Idris Elba) is leading an assault to destroy The Breach and recruits Raleigh Becket (Charlie Hunnman), a former Jaeger pilot who left the program after his brother’s death, and Mako Mori (Rinko Kikuchi), an orphan who lost her family in a Kaiju attack as a child.

This film is an action-packed visual spectacle, with monsters and robots — all with unique designs and abilities — fighting each other to the death. It’s also an uplifting story about the nature of humanity to come together and overcome obstacles. But I think a lot of us are just here for the monster fighting, and that’s okay.