25 October 2009 1098 Views

Dan’s High Five: 5 Places to Avoid If You Don’t Like Monsters

by Dan Koelsch

It’s October, so the blogosphere is filled with Halloween-themed articles and lists. Why should we be any different? Last week we talked about zombies on the High Five, so this week we’ll move on to monsters. Sure a monster could turn up anywhere, but if you’ve seen enough monster movies, you’ll know there some places the chances of encountering one are much higher. Here are five places that you should avoid if you believe in monsters…and, you know, don’t want to get killed by them.





New York


As Seen In: Cloverfield (2008), Godzilla (1998)


Why Monsters Like It: New York is the #1 tourist destination in the US…for big monsters. For hungry creatures, it’s like a buffet, with millions of people packed into a small island. The large population also makes it more likely that someone in that group does something stupid to create some mutated animal or awaken a dormant one. Having a huge ocean right next to you also leaves you open to sea-faring monsters.


Why Hollywood Likes It: Other than some thin plot lines and thinner scientific explanations, there’s no real logic to why monsters would gravitate towards it. This is a prime example of Hollywood forgoing logic in order to make the movie more appealing. Would you watch a film about a huge creature attacking a city in North Dakota? There would be nothing to destroy!





Japan


As Seen In: Almost every Godzilla movie


Why Monsters Like It: For a lot of the same reasons New York is appealing, only Japan has a two unique features the Big Apple doesn’t. First of all, Japan is a technology mecha, so it’s just asking for something to go wrong or some tech to get into the wrong hands. Second, we have D-Day. Two nukes were dropped on southern Japan, and the radioactivity that lingered afterwards has been the gamma rays of the far east.


Why Hollywood Likes It: For US films, having a foreign country as a source for some mysterious event is an easy way to explain things away. However, most of the films in Japan are Japanese, and they sure love their monsters.





The Ocean


As Seen In: Jaws (1975), 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1998)


Why Monsters Like It: If you’re a monster from the ocean, what’s the next best thing to coming ashore on an island full of people? Letting the people come to you! Sure, there’s less of a selection, but even Michael Phelps can’t out-swim Jaws. Why so many monsters in the ocean to begin with? It’s the one place Google Earth can’t find you.


Why Hollywood Likes It: Whether it’s just a hungry shark or a huge ship-eating squid, sea creatures are scary. There is so much unknown about the ocean that there are a plethora of opportunities for monsters from the abyss.





Outer Space


As Seen In: Alien (1979), Star Wars: Episode VI (1983)


Why Monsters Like It: Being a monster on earth is difficult and limiting. In space, anything is possible, so monsters can be anything from an acid-spewing bug to a cave-size snake thingy on an asteroid. Besides, most people assume all non-humanoid aliens are monsters, so it’s popular by default.


Why Hollywood Likes It: For the same reason they like monsters in the ocean. Space is the unknown, and being trapped in the unknown with a deadly creature is money in the bank. Hell, they even put Jason (Friday the 13th) up there.





Pennsylvania


As Seen In: The Blob (1958), every George A. Romero zombie film


Why Monsters Like It: Honestly, I have no idea. Could it be the apple butter?


Why Hollywood Likes It: Remember how I said Hollywood likes big cities for big monsters? Well if the monster isn’t so big, then it’s always nice to change things up a bit and scare the kids in the suburbs.






That’s just my opinion, I could be wrong. What do you think of my list? Disagree on my choices? Think I left something out? Leave a message in the comments below.



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