We all love a good monster-filled movie, but what gets us even more thrilled is when the film has us fall in love with or feel sympathy for the monster and hope for their success. Directors create a connection between us and the monster that is so undeniable we would rather overlook the vulnerable humans.
Movies like Eli, Freddy vs. Jason, and Carrie have us wanting the monster to seize the day. Whether we feel guilty or not for this reaction, it is always a unique experience as it is too common to root against the monster.
Eli is a dramatic horror movie released in 2019 following the plot of a young boy named Eli, who is sent to an institution by his parents in the hopes of curing his auto-immune disorder. Eli begins to believe something unexplainably wrong is going on in this house.
We want to see Eli safe, who turns out to be everyone’s worst nightmare by the end. However, you still notice yourself rooting for the terrifying child and hating his parents and the doctors, who were surprisingly doing what was good for society.
Carrie is a horror/thriller movie released in 2013. It follows a vulnerable teenage girl who is bullied in high school. However, she has a special talent for moving things with her mind. On prom night, the bullies have taken it a step too far, resulting in Carrie giving them the consequences of a lifetime.
Carrie is sympathetic from start to finish as she was a lovely, innocent girl who’s a victim of circumstance. Although she killed scores of innocent bystanders, we still find ourselves on her side: there’s some catharsis in her taking control of her life, despite the amount of carnage she causes.
Split is a horror/thriller released in 2016. It follows three girls who get abducted by a man, Kevin, who has a dissociative identity disorder. The three teenagers fight for their lives, attempting to escape as the abductors’ different personalities unravel more and more.
You learn about Kevin and the other personalities living inside him, including Hedwig, a 9-year-old boy who wants friends and company. Many other personas have off-putting qualities, but you can’t help but have a soft spot for Hedwig.
‘Warm Bodies’ (2013)
Warm Bodies is a romance/horror movie released in 2013. It follows a story during a zombie apocalypse where a woman is fighting for survival but ends up with protection from a zombie named R. this two fall in love, even though one is alive and one is undead.
R is seen as a special and one-of-a-kind: he’s the light at the end of the tunnel in a zombie apocalypse. He somehow managed to hold onto his emotions and humanity even after changing into a monstrous zombie. We root for his survival and even hope for him to change back into a human.
The ‘Twilight’ Saga (2008)
The Twilight Saga is a dramatic fantasy romance movie series released in 2008. The series follows Bella, who moves to the mysterious town of Forks and falls in love with a vampire while a werewolf pines after her. They go through many dangerous situations to keep Bella safe.
We see these monsters as the good guys trying to protect the love of their life. The Cullen vampire family refuses to drink human blood, and the werewolves are there to protect humans from dangerous vampires. It makes you fall in love with both monsters and root for their safety even more than Bella’s.
‘Beauty and the Beast’ (2017)
Beauty and the Beast is a classic Disney romance movie that was first and animated film and was subsequently adapted into a live-action film. It follows a young woman captured by a selfish prince who has been cursed to live as a monster. During her captivation, they fall in love with each other.
We first hate this monster for taking the innocent woman captive, but he shows off his soft, charming, selfless side. By the movie’s end, we want them to find one another, his curse to lift, and his survival against the other humans.
‘The Silence of the Lambs’ (1991)
The Silence of the Lambs is a classic drama crime thriller movie released in 1991. It follows a rookie FBI agent needing help from Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins), an incarcerated serial killer and cannibal, to track down her next murderous suspect before he kills another victim.
Even though Hannibal is the poster boy for complete evil, we seem to be pleased when he escapes prison and have hope that he does not get caught. It may simply be due to his brilliant mind and sheer honesty that we strangely want him to succeed.
‘Freddy vs. Jason’ (2003)
Freddy vs. Jason is an action horror movie series released in 2003. This series follows two notorious monsters from the Friday 13th movies, Freddy Krueger and Jason Voorhees. They return to Elm Street to terrorize the teenagers: however, they are also hunting each other.
This movie makes us root for one of the monsters as they fight each other. We used to hate them, but now, it’s evil versus evil. Audiences are drawn to one character over the other and hope they win against their slasher movie rival.
‘American Psycho’ (2000)
American Psycho is a dramatic crime movie released in 2000. It follows the perspective of yuppie serial killer Patrick Bateman (Christian Bale) as he tries to blend in with his co-worker and friends. We learn how his brain works, what he’s thinking, and his behaviors.
He ends up attacking and killing many innocent people. However, there’s a sad quality about his character that almost makes him sympathetic. He is aware of how horrible his crimes are and how shallow his life is: he desperately wants to receive some punishment. There are even a few moments where he reigns in his bloodlust, indicating that he wants to change on some level.
Joker is a dramatized crime thriller released in 2019. It follows Arthur Fleck’s (Joaquin Phoenix) life before he became the titular character. We watch his attempts to handle his mental illnesses and how life throws hurdles at him again and again. He lives a tough life and ends up causing mass mayhem in retaliation.
People love the Joker; society created this monster, and you can see why he is the way he is. We root for his success in punishing society as we can see how they hurt him and never gave him a fighting chance to succeed in other ways.