Movie Feature

Best ‘man vs. beast’ movies

By Cinema OnlineMovies - 26 March 2012 9:51 AM | Updated 11:38 AM

Best ‘man vs. beast’ movies

Sam Worthington's Perseus kicks monster butt in ‘Wrath Of The Titans

There's always something appealing about the theme of man versus beast, because of the questions it raises such as 'How far can a man be pushed before he takes up the fight?' and 'What differentiates man from beast?' Or we could all just admit that there is that sadist streak in all of us that thrills at the sight of humans getting mauled by beasts or vice versa

With Jonathan Liebesman's ‘Wrath Of The Titans’ out soon, the sequel to ‘Clash Of The Titans’, read on to find out what other cinematic moments are as awe-inspiring as or better than Perseus's upcoming battle with the Titans.


The Birds

What's worse than a flock of attacking birds? The poop that comes with it.


Man vs. birds: 'The Birds'

Who would have thought that birds can be such deadly creatures? Helmed by the master of thrillers himself, Alfred Hitchcock crafted a story loosely based on the 1952 story ‘The Birds’ by Daphne du Maurier, where Bodega Bay, California suddenly and for unexplained reasons, becomes the subject of a series of widespread and violent bird attacks. Melanie Daniels (Tippi Hedren) and Mitch Brenner (Rod Taylor) are the couple who fall in love amid this calamity, which just makes for more drama, as Hitchcock was able to insert a scene where the hysterical mother accuses Melanie of being the cause of the attacks. Cool story, man.

Heart-stopping moment: Melanie and Mitch's family board themselves up in the Brenners' house as birds try to break into it.

Also on inSing: Top feathery flicks



Mr. Great White having some human sashimi.


Man vs. fish: 'Jaws'

For a movie named a shark, the beast is hardly present in the first half of the movie. Steven Spielberg's thriller relies on a minimalistic theme, using only props and a soundtrack with only a single note to suggest the presence of a threat, mirroring the style of the legendary Alfred Hitchcock. The film tells the story of a shark attack in the fictional summer resort town of Amity Island, which prompts the town's police chief (Roy Scheider) to initiate a hunt with a professional shark hunter (Robert Shaw) and marine biologist (Richard Dreyfuss). Needless to say, they definitely needed a bigger boat.

Heart-stopping moment: Quint and Brody raise the cage that Hooper was in only to find it mangled and Hooper missing, following which the Great White shark leaps upon the Orca, Quint's vessel, causing Quint to slip down the deck into its gaping mouth.



Man vs. terrible lizard: 'Jurassic Park'

Jurassic Park

T-Rex looking at his new toy.

Spielberg once again proves himself to be a movie maestro with yet another monster movie in the list, which also became an industry milestone for displaying some of the best visual effects within that decade. Based on the novel of the same name by Michael Crichton, “Jurassic Park” starred Sam Neill, Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum as a group of scientists who journey to the fictional Isla Nublar near Costa Rica, where a billionaire philanthropist and a small team of geneticists have created an amusement park of cloned dinosaurs. Awe and wonderment then turned into shock and terror when a rival corporation’s spy decides to steal dinosaur embryos and accidentally deactivates the park's security system, which unleashes one very mean Tyrannosaurus Rex.

Heart-stopping moment: Hammond's two grandchildren, Tim and Lex Murphy are left alone in the kitchen as Grant goes to find Sattler and the others, where they are forced to play a game of hide-and-seek with two raptors.


Man vs. bear: 'The Edge'

Not many have heard of ‘The Edge’, a survival drama, starring Anthony Hopkins and Alec Baldwin, but it is the movie that provides the precedent for ‘The Grey’. Both movies share almost the same premise, except that Hopkins and Baldwin fight a bear instead of wolves. Charles Morse (Hopkins), a billionaire, and two other men, Robert "Bob" Green (Baldwin), a photographer, and his assistant Stephen (Harold Perrineau) arrive in a remote North America locale via Morse’s private jet. Circumstances cause Morse to suspect that his wife is having an affair with Bob, but the group then crash-lands in a lake in the middle of a forest, where they are soon stalked by a bear. As if that is not bad enough, Morse soon discovers that it’s not only the bear that wants him dead.

Heart-stopping moment: When the Bear finally finds them. You know what happens next.



The Edge

Nope. It's not Bear Grylls they're poking there.


Man vs. mutant lizard: Godzilla

Based on the classic "Godzilla", the movie is directed by disaster film veteran Roland Emmerich, about the effects of nuclear radiation on other species. Following a nuclear incident in French Polynesia, a lizard's nest is irradiated by the fallout, which causes a lizard to grow to gigantic proportions and terrorize New York City. In the centre of this incident is Dr. Niko Tatopoulos (Matthew Broderick), an American scientist who is hired to help contain and subdue the creature referred to as Godzilla (‘Gojira!’).

Heart-stopping moment: Tatopoulos, Philippe Roaché (Jean Reno) and the group discover a nest of eggs made by Godzilla in the subway tunnels to Madison Square Garden. When they attempt to blow the eggs up, the eggs suddenly hatch and begin attacking the group.



Where's lunch?



Man vs. giant snake: 'Anaconda'


Ice Cube turning into man cubes by giant snake.

"Anaconda" may not have sat very well with the critics, but there’s no denying the impact it made in movie history as Jennifer Lopez, Ice Cube, Jon Voight, Eric Stoltz and Owen Wilson are hunted down by the very reptile they seek to hunt. The film itself became the subject of controversy after actors Ice Cube and Owen Wilson were almost fatally injured by the live anaconda used on set. The film centres on a film crew for National Geographic who are conned by a hunter into helping him find the world's largest giant anaconda in the Amazon Rainforest.

Heart-stopping moment: As Terri and Danny recuperate on a nearby dock; the giant anaconda turns out to be alive and attacks them.


Man vs. ape: 'King Kong'

Modern technology certainly has done wonders for this remake of the 1933 film of the same name. With Andy Serkis providing a motion-capture performance as Kong, the giant gorilla who bonds with vaudeville actress Ann Darrow (Naomi Watts), Peter Jackson's ‘King Kong’ is both heartbreaking and thrilling to watch. There are plenty of men versus beast moments here even before the crew meets Kong himself, such as dinosaurs and giant insects.

Heart-stopping moment: Kong climbs with Darrow onto the Empire State Building, where he fights off planes sent to attack him; managing to bring down three of them before he was hit severely with gunfire from the surviving planes. Kong then gazes at the distraught actress for the last time before falling off the building to his death.


King Kong

Monster battle royale


Man vs. ‘flying’ snakes: 'Snakes On A Plane'

Considering the movies that made it into this list, it is safe to say that reptiles are some of the most vicious beasts known to man, especially snakes; although Samuel L. Jackson is equally terrifying as the foul-mouthed FBI agent assigned to protect a trial witness named Sean Jones (Nathan Phillips) on a plane. Why the villain chose to release hundreds of venomous snakes as opposed to just bombing the plane remains as one of life’s mysteries as it certainly took a whole lot more effort in getting the job done (To ensure the snakes attack the passengers without being provoked, his henchmen disguised as airport ground employees to spray the passengers with a special pheromone which make the snakes more aggressive in their attack) and not very successfully, we might add.

Heart-stopping moment: When Samuel L. Jackson utters the now famous line about mother*&^%in snakes on a mother^&*%in plane. Classic.


Snakes On A Plane

"Operator. I got a snake problem."



Man vs. big bad wolf: 'The Grey'

The Grey

Liam Neeson showing Kevin Costner how to dance with wolves.

Although it doesn’t makes any sense that Liam Neeson and his air-crash group would be attacked by wolves, considering that none of them actually did anything to the wolves beforehand. The story follows a number of men stranded in Alaska after a plane crash, who are forced to survive using little more than their wits as a pack of wolves stalk them, or rather, forced to rely on Liam Neeson and his ‘badassness’ in order to survive a little longer than those who did not.

Heart-stopping moment: When Nesson’s Ottway scrounges up some scrap metal to conjure up Freddy Krueger-like claws to duke it out with a big bad wolf.