Today, we break down two very different opinions on the top horror movie creatures found in film. From aliens to demigods, Andy and Pat definitely have varying definitions of ‘monsters’ and each top 5 brings it’s own form of terror to the table. While the movies themselves might not be terrific, the monsters that are featured in them have a special place in our hearts, mostly by scaring us shitless. We didn’t show each other these lists until they were final, so we’ve added a bit of commentary from each other per creature as well.
5. The Relic Monster, The Relic
This creature has a special place on this list and tickles my nostalgia bone quite fondly. I remember watching this in my friend Luke’s basement and being genuinely ‘shook’ at this creature. The monster design is a mix of an alien nightmare and a prehistoric predator and is legit terrifying. Just look at those goddamned fangs and that ridiculous muscular frame, there isn’t a chance in hell you’d be able to get away from this thing. This film is also set in The Field Museum in Chicago, so it hits close to home. While The Relic isn’t the best acted movie, it’s an often overlooked 90’s thriller that has a handful of surprisingly great scares. This South African lizard-god is a creature that is often overlooked but it’s design alone lands it the #5 spot.
Pat’s comment: Yeah, I think you hit the nail on the head with the design of this creature. What I particularly like is that fact that its design incorporates some hair in what otherwise looks to be a more reptilian design. This thing is what I’d imagine a primordial version of ‘The Predator’ would look like.
4. Clover, Cloverfield
There are many other Kaijui that could fall on this list, but the Cloverfield monster, dubbed ‘Clover’, is one that deserves to be here based on audience surprise alone. Following the cryptic trailer for the film, movie-goers were frothing at the mouth to get a look at just what exactly was wreaking havoc in NYC. Director JJ Abrams does his classic ‘mystery box’ style story and barely reveals the monster up until the very end. When you finally get a look at the creature, with it’s spiderlike stance mixed with Godzilla sized size, you can see how he made it on this list. On top of this monster itself destroying humans en masse, the “Parasite” creatures that come along with it feast on humans one by one. Quite honestly, the world would be completely screwed if Clover showed up.
Pat’s comment: I love this pick. I could totally fill a whole list of awesome Kaiju, but as far as horror goes, Clover ranks at the top. I was one of those guys who went WAY down the rabbit hole and tried to follow every single piece of the ARG released for this movie (Tagruato Corporation anyone?). I watched every frame of every trailer just to try to piece together even an idea of what this thing looked like. The grand reveal was better than I even imagined. This thing truly looks like it could have been dragged from the depths of the ocean. The Parasites that tag along for the destruction make some of my favorite sound effects that come from any monster. One of my all time favorite creatures ever, in one of my favorite movies ever.
3. Babadook, The Babadook
From the first trailer of this film, I knew I was in for something special, creature-wise. Just when I think the trailer couldn’t get creepier, you hear the damn thing talk. Babadook plays on many of your childhood fears of the boogeyman, the monster under the bed, etc. It’s tall stature, pale face, giant smile, fangs and massive claws make it a terrifying thing to imagine lurking somewhere in your room. The film itself is much better than many thought it would be, and really is less about the creature, and more about a mother-son relationship.
Pat’s comment: The sound this thing makes is still something I regularly mimic if I just feel like being creepy. The design of this thing is extremely unsettling as it looks like something a child would draw if asked what he was afraid of. If I saw this thing under my bed I would spend the rest of my life in a padded cell.
2. Sam (with his mask off), Trick r Treat
This movie does a great job building to the reveal of it’s only truly original creature, and once unmasked, it’s the perfect depiction of what a pumpkin-creature-alien hybrid would look like. While the image posted here is Sam with his mask on, much of the surprise and delight from the film Trick r Treat comes from seeing Sam unmasked for the first time. I’ve decided not to show it here, but if you really want to see it, click here. Sam is one of the coolest creature designs I’ve seen due to the mystery of the design with the mask on, and the horrific nature of the creature once the mask comes of. Throughout the movie, you start to think Sam is a cute little Halloween friend, but by the end of the flick you won’t want him anywhere near your trick or treating. That being said, I’d take this orange monster over the one we currently have in office, Sam for POTUS!
Pat’s comment: I absolutely adore Sam. Sam is just the perfect amount of “cute creepy” without over doing it. That burlap mask on that little body hits you with the “something isn’t quite right here”. He is the perfect sendoff to a truly special Halloween movie.
1. Xenomorph, Alien Series
I know, you all saw this coming from me, but how can this not top the list? This creature is the poster child for terror and is an absolutely terrific design from HR Giger. Standing about a foot taller than a human, this beast touts two sets of fangs, a long, spiked tail, a massive oblong head, and ridiculous speed, strength, and smarts. Think you can take it down by shooting it? Prepare for ACID BLOOD. Although the latest Alien movies have turned the Xenomorph into an action star, the slow pace of the original Alien film shows how formidable of a foe just ONE of these monsters really are. A badass design, a ridiculous set of horror related features, and a terrifying motive (kill, procreate, rinse, repeat) nabs the Xenomorph the #1 spot.
Pat’s comment: The quintessential monster and a specimen that all monsters aspire to be. Not much more I can add to this that you don’t already know or hasn’t already been said.
5. The Entity, IT Follows
While this skirts the line between ghost and monster, I’m choosing to include it mainly because it takes on a more physical form instead of a spectral one. This horrify monster known as “The Entity” or just “It” makes this list because it’s more than just a scary sight. The Entity has a unique and relentless way to stalk and ultimately kill its prey. Instead of trying to kill everything in sight, the Entity chooses to just focus on one target. What precedes is a slow relentless pursuit that never ends until death or passing of the curse. That’s why it’s so unnerving. It just follows you, forever, never stopping, never retreating, just a constant onslaught of always looking over your shoulder and making sure you’re a few steps ahead of it. How do you pass the curse off you ask? Well, you either let it kill you, or you pass on one of the worst STD’s known to man. The only way the Entity changes targets is by passing the curse along via intercourse, in which case that person’s partner now becomes the target. However, if the Entity does succeed in killing that individual, the curse will revert back to the previous victim. So it doesn’t really matter how many degrees of separation promiscuity can get you. You’ll never really be rid of it and at some point, it may work its way back to you. Oh yeah, its also invisible to everyone else except the cursed and can take on and change forms at will (including taking on the forms of currently living loved ones) like some sick game of psychological horror tag.
Andy’s comment: Yeah, this thing is pretty damned creepy. The fact that it just keeps walking like a goddamn Energizer bunny could be the most unnerving thing. There is no stopping this tall dude!
4. Aliens, Fire in the Sky
Man. I’m going to be honest. I really, really hate aliens. Everything about the whole idea of them creeps me out. However, I want to be clear. There are ‘creature aliens’, (things like the Xenomorph, Prawns, etc.) and those things I love. Then there are ‘creepy aliens’, you know the humanoid ones that aren’t out for total decimation (or maybe they are?) and have unclear motives and hide in the shadows or in corn on farms. The extraterrestrials from Fire in the Sky, fall into the latter category. Full disclosure – I’ve never seen Fire in the Sky. However I’ve seen enough of it. Better yet, I’ve seen that scene. What I saw there was enough to firmly plant these guys on this list. Unclear motives behind what they’re doing, and a design that is almost human enough to feel familiar, yet distant, these things embody everything my mind sees when it likes to troll me as I walk down a dark street. Worst part of it all? The movie is based on a ‘true story’. I’m double checking the locks tonight.
Andy’s comment: I actually DID watch this flick, and the abduction scene aside, it’s a pretty boring film. It’s worth a watch for the 10 minutes or so of abduction awesomeness. The alien design is so creepy and wasn’t topped until Signs by Shyamalan.
3. Gwoemul, The Host
The Gwoemul nabs the number 3 spot almost by its design alone. This mutated fish/tadpole…thing, looks like the ugliest creature you’d see in the abyss at the bottom of the ocean, but the reality is, this predator is just as agile and deadly on land as it is in the water. Featuring a segmented jaw and multiple mandibles lined with teeth, the face on this thing gives the Predator a run for its money. I love the little mutated and deformed fins and appendages all over its body that really show the horror of mutation this creature went through. Coolest thing yet? It was based on an actual mutant fish found in the Han River.
Andy’s comment: The creepiest part of this monster is just imagining it lurking below the water. While Jaws is a scary thought, it doesn’t hold a candle to this river dwelling monster. Then, even if you manage to outswim it in the water, here it comes after you on the land!
2. Pennywise, IT
In order to talk about Pennywise, I’ll need to venture into some slight spoilers. Nothing super story heavy, but I will be talking a bit about what Pennywise actually is, so this is your fair warning. Pennywise the Dancing Clown is pretty creepy, sure. However the whole ‘scary clown’ thing I’ve always found kind of lame. I was so relieved when I ended up reading Stephen King’s IT and realized that IT is so much more than just the ‘killer clown’ façade. IT is actually a malevolent creature millions (or more) years old. It’s a horrible ‘thing’ from outside of our own dimension and understanding of space. Pennywise the Clown just happens to be this ‘things’ favorite costume for killing. IT doesn’t just want to kill anybody. IT likes to feast on children. What makes a child meal even more tasty? Why, becoming the child’s worst fear in order to ‘salt the meat’ so to speak. The more scared the prey is, they tastier it becomes. IT can become almost anything it wants in order to get the job done. When it does reveal its true form, it’s something so horrible that the human mind literally cannot comprehend or deal with it. Our mind basically translates it into an approximation of something we can wrap our minds around instead. When you tally up all its powers and different forms I’ve not even touched on, it’s easy to see why this sick, tormenting, creature from beyond the void sits comfortably at the number 2 spot.
Andy’s comment: Not much I can add here, except that I totally see how this made your list. Just imagine IT taking on an alien form, you’d be screwed!
1. E.T., E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial
Okay hold on now, hear me out. I told you I really, really hate aliens. I’m sure there are plenty out there that see this at the number 1 spot and think it’s a joke, but really E.T. is utterly terrifying. This movie has haunted me for almost as many years as I have been alive and I’ve never been able to shake a number of the scenes from my head. Is he a ‘horror movie monster’ though?
Let’s look at the following:
- He is a monster that hides out in creepy lair
- Gets discovered and screeches some of the worst sounding noises ever. (I DARE you to watch this scene without flinching).
- Monster reveals himself in one of the most chilling scenes in any movie ever.
- Gets grotesquely more horrifying when in a weakened state.
Still not convinced? Well I haven’t even mentioned the fact that he has the powers of resurrection, telekinesis, AND the ability to force a psychic connection with a human, (which causes sickness and a near death experience for the innocent boy he forced his connection with). Scariest thing yet, is that he isn’t even the only one of his species. In fact, he is actually the alien equivalent of a botanist. Now if a botanist of this species is this horrifying, can you imagine what happens when a truly vengeful member of this species comes to the Earth (a planet that they now know the location of)? Every glimpse I catch of this monster instantly makes my stomach drop and sends chills all over my body. It’s the face that haunts my dreams, that creature that keeps me afraid of the dark, and the reason why I am terrified of alien movies. And because of that, E.T. firmly lands at number 1.
Andy’s comment: I should have seen this coming, as E.T. was a disturbing part of my childhood as well. While everyone else thought it was a cuddly teddy bear, here I am having vivid nightmares of E.T. in my room, all sickly and white, reaching out to get me. While I love this film, E.T. scares the bejesus out of me.
Our Honorable Dumb Mention: Trantor, Ernest Scared Stupid
WHAT THE HELL IS THIS THING??? As I was googling around to make sure I didn’t miss any great movie/tv monsters, I collided with a nostalgia bomb and unearthed fears that had been dormant since I was 5 years old. My aunt took my brother and I to see this film in THEATERS and I remember being absolutely traumatized upon viewing. Trantor is a demonic troll that turns children into wooden dolls, and can use voice mimicry to lure children into his grasp. As a kid, I assure you, this premise alone was nightmare fuel, I didn’t want to be turned into wood! His design was also something that was NOT OK for a movie rated PG. Covered in disgusting snot, white hair, dingleberries, and genital warts, Trantor is something that even adults should fear, and deserves an honorable mention on this list.