25. Pumpkinhead- Pumpkinhead
Halloween gone wrong, that’s for sure. The self-titled monster in Pumpkinhead is a ruthless killer with a gourd for a body part. Legend has it that the Pumpkinhead will avenge the people who have done wrong, and the one who is seeking retribution will see through the killer’s eyes. Anyone who interferes with the killing spree of the Pumpkinhead will also see their death. While it seems silly, this monster movie has given itself a cult following and a mascot that is not easily forgotten.
24. Zombies – Night of the Living Dead
The zombie movie that started it all! Night of the Living Dead is a classic movie directed by game changer George A. Romero. The first of many controversial movies, this film truly shocked audiences at its time. Zombies may be their own category, but they are monsters in themselves. Terrorizing the Earth, they live on flesh of other humans. This movie terrified those who watched it, making them fear a zombie apocalypse for the country.
23. Aliens/Extra-terrestrial Life Forms – Invasion of the Body Snatchers
One of the many alien life forms that are going to be on this list. At the time of this film, nobody in America had gone to space yet. The rise of the fear of the unknown disturbed people’s minds. Thus, Invasion of the Body Snatchers was born. This film is a classic – one that truly resonated on people’s fear. An alien infests the bodies of a town’s inhabitants. One by one, the individuals lose all humanity. Ahead of its time, this film shocked audiences everywhere.
22. The Creeper – Jeepers Creepers
The creeper is iconic in his role. A demonic creature that preys on people, it’s half a monster flick, half a slasher flick. He’s sort of a cannibal, sort of a creature. There’s a lot to be revealed about the creepers. However, one thing is for sure: he is scary, and he is unforgettable. For its ability to stick with you from the moment you see it, the Creeper earned his spot on this list.
21. Humanoids- Humanoids from the Deep
A film that is controversial yet unrealistic is true creative genius. Such is Humanoids of the Deep, a campy film about monsters from the deep who use women to mate. Graphic and controversial, this film is truly grotesque. As more men die and more women become sexually assaulted, we learn these humanoids are (surprise) an experiment gone wrong. The end features a humanoid baby. Unbelievable yet slightly horrifying, Humanoids from the Deep is worth a watch.
20. Critters – The Critters
Slightly humorous, a little cute, but mostly a monster. These are some characteristics of aliens in The Critters, a campy 1986 flick. Spawning a whole series, there is a reason why this is notable. These alien creatures all have distinct personalities that show as they invade the Earth. Coming in search of food, they spend the night terrorizing a farm family. A joy to watch, it’s as entertaining as it is thrilling.
19. Gremlins – Gremlins
An eighties classic, Gremlins deserves a mention on this list. After receiving a Christmas present of a small troll-like doll, a boy (Billy) breaks the rules of the toy (don’t feed it after midnight, don’t expose it to light, and don’t let it get wet).) This spawns even more Gremlins who begin to take over and murder people who get in their way. Billy and his friends begin to try to hunt down the Gremlins, which results in the mass murder of them all except Stripe. It is this individual creature who has become the face of the Gremlins franchise and is the mastermind behind the chaos that ensues. Gremlins is fun, creative, and little freaky. There’s no doubt this horror comedy classic deserves a spot on this list.
18. Pennywise the Dancing Clown – It
One of the most memorable contemporary monsters, Pennywise is only put low on the list due to his slight comical edge. Haunting the sewers of Derry, Maine, what makes him so terrifying is his ability to transform into the fear of any child who faces him. On top of that, this isn’t your typical party clown – he feeds on children. Ranking on the list, is one of actor Tim Curry’s most notable roles. It is a horror movie classic. Originally a TV show, it was recently remade into a movie that is currently topping the box office and terrifying audiences everywhere.
17. Cujo -Cujo
While we don’t normally look at dogs as monsters, this flick might change your mind. This 1981 film had everyone getting their canines the rabies shot in fear of their furry friend becoming evil. When a woman and son visit a friend for car help, they come to find that their dog is not the friendliest and the house is empty. The entire movie is spent hiding from this infected Saint Bernard until finally the woman decides to battle it. Based off the famous Stephen King novel, this movie shows how something so sweet can turn so wrong.
16. The Blob- The Blob
If there’s anything popular in horror movies, it is preying on the fear of the unknown. With the blob, this theme is no different. Just like other alien life forms, it is predatory and terrorizes people. One by one, people begin to disappear. This poisonous Blob dissolves anything in its path, leaving viewers to fear that they will be the next town to face it.
15. Brundlefly – The Fly
Science experiment gone wrong? Sounds like a bad horror movie cliché. In the case of 1986 horror movie, you’d be right. When a scientist finds a way to transform himself, he decides to test it out for himself. However, when a fly sneaks into the device, he soon discovers his plan went awry. The rest of the movie is main character Seth morphing into a half human, half fly being. It’s a little campy, a tad scary, and a whole lot of monster.
14. T-Rex – Jurassic Park
If you saw the Jurassic Park movies as a kid or an adult, there’s no doubt the T-Rex was the scariest part. As it eats humans alive, others run in terror. Even more terrifying? The fact that this T-Rex is almost rabid, terrorizing everyone in the park who gets in its way. If this movie and franchise has taught us anything, it is that animals in captivity aren’t too nice. A monster like “Rexy” deserves a spot on this list.
13. Wolfman – The Wolf Man
What’s a list of monster films without a classic wolf movie? The Wolf Man surely terrorized children when it was released in 1941. An iconic film that set the stage for werewolves everywhere, it is essential to note this movie in the count. It may not be scary in contemporary times, but in the 40’s, lack of special effects and the rise of movies gave way to this film.
12. The Thing from the Mist – The Mist
Based on the Stephen King novel, this creature is an entity. The Mist is both a monster and a force. Showing what people will do to survive, this horror/sci-fi movie truly makes you think. As protagonist David Drayton fights for his life, monsters inside the Mist comes alive. As giant insects ravage the world, it is The Mist that reigns king.
11. Werewolf – An American Werewolf in London
The fear of fictional creatures must come from somewhere. A werewolf is no different. The werewolf from An American Werewolf in London may have his funny moments, his demeanor is nothing to joke about. After being bit by a werewolf, main character David is in denial at first. After murdering people and waking up in a zoo, he realizes his fate. This horror-comedy has the face of a horrifying werewolf, perhaps one of the scariest of its time.
10. Jekyll – Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
While not really considered a monster movie today, it was one back in the old days. A Dr. Jekyll has it all – engaged with money, and a great career. However, he drinks a serum which turns him into Mr. Hyde, a selfish criminal and predator who is the opposite of himself. After vowing not to drink the serum again, he turns into a monster unexpectedly. While this may not be the traditional monster movie, it is a classic and Mr. Hyde is a monster in and of himself.
9. The Pale Man – Pan’s Labyrinth
This creature can only be described as truly grotesque. The Pale Man is Pan’s Labyrinth’s true antagonist. With his eyes on his hands, his pale skin, and unique body type, he is one of the few monsters that even resemble a human to begin with. However, his lack of humanity is what makes him such a monster. On top of this desire to eat children, his horrifying stature make him an icon as a far as villains go.
8. Clover – Cloverfield
A common theme on this list is the fear of the unknown. In Cloverfield, there is an alien species infecting the Earth. This monster is known as “Clover” as it has not been named in the film. The monster’s parasitic nature enables it to terrorize an entire plant. What’s unique about this creature is that on his body are the parasites that begin to infect people of the world. At 108 feet tall, clover is no joke.
7. Dracula – Dracula
What monsters do you think of when getting ready for Halloween? Vampire should come to your mind at first thought. This iconic character set the archetype for vampire everywhere and has made these bat-like creatures a staple in pop culture. For his time, Dracula was a trendsetter for blood suckers everywhere. The idea of a predator like this projected a thrill in people of the time, especially women.
6. King Kong – King Kong
This monkey gone wrong doesn’t settle for bananas. As one of horror and general cinema’s most iconic monsters, King Kong has earned himself a spot on this list. With jagged, sharp teeth, and another name under the “eighth wonder of the world,” King Kong has won over the fear and hearts of millions. His international status and ability to instill a franchise based off his monstrous character alone makes him the biggest (and only) monkey on the list.
5. Godzilla – Godzilla
The king monster of Japanese horror makes his way towards the top of the list. Nobody ever wants to see their city terrorized by a ferocious monster, especially a creature that looks positively unreal. Measuring in a over 400 feet tall, with atomic breath, and a distinctive roar, this giant lizard is nothing to laugh at.
4. Frankenstein’s Monster – Frankenstein
When you picture a monster, what comes to mind? The man with the green body and the nail I his neck. From the book to the screen, the idea of this classic creature has resonated with audiences for years. Though he may not strike up the fear that Alien or Predator do, he is a classic monster that remains iconic today.
3. Predator – Predator
Who can forget the famous Predator? Yet another extraterrestrial life form trying to terrorize humans, Predator is a man vs. science battle that is both fun and a little creepy. Spawning its ow franchise, people have enjoyed watching Predator invade fictional places and have furthermore loved watching action heroes battle it. So much in fact, that an Alien vs. Predator movie has even been released as a crossover. If you’ve seen this movie, there is no doubt that Predator is an image you kept in your mind for a long time.
2. Xenomorph – Alien
Yet another creature that preys on the unknown, the self-titled creature from Alien is truly horrifying. The predator in this film is a parasite and is intent on destroying any threat that comes in its path. Based on this monster’s form, its power, and sheer ugliness, it props itself at number two on this list.
1. The Thing – John Carpenter’s the Thing
There is no scarier monster than that of the unknown. A monster so ambiguous that it doesn’t even have a classification deserves the top spot. Perhaps the most terrifying element about John Carpenter’s creature is that it imitates the forms of which it preys. Disturbing the psyche and igniting paranoia guarantees John Carpenter’s creature at the top spot.
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