Six of the Best – Movie Monsters

Our cinematic love affair can be traced all the way back to 1915 and The Golem. A silent movie, it was one of the first to feature a “creature” – a clay statue brought to life to protect the Jewish people, but who instead goes on a murderous rampage.

It’s a movie formula that still exists – and sells seats – to this day. Whether it’s horror, sci-fi or simply a big ole summer blockbuster, we love a monster movie.

So, with Halloween coming up, we thought we would take a look at some of our favourite movie monsters.

Who are yours? Let us know in the comments below if we have made any glaring omissions. (We didn’t include King Kong or Godzilla because we kinda feel they are a given when it comes to iconic movie monsters.)

The ThingThe Thing from The Thing

Perhaps one of the best examples of practical effects, The Thing from the movie of the same name is the shape-shifting, DNA stealing stuff of nightmares. John Carpenter’s 1982 snow-set horror really builds the tension around the growing uncertainty as to what The Thing is and what it wants. Most chillingly – when it’s not growing spider legs or possessing the body of a dog – it could take over a human. Can anyone on this expedition be trusted?

Frankenstein Boris KarloffFrankenstein’s Monster from Frankenstein

Taking it all the way back to 1931 for one of the most iconic – and misnamed – movie monsters of all time. Straying from the plot of Mary Shelley’s source novel, this version is pretty much the definitive one on which all other movie remakes are based. Boris Karloff lends huge amounts of pathos and emotion to his rendering of the Monster, brought to life by Colin Clive’s Dr Frankenstein. Who could ever forget those shouts of “It’s alive! It’s alive!”?

The Pale Man Pans Labyrinth The Pale Man from Pan’s Labyrinth

Although not on screen for a large amount of time, The Pale Man is thoroughly creepy. Brought to life by Doug Jones, this slender, skulking monster has a particular taste for children. Guillermo del Toro has a knack for bringing fantastical fairytales to life, complete with monsters and villains. When we see his lair, we see piles of his victim’s clothing as well as their bones. He’s very still and almost corpse like … until he isn’t.

Xenomorph AlienXenomorph from Alien

Yass, queen. Forget little green men with huge black eyes. The alien set to strike fear at the hearts of many movie-goers is the Xenomorph from Alien. Dripping in gunk, displaying rows of razor sharp teeth, skulking in the darkness … similar to The Pale Man, she doesn’t have a lot of screen time but her presence is most definitely felt. Based on drawings by H.R. Giger, Ridley Scott’s 1979 movie really set the bar for space-set horror.

Jaws Bruce The SharkThe Shark from Jaws

Watching Jaws now, you may not feel as threatened as you would be the Xenomorph or The Thing. But The Shark – accompanied by that iconic John Williams score – really did make people think it wasn’t safe to go back in the water. That mesmeric opening scene, which sees unwitting bathing beauty Chrissie Watkins consumed by a 25 foot long great white, is one of the most tense and thrilling openers in cinema.

The Fly Jeff GoldblumBrundlefly from The Fly

A scientific experiment gone wrong is the basis for David Cronenberg’s body horror. Jeff Goldblum is the quirky, nerdy scientist who metamorphosis into an oozing, buzzing, human-sized fly. Like the monster in Frankenstein, Goldblum brings a lot of depth and humanity to the character – you can’t help but sympathise with him, even if he is physically repellant and long overdue a meeting with a can of Raid.

Mary Munoz
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