With Halloween creeping up on us, many minds turn to those scary creatures that lurk in horror movies and jump out at us in our dreams (or would those be nightmares). There are quite a few to think of, but which ones are the cream of the crop? Which have been scaring mankind for years upon years? I’m sure you can think of a few. I’ve looked through classic cinema and literature to develop a stunning list of the most iconic monsters in horror. Though I must warn you, since we are talking about monsters and horror and the like, it might be safer just to turn back now. Here they are, in no particular order.
There have been many incarnations of the vampire. Perhaps the best known would be Count Dracula, inspired by Vlad the Impaler. At their core these monsters drink blood of the living, roam at night and are offend connected with a feeling of freedom to give into any desires. We all know things like garlic will keep them away and you have to drive a wooden steak through their heart to stop them (but then again, who wouldn’t that kill?)
From legends come tales of men that have been attacked by wild animals, only to turn into the same kind of beasts under a full moon. These creatures might walk among you during the day and you wouldn’t know anything of their nocturnal transformations, but one night you may find yourself hunted down by them. As we know a silver bullet is the thing to stop them, normally after being put down they revert to their human form and you have to know you didn’t just put down a wild beast, but killed a man.
3) Frankenstein’s Monster
In the book the creature was given more brains, and given a chance to do something others only dream of, conform their creature and question him. Also the pages pose the question if the man or his creature are in fact the monster. Some of this is lost in movie adaptations, leaving this monster as an engine for destruction and bestowing upon it the name of its creator. Just be sure that if someone starts robbing graves where you live you get a pitchfork and torch ready.
4) The Mummy
The bandaged covered remains of Egyptian royalty never seem so frightening when you see them in the museum. Of course they remain safely behind glass. But what if you were to be exploring a burial chamber, your translator tells you stories of an old curse on the place. Then you turn a corner to see it there, not laying peacefully, but upright and walking after you. All of a sudden you realize that the curse is more than legend and you can only hope that it doesn’t have the power to leave its tomb and take down mankind.
Old Cthulhu lays in his dead city under the waves. The story tells that there are cults around the world doing what they can to prepare for his arrival. While he is known from literature his present is felt rather fully in at least nerd culture if not pop culture just yet. There is a whole mythos of old gods and such that go along with him.
It seems that over the past few years zombies are everywhere. And there is such a range of zombies it is hard to pin them down into one group (you could do a top 10 types of zombie list). From the older slow mindless zombies to the running zombies, they truly don’t care about your looks, they only want you for your braaaiiiinnnssss!!
Sure he may have started out as a reference to the nuclear weapons that ended the Second World War, but he has become an icon. He shows up in all sorts of shows and is known even by those who have never watched a Godzilla movie.
8) The shape shifting alien
If you haven’t seen The Thing, you should fix that to understand how horrifying this monster is, which makes it all the more iconic. When you take a monster that can take the shape of any of the other humans you are which cranks up the paranoia of just who you can trust.
And one shark in particular. At first that great white might not pop up in the list of horror monsters. But just the sound…dun dun…can get people to get out of the water. When Jaws came out people stayed out of the water for most of the summer. Some people even stayed out of swimming pools to be sure, or so the story goes.
10) Other People
Again, this one isn’t the answer that pops out at you. You think humans, no, we aren’t monsters. And while it may be true that all together humans aren’t monsters, you need to think of various movies where just a person is the monster. If it is cannibal hillbillies or a deranged murderer humans can often be the worst monsters of all.
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