It’s Halloween time and that means scary movies and monsters. Our friend Hilton just wrote part 1 of his Top 10 Movie Monsters That’ll Haunt Your Nightmares over at Word of the Nerd. I am obliged to agree each movie monster selected by Hilton is indeed frightening, but they are not the most frightening for me. Jason Voorhees is indestructible, nearly inescapable and merciless, but I rarely find myself in the woods so have little thought of him after the credits roll. Freddy K, again, by now I would have found out if my parents partook in an act of vengeance that I would pay for. Alien, truly a terrifying film, but I have no plans to go into space. While the film reel turns, those monsters do indeed me on the edge of my seat, but I can leave them behind. So, am I just impervious to fear and forged with iron clad courage? No; I am a big wuss. There are monsters that make me keep my eyes closed when I walk up in the middle of the night. In no particular order, I present for the tingling of your spine-
1. C.H.U.D. Anyone who lived through the 80s knows what a cannibalistic humanoid underground dweller is. The CHUD was even namechecked by Homer Simpson while retelling a New York adventure. The CHUD lurks in the sewer tunnels and grabs unsuspecting pedestrians. Even your dog isn’t safe from the CHUD. CHUDs were the underground homeless, mutated by illegally dumped toxic waste. There is a factory in nearly every town so, this is a monster steeped in a world that is a reality to me, unlike space. The bathtub drain is an eerie reminder of the terror that possibly lurks below. And nothing makes me want to walk faster down a city sidewalk. Sure, the glowing eyes are a bit silly, but the teeth, oh the teeth.
2. The Crazies. Who doesn’t have a healthy distrust of governing bodies? And few things are scarier than your trusting, reliable, nice guy neighbor turning on you. In this remake, small town Iowa citizens become sick due to a polluted body of local water which was the accidental dropping point of a military chemical weapon (or was it accidental?). The side effects? Murderous insanity. There are true accounts in this country of unsuspecting citizens being the subject of experiments, so this is within the realm of reality for me. A bad, nightmare reality, but more possible than a goalie masked immortal.
3. Paranormal Activity (1,2,3,4) entity. -Bad spirits, energy, hauntings, they can happen to anyone (if you believe that sort of thing). This is the kind of movie that I can never let go of. Ever get that feeling someone is watching you or feel a cold chill out of nowhere? Does your cat or dog ever act nervous for apparently no reason? And what does go on in your home at night? If I wake up in the middle of the night, I keep my eyes closed because of this movie.
4. Firefly/Serenity’s Reavers.-Again with governing bodies unintentionally making monsters of humanity. Just thinking of the horrors and desecrations they inflict upon living beings is paralyzing. We never really even get a lingering look at them, but we hear about their work and the screams of their victims. “But you are not going into space” you may say, but this is an exception because they are/were human.
5. The Omen’s Damien the Antichrist. I grew up Catholic, what can I say. After seeing the original The Omen, I remember looking over every visible inch I could making sure the numbers 666 were nowhere on me. And again, with the distrust for government …I sense a theme here. There is also just something inherently creepy about some kids, but especially kids who are the devil incarnate. Evil walking around just like you and me and we’d never know for sure.
6. Jaws. That shark really did a number on my head. I thought there could be invisible sharks in the soapy trey water in the bath as a child. I grew out of those thoughts (thankfully) but still had a few moments on boats in rivers where I had a momentary fear of a shark attack. But I grew up and eventually moved to a coastal town, making the ocean and possibility of sharks a reality in my world. Sharks do bite and kill and it’s enough to usually keep me out of the water.
7. The Ring’s Samara. The evil little girl that comes out of the TV and scares you to death. Just a reminder that curiosity can kill the innocent and leave a really ugly corpse behind. I get freaked out if my tv goes to snow- more so than Poltergeist ever made me. And again, children can be scary. And after watching the movie, any time I see a face blurred in a picture, I feel a twinge.
8. 28 Days Later. Humans infected by the rage infection from a lab monkey rescue gone wrong. I am team “these are not zombies” but they are still scary, and really fast.
9. Hellraiser’s Pinhead- Again, raised Catholic over here. I am frightened by the idea of the existence of a hell dimension. For me, this is a potential reality for a lost, doomed soul. And the fact you can stumble into the cenobytes just by accident or being really good at puzzles. Their cold, unfeeling eyes are terrifying in addition to their general S&M club gone very wrong appearance.
10. Phantasm’s Tall Man- Everyone passes away some time, right? The Tall is an early memory of being afraid and kept up at night. And like children, really old people can be creepy too, even Betty White (see Lake Placid…). I don’t even remember what this movie is about. It has become just a collage of images that have haunted me since I was little.
So-what movie monsters scare you? Or you more afraid of vampires and aliens or ghosts?
Stuff we geek out about…
- A Little Something for the Fellas (2)
- A Little Something for the Ladies (9)
- Avengers Boot Camp (9)
- Before the Movie – Trailers (13)
- Editorials and Reviews (135)
- Interviews (19)
- Miscellaneous Geekery (48)
- Nostalgia (17)
- Sandman Re-Read (11)
- Three Favorite Things (4)
What we JUST said…
- All the Posts I Meant to Write this Month, Abridged
- Hemlock Grove-A New Guilty Pleasure
- Deborah Harkness and A Discovery of Witches
- Syfy’s Defiance- Hope They Didn’t Blow the Budget on a Song
- Cover Reveal for the New Liz Long Novel Witch Hearts
- From Gen-X, To Chris Hardwick With Love
- Before the Movie: G.I. Joe Retaliation