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The Movie Advent: Our 10 Favorite Movie Monsters

Greetings Movie Advocate regulars! Today we continue our special Christmas present to you, a series of 12 lists for the 12 days of Christmas. We're continuing today with lists of our 10 favorite movie monsters. Agree? Disagree? Either way we'd love to hear about it!

Justin's List

10. The Fiend Without a Face

From the movie of the same name. I love the design on this. The movie is hilarious, there are scenes where the fiends are tossed from off screen like footballs.
9. The child from Phenomena

The last 15 minutes of this movie are so amazing that words are not adequate.

8. Predator

It hunts you for sport and it's alternately invisible or ugly as sin.

7. The Blob

I love this monster because it's so different from what we typically think of. Nigh unstoppable, it's like an evil Katamari.

6. Poltergeist

The idea of a a malevolent force is scarier to me than if that force is personified.

5. Michael Meyers

The original and my favorite unstoppable psychopath.

4. Crazy Zombie from The Return of the Living Dead

I can't shake this guy. It's the eyes and how he moves.

3. Cat People

From Cat People and The Curse of the Cat People. The amalgam of central European faux-folklore, Christian guilt about sex, and the film noir setting is really interesting to me.

2. Sam from Trick r' Treat

The design of Sam is so iconic it's hard to believe how new it is. It's no secret how much I love this movie and Sam is a big part of that.

1. Nosferatu

Specifically as seen in Murnow's silent movie. This is the ultimate vampire in my eyes.

Ben's List

10. Dren from Splice

Movie monsters can be great as technical achievements. They can be memorable because they give you the creeps and get under your skin. Splice's Dren fits the bill in both cases. In addition, however, Dren breaks down what we think we know about the differences between humans and animals. She confronts us with very uncomfortable ideas about morality, normality, and desire. Dren is monstrous in the most Freudian sense: her very being represents an affront to the normative values we take for granted.

9. Sweetums

He just wants to go to Hollywood…

8. King Kong

Along with Boris Karloff's Frankenstein's Monster, King Kong represents the birth of the sympathetic movie monster. Unlike Frakenstein's Monster, King Kong could not rely on a great actor for his humanity. Rather, an inspired team of craftsmen, puppeteers, and stop motion photographers made movie history giving the fire of life to an inanimate object.

7. Satan from Faust

Remember what I was saying in the 12 Favorite Directors post about F.W. Murnau’s unparalleled visual imagination? Look no further than Faust’s many faces of Satan.

6. The demons from The Gate

The demons from The Gate light up the part of my brain that’s reserved especially for really amazing pre-digital special effects work. All of the tricks used here – stop motion, forced perspective, big and small sets – work together to make these some of the most memorable critters of their era.

5. The Thing

A monster of changing shape and character. There is no iconic form of The Thing, but against all odds all of the iterations are twisted, badass, thought provoking, and scary.

4. The demon from Night of the Demon

The demon in Night of the Demon is pretty dated at this point, but it still gets under my skin. It just freaks me out to see such an 80s Cannon Group-era monster pop up in 1957. It only adds to the creeping terror that the demon does not threaten physical harm, per se, but rather is a physical avatar of sinister psychological and spiritual horror.

3. The Wolfman

The Wolfman is not the best Universal Horror movie, but Lon Chaney, Jr. and make-up artist Jack Pierce combined their efforts to create the most iconic – and my most loved – of the Universal monsters.

2. The werewolf from An American Werewolf in London

Good lord. For me, the anamatronics, puppets, and other effects that brought the werewolf in American Werewolf in London to life are the perfect embodiment of the “uncanny” on film. The way the creature looks and moves is half timeless and realistic, half dated, with both sides battling for dominance. For that reason, I think the werewolf effects in American Werewolf are actually more effective now than they could have been in 1981.

1. Aliens

A face-huggers implants an alien in the human stomach and will choke you to death if you try to remove it. The alien births by rupturing through your chest, killing you in the process. The male aliens are unstoppable warriors who hide in the shadows and hunt you and your friends one by one. Responsible for it all is the giant, vicious queen mother who lays the face-hugger eggs. Oh yeah, and their blood is made of acid. How is this not the best, most perfect movie monster of all fucking time!?

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