The 10 Coolest Movie Monsters of All Time

The 10 greatest, scariest, coolest, smartest movie monsters this side of "Wrath of the Titans"!

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Pale Male from "Pan's Labyrinth" makes the grade as one of our all-time favorite movie monsters.
By now we’ve all seen the ads for “Wrath of the Titans” featuring Knonos, a giant living breathing lava beast. And the precursor, "Clash of the Titans," featured the greatest monster tagline ever: "Unleash the Kraken!" Now all the "Titan" talk's got us to thinking about our favorite movie monsters of all time.
EMPTY_CAPTION"Godzilla" (1954): The original would spawn dozens of sequels and spin-offs (and a regrettable American remake), but the original remains the starkest and scariest, a cautionary tale about the nuclear age from the only nation to be hit with the A-bomb.
Pale Male (from Pan’s Labyrinth, 2006): Guillermo del Toro's greatest monster creation, the willowy Pale Man from his 2006 masterpiece. This nightmarish creature, with saggy flesh, inky talons and eyes in the palm of his hands, is downright haunting--it will it give you the willies.
EMPTY_CAPTION"The Host" (2006): It’s hard to think of a more iconic movie monster from the past few years than the slithery beast that snakes its way out of the river in Bong Joon-Ho’s sensational film – the way it runs, snatches up young girls in its tentacles, dangles underneath the bridge like some slimy teardrop, and its multifaceted mouth, equal parts deep-sea creature and “Predator.” Like Godzilla, the beastie from “The Host” plays on contemporary political anxieties, including the fear of virus outbreaks and Korea’s relationship with the United States.
Attack the Block (2011): "Gorilla-wolf motherf---ers" is how the kids in director Joe Cornish’s rousing, under-seen gem, describe the space monsters that invade their inner-city London neighborhood. And truthfully, this is a pretty good description for these furry, jet-black monsters with Day-Glo teeth. Cornish wanted to make the creatures look two-dimensional, after being inspired by his black cat's silhouette against the window. For creatures with such a cuddly beginning, they really are quite scary.
EMPTY_CAPTION"Cloverfield" (2008): In JJ Abrams and Matt Reeves’ found-footage monster movie you don’t get many good looks at the beast. But the glimpses you do get, particularly one great money shot towards the end, are truly awe-inspiring. A multi-limbed take on Godzilla, as shot through the camera of some twenty-something hipster, the terror of “Cloverfield” is not knowing when or where you’ll see the monster (and how much of it you’ll get to view). Bonus points for those little monsters that the big guy brought with him – the night-vision attack in the subway remains one of the movie’s biggest scares.
EMPTY_CAPTION"Gremlins" (1984): While “Gremlins” might have been immortalized by its furry hero Gizmo (whose look was inspired by executive producer Steven Spielberg’s dog), the real gremlins – those scaly, reptilian foes, remain positively terrifying. While toned down from Chris Columbus’ original script, which had the gremlins putting the family dog in the microwave and throwing someone’s head down a flight of stairs, they still remain quite beastly – scampering around and causing all manner of dangerous mischief.
EMPTY_CAPTION"Alien" (1979): Talk about iconic monsters! Has anything topped H.R. Giger’s phallic, slightly mechanical creature design? No. If the true power of a creature’s design can be summed up by its silhouette alone, then this thing is beyond powerful – the long, domed head, the slender body, the blade-like tail. Even though Sir Ridley Scott only showed you flashes of the creature, as it hunted throughout the spaceship Nostromo, it left an unforgettable impression. Even countless sequels later, that original design remains the most perverse and powerful.
EMPTY_CAPTION"The Blob" (1958): While “The Blob” might be more remembered today for its swinging Burt Bacharach theme song or the underrated 1988 remake, the original film remains a potent drive-in classic and its titular creature a fearsome, amorphous foe. What’s amazing about The Blob is that, as a pink jelly from outer space that threatens the citizens of a small American town, it's often seen as less of a threat than the even more terrifying introduction of… teenagers! Why would anyone believe that galactic goop is going to devour us all when the news comes from kids who wear blue jeans and listen to rock n’ roll?
EMPTY_CAPTION"Pitch Black" (2000): You can definitely feel the Giger influence in “Pitch Black,” a film about a group of survivors from a prison ship (led by Vin Diesel as hardened criminal Riddick) marooned on a planet inhabited by winged nocturnal beasts, with the characters sloped, eyeless heads and spindly bodies. But it’s a testament to the “Pitch Black” monsters power that you don’t think of "Alien." You’re mostly just holding your breath and hoping that the characters can make it out alive.
EMPTY_CAPTION"Tremors" (1990): Now here’s a great premise for a monster movie – giant, prehistoric, underground worms threaten a small southwestern town! No matter how well directed or acted it was (and “Tremors” passes with flying colors on those marks), if the monster wasn’t compelling enough, it wouldn’t have worked. Thankfully, “Tremors” has some amazing creatures--“graboids-- giant, fat-bodied things who can sense things out seismically and who have huge mouths that open to reveal smaller, monster-like appendages. Simple and sophisticated, the beasts from “Tremors” get under your skin… after getting under your soil.
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