The Dunwich horror – HP Lovecraft “the Dunwich Horror”
“Bigger’n a barn… all made o’ squirmin’ ropes… hull thing sort o’ shaped like a hen’s egg bigger’n anything with dozens o’ legs like hogs-heads that haff shut up when they step… nothin’ solid abaout it – all like jelly, an’ made o’ sep’rit wrigglin’ ropes pushed clost together… great bulgin’ eyes all over it… ten or twenty maouths or trunks a-stickin’ aout all along the sides, big as stove-pipes an all a-tossin’ an openin’ an’ shuttin’… all grey, with kinder blue or purple rings… an’ Gawd it Heaven – that haff face on top…”
As with most of Lovecraft’s monsters he leaves lots of the monster to the imagination – with this being the only description of the beast. For most of the story the monster is immaterial – an invisible moving presence that is only seen through the wake of its destruction. However one of the weirdest things about this monster is its origins. Within the book the creature emerges as the twin to William Watley, the antagonist of the story, whose person resembled a half goat monstrosity with tentacles that materialized when he was killed. The monster’s parentage is revealed to be half demon half albino – with his albino mother having partaken in a ritual which spawned the Watley twins. Urgh. So, basically the Dunwich Horror is a half human, half demon, half octopus, half elephant and half jellyfish.
The Dog-insect from Infestation
I seem to be unable to find a picture of this creature on the internet – there must be one somewhere, but until I find it you will just have to make do with a photo of the human equivalent (ooo I found a bad resolution one!). The premise to the creature is that the giant alien bugs which have infested the planet use their sting to infect you and turn you into a half-human half-insect zombie creature that does their bidding. This sting does not only work on humans however, as we discover with the dog-insect that appears half way through the film. I genuinely LOLed when I saw the critter and the memory still brings a smile to my face.
The Librarians and street creatures from Metro 2033
The game does not do justice to these monsters as described in the novel. Whereas the game portrays the creatures as generic monsteresque beasts, the book makes them truly creepy. Their residence in the library and their mimicry of noise is pretty freaky, as is their speed and the way they sneak up on you – as if normal librarians aren’t creepy enough. Another creature worth a mention in the books are the monsters that prowl the surface and begin to herd our hero, Artyom, They are described as tall, humanesque, wide –shouldered, neckless creatures, whose heads are part of their bodies. They stalk Artyom, slowly increasing in number and getting closer any time he looks away, but staying still when he turns – kind of like the weeping angels – creepy! Metro generally gets a mention for exceptional monster creation, and every beast in the book deserves an honourable mention in this article!
Creatures from Splinter
Splinter contains one of the most successfully disturbing contagions I have ever seen in a film. A mutation on the traditional zombie virus theme, Splinter revolves around ‘splinters’ of some sort of evil that embed themselves in creatures and slowly spread through them, emerging in shards from them as they breed. The splinters infect the flesh, reanimating it and cracking, breaking and re-shaping it to fit its purposes, eventually killing the host and reanimating the body. Bits of the creature that get cut off are able to reanimate themselves, and the splinters are able to sense heat, meaning that there is no brain to destroy, unlike usual zombies. The only way to effectively kill this creature is through fire, and even then, if one splinter remains it can go on to re-spawn, This is one of the all-time great critters as far as I am concerned. The film is a B movie, but the monster is A*
Chest Buster – Alien films
An all-time movie classic, Aliens freaked the hell out of a lot of people. The idea that they grow inside your chest and eventually burst their way out is truly horrific – but epic all the same. This Youtube video beautifully demonstrates the horror that the chest-busters can cause! Poor Sandy Toksvig! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ISmIRkhGyHs
ALL the creatures from Cabin in the Woods
Cabin in the woods is an exceptional film. Not only is it directed by the one and only Joss Wheadon, it also has one of the most bizzare plots and some of the most phenomenal creatures in any film EVER. The variety and obscurity of the monsters in this film is amazing – with everything from Mermen to creepy little girls in ballet dresses with little pointed teeth, to zombie hillbillies to that quintessential clown from your nightmares… Watch this film! DO it!
Have you done it yet? Why not!?!
Boar/Anger Demon from Princess Mononoke
This is a pretty weird and disturbing creature – a giant wild boar made so furious from having its home destroyed that it turns into a giant, worm covered, tar dripping anger demon that crawls across the landscape engulfing everything in its path. The monster is pretty disturbing even for a cartoon.
Cenobites from Hellraiser
These scared the shit out of me when I was a kid. I mean seriously gave me nightmares for weeks! The guy with the pins in his head was my idea of fear for years, right up until last year when I watched the film in its entirety and decided that it was actually pretty funny. Though they now lack the fear factor they used to have, they are still pretty bizzare. It must take a pretty warped mind to come up with these guys as monsters – ‘I know what would be good – lets nail pins into his face in a geometric pattern’. *shudders*
The Pale Man – Pan’s Labyrinth
DON’T EAT THE FOOD! I mean, seriously, the stupid girl – all she had to do was not eat the food. But she DID and look what happened. The Pale Man is about as weird and creepy as it gets – with an eyeless face and spindly, long hands that have spaces for it to slot its eyeballs, this thing is freaky. My best friend Rachel was SERIOUSLY freaked out the first time we watched this, although granted it doesn’t take that much to scare her** also – the folds of skin are pretty gross.
*by great I mean terrible, but GOOD terrible, not just plain terrible, like the film.
** She still won’t sit with an empty seat next to her in the cinema after having watched Lady in Black at the theatre in secondary school and she won’t sleep if I mention the guy with the cage on his head from Thirteen Ghosts (which we watched when we were 15)