With the scariest of seasons upon us, there is no better time to partake in some scary movies. Unfortunately, most scary movies dodge the month of October—*cough*shitty Halloween remake *cough*—as though they’re ashamed to tread on such hallowed ground. Even if the first-run theaters can’t scare up some good thrills, there’s plenty of stuff on the small screen all month long.
As a young lad, I used to love staying up late to watch monster movies on TV. In the end, even bad was still good; it was the genre and the setup that lured me in every time. Most times it would play out the same way:
Monster(s) is summoned/created/crash lands in a populated/underpopulated area and kills/terrorizes the populace. Survivors are left to band together and fight/unsummon monster(s).
Most were cheesy at best: Critters, House, and C.H.U.D., but there were always some winners mixed in: The Fly (original and remake), Night of the Living Dead, and The Thing. Those years were time well spent and have given me a life-long love of monster movies.
Some of those monsters were so good, that they’ve become icons of the genre; horror films wouldn’t be nearly as much fun without staples like vampires and zombies. But, what is the best monster? And what criteria do we use to determine what makes a monster the best? Do we base the decision on breadth of exposure/sequels (Dracula), body count (Jason), or just plain scare-quotient (Exorcist)?
I have my favorites, but I would love to hear from you. Who or what is the best movie monster?