December 3, 2023

What Makes a Good Monster?

The Monster (2016)We all love good monster movies… don’t we?

I mean, there’s nothing better than an unnatural creature from nature that makes its presence known to the rest of the world.  On 11/11/2016, it looks like we’re getting a nice addition to the genre.  The Strangers director Bryan Bertino is set to bring us The Monster on VOD and a limited theatrical release.  In The Monster, 

“a divorced mother (Zoe Kazan) and her headstrong daughter must make an emergency late night road trip to see the girl’s father.  As they drive through deserted country roads on a stormy night, they suddenly have a startling collision that leaves them shaken but not seriously hurt.  Their car, however, is dead, and as they try in vain to get help, they come to realize they are not alone on these desolate backroads – a terrifying evil is lurking in the surrounding woods, intent on never letting them leave…”

You can see the trailer here:

While I’m very excited for The Monster, it got me to thinking:

What makes a good monster?  Here’s a few monsters that have captured my imagination over the last few years:

Recently, I have been enamored by Syfy’s Channel Zero (which has brought the creepypasta Candle Cove to the screen.  If you aren’t familiar with the story, it involves creepy marionettes and vague childhood memories.  Unlike the story, Channel Zero has added a great monster to the monster (who I call “Tooth Baby”):

This thing first wandered into the closing moments of Channel Zero’s first episode and is gaining quite the following online.  Made of the pulled baby teeth offered by its victims, it silently stalks the forest wanting to take children to Candle Cove.

What makes Tooth Baby so great is that the mystery that surrounds him.  I’m quite familiar with the story and he unexpected waltzes in and steals what I was excited for.  His unnatural movements and gore without being gory look bring breathe life into the story that many people already know.

Another small screen monster that made my list was Stranger Things‘ Demegorgon:

As a younger child, one of my first forays into horror was Critters.  Those little porcupine-armadillos captured my heart.  They were evil little buggers but were funny as hell simultaneously.  Yes…they were a ripoff of Gremlins.  But they were a perfect antithesis of my sisters’ Popples (That was some missed marketing…).

Puppet monsters have always been some of my favorite.

Unexpected monsters in a haunted house are always good as well.  In House on Haunted Hill, this monster comes out of nowhere while we’re focused on the ghosts.

Feast introduced us to some great creatures with little to no explanation.

And, of course, who could forget the American Godzilla….Cloverfield.

What’s your favorite monster in movies?


I love horror movies, and I have since I was young. My favorite genre is the zombie genre, but it has completely been overdone in the last few years. I'm not a big fan of the horror movie formula, and I love it when a director turns it on its head. Please follow me on twitter (@_trapjaw_) and like me on facebook (scaretissuetrapjaw) for updates and to be immediately informed of new posts/projects.

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