Friday, October 31, 2008

The Monsters of the Aughts

JA from MNPP here. Happy All Hallows everybody! Today is my favorite holiday of the year, so I've gotta spread some extra horror-flavor over this way when I can get away with it. I hope Nat doesn't mind me reposting something that I posted awhile back at my own blog, but it seemed an appropriate counterpart to his question yesterday and in the spirit of this unholiest of days.

Back when Stan Winston passed away I briefly pondered the state of the Modern Movie Monster and what monsters from our current decade have scared me the worst (so far). Now, when I say "monster" I mean to conjure up an inhuman, ghastly, monster-riffic appearance, not a monstrous human being like Patrick Bateman or Mick Taylor. Anyway, I made a list of my five favorites. Here they are.

The Pale Man, Pan's Labyrinth - Undisputed; the champ. Give credit to Del Toro (not to mention the genius beneath the make-up, Doug Jones) for a long future ahead of sleepless nights for ourselves and our children and our children's children with this fine fella. I expect loads more creature-y goodness from Del Toro with Hellboy II as well.

The Crawlers, The Descent - Director Neil Marshall gives these mole-people monsters just enough of an evolutionary bullshit back-story to make them seem credible enough, and then let's them run amok with a kinetic shit-storm of gore-hued horror. The make-up work is damned fine - the opaque skin and eyes, ruddy and slick, is shudder-inducing. And then there's the lady one...

The Mouth of Sauron, Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King - This creep only shows up in the extended DVD version of this flick, but I'll be gosh-darned if he isn't scarier than every single orc, Ringwraith, Fell beast and Sauron himself all thrown in a blender and set to "Terrify". That... that mouth. Ugh!

Grendel, Beowulf - While I haven't revisited the film since it plucked my eyes outta my head in IMAX-3D, the bit that lingers most favorably is Crispin Glover's alternately heart-breakingly sad and back-smashingly scary performance as the monster Grendel. (Grendel also benefits the most from his character not having to look fully human, and therefore not being as dead-eyed as the rest of the cast.)

The Medeiros Girl, [REC] - That is not The Medeiros Girl pictured above, but rather a character reacting to The Medeiros Girl; not enough people have seen [REC] yet for me to go spoiling the film's creepiest surprise. But let me just tell you, I am not shitting you that this girl deserves her spot here. Holy effin' shit! Ahhh!!! [edited to add that I have since seen the American remake Quarantine and the scary-quotient of this character remains fully intact therein - eep]


Anonymous said...

bateman is 20 times funnier than any of those. and much funnier besides grendel, who was unintentionally hilarious


you know... it really must be something about stand alone body parts (the pale man / the mouth of sauron). or body parts that just aren't right (take those backwards limbs in THE RING)

cuz spooky

there's always THING for the cute version. But most of the time -- spookiest is anything disembodied

Anonymous said...

Totally agree - the Mouth of Sauron is immensely creepier than an orc. That mouth is way too big for the size face it's on. For pure thrills in LOTR, though, I have to go with the black riders. They aren't so scary after repeat viewings, but the first time I saw them I was terrified.

Y Kant Goran Rite said...

I'm still terrified of going into dark rooms because of that goddamn Medeiros girl! I've never been this creeped out by a fictional character. Wish I never saw the goddamn thing! (But then that's probably a sign of effective horror movie making.)

Glenn Dunks said...

[Rec] is my #1 movie on my DVD queue so I'm hoping it's sent out sooner rather than later as I haven't been able to find it in any video stores near me. But, surprisingly, even the trailer for Quarantine kinda scared me so that was positive.

Chris Na Taraja said...

All very excellent monsters. Bravo!