One of my favorite things about the month of October is Halloween. To be more specific… the horror/scary movies that come on during the month of October. Ever since I was a young girl I have been a fan of horror movies… the scarier the better.
I don’t know if you’re old enough to remember when Chiller (Theatre) came on Saturday nights at 11:30 p.m; well sometimes my mom would allow me to stay up late with my uncle (he stayed with us for a while) who was eight years older than me, and watch the first movie that would come on Chiller. It was usually a double-feature; I could have watched both but my Uncle had specific rules to turn the TV off after the first movie went off.
So this time of year gets me to thinking about all the horror movies I love watching; which in turn, got me thinking about which movie monster, madman and/or mutant was the scariest. Here is my list of the top 10 scariest movie monsters:
Freddy – In the Nightmare on Elm Street movies, Freddy Krueger kept many a teenager frightened to go to sleep. The undead Krueger inhabits the world of dreams and attacks his victims while they’re sleeping. His weapon of choice: A leather glove, from which sprouted four 6-inch knives. Of all the 80’s horror movie monsters that were supernatural, undead or non-human, Krueger was the scariest.
Jack Torrance – The first Stephen King book I ever read was The Shining; I have been a King fan ever since. One of King’s scariest characters is Jack Torrance. As you watch The Shining you get to watch Jack’s lapse into insanity slowly unfold. How horrifying to watch a father try to kill his own child. The scene where Jack uses the axe to break through a door and the creepy and famous line "Here’s Johnny" was creepily and most excellently played by Jack Nicholson.
Norman Bates – Any man who is such a mommy’s boy is scary, in my opinion. Seriously, Norman Bates is scary because once again he is a flesh and blood human. Also the shower scene in Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho kept women from taking showers for years.
Leatherface – What makes Leatherface in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre so scary, is that he is based on a true story. To think that there was a man wearing a mask made of human skin, wielding a chainsaw and killing people that his family of cannibals directed him, really creeps me out.
Annie Wilkes – How can Kathy Bates be scary? It’s Bates character Annie Wilkes that’s scary. In Stephen Kings Misery, Annie Wilkes is romance novelist Paul Sheldon’s number one fan, unfortunately for him. She is an obsessed fan that will do anything to keep him. The scene with the sledge hammer still makes me wince.
Jaws – The reason Jaws is so scary for me is that it is a shark. Something real and tangible. I remember when I first saw Jaws, which happened to be on TV while I was babysitting a 3 year old that was napping. I think I was thirteen and to this day I’m scared to get too far out in the ocean. When Jaws first came out their were many people who felt the same way.
Damien – How much scarier can you get than the child of Satan? I think it is scary when the monster is a child. How creepy to see a little boy or girl who should be innocent, look at you with lifeless or steely eyes. In The Omen, Damien can send chills down your spine with the look in his eyes as he kills off those around him that could interfere in his reign over man-kind.
Pennywise – This one is almost a gimme, seeing that clowns can be downright scary in their own right. However, Stephen King’s malevolent, shape-shifting, child-killing monster in It is the scariest clown of all. Pennywise is the ultimate child’s nightmare! I read the book before seeing the movie and if I had not already been scared of clowns before, I was after reading the book and definitely after seeing the movie.
Regan MacNeil – The twelve year old Regan from The Exorcist is scary because she is a child that is possessed by Satan. There is something horrifying about a child being evil and Linda Blair played Regan in a way that reportedly caused heart failure to some of the moviegoers at the time, it was that frightening. I mean seeing a kid spewing pea soup, rotating her head 360 degrees and abusing a crucifix is pretty darn scary!
And the number 1 scariest monster/madman of all time (to me) is….
Hannibal Lechter – Lechter is horrifying because he IS human. The scariest monsters to me are those that are of human flesh and blood. Because they could be "real". Not to mention Anthony Hopkins’ portrayal of Hannibal the Cannibal in Silence of the Lambs was so eerily frightening. And of course there is the thought that he would like to eat my liver with a side of fava beans and a nice Chianti.
So these are my top ten scariest monsters. Who or what do you think is the scariest movie monster? We hope to hear from you!