The monster movie is one of the cornerstones of horror cinema. Since time immemorial, our screens have shaken and shivered with sequences of scaly creatures rising from the swamp, hairy beasts howling at the moon, and bloodthirsty bad boys seducing the uninitiated.
But just because a monster strikes fear into the heart of anyone who lays eyes on them doesn't mean that the world they inhabit does. Filmmakers often don't realise what they've got, phoning in their plot, pacing, supporting characters and cinematography, and putting out F-average movies when the little pieces of evil at their core really deserve nothing but the best.
So many terrible monster movies have been made without any regard for the brilliantly beastly characters they are trashing in the process; and sometimes their monsters are just begging to be set free. Often, the bad guys aren't allowed free reign to do all the nasty things that make them so scary, and sometimes they do too much, with the director reducing them to fairground attractions in the process of a single picture.
Now lock the door, barricade the cupboard and, whatever you do, don't try to run; these 10 great movie monsters deserve your full, undivided attention.
10. The Boogeyman -- Boogeyman (2005)
Drawing on one of the most pervasive monsters of contemporary common folklore, Stephen Kay's Boogeyman seeks to flesh out all of our childhood nightmares by bringing the ultimate bedroom Big Bad onto our screens.
Unsurprisingly, the film features the boogeyman (or bogeyman, for those of us on the Tetley-swilling side of the Atlantic), a supernatural creature who lives under our beds and in our cupboards, emerging only at night to scare the living s**t out of anyone in reach and, in several cases, murdering the home's inhabitants and stealing the kids. Unfortunately, this boogeyman is confined by more than just a pair of plywood doors.
Make no mistake, the boogeyman is a great monster, but is ruined by some shoddy CGI and a desperate need on the part of the filmmakers to blow their own tension and show the bad guy out in the open. What makes the boogeyman scary -- in both this film and real life -- is that we don't really know what he looks like, we only know what he does.