There are certain monsters in horror cinema that are more than just big beasts or mindless killers. There are monsters that affect us on a deeply psychological level. The type of monsters that have been borne from the darkest nightmares, ready to haunt nightmares of our own.
We're looking at cosmic horror, body horror, horror that preys on sexuality, grief, and psychological trauma. These are the monsters that once you've seen them will stick with you, lurking in the back of your psyche.
For this list scary humans and ghosts do not count as monsters. Having sad that, some entries may indeed be humanoids, or are creatures that were once human that have transformed into something far, far more horrible.
10. The Behemoth - The Mist (2007)
One day David Drayton (Thomas Jane) was shopping at the supermarket, when all of a sudden a mist came a-rollin’ in. Unfortunately for him and the rest of the unlucky shoppers, that mist was chock full of Lovecraftian monsters intent on slaughter and destruction.
These monsters include: giant flying bugs, pterodactyls, big spiders, and a huge praying mantis thing.
So why is the Behemoth the most terrifying?
Yes the creepy crawlies are vicious and horrible, but there’s always the fear that there are even worse things hiding out there. When Drayton escapes the supermarket and heads deep into the mist he sees things neither he, or we viewers, could ever imagine.
The Behemoth, this utterly huge, myriad-tentacled, nightmarish creature, is pure cosmic horror. It is only shown briefly and at a distance. But by not dwelling on it director Frank Darabont does something truly frightening - he tells us that there are even worse horrors awaiting in the mist.
Whilst we could recognise what the previous monsters resembled (bugs etc.), the Behemoth signals our entry into a whole new realm of infinite, hopeless, unknowable horror.