Happy birthday to monster lover and moviemaker Guillermo del Toro. The Mexican director turns 52 today. Del Toro’s biggest obsession, monsters and the culture that surrounds them, is currently the subject of an expansive and immersive exhibit at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art — which your weekend editor recently saw and highly recommends for film fans and horror hounds alike (At Home with Monsters is open through November 27). To celebrate Del Toro’s special day, we’re revisiting some of the scariest monsters in movie history. Here are ten of our favorites. What creatures would make your list?
10. Silent Hill
Silent Hill, based on the popular videogame from Konami, is full of nightmarish things, but the bizarre and terrifying Pyramid Head has to be the scariest.
A gigantic monster with a deafening roar that is made of smaller creatures that climb off its body and attack people makes us want to crawl in a hole and never leave.
8. The Blob
The 1988 remake of the monster movie classic The Blob shows just how terrifying the amorphous fiend with a goofy name can really be.
7. Pan’s Labyrinth
The saggy-skinned Pale Man has eyeball-hands and eats children, which is all we really need to know to be very afraid.
6. The Fly
Jeff Goldblum’s genius turned insect in David Cronenberg’s remake of The Fly is more gross-out than spooky, but “Brundlefly” and his slimy visage is a must-have on any monster list.
5. The Descent
Part of what makes the subterranean creature in Neil Marshall’s The Descent so scary is that we don’t see it for most of the movie. But when we finally get a glimpse of the monster deep inside the caves, it’s a face we won’t soon forget.
4. Invasion of the Body Snatchers
Creatures that look like your loved ones or neighbors rank rather high on our list, because they can attack you where it hurts the most. Also, that shriek!
Never going into the water ever again.
Any creature that likes to have babies with your face is no bueno.
1. The Thing
The Thing contains all the best science fiction and horror elements a genre fan could ever hope for. Its creature, like that in Invasion of the Body Snatchers, assimilates and looks like the people and animals it absorbs. Yes, we said absorbs. * shudder *