Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Frightening Critters

I just finished watching the last few episodes of season 5 of Primeval, and they had the return of my favourite beasties, the Future Predators. This got me to thinking about some of the other awesome critters that have appeared recently on-screen (or in books); I'm not talking about human monsters, and forget about the classics like Freddy and Jason and Frankenstein and Alien and Predator and Godzilla etc. No, I'm thinking of newer monsters, supernatural or not, that for one reason or another struck a chord with me.

These are the ones I came up with (in no order):

Future Predators (Primeval) - highly evolved vicious (and carnivorous!) descendants of future bats (kind of), that use sonar in place of vision, have their ears on the front of their face, are extremely agile and strong, and lightening quick on their four clawed legs. They just look cool.

The Gentlemen (Buffy) - these ultra creepy demons gave me nightmares when I first saw them on Buffy; bald, pale, human-like things that are always grinning to expose horrible teeth. They wear black suits and don't walk, but float gracefully over the ground. Oh, and they each carry a satchel with a scalpel in it so they can cut out hearts. Damn graceful creepy bastards.

Weeping Angels (Dr Who) - probably the most original and terrifying creature I've come across for a hell of a long time. They are an ancient race of winged humanoid aliens, their origins unknown, who feed off the potential time energy of others--they can send you back through time with a touch, and feed off the energy left behind. The Angels are "quantum-locked," appearing as statues with their hands over their eyes, only able to move when they're not being observed. And then they can move silently and quickly, unsheathing fangs and claws to attack. Just awesome. Once they've seen you, you have to keep staring at them to keep them in the statue form. Whatever you do, don't blink...

Wraiths (Stargate Atlantis) - a vampire-like, telepathic race of aliens who feed off the life-force of humans. They are highly intelligent and technologically advanced, who feed using a feeding organ on the palm of their hand, which they place over a human's chest. Their prey ages when being fed upon, quickly becoming a dry husk. Ruthless, cruel, smart--everything you want in an enemy (on TV). Plus their green greasy-looking skin just adds the final horrible touch.

Clover (Cloverfield) - the giant (25 stories tall) amphibious, semi-quadrupedal "baby" alien that destroys New York (like any good alien should). It's covered in dog-sized vicious parasites that scatter about town to further add to the chaos. The beastie is all the more frightening because it's only seen in glimpses.

There must be others but I can' think of what they are right now (it's too cold, my brain's freezing up, and I really shouldn't have any scotch tonight). I struggled to think of any I'd come across in books I've read recently, too. But then most of the long lasting monsters become immortalised through film, don't they? I mean, when you think of Dracula, it's Bela Lugosi you think of; Hannibal Lecter, it's Anthony Hopkins; It, Tim Curry etc.