The Ass Weasel (Dreamcatcher)
The bathroom is truly the last safe haven in the home. Think about it: where else can you be left in relative peace to contemplate life without someone just barging in on you? While the whole 'alien parasite violently tearing out of your body' had been done decades prior in Ridley Scott’s Alien, Stephen King upped the ante the chestburster had thrown down by giving his aliens a rear exit port from their host. Nobody wants to die on the toilet, and you certainly don’t want to die passing one of these. Perhaps the only things creepier than how this little bugger operates are the unrelated images that pop up when you do a Google image search for 'Ass Weasel.' Brrr...
The Flukeman (The X-Files)
Anyone who watched The X-Files in the 90’s knows what I’m talking about: after a rock-solid first season that was relatively tame in its creature selection (Nothwithstanding Eugene Tooms), the second episode of season 2 came straight outta nowhere with the Flukeman. An irradiated liver fluke from Chernobyl, the Flukeman somehow managed to grow into a white-skinned humanoid with a toilet-plunger face and a habit of impregnating city workers with its brood. The worst part? Even after being cut in half by Agent Mulder, the Flukeman, true to its roots, regenerates. Sadly, it spent the rest of the series in the shadows, relegated to tabloid covers and subtle asides, leaving us with just one glorious episode of parasitic mayhem that represents a high-water mark for the series.
Brundlefly (The Fly)
Nobody does squishy, biological nastiness quite like David Cronenberg, and his reimagining of The Fly is the prime example. Merged with a fly in a teleporting accident, Seth Brundle (Jeff Goldblum) slowly undergoes a transformation into a human-fly hybrid, culminating in a final flesh-peeling metamorphosis that’s still nasty over 20 years after the film’s release.
The Baby (It’s Alive)
With It’s Alive, Larry Cohen perverted one of the most joyous occasions of a young couple’s life by asking the question "What if the baby were a murderous monster?" Although we see very little of the terrifying tyke, what we do see looks enough like a normal infant to disturb us even more as it leaves bloodied bodies in its wake. Sure, there’s a message underneath it all about the dangers of genetic manipulation, but that’s almost secondary to the concept of a bloodthirsty mutant newborn.
Tequila Monster (Poltergeist II)
For a creature that’s in the movie for a little over a minute, Poltergeist II’s tequila monster takes its bit role and runs with it, making it one of the only memorable moments from the mediocre sequel. Possessed by the spirit of Reverend Harry Kane (a terrifying figure in his own right), a tequila-slugging Steve Freeling (Craig T. Nelson) tries to rape his wife, only to collapse and start puking up something much bigger than should ever be able to fit through his esophagus (I think we’ve all been there when tequila’s involved). When the monster finally wriggles into the frame and flashes the same toothy grin as the good Reverend, its image is forever locked into our minds. While not nearly as famous as H.R. Giger’s other creations, it’s no less gruesome or memorable.
The Crawlers (The Descent)
What would happen if cavemen had never left the caves? They’d become The Descent’s vicious Crawlers, bat-like hominids with a taste for cute female spelunkers. Athletic and acrobatic, they capped off The Descent’s already unsettling claustrophobia with good old fashioned monster mashing that drove the already disturbed women into a frenzy of survivalist violence. Inhuman monsters that make human monsters out of their prey? Now that’s scary.
The Brood (The Brood)
Another Cronenberg entry? Of course! However, whereas Brundlefly shocks with gross-out splatter, the titular Brood make your skin crawl on so many different levels. Maybe it’s their uniform Village of the Damned blonde hair, or their ever-so-slightly distorted features, or the fact that they’re murderous children birthed from a sac. No matter what the reason, these physical manifestations of a woman’s angry psyche are in a creepy class all their own.
The Engineer (Hellraiser)
I’m sure a few of you are scoffing at the idea that, in a movie full of skinless pervert uncles, cricket-munching hobos, and a troupe of BDSM demons, a monster whose appearance is a cameo at best gets the nod. While never named in the film (he was, however, in the source novella, The Hellbound Heart), it was always hinted that he was lurking just out of sight in the film’s interdimensional hallways. When he finally makes his appearance, his mottled flesh and completely illogical anatomy are so completely out of tune with anything your brain can come up with on its own that you simply can’t process it before he’s gone...but certainly not forgotten.
Reapers (Blade II)
I know that vampires feel a little bit out of place in a list about the nastiest and creepiest creatures in cinema and television, but I an exception had to be made for Blade II’s hideous Reapers. Borne out of a viral mutation, the Reapers are as far removed from normal vampires as can be, with a pack-hunting primal mentality, sickly pallor, and a jaw that butterflies open to drain their prey. Top that off with their only vulnerability being UV light, and you have a beast that eats sparkly androgynous teenagers for a bloody breakfast.
The Thing (The Thing)
What’s scarier than a monster with a killer instinct? A monster who simply wants to survive, and will pretend to be human to do so. John Carpenter’s remake of The Thing from Another World, itself based on the short story Who Goes There? replaces its predecessor’s Cold War allegory with genuinely horrifying creature effects as The Thing adapts on the fly to preserve itself. Trust me, there’s nothing worse than an organism that can turn Wilford Brimley into a monster who will chew off a man's arms and tear off its own head to survive. Insert your own 'diabeetus' joke here.
As much as we all love our human monsters, there’s something extra special about the inhuman monsters, the creatures that slither, drip, ooze and crawl into our collective psyches. Come along as we count down, in no particular order, the top ten creepiest creatures of horror.