Archive, Daily Rant

ARCHIVE Day 51: What Makes a Scary Monster?

Original Release: 4/18/18

Many movies, from action to horror, use a monster to act as the villain. From Godilla to the Demigorgon from Stranger Things, a good monster can go a long way to add to a story. But what makes a monster so good?


The point of a monster is that it’s something beyond human understanding. They cannot be killed by our weapons, they’re faster than us, stronger than us, and we don’t know where they came from. A mysterious and powerful monster can go a long way to add to the story.

For example, let’s look at Shin Godzilla. In the film, they discuss how Godzilla couldn’t possibly move onto land under the assumption that he would be crushed under his own weight. But then the monster defies the basic rules of physics and gravity and walks onto land anyways. How? We don’t know. But he did it, establishing that he’s a monster beyond our understanding.

Another good case (until the ending ruins him) is Pennywise from Stephen King’s IT. He can be anywhere at anytime, he can transform into anything you’re afraid of, and he’s invisible to anyone he doesn’t want to see him. He is an unstoppable force… until he’s beaten down by kids and revealed to be a giant spider monster or some bullshit. So… half of a good example.

Ultimately, humans are afraid of what we don’t understand. And what better way to use that then to personify it as an unstoppable force of death?

God, monsters can be so cool.

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