Junk Drawer: Best Movie Monsters

BY ANASTASIA MONTAVON, AUSTIN VAN PAY, BENJAMIN K. PAPLHAM, SAMANTHA KOLB

Anastasia: the shark from “Jaws”

My love of sharks started at a young age. I don’t remember exactly when I saw “Jaws” for the first time, but I know I still enjoy it as much as I did back then. The one thing that I love the most about the movie is, surprise, the shark. The shark doesn’t even appear until the second half of the movie, due to technical difficulties with the pneumatically powered prop sharks, but that adds a lot to the suspense. This beast is huge, hungry and, compared to some recent shark-themed movies, realistic. It might not be real enough to scare many kids these days, but all of the effort it took to build, work and film those prop sharks makes it my favorite movie monster.

Austin: “Clovie” from “Cloverfield”

My choice for favorite movie monster may be lesser known than the slew of more popular ones of today. My favorite has to be the monster from the film “Cloverfield” released in 2008. The monster within the film had so much mystery and terror surrounding it that it made me love the film that much more. J.J. Abrams, the producer of the film, also put a cool spin on the creature by calling it a sort of “American Godzilla.” “Clovie,” as he’s known, is developed even more when you watch the special features of the film and realize that it is actually a lost infant looking for its mother and all of the things it’s seeing on land are brand new. It’s a scared animal looking for its mother and that can make it even more unpredictable. The monster’s design and overall mystery still keeps my interest today and, in my eyes, is iconic within the monster movie genre.

Ben: Shelob from “Lord of the Rings: Return of the King”

When I was but a wee lad, monsters such as ghouls, zombies and skeletons gave me horribly realistic nightmares. Yet, strangely enough, the giant spider Shelob from “Lord of the Rings: Return of the King” filled my eight-year old imagination with awe. It was delightfully chilling to watch Frodo’s escapade inside Shelob’s lair, with the desaturated color and sharp chords creating a perfectly ominous tone.But the best moment is when Samwise Gamgee heroically appears with the Light of Eärendil in one hand and Sting in the other. Although nostalgia undoubtedly drives much of this sentiment, Sam versus Shelob is one of my all-time favorite fight scenes. Every time I watch it, a part of me wishes Shelob had been killed, but another part believes it’s more fun to imagine the monstrous spider lurking in the shadows, waiting to snap you up in its pincers.

Samantha: Dracula

My favorite classic monster is Dracula. Not only was this one of the first major vampires to ever hit the scene, but the different mythologies surrounding this legend are also fascinating to me. I must admit, in middle school I followed the “Twilight” craze, which opened the doors to other vampire series that were flying off the shelves like bloodsucking hotcakes. I have also seen a few adaptations of the classic horror figure. “Dracula Untold” is a surprisingly good movie. I enjoy the twist on the classic legend; “Van Helsing” featuring Hugh Jackman has a rock star-esque Dracula with a dark sense of humor played by Richard Roxburgh. I am always a fan of people who can take classic stories or legends and add a new perspective to the character. Dracula has been “revamped” so many times, yet has kept the same basic outline that the original character had in the first place. And that cape; you can’t beat that cape.

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