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September 04 2008

Pop Vulture's "5 Creepiest, Scariest TV Monsters". Fun little list of the top five freakiest monsters in recent television history; Buffy, Supernatural and the good Doctor make the list.

Gotta say, even though I don't know Lost or Supernatural, I agree with this list, based on the descriptions of the monsters. Plus? Gotta love the Whedon-love.

The Smoke Monster on Lost is not very scary when it's printing out your fare.
I don't know, cab drivers can be pretty frightening...

I never found The Monster especially scary though. Just odd and confusing. As one of the replies on that page say the Daleks still scare me.
^It is when you're out somewhere and hear a receipt printer going off just out of the blue. But maybe that's just the Lostie in me.

And while The X-Files has plenty of wonderful creatures and characters for a list like this I'm glad they went with who they did. The easy way out would have been Tooms but Phaster is just down right unsettling.
The Weeping Angels from "Blink" are extremely scary. Steven Moffat rules. I would love to see him write for Firefly. Or any Whedon show. But wouldn't it be cool to see something that could scare a reaver?
You know having said that I really though I heard the noise that the monster from Cloverfield made one night. Woke me up. That really freaked me out, and it took me a while to get back to sleep, no idea what the noise was, but Manchester was fairly intact the next day, so if nothing else it cleared up after itself.
Had to be "The Gentlemen", far scarier than any "big bad of the season".
If you click on "badass women of TV" (box on the right), Buffy is #1, so all's right with the world.

I was most unhappy about no BSG women on that list, until I read that the women of BSG have a section all to themselves.
I'm with you, RBB. Although, the cosmic phenomenon of a Whedon-Moffat convergence could make anything brilliantly scary. I imagine it would be rather like Gravitational Lensing, only instead of seeing the bent light of an object appearing as a double image, it would hugely magnify the awesome of whatever it passed near.

Perhaps we should count ourselves lucky these sorts of astronomical events don't happen very often. The effects of a Whedon-Moffat-Gaiman trine, or a Whedon-Moffat-Gaiman-del Toro alignment could be quite devastating upon the rest of the entertainment industry. Also for girls who find themselves in extraordinary circumstances which redefine their worldview.
Yep, the Weeping Angels from Blink are as scary as they come, really. Brilliant episode, that was. As for Daleks... not so scary. They're just silly little tin-can-children having a fit ;).

The Lost black smoke monster used to be scary, in season one, untill it wasn't, which is the point we've arrived at now. Don't mean that as a criticism (the last season of Lost was pure television gold), but the monster just isn't that scary anymore. But I don't think it's supposed to be scary now, so that's okay.

As for The Gentlemen... to me they weren't the scariest monsters on the show. They were a little too mime-y for them to be truly scary, although they were a briliantly executed concept. The Monster from 'Killed by Death', on the other hand was scary (in many ways it's a Whovian monster, feeding into fears and nightmares children have), but scariest goes to the skin-eating demon from 'Same Time, Same Place'. Yikes.
I deffo agree with this list! (I've never watched supernatural, but so I'll have to take their word for that one).
I think Smokey (what we call the island Monster thing) is terrifying just because no one knows what it is! He killed Eko, which makes it a not nice thing.
Blink is my fave episode of Dr Who's third season and maybe overall. The Weeping Angels are terrifying and creepy, but it's the time thing that makes them the scariest monsters of all (it's wibbley-wobbley, timey-wimey... stuff). The Daleks aren't scary-- they're hilarious! I can never take them seriously; even though I know they are badass enough to wipe out the Time Lords, sorry, they are just R2D2s.
And who could argue with the Gentlemen, they still give me nightmares!
I remember as a child being terrified by the cockroach monsters in The X-Files, moreso than anything else on TV I've ever seen. But as a rule, I *am* terrified of cockroaches, so maybe that's not a universal fear.
The scariness of the Daleks is very much dependent on when you started watching Who. If ound the Gentlemen supremely creepy, though Gnarl always gets me good and creeped out :) Moffat is gold nearly all of the time and I would indeed be properly fearful of what would happen should some sort of Whedon/Gaiman/Moffat collaboration come about.
I agree with the Gentlemen. Every time I watch Hush, that one by the window gets me again.

Nick Chinlund (Donny Pfaster) was on Buffy too. He dragged Riley back into the Initiative (bless him).
The scariness of the Daleks is very much dependent on when you started watching Who.

True, though I reckon that's the case with most monsters really. Nothing in Buffy really scared me for instance though some monsters were eerie (like the Gentlmen) or nasty/disgusting (like Gnarl).

In context the space mind eater in 'Listening to Fear' was pretty unsettling but maybe as much because of the madness aspect as for the monster. As Buffy found, when you strip away all the weapons etc. you're left with yourself but what do you do when you don't even have that ? Scary because it's a very real possibility for many of us (Alzheimer's is pretty common in my family for instance).

Inevitability is scary I think, so the Borg are scary partly because they're relentless and single-minded (heh ;) in pursuing their agenda. Same with the Weeping Angels, as the article says, sooner or later you have to blink (just as with Freddie in the 'Nightmare on Elm Street' films, you have to sleep). The Daleks used to have that scary inevitability but have maybe been overexposed in that they now seem really, really evitable after being defeated so many times (by one old dude with a funny blue box ;).
Yeah, I'm all for the Daleks riding off into the sunset for a few seasons. I'm also kinda sick of the Cybermen, but I think that I may be predisposed to that. The last time they were actually interesting is when they were responsible for Adric's demise.
I'll agree the Daleks were over-exposed, though I don't necessarily think their scariness is time-contingent. I started watching once the new series began, and I remember being very unsettled after watching the episode "Dalek".

My vote for scariest Buffy villain goes to the characters themselves. Icky monsters are one thing; the messes we get ourselves into are way more frightening.
Yeah, the Daleks totally worked in "Dalek", when you see the Doctor reacting very heavily to meeting them. After that episode, the Borg-effect did its work and the Daleks became not-so-scary-and-pretty-much-just-funny. But that first episode (well, to me it was the first as just a watcher of "new Who" ;)) worked like a charm.
Seeing him that scared is kind of like seeing Jayne scared of Reavers - even if you're a new viewer you know the Daleks are bad-ass.

The last time they were actually interesting is when they were responsible for Adric's demise.

Poor old Adric. Didn't like him but his demise was still kind of affecting, he "did the math" as you guys might say and computed his own end. The new incarnation of the Cybermen is OK but for me there just isn't really enough to separate them as villains from the Daleks, the existential threat they pose is basically the same. And there hasn't been a truly great Cybermen story in the new series so far (or even, arguably, a good one).

Yeah, I'm all for the Daleks riding off into the sunset for a few seasons.

Absolutely. I like them a lot but even in classic Who it used to be an event when the Daleks appeared, now we're in a situation where every series we have "the Dalek episode(s)" and it's pulling their teeth IMO. Moffat's making the right noises in that regard, wait and see I guess.
The Star Trek TOS salt vampire in "The Man Trap" (the first episode ever aired) scared the crap out of me when I was a kid. I still get uncomfortable thinking about that episode, and I'm not sure if I've ever actually watched it since.

Also, Ross on Friends was pretty creepy.
I like the Angel family from Judge Dredd. "I want his ears"

edited to change: embarrassing spelling errors

[ edited by alexreager on 2008-09-05 17:47 ]
"Unfortunately, on the days when the special effects department makes it seem like little more than a nasty storm, the fear factor is mitigated somewhat."

If anything, I find that aspect of Smokey most effective. It's creepier when you're not quite sure where it is or where it's gonna come from, but you know it's out there in the forest. It's moving around somewhere and it's coming, possibly right for you!

Although, there is something to be said for those moments when the thing pops up and just sits there, ready to make a move, seeming to peer right into your very soul. Not to mention, the scene in this last season, where Smokey swooped in and ripped through Ben's enemies was both scary and awesome.... Scaryawesome. :)
Not a big fan on the smoke monster myself. Personally, I found Caleb to be a pretty scary monster, what with his misogyny and religion. . . but perhaps he's just a villian.

Reavers? They're scary. Scarier than the smoke monster is, anyway.
I think part of the scary factor of Smokey is the fact that it's so ambiguous. Certainly, it was frightening when we never saw it in S1 however, we then see what it really is in S2 but that doesn't take away from the mystique. We've seen it in many shapes and forms and we've seen it do many different things. In one scene it could be trying to kill someone, in another, protecting them. Just the fact that we don't know what it or it's agenda is is frightening, at least to me. It seems to be playing judge and that it may be a higher power capable of condemning is very unsettling. Each time we see it we don't know what to expect.

Of course, if you subscribe to the thought that there's multiple Smokies then I just don't know.
@The Xan Man: You just blew my mind. The idea that there could be more than one smoke monster seriously never even occurred to me!
"Blink" is my favorite Dr. Who episode, ever, and I was really pleased to see the Weeping Angels up there with the Gentlemen. It didn't hurt that they both appeared in top-notch episodes, with fantastic writing and quality.
Speaking of Blink, I think I am the first to link to these great pics of an awesome costume at DragonCon. Anyone recognise the lady being strangled? ;-)
On Lost.

The French woman said the smoke monster was a security system.

Sometimes, you see the three smoke streams merge into one giant smoke monster.

Also I thought there was a white smoke monster on Lost. The little boy is being attached. Seems like white smoke and then suddenly a polar bear is there. Zen. White smoke monster. Black smoke monster. Locke with the game board with white and black pieces. Or could have just been bad animation of the polar bear.

Also another theory I have is that Kevin is on the island. He was yanked out of the back of the plane with the Doctor and survived. He was trying to reach Kate when the smoke monster got him that first night and pulled him underground like it tried to do to Locke. Kevin took the place of the one-eyed guy. Notice that the smoke monster runs away from Kate and doesn't hurt Kate. It could happen on Lost. Or could just be I want Nathan Fillion back on the show.
AlanD I actually came across the lady's LJ entries, both for the con & for making that costume. And I thought I was insane for building the Morgul Lord of Angmar's armor from craft foam!

I found her LJ last night because I was looking for good pics of the Angels for reference in my attempt to create a costume for Halloween. She's got some really great ideas there.

Woochie makes an appliance for Halloween that could easily be used if someone wanted to go as a Gentleman - it's a grinning mouth, quite literally ear-to-ear; just paint the teeth silver & you're good to go.

Had things worked out in my favor, my roommates & I would have recreated a bit of "Hush" at Carpe Noctem 2008; I was going to play the victim, complete w/gaping chest wound, and quite possibly there'd have been someone hiding behind a curtain as a Gentleman, ready to glide out and freak everyone in the room. But, alas, those plans fell through. So I shall instead just dream of "what could have been." (My roomies @MCB & I did a version of this, w/an actual [pig] heart in a jar, but not too many people got to see it. This would have been announced @the start of the con.)
@The Xan Man: You just blew my mind. The idea that there could be more than one smoke monster seriously never even occurred to me!

It's funny, with a show like Lost you can come across a new mind blowing theory every day. ^_^
Wow, AlanD, thanks for the linkage. That's an amazing looking costume, very impressive. And that picture with our very own Jewel Staite is, of course, made of awesome :)
AlanD, GVH Here's her "How-to" LJ entry:

Took her about a month of steady work to assemble it, plus a couple of weeks of up-to-insane-hours-of-the-AM just before the con to finish it.

She said (in her DragonCon report) she had no clue that was Jewel, most likely because of low visibility.

Kudos to her for not only having the idea, but sticking to it & making it turn out so gorram awesome.

I was thinking of buying a pair of those "angel" wings that come out about now & spray painting them w/stone paint, but I saw someone's "costume" who'd done that...and it didn't look right. (I use the quotes because she went the absolute simplest route - bedsheets for the dress, a plastic mask painted grey & the wings. She didn't even bother w/grey makeup on her arms or neck.)

I think I'll stick with my vampire/slayer costume idea this year. I'll pick up another set of fangs next time I'm in Goodwill, since the putty for my original set is no good, and I'm not sure you can use denture adhesive on real teeth. Question is: two sets on top, or top & bottom fangs? (The rest of the costume is: latex vamp-face appliance, black leather calf-high side-zip boots, black leather pants, white halter top, black leather duster & stake. As a weapon, not embedded.)
Personally, I found Caleb to be a pretty scary monster, what with his misogyny and religion. . . but perhaps he's just a villian.
GrrrAargh | September 05, 19:28 CET

Hadn't thought of Caleb but I couldn't agree more. Although he was in human form, he was most definitely a monster. And Nathan did such a great job of making him truly terrifying. Good catch.

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