What are the ingredients of a great movie monster?
What are the ingredients of a great movie monster? Xavier
A goalie mask and a really big knife, of course. I'm kidding. The truth is that those live-action figures of jack-in-the-box horror Jason, Freddy, Michael Myers, and the Scream phantom have redefined movie monsterdom, even though I'd call them mythical slasher icons who are not quite great monsters. What do they lack? In a word, mystery. To me, a great movie monster needs a quality of imaginative weirdness above and beyond its ability to shred you. Freddy, with his redneck rasp, comes closest, but I'm partial to the poignance of Frankenstein's patchwork-corpse man, the original King Kong, Dracula, and Norman Bates and also, in recent times, to the creature from the original Alien. That one too is a jumpy slasher, but what takes it into the pantheon is its fearsome flesh-as-machine design. It's the Darwinian survival beast as nightmare.
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