/Response: Your Favorite Movie Creatures Of All Time

(Welcome to /Responses, the companion piece to our /Answers series and a space where /Film readers can chime in and offer their two cents on a particular question.)

Earlier this week, the /Film team celebrated the arrival of Kong: Skull Island by writing about their all-time favorite movie creatures. We then opened the floor to our readers: what is your favorite movie creature? And you let us know!

We have collected our favorite answers (edited for length and clarity) below. Next week's question: what is your favorite movie musical? Send your (at least one paragraph, please) answer to slashfilmpitches@gmail.com!

The Xenomorph From the Alien Series

In the pantheon of cinematic creatures, none are as affecting or terrifying as Ridley Scott's Xenomorphs. As a child (who was probably too young to be watching) I remember watching wide-eyed as these solid black nightmares hid in nearby shadows, ready to pounce at the very moment that the music fades into a false sense of security. As if that weren't bad enough, their little cousins come along for the ride, capable of hiding literally anywhere your hand can fit, wanting only to plant an egg in your stomach. As a child, these images were haunting. As an adult however, they take on a much more sinister sheen. [...] The Xenomorph is a creature that survives and multiplies out of the death and destruction of other species. It doesn't think, it doesn't plan, it doesn't have allegiances (just ask Paul Reiser). It is a perfect killing machine that has but one directive: to kill and multiply. It's absolutely terrifying, fascinating, and astounding. Thank God they're not real, because if they were, it would be game over, man. -Jacob Dixon

My favorite movie creature is, without a doubt, the xenomorph from the Alien franchise. What could possibly be scarier? A being of pure hatred that starts its lifecycle forcibly impregnanting a horrified host, eventually exploding out of their chest in what was literally the most traumatizing movie moment in my life. And good luck killing this bastard – when your best case scenario will inevitably involve spilling acid on your ship's hull, what do you even do? -Izzy Nobre

The Monster From Cloverfield

Set the scene. You're at a party with your friends, the Statue of Liberty ends up in the street outside your apartment and you don't know why, but you need to get out of the city. My dreams since writing a childhood paper on monster attacks are now coming true. In the age of modern technology we live through our portable devices and that's what makes Cloverfield so natural and ahead of its time. Cloverfield is everything I asked for as a kid, an original giant movie monster of my own, and that's what makes it my favorite creature on film. -Kevin Lotito

The Brundlefly in The Fly

Jeff Goldblum's character from David Cronenberg's remake of The Fly is a truly interesting movie monster. He's still capable of human feeling, but is a victim of his own hubris and ambition, making him responsible yet tragic and relatable at the same time. We feel for him, yet can't help but see how he brought this misfortune upon himself. The visuals of his gradual transformation still have an impact. -Brodie Cotnam

The Last Elemental in Hellboy II: The Golden Army

Hellboy 2: The Golden Army was basically a big excuse for Guillermo Del Toro to go wild with the creature workshop. The film, arguably his most underrated effort and easily one of the best comic book movies ever made, is chock-full of vibrant, imaginative creatures, displayed to staggering effect in the troll market. The climax to this scene brings us The Last Elemental, a forest god born from a jumping seed that bursts to life in a torrent of greenery. As is the way of things, Hellboy must take down the creature before it rampages across the city, but its ultimate demise rings louder as tragedy than victory. In death, the elemental, the last of its kind, blooms new life across hardened brick and cracked paving, bringing new beauty to a world that may not really deserve it. The joy of the mythological must be destroyed to make way for the humans, and they don't even care about the loss. In a full loaded with ambiguity over who the "real" enemies are, and such reverence for even the nastiest fairytale beasts, the elemental's end shows the pain of such sacrifices. -Kayleigh Donaldson

The Tooth Fairies in Hellboy II: The Golden Army

The screen bears their presence for only a few minutes of Del Toro's Hellboy II, but the tooth Fairies serve as an incredible example of utilizing the design of a creature to dazzle and unsettle an audience. The tooth fairies are elegant and childlike, their diminutive stature, oblong heads, and tiny, wide-set black eyes nearly convince the viewer of their docility. The illusion is shattered as their broad, oval mouths widen, revealing their perfectly disproportioned teeth, designed to consume flesh and enamel. The inevitability of a gruesome demise surges with the chaotic movement of the swarm. The immensity of their number is overwhelming and yet there seems to always exist a sufficient amount of space between them to render any gunshot or swat an utterly futile gesture. The beautiful abominations devour a man in less than a minute, chittering gleefully as they pluck the teeth from his freshly naked skull. Tooth fairies are the creatures of nightmares. At least mine, anyway. -Elliott Rodriguez

jurassic park t-rex

The T-Rex in Jurassic Park

Your own Jack Giroux had it right when he picked the T-Rex from Jurassic Park. My parents made the ultra smart decision to take me, a five-year-old, to see the movie when it first came out. While it did scare me at times, it blew my mind at a level that hasn't been matched since, and it was all due to that legendary creature. The shaking bass. The water ripples. THE TOILET! That T-Rex not only gets an incredible introduction, but was such a star that Spielberg himself changed the ending of the movie to give her a heroic ending as well. And you KNOW when Colin Trevorrow announced that the T-Rex in Jurassic World was the T-Rex, a much older and scarred version who still comes to save the day, I got so happy. He understood. And, regardless of anyone's opinion on the quality of Jurassic World, the return of the OG T-Rex (crashing through a Spinosaurus skeleton with the biggest extinct middle finger possible) is the reason people flocked in droves to see it. Greatest movie creature of all time. – Chase Dunnette

The Balrog in The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

I know what you are thinking right now. "Strictly speaking, wouldn't the Balrog be considered a literary monster rather than a movie creature?" And you know what? Fair enough. It originated as a text-only creature of J.R.R. Tolkien's devising. But looking at the actual descriptions of this monster in his texts, it leaves a lot to the imagination other than them being creatures of fire and darkness, with wings and a big whip. The design that Jackson's team built created a sense of power and dread, not just through the actual creature design but through the dramatic lead up to the confrontation in the Mines of Moria – from the beating drums to the scattering goblins and the increasing desperation of the Fellowship. In short, like much good creature-making, the Balrog looms large in my memory not just because of the aspects of the creature but because the world-building was so encompassing and engrossing. Who among us – even including those who had already read the books – didn't flinch when the whip made it's way around Gandalf's ankle, dragging him into the deep? -Dariush Nothaft

The Predator

I don't know when it began, but at some point I started to dream about the Predator. It's silly, I know. The Predator is this sort of monolithic ideal of a savage yet principled warrior — a red piller's fantasy of an alpha male alien badass scouring the galaxy for a fair fight and a few trophy skulls to mount on his spartan wall of death. But he got in my head. Sometimes I dream of being chased by the Predator, sometimes of fighting the Predator, sometimes of fighting alongside the Predator. Once, I swear to God, I dreamed of teaming up with the Predator to fight a horde of zombies and it was one of the greatest nocturnal adventures of my life. Side-by-side, we laid waste to untold masses of the undead, and it was better than any video game you've ever played. I don't know what it is about Stan Winston's creature design that's stuck with me for so many years, but it's never going to leave me. That steel mask. Those advanced weapons. That face! I'm terrified. I'm mystified. I'm held in thrall to the galaxy's most memorable trophy hunter. – J.J. Duncan

The Giant Ants in Them

The giant ants from the black-and-white cult classic Them are my number one favorite movie creatures of all time. As a little kid, I watched the film with my father again and again on VHS. I think they impacted me so strongly because, as a kid, I played in the dirt and ants were so familiar. Seeing them grown to monstrous size (from nuclear fallout) was pure movie magic. -Joe Miale

The Thing

The Thing from John Carpenter's 1982 masterpiece is easily my favorite movie creature of all time. Besides being excellently designed and practical, the Thing is so much more layered than any other movie creature. Yes, its motivation is like any other evil movie creature, but it's the way in which the Thing tortures its victims, both physically and mentally, that makes it the most interesting. The Thing makes every victim doubt themselves and those around them, and every victim questions who the Thing really is. If a movie creature can make me truly terrified of both Kurt Russell and Wilford Brimley, then it's a winner in my book. -Peter Petrusma