The Halloween Grab Bag!
The Next Big Trend in Movie Monsters!
by: Protoclown

If you pay attention to horror movies, you'll notice that there are popular monster trends that catch on about every decade or so, and everybody and their brother has to make a movie featuring that monster, until everybody gets completely sick of them and nobody wants to even think about them anymore, let alone watch a movie featuring them.

Right now of course, the popular monster is the zombie. Sure, zombies have been in movies going back a long way, but these days it seems that every other horror movie is a badly made zombie flick, with nothing new or interesting being tossed into the mix--these films are obviously an attempt to cash in and milk the monster cow as long as it's still producing. Sure, there are always exceptions to this rule (28 Days Later, Shaun of the Dead, and the Dawn of the Dead remake are all good examples), but for the most part it's pretty boring fare.

Back in the 90s, vampires were all the rage. It seemed you couldn't shove a stake into somebody in a crowded movie theater without hitting a vampire. And most of said vampires were boring, unremarkable, and utterly forgettable. Vampires kind of fell out of popularity for a good while there, and they're only just now starting to make a comeback into popular culture.

So now that zombies are being ruined for me (at least temporarily), I'm starting to wonder: what will be the next big thing? What new monster will come out, or what old one will have a resurgance in popularity, so that anyone and everyone wanting to direct a horror flick latches onto the idea until people get totally sick of it? I've been considering some options, and I think I've narrowed it down to this small field of potentials:


These seem an obvious choice, as the special effects necessary to portray them well did not really exist until fairly recently. There have been a few examples of them appearing in film over the years, but they've never really taken off to the point that vampires and zombies did. All it'll take is for one director to portray them really well, and then everybody will be all over the idea. And just think of all the potential to show awkward werewolf moments, like shedding fur at really embarrassing times, or having a messy diarrhea attack that, well, let's just say with all that hair down there cleanup would probably be a bit of a problem. And just think how disgusting werewolves having sex would be. All that sweaty, sticky, matted hair. It'd be like watching 1970s porn times a thousand. You know that some director is just waiting to show that on the big screen.


This is a monster that usually operates alone, but imagine if some archaeologist uncovers an ancient tome in an ancient tomb, and blowing the dust off the cover, he unwittingly breaks the seal that kept the spirits of Egypt's dead royalty in the netherworlds, and they all come to life at once, terrorizing the Egyptian desert! Okay, we'll have to make them a little more dangerous to Western audiences--so how about they have an extensive network of underground tunnels leading from their pyramids and tombs, and after months of long travel, they pop up out of the sewer systems of Europe and North America!

Imagine a scene with me: a college age guy is with his girl and is about to get laid, when suddenly he has to pinch a major loaf. He goes off to the bathroom. He sits down and takes care of his business. He sits up to wipe himself (he has to be one of those people who wipes while "hovering", or this bit will never work) and absently reaches out for the toilet paper, while wistfully daydreaming of all the wild sex he's about to have, when suddenly he notices that the toilet paper feels kind of...ancient in his hand. He looks over, only to discover that he's pulling the wrapping off a mummy's outreaching, clawing hand coming up out of the bowl...

Creatures From the Black Lagoon

Okay, this doesn't specifically have to refer to that iconic horror creature--it could refer to any number of swampy, man-thingy kind of merpeople that rise from the depths. I just like the look of that creature, so I prefer to imagine them that way. Imagine a film opening with a father and son on a fishing boat out on the water, enjoying the calmness of the refreshing breeze as the gentle waves rock them slightly back and forth. The boy finishes a Pepsi (product placement!) and carelessly tosses the can in the water. Well, unbeknownst to him, that piece of trash was THE LAST STRAW!! After decades of using their habitat as our trash can, they're not going to take it anymore! A scaly green clawed hand rises up out of the water and angrily grabs the boy's wrist, quickly pulling him under the water's surface. After this initial attack they rise up out of the seas, lakes, oceans, fry vats and large puddles of the world to take vengeance on us for our littering ways. And they won't be satisfied until they take our women (and pretty men) down to watery graves! (They're not actually trying to kill them, they're trying to marry them. They're just not really very smart).


This has always been more of a sci-fi staple, but they can be make for good horror movie monsters as well (if the screaming that permanently damaged my hearing when I saw Signs in the theater is any indication--but then again, perhaps they just really didn't like Shyamalan's directing). There are an endless number of variations one can apply to this idea--you can have them be as monstrous or as humanlike as you prefer, they can be mindless creatures of rage and aggression, or they can be cold and dangerously intelligent. And imagine the kind of anal probing scenes that you can now achieve through CGI--the kind of stuff that would never have been possible before without permanently debilitating the actors! I have a friend who was a marine, a real tough guy type. There's not much that scares this guy, but one thing he's terrified of? Little gray aliens. Nobody wants to be probed.

Big Giants That Walk Humans Around
on Leashes Like Dogs and Watch us Poop

Actually, this isn't even an idea for a movie; this is some horrible dream I had. Believe me, it was scary though. You don't want this.


Yeah, if you're just thinking of gay little Tinkerbell fairies that cast about on sparkly little wings, I guess they're not too imtimidating. But if you consider the fickle fae of ancient folklore who would just as soon kill you or enslave you for life as look at you and have magical powers over reality that we can't even begin to understand, they take on more of a threatening demeanor. When something can turn the very air around you into liquid shit, you tend to tread lightly around it.


Oh ho ho. No, this is too easy. You thought I was going to go there. That I wouldn't be able to resist going there. Well, I guess you are more the fool then, because I'm not even going to put it on my list, except for to make a point about how it's not even going on my list.


Another one that more frequently crosses over into Sci-fi, but robots have a small home in the corner of Horror as well. There are few things scarier than the idea of strong, inhuman workers rising up against their human masters. Yes, we've already seen plenty of killer robots, like the Terminator, but what about normal working bots that you would never expect to flip out? What about robots that you have invited into your own home, to do your laundry, to cook your food, to put your children to bed? What could be scarier than a butler gone berserk? When the Hug-Bot becomes a Strangle-Bot?


This one would admittedly be lame, but I wouldn't put that past Hollywood. We've already had several "big snake" movies, such as Anaconda and Python and certainly one about a Boa Constrictor as well, but there's also plenty of room for their smaller cousins. We've already seen snakes on a plane, snakes on a train. But how about snakes on a boat? Snakes in a moat? Snakes on a sub? Snakes in a club? And imagine, if you will, a film called Boa, where a bunch of fashionistas all go gaga over a stylish bit of neckwear that turns out to be a giant snake! And it chokes them all to death! The first one on stage, in the middle of a fashion show! How embarrassing!

This is just a small sampling of where Hollywood could go next with movie monsters. I can't predict what the next big monster trend will be, but I am absolutely certain that we're nearing the end of the zombie cycle and we're about to venture into some other monster that will be portrayed in every third movie to the point of ad nauseum.

Have any questions or comments about this piece?

Be sure to help support Protoclown by picking up a copy of his HENCHING comic book in the I-Mockery Store!


If you enjoyed this piece, be sure to check out:

Horrifying Halloween Frogs!

Reader Comments

Scary guy
Sep 10th, 2009, 07:02 PM
Werewolves have a particular bigger chance with what the Werewolf movie remake coming soon.
Forum Virgin
Sep 10th, 2009, 07:02 PM
Next big snakes on a plane type movie: Frankenstein on a trolley.

I still think we could get a good run out of your dream, though. xD
Pickled Patriarch
Sep 10th, 2009, 07:15 PM
Vampires are definitely all the rage right now, especially because o' True Blood.

If I had to cast a vote for the next big trend in movie monsters, I'd like to see... CYCLOPS!

You'd think "Cy" the cyclops kitten would be a catalyst for such a thing, but it never happened. This, my friends, is what I refer to as INJUSTICE!
With More Yes Than Ever
Sep 10th, 2009, 07:38 PM
I'd totally vote for Frankenstein monsters or the ressurgance of the C.H.U.D.! Wait, am I the only person who actually liked C.H.U.D.?
Sep 10th, 2009, 07:38 PM
I believe I recall a werewolf 'love scene' in Howling III.

C.H.U.D. was awesome. C.H.U.D 2, not so much.
aint nobody
Sep 10th, 2009, 07:53 PM
CHUD was a classic,never saw the sequel

werewolves would be great if they were hellbeast like creatures ala American Werewolf

i'd love to see Cronenberg go back to trippy horror again
Forum Virgin
Sep 10th, 2009, 07:54 PM
RoG, don't forget about twilight fans. "puke"
Pickled Patriarch
Sep 10th, 2009, 08:32 PM
DougClayton4231, I take it you didn't see my big feature on C.H.U.D. from a few years back. Definitely one of my favorite cheesy horror flicks and I wouldn't mind seeing them coming back... though they'd probably screw up that movie big-time by using CGI shit instead of puppetry.

J. Tithonus Pednaud, I've been meaning to watch C.H.U.D. II for a long time because I've heard how bad it is. Hard to imagine anybody screwing up something as fun as the first flick, but apparently they did heheh.

rabid-penguin, I've never seen that movie and hopefully never will. As a result, I really don't get many of the references people make to the movie haha. I love True Blood, but I'll be damned if I'm going to watch a movie about vampires, it's gonna be the original Lost Boys.
Forum Virgin
Sep 10th, 2009, 08:41 PM
Someone made me watch Twilight once. Lucky for me, it was the Rifftracks version with the MST guys making fun of it the whole time. But sadly enough, I couldn't force myself to stay awake through the whole thing. What a bucket of boring.

Here's one for ya, going along with the Cyclops: Monsters of ancient Greek mythology. Minotaurs, multi-headed-snakes, the damn Kraken. Personally, I'm going as Medusa this Halloween.
Forum Virgin
Sep 10th, 2009, 09:45 PM
I still love the bathtub scene. Burn baby, burn.
Sep 10th, 2009, 10:34 PM
I want more Creatures From the Black Lagoon. Yessir!
Sep 10th, 2009, 10:35 PM
Wasn't the kraken Norse mythology? Now that I think about it, I've never heard about a movie about Ragnarok. Pity, when you think about it. It would be a thousand times better than 2012. Lousy Mayans, or was it Aztecs? Screw em, that's what I say!Roland Emmerich can go to hell with Michael Bay and Friedburg and Seltzer!
Sep 10th, 2009, 11:59 PM
Here in Mexico, politicians are definitely the scariest and most dangerous of any monstr that could posibly be lurking out there. Constantly raising their already fat paychecks and fighting amidst a congress session... We cannot run or hide.
Jason's a Furry! Run!
Sep 11th, 2009, 12:25 AM
Twilight is doing its hardest to kill of vampires. Thank god for Let The Right One In, that gives the genre credit for another 5 years or so, at least. Incidentally, if someone here hasn't seen Let The Right One In yet, go see it immediately. It restores faith in bloodsuckers (but be sure you see the DVD version with the English Theatrical subtitles! The other ones don't work so well, to say the least).

Personally, I'd like to see more sea monster/giant squidlike whatchamacallit movies. Those always feature plenty of creepy moments and destroyed boats. The last good one of those I can really remember is Deep Rising, and that was more than a decade ago. Much too long ago.
Sep 11th, 2009, 01:18 AM
What about bringing back the trend of themed slasher types from the 80s? Like scarecrows and punkin headed folx, even santa claus. these would have to be strait to dvd movies cuz stupid hollywood wouldnt see the merit in the cheese factor, but i always like a good simple, almost childishly spooky theme. Too bad the goosebumps tv shows didnt age that well, i still watch the dvds but they really rushed alot of them to make them fit into tv shows.

or how bout we finally get a full-on big screen treatment of "In a Dark, Dark Room" itd be the best 3 minute movie you ever saw in your life.
Sep 11th, 2009, 03:10 AM
But if you consider the fickle fae of ancient folklore who would just as soon kill you or enslave you for life as look at you and have magical powers over reality that we can't even begin to understand, they take on more of a threatening demeanor.
Damn skippy. Fae can be downright frightening if you piss them off according to legend. According to "Legend," too, if you see the uncut version when Gump gets pissed at Jack, not to mention Meg Mucklebones.

Originally Posted by nirvana_infinity View Post
Someone made me watch Twilight once. Lucky for me, it was the Rifftracks version with the MST guys making fun of it the whole time. But sadly enough, I couldn't force myself to stay awake through the whole thing. What a bucket of boring.

Here's one for ya, going along with the Cyclops: Monsters of ancient Greek mythology. Minotaurs, multi-headed-snakes, the damn Kraken. Personally, I'm going as Medusa this Halloween.
Vampires don't sparkle, dammit. And on a side note, they *are* remaking "Clash of the Titans," so there's your mythological monsters right there. Good luck with the medusa getup, Nirvana.
Forum Virgin
Sep 11th, 2009, 11:00 AM
The Howling had werewolf sex. Hot, lurid, steamy werewolf sex.
Sep 11th, 2009, 03:30 PM
The trend will be monster movies that are poorly framed in a shaky cam and incoherently edited, just get a cam corder and shake it in your dogs face while playing some shitty nu-metal, instant nu-horror flick!
Sep 11th, 2009, 06:05 PM
ok guys, i hear what you're saying, but i need to let you know that the next HUGE trend in movies will be this: picture an "underground" network, if you will, of ultra-hip young, attractive vampires who basically live among us and feed casually on our numbers, terrorizing us in the most SUBTLE way POSSIBLE. hmmm, i think their headquarters will be located in the basement of some goth club tht could not exist in reality because it is way too classy, fronted by an imposing figure called, umm, "Dominick." but get this: you can tell they're VAMPIRES because they dress in leather and only come out at night, but they are NEVER seen dancing at the goth club... i know i am pushing the envelope, but i think the world is ready for this.
Sep 11th, 2009, 06:07 PM
>>>>>>>>or how bout we finally get a full-on big screen treatment of "In a Dark, Dark Room" itd be the best 3 minute movie you ever saw in your life. <<<<<<

incidentally, i did a version of that for my daughter, adn when i got to teh end when you open the box, i shrieked, "A pink gumball!!!"
That damn kid
Sep 11th, 2009, 09:26 PM
I want to see a new one of those movies where all the heroes/villains of past history wise fwom the gwave. Like Caligula, Jim Bowie, and Genghis Khan rise from the grave and TOTALLY fuck people's shit up. Would be pretty nice...

Yes I picked Cailgula and Jim Bowie because i've been listening to the dickies...
Sep 12th, 2009, 12:24 AM
Zombie movies have are solidly placed in the parody section again, what with the upcoming zombieland release. Personally I like the more serious kind, but directors seldom get the fact that in a good zombie film, the enemy is the survivors, NOT the zombies.

Werewolf movies have always been a bit underground, due to the fact that they are really a poor man's vampire. Ginger snaps has a fairly hot/disturbing love scene in it.

Swamp creature movies will definatly make a resurgance. Swap Thing is getting a remake afterall.

Mummies have pretty much been killed by Brendon Frasier, they won't be back anytime soon. Part three was particularly pathetic, with the entire cast of the film constantly trying to convince you that China's First emperor was a mummie and his clay soldiers are mummies just so that the title of the film makes sense.

True Blood has definately brought back vampires, as rog pointed out. Unfortunatly the dawson's-creek style movies are the only one's we'll be seing in this genre though.

If I had any say, I'd like to see a good-old-fashioned "science gone amuck" film trend. One that does NOT involve giant animals or zombies though as those don't count. I'm talking Frankenstein's monster, mutants, ect. Also there was this really interesting aspect of return of the living dead iv that was never explored, namely cyborg zombies! I'd like to see a film similar to the plot of season 4 of buffy, where classic monsters are captured and given cybornetic implants so the goverment can contol them. Of course wackiness would ensue.
Sep 12th, 2009, 01:56 AM
The next trend will be dinosaurs, which will kick off once they finally get around to making a Dinosaurs Attack film.
Forum Virgin
Sep 12th, 2009, 10:23 AM
I admit, instead of having some anamatronic puppet dinosaurs we could CGI some incredible ones.
4 Eyes, No Brain.
Sep 13th, 2009, 03:08 PM
I wanna see a film featuring the scary staring woman from 'Barry the Basking Shark's worse day ever. That my friends is the stuff nightmares are made of.
4 Eyes, No Brain.
Sep 13th, 2009, 03:10 PM
I meant Basky the Basking Shark obviously.
Forum Virgin
Sep 14th, 2009, 05:36 PM
CTHULHU!!! Or any Lovecraftian horrors. I really hope Del Torro gets to make 'At the Mountains of Madness'. i fanyone could pull it off, it'd be him.
Big In Japan
Sep 15th, 2009, 05:12 AM
Aren't they re-making Creature from the Black Lagoon?

And I heard something about a new Alien film (of the chestbursting variety).
King of the Monsters
Sep 16th, 2009, 02:02 PM
well if the faeries in question are anything like those ones in that episode of Torchwood... then yeah... they can be pretty spooky/intimidating just by their sheer power.
An Arizona Horror Company
Sep 16th, 2009, 08:16 PM
Whatever happened to witches? Not the pagan-Wiccan stuff, good, old-fashioned, pissed-off, put-a-curse-on-you-and-your-descendants-for-the-next-thousand-years kinda witches? Don't tell me about DRAG ME TO HELL-- that was Raimi's TWILIGHT and I will forgive him for it when he starts working on EVIL DEAD IV. Somebody find the next Barbara Steele and make a good damn witch movie....
The Wolf
Sep 17th, 2009, 09:41 AM
Nice article, Proto. I especially like the Pym picture.
Forum Virgin
Sep 17th, 2009, 07:36 PM
Hmm if you want to watch a good zombie film se REC or Quarantine
Forum Virgin
Sep 17th, 2009, 09:11 PM
Judging from Let The Right One In, Orphan, and Whiteout, I'd say the next big trend is fairly obvious at this point: SNOW! Think about it, it's omnipresent, cold, kills slowly, vaguely racist-is only considered beautiful when white. All it's gonna take is some Screen Writer getting hammered & blatantly misinterpreting Jack Frost and presto, one more reason to hate snow.
Sep 21st, 2009, 12:03 AM
i want you all to know i am deeply touched by your interest, but i will not be available to star in any "creature" type movies for the next several years, as i am on an extended hiatus.
Forum Virgin
Jun 6th, 2011, 09:32 AM
what about demons, something along the lines of the Doom creatures?

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