The 10 Scariest Giant Movie Monsters Of All Time

Published 4 years ago by , Updated August 28th, 2012 at 8:16 am, This is a list post.

Gwoemul The Host Movie monsters come in all shapes and sizes, and while some of the smallest creatures have produced the greatest fear in humanity, there's no questioning that the giant monsters that attack whole cities and engulf victims like Tic-Tacs are terrifying on a whole other scale (get it?). Movies have seen their fair share of the big fellas, and we've narrowed them down to those we think are the scariest of them all. Certain giant movie monsters just missed the cut, but came to mind while developing our 10 favorites. For instance, the Brain Bug from Starship Troopers is a massive and disgusting creature and the Graboids of Tremors are hideous creatures, but ultimately both missed our list. Don't forget monsters that don't quite fit the protocol, like the aliens from War of the Worlds or Independence Day. While their ships were massive and had the ability to destroy entire cities, the monsters themselves were "regular-size" aliens. One name that may instantly creep into your head throughout this process is King Kong. But we've decided he's just not that scary. Sure, a run-in on the streets of Manhattan might stop your heart, but after Peter Jackson's extensive humanization of the great ape, he's just not all that scary any more. Without further ado, let's get right into the scariest giant movie monsters of all time. SOME SPOILERS ahead as many of the films hide the identity until the last act.

The 50-Foot Woman - Attack of the 50-Foot Woman

Attack of the 50 Foot Woman Now this one is a gorgeous beast. It could be considered a subtle parody of the genre films of its era, but in 1958 Attack of the 50-Foot Woman was just downright scary on a number of levels. More impressive than the monster itself herself is the production budget of $88,000. Any monster movie that can accomplish its goal on such a microscopic budget deserves recognition. Either way, some would find a 50-Foot Woman to be the perfect monster, but it all depends on your perspective. If she stepped over you, your view might be better than if she stepped on you. The best part about the film is that it focuses on a specific problem. Instead of wreaking havoc on the world, the giant woman uses her new "power" to exact revenge on her cheating husband and his mistress.

Ants - Them!

Giant Ants from Them! One of the few monster movies that transcended its genre and entered the Oscar race, Them! was nominated for an award in the Special Effects category. In 1954, the giant ants of the film felt realer than any giant monster before. The tagline on a movie poster is just as hilarious as it is fear-inducting:
A horror horde of crawl-and-crush giants clawing out of the Earth from mile-deep catacombs.
That reminds me of the Graboids from Tremors, but much bigger and more threatening. The essential message behind the film came at a time when the nuclear threat was frighteningly new. The ants are mutated by atomic radiation to enormous proportions. Rather than immediately showing off the gigantic ants, our first glimpse is 30 minutes into the film. This is probably what sets it apart from so many monster movies of the time. It is about suspense and mystery. Once we uncover the clues behind the disappearing people, it becomes a scary monster movie with one of the best giant monsters of all time.

Mantis Creatures - The Mist

The Mist Mantis Monster There are so many monsters in The Mist that it could have a Top 10 list all its own. As the movie progresses, the monsters get bigger and meaner, ultimately finding a place on our list. One of the most intimidating creatures in recent memory has to be the giant mantis creatures that approach the cast near the end of the film. As difficult as it is to see the monsters in the thick mist, the sounds of their movement are just as scary. It's quite the moment when people are snatched into the sky or cars are crushed.

Stay Puft Marshmallow Man - Ghostbusters

Stay Puft Marshmallow Man Ghostbusters One of the funniest and scariest giant monsters of all time tears its way through Ghostbusters. There is nothing more frightening than an enormous multi-layered marshmallow with an attitude. But just imagine if you burnt the Marshmallow Man. That is one tasty monster. The history behind the Marshmallow Man is interesting. Wikipedia explains that in the original script, Dan Aykroyd was the person who thought of the giant marshmallow. It stemmed from the concept of a cute, cuddly mascot all blown up into a terrifying monster. Bill Bryan created the outfit as part of a miniature set which was blended in for the finished product. The worst part of a massive marshmallow man would have to be the sticky cleanup  left in its wake. How do you get towering pieces of marshmallow off a building? No easy task, that.

Tyrannosaurus Rex - Jurassic Park I-III

Jurassic Park T-Rex monster It's easy to argue the lack of size of the T-Rex. Its place on this list has more to do with its destructive behavior than its sheer size. But there is no question it is a giant monster. At nearly 20 feet tall and weighing eight tons, the T-Rex is a man-eating machine that spends the rest of its time destroying everything around it. The most relevant scene was its great escape in San Diego during the second half of Jurassic Park II. Starved and frustrated, the T-Rex roams the streets of San Diego, causing chaos and destruction. At one point, it throws a bus through a Blockbuster Video Store (which turned out to be a metaphor for the chain's future - who knew?). The signature roar of the T-Rex has become a staple in monster movies ever since. The roars of the Cloverfield monster bring back memories of our days watching disaster unfold in the first  Jurassic Park film.

Giant Squid - 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea

20000 Leagues Under The Sea monster poster Walt Disney had his own 1954 monster movie for the masses. While Ants! earned itself a single Oscar nomination, 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea actually took home a pair of Oscars for Art Direction and Special Effects, along with a nomination for Editing. The monster in 20,000 Leagues was terrorizing sailors before the film's story even got underway. But when the government sends Professor Arronax on a mission to find out if the giant sea monster truly exists, the film becomes a journey into the abyss. While the film ends up with only a brief encounter with the giant squid, it is one of the most memorable moments in the film. The main characters battle the giant squid and it becomes the cornerstone of the  action in 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea. The squid is a creature that deserved more screen time. With David Fincher's recently announced remake, we may yet get to see more of this beast.

Unnamed - Cloverfield

Cloverfield Monster Cloverfield worked mighty hard to hide the identity of the film's giant monster until the climax. Some were disappointed by the bizarre look of the creature, but there's no question it was one of the most intense monsters ever to take a swipe at New York City's skyline. The reason the monster is so effective has to due with the intention the filmmakers had for the beast. They have frequently discussed how the monster is not your typical rampaging beast - instead, it is like an infant, afraid of the world it has been thrown into and the small creatures (humans) attacking it. It tried desperately to escape, but couldn't maneuver the maze of streets and buildings in Manhattan. The monster definitely redesigned the look of the city, but it was mostly due to collisions and stumbling into skyscrapers. The only real time it seemed to knowingly attack was when it cut off the head of the Statue of Liberty.

Gwoemul - The Host

Gwoemul The Host Sometimes a film is so good that it transcends its genre. The Host is one of the most acclaimed foreign films of the last decade and its beast deserves much of the praise. As Godzilla was Japan's cinematic allegory for the nuclear attack from the United States, The Host uses a fictional beast to incite satire for government occupation. A monster can metaphorically represent any number of things, but if it doesn't scare the hell out of its victims, it's worthless. The monster in The Host is so wild and unpredictable that it turns the film into a horror movie. It's more the presence of a hidden beast that creates fear and tension than its destructive behavior. The real question is whether its size is an issue; it's big enough to destroy bridges, so it is a relative giant.

The Kraken - Pirates of the Caribbean, Clash of the Titans

Pirates of the Caribbean The Kraken No matter who fights The Kraken, you can always count on its massive scale. The enormous teeth threaten all who tread near its mouth, but that only matters if you can get that close. Most attacks from The Kraken occur on the open sea, but as shown in Clash of the Titans, it has been known to devour port city areas. Unfortunately for bystanders, The Kraken is just like any giant monster that takes  countless innocent lives. Yet, the one characteristic that makes The Kraken unique is that is must be summoned. In Clash of the Titans, The Kraken is released by Zeus. In Pirates of the Caribbean, The Kraken is summoned by Davy Jones. Yet even those in power seem to have limited control over the massive beast. The Kraken is one of the most deadly sea monsters around. If you can keep away from those in control of it, you should be fine on your voyages across the sea.

Godzilla - Godzilla

Godzilla Godzilla has gone through a number of makeovers throughout the years, but one thing remains certain - this giant lizard hates (almost) everything. While it has spent most of its "entertainment life" fighting other giant monsters, Godzilla has spent some time crushing cities and the humans in them. In fact, Godzilla is such a celebrity that he even has his own Hollywood star. He has experienced the glory days - from the original 1954 Japanese movie, to many, many subsequent films and television shows. But a 1998 adaptation by Roland Emmerich left the great lizard in shame, putting the well-known monster on the run for most of the film, instead of on the attack. Regardless, the devastation left behind when Godzilla arrives is nothing short of spectacular. To put it in perspective: the only man capable of bringing the beast back to the Hollywood spotlight was Roland Emmerich, King of Disaster Movies. There is no monster quite like Godzilla - that's why he takes the crown as the scariest giant movie monster of all time. P.S. - Stay tuned, because there may be yet another adaptation of the beast also known as Gojira - a Godzilla reboot movie that's due out in 2012.

Cat Monster Scary Giant Movie Monsters Did we leave out your favorite giant movie monster? Do you agree with our ranking? Let us know! Header Image from Robert Hood
TAGS: 20000 leagues under the sea, clash of the titans, cloverfield, ghostbusters, godzilla, jurassic park, pirates of the caribbean, the mist

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  1. Some excellent choices but a few stinkers (a la Marshmallow Boy). Obviously you put some older giant monsters on this list such as big ants in Them! Good idea since they were terrifying movies for their time. What truly amazes me is how you didn’t begin with the greatest big monster of all time, the 1933 version of King Kong. People actually ran out of theaters when it first appeared because the FX was so convincing. It was done by the amazing Willis O’Brien with a young understudy named Ray Harryhausen. Go back and watch this movie and remember this was made during the infancy of talking movies. It even had dinosaurs unlike the Dino De Laurentis remake in 1977. I remember being very disappointed in that. Although hot Jessica Lange was on the positive side of the remake!! Enjoy!!

  2. GODZILLA! REALLY!?! COME ON I HAVE’NT EVEN HEARD OF HALF OF THESE AND I’M SURE SOMTHING CAN BE SCARIER THAN GODZILLA!

    • Because things are only scary when you, personally, have heard of them.

  3. As many have pointed out, the lack of “King Kong”–especially when the freaking Marshmallow Man is included–is a cringe-worthy oversight. And as much as I liked the T Rexes in the JP franchise, didn’t the T Rex in JP3 get its ass royally kicked by a spinosaurus? I also agree that the monster from Super 8 deserves consideration.

  4. This is the worst “list” I’ve ever seen, bar none. How about the Witch in the evil dead or the Facehugger in alien? Trex? Are you serious? With the exception of Gwoemul none of these “monsters” would scare my four year old son.

    • It says “giant”.

  5. What could have been an awesome list — how disappointing! I watched Godzilla movies with my dad as a KID, and was never once scared. The T-rex from Jurassic park is scarrier than the lizard with those freaky gills from the same movie?

    How about ANY of the Cenobites from the Hellraiser movies? Namely, Chatterer?

    • Yes! The Cenobites are a great choice.

  6. Who in the hell picked these, they all suck except for maybe T-rex from Jurassic Park because that was ahead of its time. The Thing (80′s version with Kurt Russel) should be in the top 3, but its not even listed.

  7. come on what about te alien in the first of the alien series

  8. Imagine a T-Rex charging you and your son Shane. Imagine. Thats what you and most of the human race cant do, imagine. The rex is very scary, so stop acting tough you p u s s y

    • Jesus man why don’t you get a life? You feel tough calling people names while hiding behind your keyboard? This list sucks but I’m gonna make a list called 10 Biggest Tool Bags and you’re number 1.

    • Jeez man why don’t you get a life? You feel tough calling people names while hiding behind your keyboard? This list stinks but I’ve completely forgotten about that now since you’re such a tool.

    • Listen here, Back when I used to time travel to 66 million B.C. I used to chase down a couple of T-Rexes and tie their tails together and force them to fight to the death. Then I would eat the winner. For dessert I’d pluck 2 or 7 pterodactyls out of the sky and eat them like Buffalo wings and when I was done, I’d use their pointy beaks as a toothpick!

  9. You had the whole of the movie industry to pick the scariest monsters. but instead you chose to pick mostly B movie monsters. And some of you need to learn to read. This is the Scariest GIANT movie monsters.Cenobites weren’t giants.You could have had Jaws, the spiders from 8 legged freaks,Lake Placid Croc. Its all relative to what scares you.Personally i don’t find horror movies scary at all.

  10. The creature from “The Black Lagoon,” in my opinion, was a glaring omission!! That thing has put me off swimming in ANY body of water, except my bathtub, (and I’m even wary of stepping into it, at times!), for most of my life!

    • It says “GIANT MOVIE MONSTERS”, The creature from The Black Lagoon was not a Giant, but still, a great movie.

  11. How could you make this list without The Creeper from Jeepers Creepers. That thing was freaky scary.

  12. First, I have to say that I think the only thing really scary about a giant marshmallow is the amount of work it would take to clean up after he exploded. I also have to remind you about a few others. King Kong was, undisputedly, the single biggest monster out there. Why else do you think they did so many remakes, including the much-lamented “Mighty Joe Young,” where it was taken from a monster to just someone wanting to be understood. King Kong has to be on the list. Also, the creatures from the “Alien” franchise, including all the films, have a sort of raw intelligence that doesn’t really translate by the characters but makes sense. From the “facehuggers” to the “queen,” they deserve a spot on the list. Finally, the silent hunter of trophies that first battled Arnold Schwarzzennegar and then NYC. I mean, if the character gets eaten, that’s one thing. For the “Predators,” it’s something else entirely. They’re not out for food, they’re out for trophies, and we never see them coming unless they want us to. I do believe that composite monster from “The Host” doesn’t really deserve to be in the list, nor the monster from “Cloverfield.” But that’s just my opinion.

  13. I can’t believe how many brain-numb posters there are here. GIANT monsters. Not monsters. Oy.

    • All of us were commenting on an article about movie monsters in general. For some reason, our posts ended up under the giant monsters article.

  14. A little spelling/grammar check would be nice when a “professional” writer submits an article. Oh, and “realer” is not a word.

  15. Oh, ok. I thought this was a legitimate list, after the first few “monsters” though, I realized this list is a parody just for laughs and then I was able to enjoy the list for what it was. Cool list!

  16. all the lists from this crap site are just that, total crap…like is any effort put into making these articles? no. none. you just shat on a keyboard and these are what comes out – thanks for making the internet a shithole

    • Agreed. When I saw the first one i knew it was a waste of time, yet I looked at all of them. Yeesh what a stinker article. The writer should be ashamed.

  17. There were a couple more Godzilla movies made in Japan after the woeful American one. The last one was Godzilla Final Wars where Humanity has the tech to stop the creatures. *SPOILER ALERT* One of the monsters that Godzilla fights is the same one from the American adaptation and they call him Zilla. They fight very briefly in Sydney. Godzilla knocks him into the Sydney Opera House and blows the living crap out of Zilla with his Nuclear Blast. I cheered at that!!

    I really hope the new Godzilla movie is like the Kaiju movies and not a horrible p.o.s. Thinking of….when is the Voltron movie being done? When is the Neon Genesis Evangelion live action movie going to happen???

  18. Probably the scariest monsters to me when I was a kid were the things in “Tremors”! After I saw that I walked around very quietly for a week or so… Also, don’t remember how big they were, but the Langoliers freaked me out too.

  19. I’ll just say that I may or may not be the only one knows that Cloverfield Monster is an infant, but I will say…I do not want to see it’s mother. It’s already 20 Stories as an infant, so how tall will it’s mother be? I do not wish to find out, but I still hope for a sequel.

  20. And the Alien queen is not in this list? Then this list is disregarded. Have a nice day.

    • Considering aliens aren’t monsters because they are aliens, you are disregarded.

      • “My mom said they weren’t any real MONSTERS, but there are!” Newt to Ripley in Aliens….. Alien Queen is definitely a Giant bad b**** of a monster.

  21. Tremors! Seriously those giant prehistoric worms were awesome and scary.

  22. Awful choices. Nothing in this list was scary, let alone THE scariest.

  23. who made this list ? Mick Jagger?

  24. Of coures Godzilla is #1, I can tell why he’s scary. Godzilla is scary because he represents humanity’s worst fear from a realistic stand point: NUCLEAR WEAPONS, they’re dangerous, they’re scary, they’re destructive and it’ll blow up a city in an instant.The 1954 movie and 2014 movie raises the question “What IF this really happened? How would it apply in real life and if could actually happen?”. I don’t think there IS any monster that’s scarier than Godzilla.

    • You’ve obviously never met my mother in-law then.

      • lol

  25. Disappointed Jaws wasn’t listed. It was a giant shark.

    The creature from Alien should have made the list. Not sure if technically it should be classified as a Giant, as we know of no aliens to compare to. lol

    Can’t believe King Kong was left out. He’s the original giant monster isn’t he?

    I liked Godzilla, I’d rank him #2 right under King Kong. Godzilla started the radioactive giant monsters.

    I like that the T-Rex was listed, but technically it isn’t a giant, it’s actual size, and then it looks like it was a smaller one.

    I’m sure there’s any more we haven’t thought about that are more deserving for this list.

  26. this is BY FAR the lamest list i’ve ever, EVER seen

  27. that creature from the movie ‘the deadly spawn’should be on the list. those monsters keep on growing in the movie. its a B movie about a creature out of space. it comes with a meteor.’the deadly spawn’. must see it. i stil like the movie.

  28. also dont forget the mansters we all know form the starwars movies. what about them????

  29. No Alien mentioned at all????

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