Top 10 Monsters I Don’t Want To Find In My Closet

Picture this. You’re alone. It’s stormy outside. Rain thrashes at the windows, wind rocks the house, lighting strikes, thunder roars. You go to the wardrobe for a warm blanket and hiding in there is…

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As a kid I was always fascinated by the next big scare. I think I happened upon my first “proper” horror film when I was about seven years old. It was against my mum’s better wishes but I had found her hidden stash of classic 1980s horror films, hidden away in a cupboard with her saucy Jackie Collins novels. I was hooked. The horror film was the ultimate cinematic drug. A true fantastical escape.

But like those thrill seekers that jump from hill tops with a tiny parachute and the crazy fools who climb rock faces without a rope, I would go back to horror films time and time again despite them inducing an insomnia that seemed to last a decade. I’d watch a horror film. Be enthralled by it. Then lie awake in bed in a cold sweat, genuinely believing the monster was coming to get me.

“I’d watch a horror film. Be enthralled by it. Then lie awake in bed in a cold sweat, genuinely believing the monster was coming to get me.”

The great thing about good horror films, for me at least, is they still have that sort of effect on me. It is hardly as extreme – I should stress I have developed an ability to tell truth from fiction – but great horror gets under the skin and stays there long after the credits have rolled.

Here at Top 10 Films we’ve looked at some of the scariest films ever made, the scariest scenes, the goriest scenes, the kids films that were as frightening as any adult horror, the best vampire, zombie and werewolf movies.

Now, I’m going to propose a scenario and decide which of those classic horror film monsters I would most fear appearing one foot in front me, staring with hungry, evil eyes right back at me from the dark recesses of my closet. Imagine you open that closet door, fear in your heart. The door slowly creaks on its hinges and there before you is your worst nightmare incarnate.

What horror film monsters got under your skin as a child or as an adult? What was it about them that scared you? What monstrous face out of all those films would you most fear appearing a foot in front of you?

10. Michael Myers – Halloween (John Carpenter, USA, 1978)

9. Pinhead – Hellraiser (Clive Barker, UK, 1987)

8. Predator (John McTiernan, USA, 1987)

7. The Devil – Rosemary’s Baby (Roman Polanski, USA, 1968)

6. The wolf – An American Werewolf In London (John Landis, USA/UK, 1981)

5. The woman in the red coat – Don’t Look Now (Nicolas Roeg, UK/Italy, 1973)

4. The Alien (Alien, Aliens, Alien 3 etc… / Ridley Scott, James Cameron, David Fincher…)

3. It – Stephen King’s It (Tommy Lee Wallace, USA/Canada, 1990)

2. Regan – The Exorcist (William Friedkin, USA, 1973)

1. Sly Stallone’s “Mom” from Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot

Written and compiled by Daniel Stephens.

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About the Author
Editor of Top 10 Films, Dan Stephens is usually found pondering his next list. An unhealthy love of 1980s Hollywood sees most of his top 10s involving a time-travelling DeLorean and an adventurous archaeologist going by the name Indiana.

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  1. Avatar
    le0pard13 Reply

    Ha! What a #1, Dan! Love it.

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    Pete Reply

    Nice list! After seeing the original Nightmare on Elm Street at a young age, I was terrified of Freddy. The sequels have made me think of him more as a silly panto villain now. Same goes for Chucky from Child’s Play. Used to scare me, not so much since Bride and Seed. Now I guess the guy to beat is the Wolf Creek guy. I suppose he’s not a typical monster but he’s terrifying. I’d like to see him get a hold of Sly’s Mum!

  3. Avatar
    Dan Reply

    @le0pard: Cheers! Thought it would help if I left that one in colour to emphasise the real horror!

    @Pete: Wolf Creek is a hard watch. I think I only want to put myself through it once. It was the same reaction I had to Eden Lake.

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    Adam from Reply

    It’s a toss up for me either that creepy clown from IT or Pinhead both scrared the crap out of me back in the day. I would add those creepy toothless rednecks from Deliverance to my list. “you got a pretty mouth”

    Nice List

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    Claire Reply


    Reading that first paragraph I didn’t know whether you were going to write that you were hooked on the movies or the Jackie Collins novels!

    Great Top 10, Dan. I’ve always been scared of Michael Myers… it’s the mask and the fact that he’s silent.

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    Eric Reply

    Hahaha, I was not expecting that choice at #1. Nicely done!

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    Rodney Reply

    LOL nice pick at #1 there mate, what a terrible film that was. One of the worst things Sly has done (aside from trying to seduce Sharon Stone in The Specialist).

    Good call on Pinhead too – a criminally underrated horror icon, IMO.

    (no room for Freddie Krueger amongst this lot, however?)

    As for my own, you’ve cover them all, although I could easily add the creatures from Mimic into this list, and while I know they’re essentially TV creatures, the Daleks always scared the crap out of me as a kid….

  8. Avatar
    Castor Reply

    Ahaha awesome choice for #1 and let’s face it, you don’t want any of those coming after you. That would be the stuff of nightmares!

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    Scott Reply

    It has taken me many years to get rid of the fear I feel for Clowns, and now it is all coming back!! Thanks Dan! LOLz

  10. Avatar
    Dan Reply

    @Scott: I don’t have an uncontrollable fear of clowns but I don’t particularly like them. There is something very sinister about that fake smile. A friend of mine really hates clowns so I said lets watch Stephen King’s It and she nearly killed me for even suggesting it!

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    Evan Crean Reply

    Number 1 is hilarious. IT is a well-deserved #3. Tim Curry freaked me the heck out in that movie.

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    ruth Reply

    Ahah, perfect timing as I watch this as it’s raining ice and sleet outside, blech!

    Ahah, yes #1 is almost as scary #2, good one Dan. And Tim Curry’s IT is why I’ll always be afraid of circus clowns!!

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    The Focused Filmographer Reply

    what a great post and list here Dan.

    I have always hated clowns. IT would scare me. But I’d also hate to see The Wheelers from Return to Oz. They really scared me as a child too. Them or the headless queen from that movie! haha

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    The Focused Filmographer Reply

    Oh, and if that creepy girl from The Ring crawled out of my closet that’d be the end of it! I’m dropping a few nuclear bombs on my house! haha

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    Dan Reply

    @Adam: Pennywise from It was just a great scary monster – I don’t think I’ve met anyone who doesn’t find “It” unsettling.

    @Claire: Me…read Jackie Collins…Never! 🙂

    @Eric: Expect the unexpected…! 🙂

    @Rodney: Oh The Specialist is such a terrible film but I remember thinking at the time…here comes another film where Sharon Stone takes her kit off! It would have been more interesting had she made a film where she keeps her clothes on for once.

    @Evan: Yeah, It frightened a whole generation it seems.

    @ruth: What, you’re watching Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot!

    @Filmographer: Clowns are inherently unsettling. Those fake smiles are so sinister. Great mention of Return To Oz…that scared me as a child…some really creepy characters. The headless queen is terrifying.

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    DEZMOND Reply

    he he funny list 🙂
    For me it would definitely be Freddie Krueger. I actually became afraid of the dark as a kid thanks to that monster 🙁 I’m still not perfectly happy when the dark falls 🙂

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    niels Reply

    For me it would be Predator at the top because, as Arnold put it, he was “one ugly motherfucker!”.

    Nice pick for #1 though, I have no complaints haha


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    Amy Reply

    Eek! I hate clowns and can never, ever imagine myself being able to watch IT! Saying that, I haven’t seen many on this list because I’m too scared to. The woman in the red coat in Don’t Look Now really freaks me out!

  19. Avatar
    Dan Reply

    @niels: number one was almost too terrifying to show in image form! 😉

    @Amy: yeah, clowns in general are unsettling characters but Pennywise from It really does beat them all for sheer terror.

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