#2. The Al
I know what you're thinking -- the Al? The only intimidating Al in history was Alexander the Great, and not even his bodyguard Betty could call him Al. But you'd be wrong, because this Middle Eastern/Eurasian demon preys on pregnant women and new moms. She looks like an orc grandmother, and carries a basket to collect women's vital organs.
Ethan Miller/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
Played here by Maury Povich.
In a slightly less fatal scenario, she'll swipe your baby from the womb for God knows what foul purpose. Or, hey! She might wait until you've gone through the pain of labor, and then replace it with a changeling: some inhuman thing you have to pretend to love until it's old enough to stab you with scissors.
And that's how Mel Gibsons are made.
Oddly, she too is sometimes claimed to be Adam's first wife, so maybe this is the final film in the Succubus series?
How to Make It a Great Movie
There hasn't been a good old-fashioned pregnancy chiller since Rosemary's Baby. Sure, there was the epileptic fit that called itself American Horror Story, but that was only nominally about pregnancy. The real horror on that show was the claustrophobia of being trapped in a role unworthy of Connie Britton.
Pregnancy, for those of you whose parents haven't had The Talk with you yet, is a magical process by which two people who claim to care about each other create a selfish parasite that decimates the woman's body and spends all the man's money. Nevertheless, the world population keeps growing, so somebody must be DTF. (Dying. Thanks, fetus!)
So this is, pardon the pun, fertile soil for horror. There are seriously a lot of women ripping babies out of each other's stomachs because nobody ever explained to them how much that doesn't work or how easy it is to adopt a cartload of orphans. They give you one free as a welcome gift when you vacation in China.
There's nothing more disturbing than the perversion of something good. We could keep Rosemary's Baby's panic about marginalized pregnancy anxiety, while an Al that no one else can see stalks and terrorizes some actress.
Even if you're not squeamish about the gory organ snatching, there's the fake baby aspect. Changelings are a prevalent tale in many cultures -- usually ascribed to mischievous fairy folk who treat the baby well. We can't assume the same of a woman who harvests living organs. Unless she's some kind of black market vendor, that baby is surely in a pie by now. Perhaps the most delicious pie ever? It is not for human beings to know.
In real life, some "changeling" cases are attributable to a neurological problem known as Capgras syndrome. But we all know the main cause is not being able to admit you made a lousy baby.
Ugh. Just the worst.
Remember when the movie Changeling came out, but contained no actual changelings, and society was very sad about that? This could be our chance to make things right. And after making it through her ordeal to delivery, we set up the sequel, in which it turns out her kid is a soulless doll left by the Al. This is perfect, because horror movies are like parenting -- there is no happy ending.
Oh, and there's still room for more awfulness in the third sequel (subtitle: Al in Space) if you can tie it up cross-culturally. See, there's a Filipino monster called an Alan (no relation) that sculpts babies out of menses, placentas, and spent semen. Nice job, Philippines -- you came up with an idea so ghastly that even a Bay Area performance artist would recoil at it.
#1. Slender Man
Slender Man is only 4 years old, but holy shrieking cat corpses, is he good at creeping out the Internet. Created on the Something Awful forums, he's basically Jack Skellington without a face, but even more likely to ruin your bar mitzvah.
At least Skellington brings presents.
Slender Man's schtick is pied piping children to their doom. But that doesn't concern you -- you're 13 now, and that makes you a man, boychik! You can relax, knowing that Slender Man merely stalks adults, causing them blackouts and mental problems until they murder in his name. But since you're reading this on the Internet, I assume you already know that, and are slightly concerned that he might be right behind you, because it's ridiculous to think so but oh my God he could be.
On the surface, there's nothing exceptional about this gangly guy and his many prehensile limbs. And that's why he is the most awful monster of our time -- despite dressing like an insurance agent, Slender Man is magically unnerving. It's like some nodule of terror sat patiently in the realm of ideas, waiting for humanity to poke a hole in the Internet. Once we did, it burst into our consciousness like a rotten pipe, flooding fear into our hearts.
It turns out crowdsourced monsters are way spookier than commissioned ones.
How to Make It a Great Movie
You're going to want to do this one up somewhere along the lines of Silent Hill or The Ring, building up eerily before exploding into terror.
There's a burgeoning evil in a small town, and only one woman believes something's awry. She researches what's going on and follows a lead to another town, where something similar happened 30 years ago.
By now she's seen glimpses and had brief encounters with Slender Man as she explores this other town: a village wasting away with no residents under 40. We catch on pretty fast that the children got slendered the hell out of there, but none of the seniors want to talk about it. OK, that's understandable ... until it becomes clear that it's more than painful loss keeping them silent.
With Slender Man's harassment increasing, we get a jab-jab-haymaker combo of fear: We realize Slender Man was present in almost every scene. And now he's chasing us through some burned-out ruins, herding us to the final revelation:
Escaping by the skin of her teeth, the protagonist leaves the mad town behind and returns home, safe for now ... only to be greeted by the sight of her friends and family cannibalizing their loved ones, fully conscious of what they're doing and unable to stop.
Tender like veal, tasty like bacon.
Still not enough monsters? Check out Cracked's Field Guide to Monsters with Brendan's 5 Movie Monsters Ripped from the Pages of History Books and 5 Reasons the Scariest Thing Ever Written Is a Kids' Book.