16 of the Most Frightening Movie Monsters in the Sci-Fi Franchises

Several alien monsters

Monster movies are always a popular choice. Though they typically make a comeback and offer a good show, some people never stop watching them. You’re bound to have your favorite movie monsters or film to watch over and over.

While King Kong and Frankenstein are running close in the list for monster content years later, there are some new contenders to focus on. Even if you’re partial to the old-school monster movies, there comes a time where you want to enjoy even more, and much of that has to do with the kind of options that are popular right now.


Some focus more on real events or things that could happen. Much of the time, though, it’s fantasy effects that people like most. The first thing to do is decide what you enjoy best and what you want to see. Then, you can have a brain trip with some of the new movies out there. 

Let’s check out the top movie monsters of all time; find out what makes them popular, the design effects, and whether they’re real or not. We will focus more on those creatures from the sci-fi franchises than pure horror. This list leaves off monsters that have a resemblance to animals (like Jaws) and horror vampire options.

Keep in mind that the order of the listed monsters does not matter.

1. Xenomorph (Alien)

An alien movie monsters

The queen of the monsters could very well be Xenomorph. It was created by H.R. Giger, a dark-minded genius. He creates what the people want, and this includes alien nightmares of the fearsome kind. In this film, the monster is part natural aberrance and part machine. It is the ultimate alien that focuses on deadly hunting, which is terrifying because of the power of the creature.

It comes with acid blood, horrid teeth and brings a fear that should never have been made (or should it?) Those who prefer creature films are sure to appreciate what the Xenomorph can do. Though it might be related to pop culture, it is immortal, and one might even say a classic. Those who haven’t seen it yet are doing themselves a disservice. Plus, there are many other parts of the series now, so it’s easy to keep the fear going whenever it’s wanted. There’s nothing this monster can’t do, but everyone wants to find out who’s next!

2. Slattern (Pacific Rim)

A monstrous being from the depths

Though everyone talks about King Kong and Frankenstein as being the best-ever monsters, this list is focused on more than them. Many people have seen Pacific Rim and wonder about Slattern. This is one of the biggest and strongest of the known Kaiju monsters. In fact, it has very high toxicity levels and much intelligence that no other monster is as close to scary.

It’s time to focus on what this bad boy does and how it changes throughout the movies. Just seeing it makes you cringe, which is why it made on the list. You hope that it doesn’t use those triple-crowned tails, but it does! Is there a way to beat this horror? The only way to know is to watch the show!

3. The Thing (The Thing) – The Low Budget Movie Monster

one slimy movie monster

It could be said that this film, in a way, created all this horror competition. The creator competition started out with this low-budget version, and it was made to feature a shape-shifting alien. It could look like a man and could actually morph into and synthesize the DNA of its victims. Therefore, The Thing could become your worst nightmare at any time. 

With that, John Carpenter was a fiend for using horrifying practical effects that were often grotesque and interesting. This iconic option remains the best of the creatures and classics. You immediately notice the giant alien lifeform, which takes on human forms.

Though it’s not as classic as Godzilla and other films, this one struck fear into the lives of those who saw it. Whether you preferred the iconic spider’s head or the transformed dog, The Thing is a truly terrifying monster on the screen. In a sense, it can be any one of you!

4. Godzilla

Several helicopters flying around the monsters

While it is true that King Kong is the top horror creature out there, another terrifying show was Godzilla. This title has been around for many decades, and it was the feature option back in the day. The creature genre wasn’t sure to be a hit, but it remains one of the most terrifying and scariest of creatures out there.

In fact, Godzilla is now a classic. While the 1954 version of Godzilla wasn’t the top choice, this massive beast was born from incredible loss. Some people believe that there’s more meaning to this horror movie. It’s almost like an apology for that society’s greatest sins and terrible things it did. Regardless, Godzilla is still an iconic horror creature and features an excellent design.

Plus, there are many new versions, some of which are truly monster-related. If horror is your game, try this one. Some of the plots are on an island, while others have this scary monster eating human bodies. 

5. Demogorgon (Stranger Things)

A strange and frightening being in the woods

While most of these creatures are aliens taking human form, some were made specifically for television. Stranger Things isn’t a film, but many people love it. It actually spans time because it focuses on a young group of children who encounter various alien lifeforms. Though the children are human, they become confused and wonder about a strange girl who shows up early on in the show.

The Demogorgons are predatory creatures and the main antagonist of the series. They live in the Upside Down, and all seem to obey the Mind Flayer, making up his hive mind. Typically, Demogorgons are violent, murderous, and not very smart.

If you’re not fond of being on an island surrounded by water, you spend most of your time in your hometown. For those in the series, that’s in Hawkins, Indiana. However, you don’t realize that a gateway was accidentally opened to the Upside Down, letting in a Demogorgon. Eventually, it was defeated, but it inflicted a lot of damage to the human world, instilling fear everywhere it went.

Though there isn’t a lot of blood and gore, this is a newer genre of creature, and the horror found on the screen is still real enough to have people lying awake at night, wondering if this alien creature might come into their city.

6. The Predator (Predator)

A movie monster with a weapon

Like so many of the scarier creatures on this list, The Predator is invisible for much of the running time for the show. That way, John McTiernan, the director, can run it out longer before the big reveal of this monster. These monsters primarily kill for sport and prefer to collect trophies of their human prey. 

Given the circumstances and the elite squad of commandos, the Predator could not be a more deadly enemy monster than it is. And when it comes time to unmask, one of Schwarzenegger’s sentences, ”You are one ugly motherfucker”, truly reflects all the magnificence of the monster’s design.

Though most monsters get in on the action quickly, this one hangs back. While it’s easy to see that it’s doing damage, it’s not immediately known what the creature is. That’s part of the horror genre, and many people want to view that on the screen.

There were other films created based on this monster, and they are all available to watch.

7. Harvesters (Independence Day)

A slimy alien

Independence Day was one of the best film options of its era. When movie monsters are what you crave, it’s often hard to find anything else better. Though the rest of the world might love King Kong, this movie had an evil presence that no one understood until later. 

While it made it clear that aliens were to blame, no one knew if they were friendly or not. Far later, the giant spaceships were shown to have Harvesters. The name befits the monster, as well. They were moving to each planet, devouring whatever they could before moving on. Therefore, it was bound to be Earth’s turn, but the people united to overtake these alien creatures. 

The Harvesters were a race of technologically advanced and intelligent extraterrestrial beings with a hive-mind mentality. They’re a threat to the universe and were quite terrifying. While this project had a larger budget than some, it was a great film to view and became an iconic classic that everyone wanted to view.

8. The Cloverfield Monster (Cloverfield)

A huge scary creature in town

Many people weren’t sure about the Cloverfield universe when this film came out. Primarily, the entire adventure was defined because you could not see the monster’s presence for most of the movie. However, most people also enjoyed the fact that they can take filmmaking to a new level.

The producers only required a small amount of screen time to make an impact. Clearly, a giant monster was there, but what was it? What did it look like? Could it be real somewhere down the line?

Therefore, the visual appeal was less about blood and gore and more about running and trying to escape an unknown beast. While most movie monsters make their appearance immediately, this one is far and few between. 

Where the rest are concerned, the Cloverfield Monster was deadly, ugly, and toxic. Most people felt that its name was too nice for what it could do.

9. Gwoemul (The Host)

A terrifying amphibious creature on the river

Do you want to see a scary, mutant, large, amphibious monster? If so, then the deadly and fearsome Gwoemul is what you need. It’s a gross sewer dweller, and it’s far from being something you want to encounter. 

This monster was made for The Host, a movie that focuses on American military personnel dumping chemicals into a river in South Korea. Much later, a creature comes from those tainted waters and munches on the local residents. 

One family decides to stop it, making this an ever-impressive motion picture about monsters. It could be the best option out there for you to view and has the kind of scares that make it very impressive.

10. Indominus Rex (Jurassic World)

Prehistoric movie monsters

Jurassic World is just one part of the Jurassic series. However, this film takes place on an island, like many of the others. There, you can see giant dinosaurs with much power that look lifelike.

Though it’s not new and has been around since 2015, Jurassic World was a film that took the world by storm. While it was part of a franchise, it had to do something different to continue being fresh. Therefore, most of the visual aspects focused on the newest character, Indominus Rex.

At 50 feet long and 40 feet tall, this bad boy scared everyone it came into contact with. Though at first glance it looks similar to a Tyrannosaurus Rex, it has distinct head ornamentation and a very tough bony exterior. 

This carnivore doesn’t care what it eats and might just prefer human flesh. With it, there’s a roar with a decibel level of up to 160. Yes, it sounds like a 747 taking off, but it’s a lot more dangerous. Plus, it can run at 30 mph, so it’s nothing to sneeze at.

While there have been many frightening creatures throughout the Jurassic franchise, this one only made an appearance in Jurassic World. While it’s sometimes hard to tell the dinosaurs apart, you can’t miss this huge predator!

11. Sammael (Hellboy)

A bunch of people around a frightening creature

Even if the monster doesn’t look that bad, it can still be horrifying by what it does. Sammael has many names, such as The Desolate One, Seed of Destruction, and Lord of the Shadows. Found in the Hellboy film, this fearsome monster is the main antagonist and makes it on the list.

Sammael is called a hellhound, and his essence was sealed in salt. The salt was then put in a special container and hidden in a statue. Though the Vatican was aware of what was in it, nothing was done. Later, though, this creature was brought into life and wreaked havoc.

This film was highly popular because of Sammael. Aside from its strength and agility, it also possessed regenerative properties. Therefore, if a part of it was cut off, it grew back. With that, it could dislocate any limbs to reach its prey with the broken bones and injuries healing themselves.

Within the movie, there were different Sammaels, and each of these monsters could lay eggs. As one Sammael got killed, two of the eggs opened and revealed rapidly-matured terrifying creatures to create twin clones!

12. Terminator (The Terminator)

A terrifying robot with artificial intelligence

Though the Terminator wasn’t considered a creature, this film became a classic. The iconic music coming on when the machine stepped out was something most people couldn’t forget. Fans of the movie were pleased to find many parts of the series, and there was even a television show focused more on John Conner’s young life and mother.

For those who enjoy frightening robot people, this is the one for you. It’s on the list because of its massive cult-style following. While the man behind the Terminator has person-style abilities, this machine has only one thing on its mind – kill the child who goes on to stop the machine uprising.

The first instance of this machine man is in the original Terminator. From there, you can find shape-shifters, females, and all the rest. However, history repeats itself with the original Terminator coming back to save the boy. This title has been made over and over, and it could be the top choice ever for monster-style movies.

13. The Rancor (Star Wars: Return of the Jedi)

Movie monsters, a terrifying creature in a cave

As one of the top choices, Star Wars is a movie that keeps going and going. Most people still remember the nightmares they had as children while watching those shows. One of those bad dreams probably focused on Rancor, the hungry, warty nasty creature that got to eat anyone who displeased Jabba.

During the movie, the innate sense of sympathy you got from some of the little monsters made it even more confusing. While that was the design for the video and one that most people didn’t get initially, Rancor also focuses on appearance.

No one can really tell what this creature is; it’s not quite a reptile or a mammal, but it’s got Star Wars written all over it. There’s no wonder that this monster is on the list. 

While some of the other characters look daunting or worrisome, this beast is a cross between a rat, a humanoid, and who knows what. It’s sure to warrant sleeping with the lights on or staying up all night!

14. Knifehead (Pacific Rim)

A terrifying creature on the surface of the sea

The name says it all; you cannot have a monster named Knifehead without knowing what its primary weapon is or where it’s located. In the Pacific Rim movie, there were plenty of monsters to enjoy. This heavily-built Kaiju is big and bulky, and the best feature is its sharp-ended nose that’s long and broad. 

Initially, the effects make it appear that the knife is on the monster’s head, but that’s not the case. Does it breathe and smell its prey from its knife-style nose? Who knows!

Even if it can’t smell, it can still do some serious damage. With that, it has two dominant arms with secondary arms at its belly. The large arms have three claws, making this an even scarier monster than initially thought. 

Knifehead emerged initially from the breach, heading toward Alaska. One team tries to head off the creature, but it evades capture. During a true battle for life, it is thought to be thwarted, but it comes back, angrier than ever. Does it come back again and again? The only way to find out is by watching the film.

15. The Behemoth (The Mist 2007)

A terrifying monster in the fog

Another chilling movie that had everyone quaking is The Mist. Originally a short story written by Stephen King, it was turned into a film and a television series. A sci-fi horror film, it was written by Frank Darabont. He wanted to adapt The Mist into a video for many years and found a great cast to assist.

Looking back at this creepy film, it’s a bit similar to the Twilight Zone, where you never know what’s about to happen. The Behemoth makes a list for the simple reason that it is so alluring and lucrative while getting little showing on the screen. In fact, you couldn’t see the entire beast when it was on-screen.

It’s easy to remember all of the many creatures found in The Mist, so it was hard to just pick one. However, The Behemoth has more impact than the other monsters in the movie combined. Though most people referred to it as an “Impossibly Tall Creature,” you can see it skulking along in the mist, being silent and deadly while dwarfing everything else in sight.

The Behemoth is chilling because it is oblivious to human suffering, though it’s right at its feet. 

16. The Blob (The Blob 1988)

A man in mucous matter

Another one for the history books is The Blob. While the original was nothing to sneeze at back in 1958, the years were not kind to this alien lifeform. It lived primarily to suck on man, drawing people into the purplish, strange mass and getting bigger along the way.

However, the edge really has to go to the 1988 version of The Blob because it added an acidic quality to the squishy threats it made. Plus, it continued to refuse to provide any reason for why it did what it did. Therefore, this creature has what it takes and is ageless to where everyone wants to enjoy.

Many people are surprised to learn what The Blob depicts. In a sense, it is there to show the fears of that era – atom bombs, communism, juvenile delinquents, and science. However, watching it now can strike fears into young and old, so only view it if you dare!

Monster Movies – The Conclusion

Though most people aren’t close to the edge, there isn’t much better than a good frightening movie with some frightful creatures. It was quite hard to decide which of the 16 options got on the list because each one has things to love.

While the vampire era is taking everyone by storm, none of them were included here. With that, the Wolf Man was left out because he was too much similar to a wild animal.

Regardless, fans are sure to appreciate the list of options that did make it. There’s a bit of everything here, so it’s easy to find something that you enjoy watching. While you may have your own preferences, there’s something “extra” about watching ageless and iconic videos. Whether you relate somehow to the monsters or enjoy the design elements that come with watching them, there’s nothing like a good petrifying movie.

Chances are, one of your favorites has to do with monsters of some kind. They could be aliens or robots with AI and machine learning. It doesn’t matter because they’re chilling and meant to be watched over and over.

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