Top 10 Greatest Movie Monster Reveals



Top 10 Greatest Movie Monster Reveals

VOICE OVER: Noah Baum WRITTEN BY: Nathan Sharp
Now that's how you introduce a monster! For this list, we'll be looking at the most shocking and most exciting monster reveals in film. Our countdown includes The Predator, The Pale Man, The Thing, and more!
Script Written by Nathan Sharp

Top 10 Monster Movie Reveals

Now that’s how you introduce a monster! Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 monster movie reveals.

For this list, we’ll be looking at the most shocking and most exciting monster reveals in film. We’ll only be including supernatural, fictitious, and fantastical creatures, so regular ol’ human villains will be excluded - even if they’re seemingly unstoppable forces of nature like Jason Voorhees.

#10: Clover

“Cloverfield” (2008)

Due to the found footage style of the first “Cloverfield,” we only get brief glimpses of the monster throughout the movie. Our only point of entry is through what the characters see and experience, so we never get a clear, defined portrait of what the massive creative attacking the city looks like - that is, until the very end. And what a reveal it is!. Right after their helicopter crashes, Hud gets trapped directly underneath Clover. It’s an incredibly tense sequence, and it culminates with Clover spotting and looking directly into the camera. It’s enough to make you hold your breath in anticipation. Everyone wanted to see what was terrorizing them, but this might’ve been a little too close for comfort.

#9: The Predator

“Predator” (1987)

Dutch said it best: the Predator is one ugly mofo. After his entire squadron is taken out by the literally invisible Predator, Dutch finally comes face to face with his jungle nemesis. And it is not a pretty face. The buildup to the face reveal is wonderfully shot and edited, as the music quiets while the Predator slowly unbuckles its mask. The tension and anticipation slowly rise as the sequence is increasingly drawn out, and then we see it - the face only a mother could love. And even that is debatable. That pointy jaw still haunts our dreams…

#8: The Elevator

“The Cabin in the Woods” (2011)

This flick is very meta and self-referential, so of course it contains basically every monster known to man. During the climax of the film, Marty and Dana descend down a mysterious elevator and discover a wide array of different “horror movie” monsters. These include werewolves, ghosts, a creepy ballerina girl (with a face made ONLY of teeth), and a scary guy with buzzsaws sticking out of his head. Dana assumes that the lab has a swath of different monsters to kill the sacrifices in different ways. And after this terrifying little scene, the movie proves Dana’s assumption correct when the camera pans out and reveals a whole colony of traditional horror creatures. Things get even better when said monsters are unleashed and go ham on the security personnel.

#7: The Pale Man

“Pan’s Labyrinth” (2006)

If you remember anything about “Pan’s Labyrinth,” it’s The Pale Man. He’s probably still a regular feature in your nightmares. The initial reveal of The Pale Man is startling and disgusting: with little music or buildup, the camera nonchalantly reveals a horrifying humanoid creature sitting in front of a plate of eyeballs. Then we see haunting paintings of it eating children. But it’s when Ofelia eats a grape that The Pale Man slowly comes alive with some creaks, a heart-stopping gasp, and a face reveal that is truly macabre. It’s a legendary sequence that beautifully showcases the twisted imagination of Guillermo del Toro.

#6: The Thing

“The Thing” (1982)

We never see The Thing’s true form. That’s part of what makes the monster so mysterious and otherworldly. But we do get a few glimpses of its alien features. The first time we see The Thing in its quote-unquote true form is when massive tentacles and spider-like legs begin to sprout from the kennel dog’s bloody corpse. When MacReady sees the end product, it is a blend of a screaming dog, a slimy mass, and lots of writhing tentacles. It’s a truly disturbing and disgusting sequence, but it’s also a brilliant glimpse at the incomprehensible madness that is to come.

#5: Tyrannosaurus Rex

“Jurassic Park” (1993)

The “Jurassic Park” series has a ton of great reveals, including those of the Indominus Rex and Indoraptor. But nothing beats the original’s T-Rex reveal. This scene is a part of cinema history, and it’s largely due to the extraordinary effects and heart-pounding buildup. The ominous booms and ground shakes, the shaking cups of water, the bloody goat limb falling onto the truck, and the brief glimpse of the T-Rex claw; each combine to create one of the most tension-filled movie sequences ever made. And then we see itL perhaps the most iconic dinosaur ever put to film. This was absolutely mind blowing back in 1993, and it still looks fantastic to this day. Steven Spielberg is an undeniable master of the cinematic craft.

#4: ‘Jaws’ [aka ‘Bruce’]

“Jaws” (1975)

Unlike most monster movies, the villainous great white man-eating shark unofficially called ‘Jaws’ largely remains off-camera. Instead of seeing the shark itself - which was nicknamed “Bruce” by the film crew, we see the attacks through its perspective as it hunts and stalks its prey. But when it comes time for the reveal, director Steven Spielberg knows exactly how to throw down. Unlike the T-Rex reveal, there is absolutely no buildup to Jaws’s first appearance. It simply pops out of the water without warning and comes within inches of Martin Brody’s face. It’s a great contrast to “Jurassic Park,” and it proves that there are equally terrifying ways to introduce a monster. You can build it up, or you can just throw it in without warning and shock the audience. Both are effective, both are horrifying, and in these two cases, both are iconic.

#3: King Kong

“King Kong” (1933)

This is still regarded as the quintessential adventure film, and for good reason. Like “Jurassic Park,” Kong’s introduction utilizes a lot of intense buildup. There’s the massive gong the natives use to signal Kong, the unmistakable roar of Kong himself, and the giant gorilla clearing his way through the dense forest. We don’t know what we’re about to see, but we know it’s something big and dangerous. And then we see it along with Ann, and her piercing scream speaks for us all. Yeah, Kong looks a little goofy today, but this scene basically changed the way that movies were made. With this scene, we knew anything was possible through the art of film. Even giant apes.

#2: Godzilla

“Godzilla” (1954)

King Kong or Godzilla? That debate may never end, but one thing is for sure - they both have amazing reveals. As residents and reporters rush to see whatever is causing incredible damage on the village, they are horrified to witness an enormous prehistoric amphibious reptile rising above the hill. It dwarfs both the hill and the people, and the sense of scale that the movie conveys is breathtaking, especially for a movie released in 1954. Some people scream and run, others can only stare in disbelief. And through it all, Godzilla unleashes deep and ominous roars that are enough to send chills down your spine. With this, one of cinema’s most enduring villains was born.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.

The Crawlers
“The Descent” (2005)

The Behemoth [aka “"The Impossibly Tall Creature"]
“The Mist” (2007)

“Creature from the Black Lagoon” (1954)

The Babadook
“The Babadook” (2014)

The Infected
“28 Days Later” (2002)

#1: The Chestburster

“Alien” (1979)

The “Alien” franchise has a ton of great reveals. There’s the disgusting facehugger reveal when Kane’s helmet is cut away, and there’s the gigantic Xenomorph from “Aliens.” But what everyone remembers is the chestburster, AKA the baby Alien that quickly grows and stalks the Nostromo. From the way everything goes from 0 to 100 in the span of five seconds to the way the alien shoots out of Kane’s stomach to shock and silence the crew, this sequence is so incredibly terrifying that we can’t show it in its entirety. The filmmaking and acting on display are extraordinary, and the very concept of an alien painfully burrowing its way out of your stomach is unthinkably haunting. This remains one of the scariest movie sequences ever filmed, and it is easily the greatest monster entrance of them all.