Top 10 Worst CGI Monsters of All Time

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Top 10 Worst CGI Monsters of All Time

VOICE OVER: Callum Janes WRITTEN BY: Nathan Sharp
These movie monsters are the opposite of scary. For this list, we'll be looking at the goofiest, most unconvincing, and most horrid-looking movie monsters to have been created by CGI. Our countdown includes “Deep Blue Sea”, “Freddy vs. Jason”, “Spawn”, and more!
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Top 10 Worst CGI Monsters of All Time


Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Worst CGI Monsters of All Time.

For this list, we’ll be looking at the goofiest, most unconvincing, and most horrid-looking movie monsters to have been created by CGI.

Which of these did you find the worst? Let us know in the comments below!

#10: Mama

“Mama” (2013)
You know, for a movie produced by Guillermo del Toro, we really expected better. The initial utilization of Mama is super effective. The movie works best when it shows Mama speed-walking around with that distinctive, inhuman gait. It really gets the imagination going, and it makes for a horrifying sight. And then they had to ruin everything by showing Mama’s full face. More and more of Mama is revealed as the movie goes on, and we get less and less scared of her. Things completely fall apart with the ending. Not only is the CGI disappointingly poor, but the physical design of Mama’s face veers into unintentional hilarity. What we don’t see is often much scarier than what we do, and “Mama” proves it.


#9: The Jump Scare Shark

“Deep Blue Sea” (1999)
A shark from 1975 looks much better than a shark from 1999. Something went very wrong there, and that something was CGI. For a movie costing upwards of $80 million, “Deep Blue Sea” has some truly abysmal visual effects. As surprising and out-of-the-blue as Russell’s death is, its impact is ruined by the hilariously awful CGI. The shark obviously looks ridiculous, but the worst offense has to be Samuel L. Jackson’s digital counterpart. It doesn’t look even remotely human, and the crappy video game blood certainly doesn’t help. Yeah, we’re not supposed to take this scene very seriously, as it’s meant to generate shocked laughs of disbelief. But man, is it ever bad.

#8: The Darkseekers

“I Am Legend” (2007)
A very well received post-apocalyptic movie, “I Am Legend” contains one obvious flaw - the horribly designed Darkseekers. Vampire-like monsters created from genetic engineering, these things bear pale skin, superhuman agility, and a hatred of sunlight. The Darkseekers were originally filmed with actors wearing prosthetics, but they decided to switch to CGI owing to the inhuman physical demands of the creatures. That’s all well and good, but it resulted in some very digital-looking people. Creating humans or humanoid creatures out of CGI is rarely a good idea. It almost always looks janky and fake, just as it does here. Our brains simply know better, and it makes suspension of disbelief very difficult.

#7: All the Creatures

“Van Helsing” (2004)
This action movie is an homage to the classic Universal monster films. Somehow, the CGI creature designs are even less convincing than decades-old makeup work. This movie should have contained state-of-the-art special effects that brought the likes of Dracula, Mr. Hyde, and werewolves to vivid life. But no. Despite the movie’s $170 million budget, the creatures in this film are laughably bad. Van Helsing’s fight with digital Hyde is atrocious, and the climactic battle between Helsing and Dracula looks like it was ripped from a monster fighting video game. This movie had a solidly enjoyable premise, but it’s ruined by poor writing and some obnoxiously bad visual effects.


#6: The Werewolf

“An American Werewolf in Paris” (1997)
We don’t know what’s worse about this movie: the abhorrent CGI werewolves, or the fact that it dares share a relation with “An American Werewolf in London.” That is a horror-comedy classic with state-of-the-art, Oscar-winning makeup work from Rick Baker. Switching from history-making prosthetics to early CGI was a horrible, horrible idea, and the movie deserves every ounce of derision it’s received. The digital wolves look dreadful (as does most CGI from 1997), and the less said about the transformation sequences, the better. It’s both a major visual effects misfire and a glaring insult to Baker’s legacy.

#5: The Demon Baby

“One Missed Call” (2008)
With a very strong 0% on Rotten Tomatoes, the English-language remake of “One Missed Call” is an exercise in bad filmmaking. However, one scene is particularly terrible. Slowly entering a dark room, Beth encounters what can only be described as a demon baby holding a cell phone. The concept of the scene is goofy in and of itself, and even with good special effects it probably wouldn’t have gone over well. But the horrible CGI on display transforms an already silly scene into something truly unforgettable. Every ounce of potential fear is sucked away by the outrageously bad CGI, and the scene turns into a source of unintentional comedy.

#4: The Freddy-pillar

“Freddy vs. Jason” (2003)
We’re used to seeing some weird stuff in the “Elm Street” movies, but this takes the cake. An ambitious crossover between the “Elm Street” and “Friday the 13th” franchises, “Freddy vs. Jason” combines the best elements of both. Freddy takes full advantage of his logic manipulation and possesses stoner Bill Freeburg through some kind of Freddy caterpillar. Don’t ask. The caterpillar casually strolls into the room, and we’re laughing even before it whips out the hookah. It looks ridiculous, and the below-average CGI doesn’t help. The digital monster also shares the screen with the very human actor Kyle Labine, which of course makes it look even worse. If we wanted poorly-rendered smoking caterpillars, we’d just watch the live-action “Alice in Wonderland” instead.


#3: The Thing

“The Thing” (2011)
This 2011 prequel shares much in common with “An American Werewolf in Paris,” and its criticisms were nearly identical. Not only is it an unasked-for companion to a beloved classic, but it completely flips what makes the original so iconic. The practical effects in the 1982 version are some of the most disgustingly effective in movie history. The prequel fails to honor its legacy and instead resorts to bad CGI. The scenes involving the Thing contain some great ideas, but they’re all wasted on ugly special effects that sap the sequences of their potential. The overly-digitized humans don’t have a semblance of believability to them, so it makes their transformations unconvincing. What should be horrifying and gross is instead grossly disappointing.

#2: Malebolgia

“Spawn” (1997)
Poor CGI is often compared unfavorably to video games. Sometimes that’s a little harsh. But in this case, it actually looks like something out of a video game. And, like, an early PS1 game at that. Serving as the big climax, Spawn and Cogliostro are sent to Hell and encounter a massive demon named Malebolgia. This should be a thrilling moment of movie magic, but it’s completely ruined by shoddy late-90s CGI. Everything about this scene sucks, but Malebolgia looks especially terrible. The CGI was never that impressive, but there was a certain innovative charm to it. Unfortunately, it’s dated horribly and cannot be taken seriously. There’s no getting around it - ‘90s CGI looks awful.


#1: The Scorpion King

“The Mummy Returns” (2001)
And here we have it - the greatest CGI in movie history. Wait, no, the opposite of that. The awful Scorpion King has been relentlessly mocked over the years and is often regarded as some of the worst CGI of all time. It deserves every bit of the criticism. It’s just mind-bogglingly terrible. Casting the Rock as the Scorpion King was a good idea, and the character went over well. So much so that he earned his own spin-off. But few remember that as much as this. The Rock’s digital face is laughably appalling, turning his big, dramatic entrance into a source of head-shaking comedy. How this got past the production stage, we have no idea.
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