Top 10 Scariest Monsters in Fantasy Movies



Top 10 Scariest Monsters in Fantasy Movies

VOICE OVER: Rebecca Brayton WRITTEN BY: Garrett Alden
These creatures are fantastically scary! For this list, we'll be going over the monsters and creatures from fantasy films that are the most frightening. Our countdown includes monsters from film franchises such as Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings & Pirates of the Caribbean. Which fantasy movie monster do YOU think is the scariest? Let us know in the comments!

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Script written by Garrett Alden

Top 10 Scariest Monsters in Fantasy Movies

These creatures are fantastically scary! Welcome to WatchMojo and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Scariest Monsters in Fantasy Movies. For this list, we’ll be going over the monsters and creatures from fantasy films that are the most frightening.

#10: Davy Jones & The Flying Dutchman Crew

“Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise (2003-)
The “Pirates” franchise is no stranger to fiendish, supernatural pirate crews, but for our money, the scariest is the crew of The Flying Dutchman and their captain, Davy Jones. Every crew member of this cursed vessel has taken on the attributes of at least one sea creature, and the results are horrifying! This is best exemplified in Bill Nighy’s portrayal of Captain Davy Jones, whose tentacled face and unsettling voice lend an incredibly creepy air. Maybe it’s the fact that they remain villains for more than one movie, but these undersea pirates just give us the heebie jeebies!

#9: Skeksis

“The Dark Crystal” (1982)

Although the whole movie in general is pretty terrifying and gave a whole generation of kids deep-seated trauma that we… uh, they are still getting over, we’d argue that the Skeksis are the most terrifying creatures in “Dark Crystal.” This race of creatures looks like a cross between vulture corpses and dinosaurs, and the way they sound is just as unsettling as their appearance. When they’re not dominating other races, they’re probably draining them of their life essences to prolong their own lives. And don’t even get us started on their table manners!

#8: Nazgûl

“The Lord of the Rings” franchise (2001-03)
The menacing servants of the Dark Lord Sauron, the Nazgûl, also known as the Black Riders or Ringwraiths, are 9 black-cloaked figures who relentlessly pursue the One Ring. Once human kings, their own rings of power have left them wraith-like husks of their former selves. Their dogged pursuit of Frodo and company lasts throughout much of the trilogy and they’re among the most formidable enemies they come across. With their high-pitched screeches and numerous creepy mounts that let them travel even by air, the Nazgûl are iconic and scary monsters in the fantasy genre.

#7: Mrs. Dodds / Alecto

“Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief” (2010)
Mrs. Dodds is a substitute teacher at the titular character’s school. While substitutes can be terrifying in their own right, depending on who you ask, Dodds is scary for another reason. While on a school trip to a museum, Dodds calls Percy to a room to speak alone and abruptly appears on some scaffolding, demanding to know where “it” is before transforming into a winged, multi-armed creature called a Fury. The combination of the Fury’s disturbing visage and her excess of limbs, along with her brief and abrupt appearance, makes her memorable, despite her short screen time.

#6: Vermithrax Pejorative

“Dragonslayer” (1981)
An absolute terror to the kingdom of Urland, Vermithrax Pejorative is a spiteful dragon whose wrath is only kept in check by her love for her children and her appetite for the flesh of virgins. Everything about Vermithrax is intimidating, from her appearance to her name! Thanks to being created in part through practical and stop-motion effects, Vermithrax feels very real, which only makes her that much scarier when she’s breathing fire, causing earthquakes, or dueling wizards. We certainly wouldn’t want to run into her in a dark cave!

#5: Basilisk

“Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets” (2002)

The Basilisk is a giant snake with the power to kill with a glance. One basilisk in particular calls the titular Chamber of Secrets home and terrorizes the magical school of Hogwarts during Harry Potter’s second year attending it. Although, miraculously, none of the students die, they are petrified, which is still quite disturbing. Harry coming face to face with the huge serpent makes for a harrowing climax to the movie and we’re sure there are some film heroes who wouldn’t have kept cool under pressure against it.

#4: The Kraken

“Clash of the Titans” (1981/2010) & “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest” (2006)
There have been many undersea creatures in fantasy films, but few have the kind of name recognition as the Kraken. Usually depicted as some form of giant, many-limbed sea creature, the Kraken appears in many parts of pop culture, though its most famous fantasy incarnations are in the two “Clash of the Titans” films and the second “Pirates of the Caribbean” movie. In the former, the creature is the last of the Titans, unleashed by the gods to destroy Argos. In the latter, the Kraken is closer to its mythological counterpart, as a huge octopus-like creature, that is used by Davy Jones to destroy Jack Sparrow and his ship. All versions encapsulate the primal fear of sea creatures taken up to 11!

#3: Dementors

“Harry Potter” franchise (2001-11)
Although not the only cloaked, sinister beings on our list, we’d argue that the Dementors are the scariest of this archetype. Desiccated, corpse-like creatures that glide and float about in black robes, Dementors spread fear and hopelessness, as well as literal chills, to people whenever they come near them. As horrifying as that is, what’s worse is what happens when they “kiss” you. Dementors are actually able to suck out someone’s soul through their mouth, leaving their victim a hollow shell of their former self. But what’s scarier than fear personified?

#2: Balrog

“The Lord of the Rings” franchise (2001-03)

Demonic entities of shadow and fire, Balrogs are servants of Morgoth, the dark lord that the Dark Lord Sauron once bowed down to (we like our Tolkien lore here). Huge, winged, and looking like the lovechild of lava and darkness, the Balrog that appears in “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy is straight-up terrifying, and has even the most experienced members of the fellowship of the Ring shaking with fear. This foe is certainly beyond any of us too! We know Gandalf! That’s why you’re the badass! The wizard’s lengthy duel with the Balrog results in both of their deaths, which says a lot about how powerful they both are!

#1: Pale Man

“Pan’s Labyrinth” (2006)
Some creatures in fantasy are the stuff of nightmares. The Pale Man is part of the stuff nightmares are afraid of! A sallow, saggy skinned being, the Pale Man resides in a lair where he tempts children to eat from its table and devours them, a hobby that, judging from the paintings in his dwelling, he is exceptionally fond of. Along with his horrid diet, the Pale Man’s appearance is incredibly disturbing, with his eyes being located in his hands instead of his face being especially unsettling. Young Ofelia’s encounter with the Pale Man has us watching from behind our hands every time!