Top 10 WORST CGI In Monster Movies
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Top 10 WORST CGI In Monster Movies

VOICE OVER: Andrew Tejada WRITTEN BY: George Pacheco
These CGI movie monsters are horrifying, but not in a good way. For this list, we'll be ranking the most egregious examples of computer-generated effects to offend our eyes, effects that were far more frightening than any monster. Our countdown includes “Anaconda 3: Offspring”, “Deep Blue Sea”, “An American Werewolf in Paris”, and more!
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Top 10 Worst CGI in Monster Movies


Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Worst CGI in Monster Movies.

For this list, we’ll be ranking the most egregious examples of computer-generated effects to offend our eyes, effects that were far more frightening than any monster.

Have you seen any of these films? Let us know in the comments!

#10: Anacondas

“Anaconda 3: Offspring” (2008)
The “Anaconda” franchise is one series that seems to wear its reputation of poor CGI almost like a badge of honor. That said, the snakes from this third entry are particularly offensive. “Anaconda 3: Offspring” was produced for the SyFy Channel, and brings with it all of the ill will that description entails, from the cheeky stunt casting of David Hasselhoff to the CGI that’s low-budget to a fault. The snake attacks are woefully underserved by horrendous CGI blood and poor rendering that hampers any sort of believability or tension. The dead eyes and jilted movements don’t even make “Anaconda 3” feel silly, it just looks bad.

#9: The Boogeyman

“Boogeyman” (2005)
The concept of a Boogeyman is a terrifying one, because it really is a blank palette: he could be anything we can imagine within the darkest recesses of our minds. This is why the final reveal of 2005’s “Boogeyman” is so disappointing. It’s a missed opportunity to the nth degree when the figurative monster in the closet shows up on-screen, as it’s a bunch of quick shots that attempt to hide some atrocious CGI. The overall design of the Boogeyman’s face isn’t terrible, but the pale skin and choice of wardrobe don’t do the monster any favors. Additionally, the effects when the Boogeyman is defeated look even worse, feeling much more dated and removed from the film’s mid-2000s release date.

#8: Silly Shark

“Deep Blue Sea” (1999)
Samuel L. Jackson characters have died in various, inventive ways throughout the actor’s filmography, but rarely has a death scene appeared so unintentionally silly. Director Renny Harlin really should’ve known better, having helmed such practically-inclined films as “A Nightmare on Elm Street 4” and “Die Hard 2,” but hey, CGI was a new and exciting prospect back then, right? The CGI shark that devours Jackson’s Russell arrives right after the actor’s impassioned monologue. But we’ll give no points for timing as the end effect just looks terrible. From the unrealistic, herky-jerky movements to the laughably pedestrian rendering, this one’s more of a laugh than a scream.

#7: Tepid Tentacles

“Deep Rising” (1998)
We admire the ideas behind “Deep Rising,” we really do. After all, underwater settings in horror movies can be a great place to build tension and suspense prior to that big monster reveal. Unfortunately, what probably would’ve been a great creature feature back in the seventies or eighties is instead relegated to computer-generated hell with some tepid tentacles. Some of the close-up shots look ok, but the scenes that play off the actors’ reaction shots to the tentacles look like something out of a video game cutscene. If this squid like monster is ever on your movie night menu, it’s best to decline.

#6: Caterpillar

“Freddy vs. Jason” (2003)
The “Friday the 13th” and “Nightmare on Elm Street” film franchises made their mark on the horror world in part thanks to their inventive practical effects. As a result, both franchises have seen lesser returns when they’ve gambled their chips on some CGI shenanigans. The smoking caterpillar from “Freddy vs. Jason” can definitely be seen as a bust, as it not only looks bad, it threatens to derail the entire movie. The Freddy Krueger-possessed creature plays into character Bill Freeburg’s one-note stoner stereotype, but its rendering is so poor that it almost single-handedly kills all of the good will built up to that point. Although the third act does bring things back around, this caterpillar is one of the most embarrassing creations from either franchise.

#5: Weak Werewolf

“An American Werewolf in Paris” (1997)
It seems almost blasphemous to imagine the sequel to “An American Werewolf in London” going the computer-generated route with their titular lycanthrope, but here we are in the late nineties, where everyone seemed to try and shoot their CGI shot. The end results are predictably bad, but we might not even be talking about how unfrightening and surreal this werewolf is, were it not for the outstanding practical effects of the original. Rick Baker’s transformation sequence for “An American Werewolf in London” is the stuff of legend, while “An American Werewolf in Paris” seems committed to ignoring that legacy, in favor of the cheap and not-so-effective low road. Boooooo.

#4: Assimilated Eyesore

“The Thing” (2011)
Speaking of iconic practical effects, fans were skeptical of the 2011 prequel to John Carpenter’s “The Thing” when it was revealed that CGI effects were going to be used during production. The move felt like a slap in the face to all of the industry-defining work conceived and executed by Rob Bottin, Stan Winston and their team. Yet, the 2011 iteration did indeed press on with this ill-conceived idea, and the results speak for themselves. The conceptual stage of the Thing’s assimilation scenes was obviously strong, but when the CGI takes hold, all of that imagination goes out the window. We know this looks fake, and we know it looks bad. Plus, we could just be watching the Carpenter version.

#3: Facial Shift

“Sleepwalkers” (1992)
Part of us wants to give “Sleepwalkers” a pass for its CGI crimes against the eyes, given that 1992 is pretty early on for this type of technology. But remember, “Jurassic Park” is only a year removed from this movie. “Sleepwalkers” is one of those Stephen King films where fans can shake their heads and laugh at what’s on screen, such as this facial shift freakout from one of the titular sleepwalkers, Charles. Charles is being pulled over by the police when the sight of the officer’s pet cat - the sleepwalkers’ one weakness - sends Charles into hysterics. His face morphs from human, to baby, to some kind of were-cat. Officer Andy Simpson shares our reaction when he exclaims…

#2: 3D Shark

“Jaws 3-D” (1983)
The story behind the special effects of “Jaws 3-D” is a complex one, specifically with the climactic sequence where the shark smashes into a control room. This scene has been much maligned over the years for its poor execution, although effects company Private Stock Effects actually had a version of the scene edited on video that looked superior to the finished product. Unfortunately, what we were left with was poor optical effects for the collision, and some even worse CGI elsewhere in the film. We definitely can’t forgive the blood and teeth that hit the screen after the shark finally explodes in the climax. They’re sequences that have gone down in shark movie infamy.

#1: The Langoliers

“The Langoliers” (1995)
For every Stephen King adaptation that’s captured our hearts, there are equally as many others that belong in the bargain bin. Enter “The Langoliers,” the television movie miniseries that built up their titular monsters to the point where we couldn’t wait to see them appear on the screen. Then, they did, and we immediately regretted our choices. The Langoliers… well, don’t look like anything, really. They’re all fuzzy-looking teeth and indiscernible skin, the sort of effect that was dated almost immediately, and remembered solely for being completely terrible. Thank goodness for Bronson Pinchot’s over-acting, however, because he sells the hell out of these things.
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