Most horror movies have bad guys in the form of normal-looking human beings, mutated sub-human freaks, or some variation in between.

Some people are more afraid of the unassuming, friendly-looking guy who lives next door type who turns out to be the bad guy in books and film. One minute he could be mowing the lawn, waving at neighbors, then the next, he could be slicing and dicing in his basement. It’s a shock when you’re not expecting it.

While other folks prefer the in-your-face evil that jumps out at you. Both can be scary if utilized properly. Above all, they need to be convincingly scary, no matter how they’re presented.

So, my question is for readers, writers, and watchers of horror films. How do you prefer your monsters? Overtly evil, or covertly evil? You choose.

I choose both, depending on how it’s executed. But I still have a special place in my heart for the overt monsters. 🙂


  1. I like monsters either way, I just don\’t like the sudden scare, the \”jump out at you\” startlement. I\’m hyper-vigilant, which means I nearly have a heart attack when the toast pops in the kitchen. So yeah, being startled is no fun.

  2. I can swing either way, depending on the execution, as you said.But I do prefer the covert types, the more unexpected and smooth the better.

  3. You know…I don\’t do monsters. I\’m single and I live alone – I don\’t watch scary movies because I don\’t want doors openeing by themselves and scary things happening when I\’m all alone. So! Don\’t judge me!

  4. Hey : )Did you ever watch those movies I suggested a couple of months ago?The Changeling (George C. Scott) and The Tube (crazy suff going on in the London subway system).And I am determined to get The Light At the End made into a movie.Happy Halloween!!!

  5. Lana,I love the jump-out-and-scare you types…lol. Fun. Some folks hate the startle effect. :-)Heff,LOL. Leave it you. ;-)LaughingWolf,Exactly. ;-)Charles,I feel the same way most of the time. :-)Gwyneth,Welcome back. :-)Raine,Execution is everything. :-)Darius,ROFL. Come on, not one? When I lived alone, I turned off all the lights and watched scary movies by myself sometimes. :-)Caspar,THE TUBE. I don\’t remember you telling me about that one. I\’ll have to see if I can find it. A lot of folks have told me about THE CHANGELING, which is coming out with a remake. I still want to see both though. 🙂

  6. Of course both. It\’s all in the presentation. But for what actually scares me the most when I willingly sit down to watch horror (a rare, rare thing) it\’s psychological horror. Nobody beats Sir Anthony Hopkins as Hannibal Lector. Scariest movie I ever watched? Alien. I drew blood digging my nails into my boyfriend\’s arm.

  7. The new Changeling is very different from the original. The old – with George C. Scott – is about a guy who rents a house that turns about to be haunted. Its scared the ish out of me when I was a little girl and it spooks the hotness out of me now. The new one – with Angelina – is about a kidnapped child. It looks good though. Anything Eastwood puts his finger on is worth watching.And I will be adding you to my blogroll as soon as I can get to a PC. : )PEACE.Cas.

  8. I don\’t watch much horror — life is scary enough.I think I\’m more frightened of the evil that looks like us, pretends to be us, etc.To me, that seems more devious than being in one\’s face.

  9. There\’s a place for both, I think.Though the scariest to me tends to be serial killers. The stories about them outnumber the the actual number of them in history, but it\’s so scary because, before you know who the predator is, it almost feels like they\’re unbeatable because they\’re unknown… once you put the human face to them, they\’re not so scary. Another added fear is that there doesn\’t seem to be a rhyme or reason to the victim… you couldn\’t have done something different to keep from being a victim and it\’s not like a regular old murder where at least you did something to set them off.

  10. How about Dexter? Cute and a monster? American Psycho – handsome and a monster. Me? I\’m still afraid of Mr. Barlow from Salem\’s Lot, which I saw back in about 1976. I love Hellraiser though.

  11. I prefer the kind where you have no idea it\’s coming. There\’s something really frightening about someone you\’d never suspect just up and driving a dagger in your chest.But creepy-looking is a close 2nd.

  12. Overtly evil is always good. I like to know what I\’m dealing with. However, that stab in the back that you didn\’t see coming, that makes you jump out of your seat is the best. Pinhead is my favorite monster. \”Your suffering shall be legendary…\” Hellraiser is a movie I can watch over and over and still get the heebeejeebees.

  13. Good questions. I think both have their role. I have to say that the Jasons, Freddies, Jeepers Creepers of the world are more campy to me than really scary. What scares me more are things that seem like they could actually happen, insane people and/or a really good surprise. Like The Ring–the end of that movie messed me up–as I was watching it home alone on tv. MESSED ME UP! LOL

  14. Oh me I love my monsters in all forms. I have a tender spot for the overt, especially if they get wolfy. The overt evil gives me more of a startle but the covert evil leaves a chill.Long time no chat. I\’m participating in NoNoWriMo this year. have you done it before?

  15. Written,Who doesn\’t love Hannibal Lector? ;-)Caspar,I will definitely find the old version then. :-)Devon,Of course it\’s more devious, that\’s what scares us. I love horror. Merry, There are a lot more serial killers than you think. The F.B.I. has an estimate of how many serial killers there are and if they\’re \”active\” or not. Last I looked it was about 2,000. That\’s waaay to many. We just don\’t hear about them all. Scary :-/Kim,I like Dexter…lol. I remember you talked about Mr. Barlow before. He was creepy. :-)Miladysa, Thanks for sharing. ;-)Thomas, LOL. I love them both. When they\’re well done, it works both ways. :-)Paris, You are a chicken, and I know it. ;-)TravelDiva,THE RING? LOL. Wasn\’t that like PG-13…lol. Just kidding. That little girl really freaked me out as well. :-)Darius,I didn\’t have a chance to make it this time, sorry. :-)Liane, I\’ve never participated in NaNoWriMo. E-mail me and give me an update on your WIP. 🙂

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