Seven Great Creature Designs From the 2000’s

Creature’s from The Descent

They were like the orcs from LOTR, mixed with albino bats. Pure nightmare fuel.

The Descent is such a scary movie, I take any excuse I can to shout it out. But honestly, no matter how much you love it, and the creatures, like I do, do NOT watch The Descent 2. The movie takes such a steaming, corn-filled dump on all that was sacred about the original, so don’t sully your soul by seeing it.

Okay, with that out of the way, the creature design in The Descent may seem simple. Cave dwelling bat people. It is not that simple, there is a real LOTR nuance to them, which is quite cool, and there is also that “blind but see using their hearing” aspect, which only amps up the scares the beasts provide throughout this film. In still shots, you may think they look kinda creepy, but watch a scene like this to understand what I mean:


It takes a special kind of human to NOT be scared shitless during this film. I was not one of those humans.

See, they are f*cking terrifying, which is why they are here. If those things were designed like Ewoks, this film would not been nearly as terrifying. Wait a second, that sounds even scarier, actually.

The Cloverfield Monster

The sad part is, I had to include a pic of the toy, because we never see a really still, solid shot of what this bitch looks like in the actual film, but that is just why I liked it.

I know there may be some people readying to crucify me right now over this, so again, like I always plea, just hear me out.

The actual mystery behind the creature in the film is JUST WHAT WORKED FOR ME. You see, if something like an invasion from a giant space beast were to happen in real life, believe it or not, it would play out a lot like this film, in the sense you that would not be able to see it based on scale, and you would not exactly be checking the news while you run for your life and try to save your family, so that very ambiguity behind the creature is what sold it to me. I also liked its scale, as anything at that scale would pretty much be impossible to see, head to toe. All that aside, though, let’s peep that action figure for a moment and give some credit to some of its features:

It does NOT look like a larger, mutated version of some Earth dwelling creature (though has some bat-like features and tendencies).

The massive front arms it walks on could be legs, or a variation on how a gorilla walks.

The skin tone, dirtied gray, is quite interesting, and a nice variation of the greens we always get from “space monsters”

It has testicles on its head, and a vagina for a mouth. Pretty sure that wins everything, ever, for infinity.

And if you need to be sold on the creature anymore, here:


No idea of how something this big and feral could “sneak up on a guy” but screw it, MOVIE LOGIC!

Honorable Mentions

I swear every girl I’ve ever dated may as well have had this many mouths. Take that any way you please.

Sugarplum Fairy (and every other creature) from Cabin in the Woods: I know everyone wanted the merman listed here, so here: Merman.

Meatloaf really let himself go after Fight Club, huh?

The modified lion from The Brotherhood of the Wolf: This is the only cat I have ever truly wanted as a pet. A pet I could ride INTO BATTLE aganist Castle Grayskull!

Man, the designs for the new Pokemon reboot look edgy as fuck. “WARLION, I CHOOOOOSEE YOUUUUUU!”

All The Creatures From The Lord of the Rings trilogy: From Treebeard to the cave troll, as much as some of the CG hasn’t aged as well as I thought it would, these films are still a great joy to watch, and a large part of that is the result of some amazing creature design. Though now I am specifically shouting out Tolkien here first, and then Jackson. Because Tolkien helped dream these beasts up, but Jackson only helped interpret them for film, which is still pretty damn remarkable.

” Peter Jackson pays us in naked, female hippies, who then chain themselves to us. Pretty sweet deal, huh?”

Speaking of good CG, did you hear about that time TED had to rap battle Teddy Ruxpin for fake bear supremacy? 

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  1. I thought the Cloverfield monster lacked personality, as a creature. Abrams and his clan have a tendency to just stick appendages and mouths onto their creatures until they feel they’ve made them scary enough.

    For designs I dug:
    – Del Toro should just have his own article. Wink/Angel of Death/Night Elves/Tooth Fairies from Hellboy 2, the Reapers from Blade II, Kroenen from Hellboy… the man knows his fables and mythology.

    – You kind of cheated by throwing everything from LotR into a postscript. Specifically, the Balrog is a brilliantly designed monster that could have looked so, so stupid. And the Uruk-Hai are great, too.

    – You know I have to bring up the Star Wars Prequels, particularly Attack of the Clones. Geonosians, gladiator pit monsters, Kaminoans… great stuff. Episode I missed out by a year, otherwise I’d have to go down that laundry list, too.

    – The Engineers in Prometheus. That opening scene might be my favorite five minutes of any movie this year.

    – The “low-fi” award goes to Attack the Block.

  2. The LOTR creatures deserve their own list, and rather than do that, I figured I would just give some props to them all, and leave the list to someone far nerdier than myself, who knows a bit more about the series and can incorporate the prequel into it, too. I, personally, think the Cloverfield creature was the only BIG creature to work on film since the golden age, so though the design may be dull to some, I enjoyed just how far outside the box it is, extra limbs or not. As for Star Wars, I know you adore that stuff, but I am purely old school on that, and nothing will ever beat Jabba, Boba, or Rancor to me, but that is just me. I loeave those neo Star Wars lists to you, my friend. And regarding your last two choices, couldn’t agree more. Actually had Engineers and Attack the Block furballs on my blueprint for this, but didn’t feel like catching Hell for it, so I backed out.
    Sell out move, I know.

  3. I really liked most of the creatures and their respective movies in the list, but what really rubs me the wrong way is the addition of the cave dudes from the Descent. They were cheap as hell. They were practically mole people, but without any reason given for their existence. And the movie as a whole was bad for a number of reasons, but the most irksome one in my opinion is that the whole plot is made possible by a series of retarded choices. And I’m talking pants-on-head-crayon-in-butthole retarded.

    The issue could be in me, because I watched the movie high as a kite and I tend to over-analyse movies when I’m in that state, but more often than not it improves the experience. I didn’t even get slightly startled, because the movie relied so heavily on cheap scare tactics like the “peekaboo”.

  4. Whoa whoa whoa.


    The Descent is awesome.

    (Also, Remy, I forgot to mention that this — and a couple of other similar things I’ve encountered lately — is really making me want to watch Troll Hunter)

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