As Benicio Del Toro's remake of the horror classic The Wolfman hits cinemas, we take a look back at some of the most iconic monsters which have wreaked havoc on the big screen, from sci-fi's scary, screechy Alien to that huge, tower-block-scaling, silent-movie-actress-loving ape, King Kong.
King Kong (2005)
What's the story? In 1933 New York, an ambitious movie producer coerces his cast and hired crew to travel to mysterious Skull Island, where they encounter Kong, a giant ape who is immediately smitten with leading lady Ann Darrow. Capturing Kong, they bring him to New York for public display.
Iconic monster: Dinosaur-scale gorilla who's first regarded as some wild, savage beast, but turns out to have a softer side (although he's not keen on his T-Rex neighbours on Skull Island).
How scary? Thundering through the forests of his island home despatching fellow 'monsters' - very scary. Falling for petite Ann Darrow, and taking her ice skating on Central Park? Gettouta here!
An American Warewolf in London (1981)
What's the story? Two American students on a walking tour of England are attacked by a werewolf, leaving one dead, the other mauled. The surviving student is cursed to turn into a werewolf with the arrival of every full moon - sparking a series of killing sprees.
Iconic monster: Rated by many as the best ever 'werewolf transformation,' the Academy duly recognised the superb special effects and awarded the Oscar for Best Makeup to Rick Baker.
How scary? Occasional violence and extreme gore goes hand-in-hand with some of the blackest humour - the classic 'locals' welcome for the students in The Slaughtered Lamb is now a part of film folklore.
Pan's Labyrinth (2006)
What's the story? Fairy-tale fascinated youngster Ofelia is led into an underground world overseen by a mysterious faun. Ofelia has to live out her own dark fable as she confronts many monsters, both human and fantastical.
Iconic monster: The Pale Man - A masterpiece of imagination and make-up sees Doug Jones transformed into an horrific collection of skin-and-bones, with eyeballs in the palms of his hands.
How scary? Sitting benignly at his banqueting table without a murmur, Pale Man seems completely non-threatening... but once those eyeballs are locked into place... terrifying!
What's the story? The crew of the Nostromo respond to an SOS call and discover a strange derelict spaceship, its hold full of thousands of alien eggs. Unwittingly transporting one of the emerging parasites back onto their own vessel, the crew eventually face a terrifying, seemingly invincible stowaway.
Iconic monster: Iconic, and then some! The razor jaw dripping revolting slime, the whiplash tail, acid for blood - pure special effects genius!
How scary? As scary as they come, times ten - a desire to seemingly kill everyone and anything in its way, no apparent weaknesses and an ugliness beyond belief. In space no-one hears you scream... 'cos you've already died of fright.
Jurassic Park (1993)
What's the story? A team of scientists finds a way to clone dinosaurs, bringing the creatures back from extinction to populate an island theme park. But a major security breakdown releases the dinosaurs and puts the lives of the first visitors at peril.
Iconic monster: Tyrannosaurus Rex - the biggest, baddest beast of the lot from pre-history. Spielberg's list of screen innovations grew to 'monster' size with this huge combination of CGI and animatronic aggression.
How scary? Teeth as big as a trowel. Claws sharper than Harry Hill. And it doesn't eat vegetables... just meat, meat, and more meat. Be afraid, be very afraid!
The Host (aka Gwoemul) (2006)
What's the story? A giant, mutant monster suddenly appears from the depths of the Han River in Seoul and spreads panic. Gang-du's daughter Hyun-seo is carried off by the monster and disappears, leaving the family desperate to save her.
Iconic monster: Hard to describe this Korean beastie, but then again - just close your eyes and visualise an amphibious, bus-sized, man-eating creature. There, you've got it.
How scary? Described by one film critic as a mash-up of Jaws, Alien and Godzilla, the 'Host' doesn't quite add up to the sum of those parts - but it is nasty. How nasty? Really rather nasty.
Reign of Fire (2002)
What's the story? A tunnelling project under London uncovers a centuries-old fire-breathing dragon. Twenty years later, much of the world has been devastated by the beast and its offspring. The last surviving humans have to battle the flying, flaming menaces.
Iconic monster: Surprisingly good CGI renders the dragons remarkably lifelike - none more so than when the creatures are pacing about awkwardly, reminiscent of Jurassic Park III's pterodactyls, after landing.
How scary? Flying flamethrowers with a penchant for killing humans for no apparent reason... no wonder we left it all to St George and his suit of Teflon armour all those years ago!
What's the story? A team of commandos on a hit-and-run mission in the Central American jungle, find themselves hunted down one-by-one by an extra-terrestrial warrior, virtually invisible and armed to the teeth.
Iconic monster: One of the most original and recognisable monsters of modern cinema, second only to the Alien in its repulsiveness - the crab-like jaws in particular a cool touch.
How scary? Killing without mercy or discrimination, skinning people and taking their skulls for trophies - your Predator is a right nasty piece of work, and all the more scary because you can't see him to fight back!
What's the story? French atomic bomb tests in the South Pacific create a giant, irradiated lizard, which makes its way to Manhattan to wreak havoc.
Iconic monster: Twenty storeys tall, looks a bit like a T-Rex, smashes buildings for fun, and is seriously hacked off at humanity in general - well, you would be, after having your undersea home A-bombed!
How scary? Moderately - Jurassic Park arguably outdid it with the 'T Rex versus technology' plot - but then again, the Japanese originals (Gojira) kicked-off the franchise, reflecting post-Hirsohima paranoia about the wanton destruction of cities.
Mary Shelley's Frankenstein (1994)
What's the story? Victor Frankenstein creates 'life' from the amalgamated remains of corpses, but when he then rejects the artificial man he has created, the monster escapes and later swears revenge.
Iconic monster: De Niro rocked the 'stitched-together' patchwork look superbly, hardly recognisable under the layers, but still managed to give a trademark performance, instilling more humanity into the 'monster' than its creator.
How scary? Capable of extreme, violent rage - but occasionally extremely tender - you wouldn't want to meet the 'monster' down a dark alley!
Feature: Mark Appleby
Photos: Rex Features