Zombies are so yesterday: Six candidates for America's next top monster
When it comes to America's favorite monster, zombies have been on top for a while now. That's been great for dedicated zombiephiles like me, but even the most hardcore fans of the undead know it can't last forever. Sooner or later, some other creature will emerge to take the place of zombies as the next big, scary thing. With this in mind, it seems like a good time to look at the on-deck circle and see which creepy-crawly murdery thing will emerge to terrify us as America's next top monster.
Shaun of the Dead Sooner or later, we will get tired of this.
Dracula: Prince of Darkness
The case for: Vampires are a classic monster. Not only that, they were running neck and neck with zombies there for a while, with some even proclaiming them the victor (prematurely). They're sexy, they're genuinely scary when done right and they have a rich, deep history to draw from.
The case against: They're fucking tired. Like I said, it wasn't that long ago that the bloodsucking fiends were everywhere you looked, and people clearly got tired of them. It may have had something to do with the fact they were reduced to sparkly, abusive emo boyfriends in their most popular recent incarnation. It's going to take a little while to wash the taste of that out of our collective mouth before anyone can take them seriously again.
Verdict: Sorry, suckers, you need to bury your coffins deep and wait for more favorable conditions before you can run the scary show again.
The case for: They're big! They can level a city just by taking an after-dinner stroll! Bryan Cranston is going to be in a movie about one very, very soon! These Japanese-inspired giant monsters are also super-flexible, coming in reptilian, insectile and alien flavors (to name just a few) -- and there's not much scarier than a beast the size of a skyscraper wreaking havoc in your hometown.
The case against: There's not a lot of momentum on the kaiju side. There was Cloverfield a few years ago, and Pacific Rim last year and the aforementioned Godzilla, but that's about it. These things tend to build over time, and the lead-up just isn't there. Plus, a lot of people will just never be able to take kaiju seriously, thanks to memories of the rubber-suited silliness of the cheap, exported Japanese monster movies.
Verdict: There's an outside chance, if the Cranston Godzilla film is a huge mega hit. Even if that does happen, this is still the darkest of dark horses.
Brocken Inaglory Who's up for a swim?
The case for: They're real, and they're terrifying. I know people who refused to go into swimming pools after seeing Jaws. Plus, those sharks are probably pissed off about all the shark fin soup business, and ready to take revenge.
The case against: Okay, I admit, this is my own personal hobby horse. I love sharksploitation films almost as much as I love zombies, and I would love to see a nation united in fearing the greatest predator of all. Apart from the odd Sharknado or global warming resulting in a Waterworld scenario, they're pretty easy to avoid.
Verdict: Sadly, no chance at all. But I can dream.
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