Movie Monsters That Didn't Live Up to Their Terrifying Buildup

Have you ever been to a movie that made you tense up anticipating the evil force, and when it was finally revealed, you thought, "That's it?" You might have even laughed when you finally saw what was supposed to be so scary. We know from Jaws and many Alfred Hitchcock movies that the psychological suspense of a monster we can't see is deliciously scary, but often even the best special effects makeup, or even CGI, can't live up to our imaginations. A reddit post in r/movies asked filmgoers which movie monster was a real disappointment to see after building up a lot of tension. More than 3,000 comments came in discussing those films. Cracked picked out a list of the best, and gave them to us with illustrations. The picture above from the 1956 movie It Conqered the World may be an outlier in its sheer ridiculousness, but we can get a laugh out of it.

It Conquered the World. Paul Blaisdell specifically designed his monster to be seen partially in the shadows, but Roger Corman wasn't having it. He said "I paid for a monster and I'm damn well going to see a monster", so they rolled the giant evil cucumber out into the broad daylight of Bronson Canyon, painfully obvious it was on a little furniture cart.

The same redditor told us more about this alien from Venus. Read about 22 films that built up tension, and then revealed an underwhelming monster, at Cracked.

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It Conquered The World actually has a lot going for it. It's probably Lee Van Cleef's best non-spaghetti western performance, and the plot is fairly intriguing -- Scientist collaborates with alien invader, only to have second thoughts as he realizes it's not as "enlightened" as he'd hoped. It's high on my list of films I'd like to see remade on the "Don't-Remake-Successful-Movies-Remake-Ones-That-Could-Actually-Be-Better" theory, similar to the '80s remakes of The Fly and The Blob.
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'Fiend without a face' was a strange movie of brains with spinal cords creeping about and flying through the air to attack people by pulling out their brains and spinal cords. The way they crawled along with a heartbeat type of sound track really scared me as a pre-teen even though it was a stupid movie.
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Additionally, I've read that the original version of that critter didn't have that headpiece; it was added after the female star of the movie made fun of this squatty little thing trying to be scary.
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Although they aren't about monsters, I will always remember two movies that traumatized everyone around me, but left me feeling "meh." One was The Exorcist, because I had already read the book, and The Day After, because I'd read research on nuclear fallout. Hollywood can never recreate the horrors that written text had left in my head.
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