It’s Not the Size of the Monster, But How You Use It!

Tarrasque

Tarrasque

More than likely, one of the first things that comes to mind when you think of a monster is something big.  Godzilla, King Kong, Frankenstein’s Monster, Cloverfield, and the list keeps going.  At the very least you start thinking about human-sized creatures like vampires and zombies.  We tend to over look the tiny monsters that have appeared to torment humans from time to time.  Heck, ‘Gremlins’ gets remembered more as a Christmas movie than a scary movie.  By the way, ‘Gremlins’ and ‘Die Hard’ make a fun Christmas movie double-feature.

Maybe it’s the fear of being stepped on or the idea of something huge grabbing us and tossing us into its mouth.  Either way, there’s a genuine fear of something gigantic getting to us and that’s probably why the big guys keep turning up in some form.  The human-sized ones are scary because they always manage to be quick, strong for their size, or they look just like us until they strike.  Not sure where the ‘Blob’ comes into this.  Fear of Jello?  Anyway, the smaller creatures aren’t as menacing because you feel like you can kick them away or easily fend them off.  Most of us are unknowingly raised to think that we can beat something that is smaller while losing to something that’s bigger.  You actually need to train yourself to reverse this or be paid enough money to not care if you get hurt.  So the little monsters already have a disadvantage.  At least with adults because kids still see them on equal footing or taller.

So, what does a small monster tend to have?  Let me show you the one that freaked me out of my mind as a child.  I stumbled onto the movie with these bastards when I was a kid and thought they were going to be like Gremlins.  I was soooo wrong:

Critters

Critters

Holy crap did I have trouble sleeping after getting a look at these things.  I’d rather be locked in a room with a starving Godzilla than these things.  You want to know why?  I remember them being fast, striking out of nowhere, and being ravenous.  For some reason, a lot of small monsters eat like they have bottomless stomachs and they attacks as swarms at times.  Just look at the teeth on that Critter. Also, they can hide freaking everywhere!  Under the car, in a drawer, in the toilet, in a shoe box, and anywhere they can squeeze into.  With all this, you rarely see a small monster get any attention in a movie or even a book.  They’re just fodder in books that are easily dispatched as a nuisance before a real threat arrives.  I’ll admit to doing this, but I did try to make goblins and a few other tiny threats appear from time to time.

Seriously, just look at that thing.  Still gives me shivers thinking it could be lurking under the bed.  So, does anybody else have a favorite or memorable small monster?

About Charles Yallowitz

Charles E. Yallowitz was born, raised, and educated in New York. Then he spent a few years in Florida, realized his fear of alligators, and moved back to the Empire State. When he isn't working hard on his epic fantasy stories, Charles can be found cooking or going on whatever adventure his son has planned for the day. 'Legends of Windemere' is his first series, but it certainly won't be his last.
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32 Responses to It’s Not the Size of the Monster, But How You Use It!

  1. The toilet hiding place gave me the shivers.

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  2. Paul Davis says:

    I totally see it. Movies like Slither get me, too. I want to see Nathan Fillion, but I like sleeping. So torn as to whether or not to watch. Anyway, love it. Totally agree we need more fist sized monsters.

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  3. Anything that can crawl into your mouth or ears… especially at night!

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  4. Not a favourite but my ex-wife could count as a small money-grabbing monster with a venomous tongue 😀 😀 😀

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  5. I can’t think of the name of the movie (and really can’t remember anything else about it), but I remember these small flying creatures that latched onto people’s faces. Really freaked me out.

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  6. Jae says:

    Spiders in my mind are tiny monsters. I still can’t watch hardly any bit of that movie Arachnophobia without having nightmares about those little demons. Poor spiders. They don’t stand a chance at life when in my crosshairs.

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    • That movie freaked me out as a kid. Why does something need so many legs and such creepy eyes? Also, a bug with hair? Nature was in a sadistic mood when spiders appeared.

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      • Jae says:

        I wonder if they’re so frightening because they’re sooo different than us. Or maybe they seem extra emotionless (whose to say whether they do or don’t feel emotions). Bugs always creep me out. Well, not all bugs. I do think Praying Mantises are cool.

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      • I think it’s the webs. Something about a creature that traps prey, wraps it up, and injects it with poison might react to the more primal part of our instincts. It’s a situation we’d hate to be in even though spiders are typically too small to wrap us up.

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  7. Jack Flacco says:

    I’ve never seen Critters, but if they’re anything like Gremlins then I’m spooked already. Gremlins, of course, had this real malevolent story hidden in it’s cute Maguai characters. I’m shivering just thinking about it! I’ve made it a point to try to find Critters and watch it this weekend. (Just checked IMDB it’s a 6.0)–well, it looks like one of those popcorn gag movies I’ll be watching with friends this Friday night instead! 😉

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  8. Loved Gremlins! There’s a little demon thing people believe in around here called a Tokolishi. Gets up to all sorts of nasty stuff and is the reason why quite a lot of Africans put lots of bricks under the legs of their beds. I had my ankle yanked and scratched while sleeping up at a lodge at Lake Kariba by what I was told must have been a monkey, but that little hairy faced thing didn’t look like one to me and I’ve never heard of monkeys sneaking into lodge bedrooms and grabbing ankles before. True story. 😀

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    • It’s funny how movies go for so many big or human-sized monsters. Yet so much of folklore has smaller creatures like gremlins, imps, and fairies. We really should be more careful of the critters that can get into small places. How did you get the Tokolishi out of the lodge?

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      • You’re right – little monsters are much scarier that big ones that you can see – lots more ways to ambush you. 😀 First I fell off the bed, then I jumped back onto it and yelled my lungs out. I heard whatever it was scrabble out the bathroom window. Actually relocated to another hotel then and there at 2am in the morning & waited for the sunrise sipping medicinal brandy. Funny now, but it was quite a scary thing at the time.

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      • Sounds rather similar to what I would do. I think that would freak out most people for a few nights. I’d say close and lock the windows too, but what can one do if it’s a hot night?

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      • That’s the problem – you’d end up roasting. The waiter at the hotel who was plying me with the medicinal told me all sorts of things that crept me out for ages afterwards. He said that he was sure it had been a Tokolishi that had been sent to swipe money & not a monkey, and that now that I’d seen it, it would follow me around the world and kill me. LOL! Africa is a crazy old place sometimes. 😀

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      • I’m sure it has a ton of stories like that. Funny how these things always kill their victims, but their stories are known. I love the ones that leave no survivors because it makes me think of Jack Sparrow asking ‘then where do the stories come from I wonder?’

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  9. C. Miller says:

    I am SO glad I never saw Critters. That thing is majorly creepy. O.o

    I’m sure these monster posts are doing super well with Halloween coming up. There’s really no better way to get into the holiday spirit. 😉

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