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Top 10 Terrors from Below the Earth

This week sees the release of As Above/ So Below, the Dowdle Brothers’ thriller about a couple of young archaeologists who run into all sorts of trouble in the Catacombs beneath Paris. In honor of the film’s scares beneath the surface of the Earth, here’s our Top Ten list of things you should watch out for should you ever trip and fall down down a manhole, take a wrong turn on the subway, or stumble head first into an underground cave.

10) The Morlocks (The Time Machine)

via Mad Monsters

These humanoids prey on the weak-willed human race of the future (renamed Eloi) in H.G. Wells’ The Time Machine and its subsequent film adaptations. The underground creatures serve as the ultimate metaphor for capitalism gone awry.

9) The Mole Man (Fantastic Four)

via The Daily Bugle

The archetypal underdweller, the Mole Man was the first foe fought by Marvel’s Fantastic Four. He was also spoofed hilariously by The Incredibles‘ Underminer, who faces Pixar’s super-team in the film’s final scene.

8) The Sandworms of Arrakis (Dune)

via Nerdcast

Alternately portrayed as monstrous and magisterial, the ageless, near indestructible sandworms of Frank Herbert’s classic science-fiction novel Dune are worshiped as gods by the desert planet’s Freemen. (Tim Burton apparently liked them so much he created his own sandworm for Beetlejuice.)

7) The Alligator (Alligator)

via Scum Cinema

In the early ’80s, no urban legend was as popular as the myth of giant alligators living in our sewers. Immortalized by a reference in E.T., the alligator culminated in Alligator, a 1980 film satire scripted by John Sayles and directed by Lewis Teague.

6) C.H.U.D. (C.H.U.D.)

via WordPress

Has there ever been a better (or more self-explanatory) name for a creature than C.H.U.D.? Cannibalistic Humanoid Underground Dwellers… No wonder the pop-culture news site borrowed it.

5) The Blob (The Blob)

via Comic Vine

In the original 1958 version of The Blob, the titular world-devouring creature comes from outer space. In 1998’s fondly remembered remake, it’s a government experiment gone awry that immediately makes a home for itself in a sewer network.

4) The Graboids (Tremors)

via Moviepilot

Similar to the sandworms, albeit a tad smaller and smarter, these critters make a home for themselves in the soil of Perfection, Nevada and can only defeated by “a few household chemicals in the proper proportions.” And, of course, Kevin Bacon.

3) The Alien Invaders (Steven Spielberg’s War of the Worlds)

via Comicvine

In his loose retelling of H.G. Wells’ The War of the Worlds, Steven Spielberg’s invaders arise from beneath the Earth to terrorize the human race. We give the famed director points for offering a detailed look at the would-be conquerors harvesting of human bodies.

2) The Butcher (Midnight Meat Train)

via Homodrome

Vinnie Jones’ meat cleaver-swinging executioner rides the last train of the New York subway nightly in order to appease his employers – who, in the best tradition of H.P. Lovecraft, require human sacrifice to keep ages-old demons at bay — in the film adaptation of Clive Barker’s acclaimed short story.

1) The Crawlers (The Descent)

via Screenrelish

Director Neil Marshall’s breakthrough film The Descent is one of the most effective nail-biters in recent memory, in which a group of young women’s spelunking holiday goes to hell when they encounter a colony of humanoid cannibals living underground.

Ready to go cave diving? Which one’s your favorite creepy underdweller? Let us know in the comments below.

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  1. Fuzzbucket….oh, the horror!!

  2. TwoFistedScientist says:

    Please explain how the Blob and the Martians from “War of Worlds” – both of extraterrestrial origin – qualify as “from below the earth.”

    That said – “The Descent” is a fan-frakin-tastic movie.

    • TwoFistedScientist says:

      Nevermind – just read the rationale.  🙂  Stupid Skimmer!

    • smeagol says:

      In the movie “War of Worlds”, the tripods break through the ground, apparently they were hiding in the ground for ages. I cant remember the book.

  3. ARG says:

    The Descent was the last horror movie to scare the bleep out of me. Might need to watch that again this weekend!