One of the biggest complaints about 2010’s A Nightmare on Elm Street remake was that they used CGI to create the new Freddy Krueger’s face. While CGI has come a long way in the 21st Century, it still doesn’t create the impact and visceral reaction of practical makeup FX. (By “practical” we’re referring to makeup and prosthetics applied to an actual human being, so animatronics aren’t part of this conversation.)
While today’s fear practitioners balanced practical and CGI FX, there’s no denying that real makeup works best on a small scale, and the most enduring human monsters in horror history reflect this old-school, purist approach to moviemaking. Regular readers of Horror Freak News know we’re huge fans of the video essays and lists created by WatchMojo, and one of their latest is right up our alley: Top 10 Uses of Practical Makeup in Monster Movies!
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It’s a celebration of horror villains who bring the terror thanks to brilliant makeup FX, and it’s interesting to note that many of the best examples of practical monster-making are from the 1980s. 30 years later and technology can’t top good, old fashioned gore. Have a watch and let us know what you think in the Comments section! Did your favorite practical FX horror movie villain/monster make the list?
If you can’t stream, the Top 10 practical FX horror movie villains are listed below the video. Enjoy!
Official Synopsis: For this list, we’re looking at those classic examples where practical effects experts transformed actors into the stuff of nightmares.
Grant Grant (Michael Rooker) in Slither (2006, Directed by James Gunn)
Erik/The Phantom (Lon Chaney) in Phantom of the Opera (1925, Directed by Rupert Julian)
Darkness (Tim Curry) in Legend (1985, Directed by Ridley Scott)
The Pale Man (Doug Jones) in Pan’s Labyrinth (2006, Directed by Guillermo del Toro)
David Kessler (David Naughton) in An American Werewolf in London (1981, Directed by John Landis)
The Monster (Boris Karloff) in Frankenstein (1931, Directed by James Whale)
Brundelfly (Jeff Goldblum) in The Fly (1986, Directed by David Cronenberg)
Regan (Linda Blair) in The Exorcist (1973, Directed by William Friedkin)
Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund) in A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984, Directed by Wes Craven)
Pinhead (Doug Bradley) from Hallraiser (1987, Directed by Clive Barker)
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