Great White, Jaws (1975)
Great white sharks are formidable predators. On average, they're 15 feet long, weigh 5000 pounds and have 300 serrated, triangular teeth. The colossal great white in Jaws is 25 feet long and weighs 6000 pounds. To imagine something that big (not to mention hungry) lurking under the surface is terrifying. This movie made us think twice before getting in the water.
Church, Pet Sematary (1989)
Stephen King has a history of bringing creepy critters to the written page—Cujo, anyone?—but none of his animal villains were as creepy as Church. Once a vibrant and beloved family pet, the kitty is buried in old Indian land after he gets hit by a car. And then Church comes back, acting ornery and smelling, well, dead. It's enough to give cat lovers—and everyone else, for that matter—nightmares.
Spiders, Arachnophobia (1990)
So what if Arachnophobia's South American spiders aren't technically animals? (They're arachnids.) These nasty critters, which can kill with a single bite, completely creeped us out. To this day, we still carefully check our shoes before putting them on.
Graboids, Tremors (1990)
We're not sure if these wormlike creatures—which have three tongues and live underground—are animals or aliens. Regardless, the fact that they use vibrations to find their above-ground prey (humans, naturally) is terrifying. When you walk, you're leading the nasty critters right to you. And they'll pull your whole car underground to get to you.
Velociraptors, Jurassic Park (1993)
All due respect to the T. rex and the Dilophosaurus, but the
Velociraptors are totally the scariest dinos in Jurassic Park. After all, they hunt in packs, open doors, tear out your intestines with that gnarly-looking claw and eat you while you're still alive. The T. rex just bites you in half while you're on the john.
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Gorillas, Congo (1995)
Perhaps gorilla Amy—who was raised in a zoo and speaks with the aid of a backpack-size computer that interprets her sign language—was supposed to be warm and cuddly. But in our book, she's as weird as the supersmart gray gorillas that terrorize and kill Congo's scientists. Clearly, it's a tie.
Giant Crocodiles, Lake Placid (1999)
The movie Lake Placid doesn't actually take place in Lake Placid, but in Black Lake, Maine, where two 30-foot crocodiles have taken up residence and are eating people (and the occasional unfortunate grizzly bear). It might be pure sci-fi—after all, American crocodiles are found in South Florida and Central America, and they only grow to be about 20 feet long—but when you take into account that regular-s ize alligators have killed people, the concept gets a lot more terrifying.
Mako Sharks, Deep Blue Sea (1999)
At an ocean-based facility called Aquatica, a doctor has genetically altered mako sharks in hopes of finding a cure for Alzheimer's disease. But instead of being passive lab rats, these supersmart sharks—which have gotten as big as great whites—decide they want to escape. Next thing you know, they're swimming backward, taking out cameras (because they're intelligent enough to know what cameras are!) and eating Samuel L. Jackson, mid-inspirational speech. In other words, they're pure evil.
Spiders, Eight-Legged Freaks (2002)
Regular spiders are scary. Giant spiders are heart-attack-inducing. In addition to giving us the heebie-jeebies, these mutants are capable of handily taking out ostriches, which can eviscerate a man with a single, well-placed kick. And they ate the dog!
Snakes, Snakes on a Plane (2006)
Putting a bunch of snakes on a plane is kind of a roundabout way to kill one pesky witness, but that doesn't stop a bad guy from doing it—or us from thinking about how we'd do anything to keep that from actually happening. Samuel L. Jackson, we too are .
Prehistoric Piranhas, Piranha 3D (2010)
They've been trapped for millions of years. Now an underwater earthquake has set them free, and they're hungry—for blood. And, oh yeah, they're coming at you in 3D. It's going to be terrifying.
Did we leave out your favorite creepy creature? Let us know what we missed in the comments below!