Vampires had their UV protected moment in the sun of pop culture. With the success of The Walking Dead, the hope fans of the book World War Z have for the upcoming movie and the recently announced Zombieland series from Amazon, zombies have grabbed viewers’ attention like it was made of brains. But what will rise from the dark to capture the spotlight when people get bored with living corpses? Here are five contenders for the title of pop culture’s next monster of the moment:
Qualifications: Though one of the classic monsters of lore, werewolves have often been relegated to being secondary monsters in movies and television. Recently they have played second fiddle to vampires in Twilight and True Blood. In terms of box office revenue, the last successful solo werewolf movie was 2011’s regrettable Red Riding Hood which took in just under $37.7 million. However, the June 3 season three premiere of MTV’s highly rated Teen Wolf could be all that’s needed to transform the werewolf back from second tier bad guy to leader of the pop culture pack.
Chances of taking the title: Monster cred built over the past few years gives them pretty good odds.
Qualifications: Mummies have been a staple of Halloween and pop culture since Boris Karloff played Imhotep in 1932’s The Mummy. Imhotep and his legion of mummy minions were back in the fan favorite 1999 remake starring Brendan Fraser and Rachel Weisz. After two sequels, mummies fell out of fashion in Hollywood. Everything comes in cycles in pop culture but fans of the Mummy should just enjoy their DVDs because the spotlight probably won’t circle back around until director Len Wiseman’s reboot of the franchise slated for a 2014 release. If zombies hold on until then mummies could become the next big monster in pop culture, but there is plenty of time for another contender to slide ahead before then.
Chances of taking the title: Slightly better than average, good odds for being the next year’s top.
Qualifications: The great thing about witches is the flexibility in storytelling they provide. Witches and wizards can be the good guy or they can be the villain; they can appear in dramas just as naturally as in comedies. The magically inclined will always be relevant and can fly their brooms to the forefront of pop culture. But let’s face it, the era of Harry Potter has passed and nothing can top witches with their own musical number.
Chances of taking the title: Even money thanks to variety.
Qualifications: Pop culture has a love/hate relationship with aliens. We love them on television, consider the triumphs of Star Trek: The Next Generation and Doctor Who, but we’re not so keen on them when it comes to the big screen. Not to name names or anything, but the word Battleship does come to mind. Not even the Twilight fan base could make the alien-centered The Host a box office draw. But don’t despair alien fans, there have been some truly amazing movies made for you too: the Men in Black series, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and the Alien franchise to name a few. The great thing about aliens is that the variations of creatures and stories that can be told with them are limited only by the imagination. Two Independence Day sequels are in the works; another great speech could propel them into top monster territory.
Chances of taking the title: Recent history suggests less than favorable odds.
Qualifications: First created by author H.P. Lovecraft in the 1920s, the Cthulhu has had a loyal fan base for some time but has never been widely noticed by pop culture. A recent surge of interest could set the stage for all out Cthulhu mania. A steampunk Cthulhu set of playing cards was fully funded on Kickstarter in March. Science is even getting Cthulhu fever. There being only one Cthulhu could have a limiting effect on its pop culture potential.
Chances of taking the title: Long shot but a sentimental favorite.