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)
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.)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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.