Appears in: Cloverfield (2008)
Scariest moment: A small group of survivors, flying away in a helicopter, shout in joy as they watch the monster get pummeled by Army missiles, but then, seconds later, "Clover" jumps into the frame, out of nowhere, and smacks the 'copter down to the ground.
Weakness: An addiction to eating attractive, successful, and painfully bland NYC 20-somethings. Everybody knows they go right to the thighs.

Forget about predecessors like Godzilla, King Kong, and Rodan—in 2008's Cloverfield, the humongous monster had to contend with half a year's worth of speculation and anticipation.

Producer J.J. Abrams and company first premiered the film's ambiguous teaser trailer in July 2007, in front of Transformers, and set off a firestorm of movie blogger questions surrounding everything from Cloverfield's plot to what exactly the antagonist would look like. Some people wanted the new Godzilla; others wanted H.P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu.

But what they all got was something naysayers never would have expected: a massive creature designed with ingenuity and masterfully revealed in increments thanks to nicely employed found-footage tactics. When director Matt Reeves does finally show "Clover" in all its insect-meets-lizard glory, the impact is viscerally pleasing. Fulfilled expectations always feel so damn good.