The scariest new monsters of 2017

A lot of our entertainment predictions for this year have already come true, but there's been one element to 2017 we didn't expect–the supremely scary monster factor. Yep, this year has already delivered a ton of creepy creatures that obviously come from the most deviously creative minds in the biz. After seeing these menacing things come to life on-screen, it's probably a safe bet to wager most of us will be losing an unusual amount of sleep this year as well.

Winslow on The Walking Dead

The Walking Dead's seventh season presented Jadis and her Heapsters, a group of people who've relied on refuse to create giant walls to keep themselves safe. That in and of itself was weird enough, but when their pet zombie Winslow came into the picture, hoo boy, was that a special moment for small-screen scare history.

Rick, who wanted to gain the favor of Jadis' crew for his impending battle with Negan, was thrown into a pit with the bespiked, undead beast and had to find a way to penetrate his dangerous helmet to save his own skin. Trouble was, he was decked out with knives and a helmet that, as executive producer Greg Nicotero pointed out, was reinforced by the metal from a gas tank. So, not only did we find out just how much Jadis doesn't play around when it comes to protecting her junkyard life, but we also got to see (again) just how much of a resourceful survivor Rick Grimes really is when he put down that unfathomable thing.

Pennywise from IT

Children of the '80s and '90s who watched the first iteration of Stephen King's IT will no doubt recall the eerie, sickening feeling that washed over them whenever Pennywise the Clown (portrayed by Tim Curry in the 1990 mini-series) arrived to torture all the Derry kids again and again and again. And it looks like this year's revival effort will be just as terrifying, if the first glimpses of the sinister cinematic clown are any indication.

Unlike Curry's version, there appears to be less surface humor present in the new Pennywise, played by Bill Skarsgard, and even his theatrical costumery points to a more dramatic cadence. What's really going to earn prime placement in people's' nightmares with this one, though, is how grimey and sewery Pennywise seems to be compared to the last one. Sure, Pennywise the First still lurked in rain drains and such (poor Georgie), but fans of the book will appreciate this adaptation paying more attention to his nefariousness underground as well. Pennywise should be covered in filth and muck to achieve optimal freakiness. Plus, there's the return of the red balloon–that image alone is enough to induce a shudder from an entire generation of horror fans.

The Great Wall hellbeasts

There was plenty to take issue with when it came to Zhang Yimou's The Great Wall, but the special effects surrounding its central cavalcade of monsters were legit. The swarms of lizard dinosaurs that emerged from the depths every 60 years to destroy everything in sight were vicious and fast and incredibly frightening. The way they circled around prey in such organized, death-dealing fashion was a visual spectacle. If it weren't for the fact that there were some serious political problems with these cinematic creations–hero cast whitewashing and revisionist history among them–these beasts might've ranked up there with Godzilla and the Jurassic Park dinos as some of the most violent monsters in movies.

The giant lizard monster from Kong: Skull Island

Three tongues, countless teeth, and a grunt-scream that sounds like a velociraptor? That's a recipe for absolute disaster. Kong: Skull Island's resident Skullcrawlers gave new meaning to the concept of an ancient apex predator, as only one mega-gorilla could survive their systematic slaughter of his species: King Kong. The film was also filled with other creepy-crawlies, like the pterodactyl-esque Leafwings, but the underground-dwelling, reptilian Kong-killer was the freakiest of them all. It's basically the equivalent of what would happen if the Cloverfield city monster mated with that real-life dino croc that's been haunting South Carolina golfers this year. Scream!

The toothy Guardians of the Galaxy 2 octo-beast

Thanks to movies like Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest and Clash of the Titans, we've certainly encountered our fair share of Kraken-like beasts in movies past. But what Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 has in store for audiences looks to be something particularly awful. In the film's preview, Dave Bautista's Drax is shown going at this toothy space octopus monstrosity with just a pair of daggers. That's a fight we wouldn't even want to be within a lightyear of. As he leaps in to take on the tentacled creature, yet another layer of gums open up to receive him and it's just whole 'nother level of nope. Nope, nope, nope.

Calvin from Life

When are our fictional friends gonna just learn that you can't go playing with alien life-forms and expect things to go well for anyone involved? Like a lot of outer space thrillers, when these International Space Station astronauts come face to, well, surface with their Martian life find, things are not what they seem. What begins as a cute little shimmying blob turns into a full-on intergalactic nightmare for everyone onboard, with a creature named Calvin who can think, feed on almost anything, and wants to instinctively destroy for the sake of its own growth. Unlike a lot of on-screen aliens, there's nothing ridiculous or anthropomorphic about this thing; it's just plain horrible in a very believable way.

Ahmanet from The Mummy

For those who remain skeptical about the Tom Cruise-led reboot of The Mummy franchise, we've got two words for you: Sofia Boutella. The up-and-coming actress portrays an ancient Egyptian princess named Ahmanet who was entombed 2,000 years ago after murdering her king-father and is accidentally resurrected into a power-hungry world-wanderer who has no bones about being an evil empress of darkness. As the preview shows, not only does she have the power to revive humans to do her deathly bidding, but she's also quite terrible to look at, with her eye-split maneuver that's just bound to strike a nerve with anyone who uses their own, single-irised eyes to see it.

The Covenant aliens

With Alien: Covenant, Ridley Scott is returning to original form with his aliens that have tormented audiences for decades on end. The visual material from this movie so far indicates that a lot of what we'll see in the flick will hearken back to imagery we've seen of these species before, but there's also some menacing new material at play, too. Take, for example, this razor-toothed, eye-less brute that looks like a cross between the Pan's Labyrinth Pale Man and Nosferatu. And here we thought the belly-dweller from the original film was peak petrification.