I checked out Benny Loves You a few days ago and I was so taken with the titular character. As a result, I haven’t been able to stop thinking about homicidal, yet undeniably adorable creatures in the days since.
After the accidental death of his parents, Jack’s comfortable lifestyle comes to an end as he sells the family home. Desperate to improve his life, Jack throws out all his childhood belongings — including a beloved plush animal named Benny. However, it’s a move that has disastrous consequences when Benny springs to life with deadly intentions.
Benny Loves You is written and directed by Karl Holt who also stars in the film.
Benny is far more likable than he should be, given that he is a ruthless maniac. And that has brought to mind several other examples of cute but deadly creatures from horror cinema and television. With that focus, I have assembled a list paying tribute to some of my favorite darling but deadly characters. Read on for seven examples of horror characters that are cute but lethal.
The Gremlins from Gremlins
The titular characters from Joe Dante’s Gremlins are perhaps the cutest mischief makers ever to wreak homicidal havoc on the silver screen. With their outrageous antics and the adorable sounds they make, it’s pretty close to impossible not to find them endearing. Until they string up your dog or tamper with your chairlift, that is.
The Krites from Critters
The Krites look cute at first glance. But their outward appearance is more than a bit deceptive. They are fiendish and malevolent beings, hell-bent on destruction. These toothy alien creatures are crafty, vindictive, and ready to ruin your day. If they weren’t so destructive, these pint-sized terrors would make for adorable, highly intelligent house pets.
Sam from Trick ‘r Treat
Sam definitely fits the cute but deadly bill. He looks innocent and seems harmless. But watch out, this homicidal tyke has an arsenal of weaponized sweets at his disposal and he will not hesitate to shank you with a candy bar. Sam is slightly less adorable when unmasked. But how can you not love those orange footy pajamas?
The Ghoulies from Ghoulies
The titular characters from Ghoulies have a face that only a mother could love but there is something about them that I find undeniably charming. Maybe it’s their tiny arms and legs or their menacing grins. Unlike the Gremlins or the Krites, the Ghoulies have strong ties to the occult. Another key difference from their contemporaries is that the Ghoulies operate more as minions to a master than on their own accord. Is the film as good as Gremlins or Critters? Definitely not. But it’s still probably worth a watch if you’re keen to kick back and watch some tiny tyrants do the devil’s bidding.
Milo in Bad Milo
Milo may not be cute in the conventional sense but he makes adorable noises and has big, sad eyes. Also, he’s got a pretty unforgettable origin story: Milo is the physical manifestation of a man named Duncan’s stress and he originates in Duncan’s intestinal tract. Being a helpful chap. Milo kills anyone he perceives as inducing anxiety in Duncan’s life. Isn’t that sweet?
Bob from Creepshow: The Series
Bob appears in Season 1, Episode 2 of Shudder’s Creepshow in a segment called ‘The Finger’. The episode sees down on his luck divorcee Clark happening upon a finger in the street. And, as one does, Clark hangs on to the finger for safekeeping. The finger soon grows into Bob, who looks like the cutest baby Xenomorph you’ve ever seen. In addition to being downright adorable, Bob is also rather protective of Clark. And sometimes ‘protecting’ Clark means killing his enemies. ‘The Finger’ is easily one of my favorite segments from Shudder’s Creepshow. If you haven’t gotten around to checking out the show yet, give it a whirl. There are plenty of great installments in the series’ two season (and counting) run.
The Munchies from Munchies
Like the Ghoulies, Munchies aren’t necessarily cute in the strictest sense of the word. But I’m a sucker for pint-sized monsters and the Munchies are no exception. They look a little like baby ducks with combovers and I find that pretty charming. The film may have been attempting to cash in on the success of cute killer creature films like Gremlins. But taken on its own merits, Munchies is still a schlocky good time.
Honorable Mention: The Cheddar Goblin from Mandy
The Cheddar Goblin did not make the list because he isn’t really known to be all that malevolent (unless you’re a macaroni noodle) but I couldn’t see myself compiling a list of adorable movie monsters without giving him a shoutout. It’s no surprise that the character has developed a cult following in the time since the film’s release.