Date of Award

May 2020

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)



Committee Member

Eric Patterson

Committee Member

Insun Kwon

Committee Member

Tony Penna


Monsters, creatures, and beasts have always been a part of any civilization’s culture. Through documentation and stories passed down from one generation to the other, we as a society have seen a huge variety of monsters in literature, arts, and movies. The correlation between society and its fascination with monsters stems from fear. Fear is the overall driving force for the creation of all monsters in every form of entertainment because of humanity’s attraction to the weird and abnormal. Often either a fear of science or a fear of one’s self, there is a monster that is created that corresponds. From Dracula to Godzilla, these monsters represent fear that were among the people of their time. Monster representation in film provides a surreal way to present those pure, exotic, and frightful themes in a way that the audience can appreciate. Computer generated effects have advanced significantly toward photo-realism, improving the impact of monsters in stories, folklore, and myths, portrayed in cinema.This thesis will discuss the origins of monsters; their impact on art, literature and early cinema; and how the visual effects industry reshaped and strengthened the representation of monsters in movies.



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