"cheering for the big guy to roast and squash his way through another movie."
My vanity (albeit unwarranted) says this could be me
So I'm going for the Freddy Kruger and Jason Voorhees and Michael Myers films, which had about 35 movies between the three - so I guess their staying power and occasional originality really puts them at my top list.
I though Freddy vs. Jason was a pretty neat flick, although the goofiest scene was why Freddy was tossing Jason around a building like a ball in a pinball machine. But again, silly but original.
It always amazed me how horny pot smoking teens always made it to Camp Crystal Lake, even when they knew the legend. The real horror of the Jason films was his Mom, she was every bit as scary of a character as the old gypsy lady in Drag me to Hell. What makes these two women scary is that they are (more or less) normal people that are AT OR BEYOND their breaking points.
Of course there are UNSEEN MONSTERS TOO! The Evil Dead is not a physical being, although it occasionally does inhabit someone, but "Destiny" in the Final Destination movies is never seen either, although stuff falls into place like dominoes, it is an unseen force doing the actions.
Minus the 3D Final Destination movie at the speedway, all the prior movies were very creative. And adversely Jigsaw (Saw movies) is not only human, but dying and eventually dead - but still managed to set his elaborate puzzles. I think it great when a living character can possess such a frightening hold on others, but Jigsaw was always fair (I think that is what people like about him) he goes after the evil, selfish and vile people we can all relate to and STILL he gives them a chance to salvage their lives, although often it is at the cost of a limb or few pounds of flesh.
I think my least favorite demonic character was Damien from The Omen, I just didn't buy him - not in any of the versions, but especially the first. But since we are on kids, Children of the Corn movies fill a neat niche where society can change in a heart beat and shear numbers against you, no matter how young, can be an apposing force. The cries of "OUTLANDER... we have your woman!" easily can put you in the husband's shoes. Not to mention Isaac the Profit midget kid with the unique voice, was likely one of the best cast actors ever.
Okay, who is left, Predator and Alien - I'll watch a predator movie over Alien every time, but Predator vs. Alien, good flick! Sometimes I guess you need to tag-team us to give us an extra thump in our chest.
But Jerrymac mentioned (somewhere) The Blob - cool enough creature, classic film, but The Blob 2 with Matt Dillion was really great too, but for different reasons: you never knew WHO was the lead character! Every time you though you figured that out, the Blob got them. I'm not much for most remakes, few exceed what the original offered, but when a remake comes around that takes you where the original didn't and it is fresh, you often find a winner.
I guess that's enough for now, I stayed away from vampires and zombies and ghosts - mainly because they are ALL victims of circumstance - none started out that way (minus the baby born in the remake of Dawn of the Dead (about a dozen people stuck in a shopping mall) in that movie, a pregnant women died during child birth and delivered a zombie baby. And of course, Rose Mary's Baby who we saw little of and Damien again. But all the others I can think of were ordinary people and BAM... undead!