It’s odd to think that one of the biggest stars in recent years wouldn’t even make it into our top 10 movie monsters. Perhaps, if we were to rank them however we might consider Robert Pattinson (born March 19th, 1986) to be more terrifying than any of the other onetime cinematic greats. To truly understand the gravity of this accusation, let’s take a moment to examine his filmography. The actor has featured in some pretty big productions over the years, many of which were highly lucrative, but none of which made such a lasting impression as his work with the Dark Knight. Let’s take a look back at some of his most memorable performances…
Pattinson’s First Batman Movie
Yes, in 2012, Robert Pattinson made his cinematic debut in The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1. The actor portrayed Arthur, the father of Bella and Edward’s (Rob and Kristen) five children. Though not the first appearance of Pattinson on the big screen, it was his portrayal of Arthur that fully established his horror image. The film introduced us to the character with the following monologue:
“Sometimes, I wonder if being the father of five isn’t too much pressure. There’s always something new to worry about. Always. Whether it’s money, security, or just wanting to be there for them when they need you. Sometimes, it feels like you’re doing everything wrong and the more you try, the more things go wrong. But what do I know? I’m just the father.”
The line resonated with many viewers and the reaction was positive. In fact, it became one of the most quoted lines in the film. Not only that, but Arthur’s frustration with the responsibilities of fatherhood is something that resonates with many men, myself included. Perhaps it’s time for a change in how we look at fatherhood in general, and what kind of example we should be setting for our sons. Perhaps it’s time for a change in how we value parenting. Whatever your position on this most divisive of issues, it’s an argument that we should all be having.
The King of Comedy
It’s difficult to pick a favorite from the many brilliant performances that Robert Pattinson gave in the 2008 film The King of Comedy. If we had to choose one scene, however, it would be the sequence in which Jerry Seinfeld (played by Robbie Cooper) is terrorizing the actor in his New York City apartment. The scene was so brilliantly staged that many viewers didn’t know whether to laugh or fear for their lives. With lines like “You’ve been very, very naughty. You know what they say about guys who wear hats? They’re usually cowards. Am I right?” the scene certainly has its share of quotable lines.
The film also features a fascinatingly candid discussion between Jerry Seinfeld and comic legend Lenny Bruce (played by Harry Dean Stanton). During the chat, Bruce lambastes the sitcom genre, calling it “a little bit like going to sleep parties. I don’t do well with other people’s entertainment.” What a wonderful observation! This is one movie where you really need to see it multiple times to soak up all of its nuances!
One of the best things about The Twilight Saga is that it doesn’t just feature phenomenal performances, but also a fantastic score by James Newton Howard. The movie is filled with memorable moments, but the most haunting theme song is certainly ‘Remember Me?’, the heart-wrenching ballad that plays during Edward’s (again, played by Rob) recollection of Bella. The song will eventually become an anthem for many fans of the series. It perfectly encapsulates the longing and regret that characterizes a love lost. Sadly, in 2019, Edward and Bella’s (Rob and Kristen) story ended with a sad twist: Bella committed suicide, taking Edward with her as she faded away. This is one of the most heart-breaking scenes in The Twilight Saga, a reflection of how potent the series was in its own right.
A Real Demon-Haunted World
If The Dark Knight was an audition for best movie monsters, then A Real Demon-Haunted World was arguably the best movie that year. In fact, it was one of the most expensive independent films ever made, with a budget of nearly $40 million. The film follows a young woman named Alice (played by actress/singer/songwriter Alicia Vikander) as she tries to navigate the demonic world that has descended upon her hometown of London. The movie is based on a short story by William Gibson, whose work often inspires films and video games. What makes this story stand out is that it explores themes of technology and the Internet, which were relatively unknown at the time. It even features a young Charlie (played by Calum Worthy) talking about hashtags! It’s fair to say that A Real Demon-Haunted World is highly relevant today, especially considering that many of its themes – be it artificial intelligence, social media, or the dangers of the dark web – have become mainstream concerns. It would be an understatement to say that this film is a masterpiece.
With its cutting edge special effects and dazzling digital imagery, A Real Demon-Haunted World is also one of the best representations of the nascent world of virtual reality. Though most of the film takes place in a traditional narrative sense, the viewer is treated to some truly extraordinary scenes in which they are physically thrust into a fantastical world of monsters and wizards. It’s an exhilarating experience, and one that will leave you wondering whether you’ve truly been transported to a different dimension or just imagined the whole thing.
Another British invasion of sorts, 2013’s The Rover stars Robert Pattinson and Ben Whishaw and follows the exploits of a violent, dog-loving thief (Pattinson) in post-apocalyptic London. The film’s tagline is “Remember when being cool meant something?” It certainly does – though these days, it probably means squatting in the wasteland and eating raw meat. Still, some cool moves!
One of the most intriguing aspects of The Rover is its setting. The film’s London is a place that you might recognize. The streets are filled with concrete and metal, and the buildings are devoid of any aesthetic charm. It’s a vision of disaster that evokes a shadow of what the city once was. The movie also features several scenes in which the viewer is treated to an incredible view of London, bathed in rainbows and sunshine. It’s a fitting end to a beautiful picture, one that will bring a smile to your face even if the city has changed beyond recognition.
The Lost Prince
Another 2014 release, The Lost Prince resurrects one of literature’s most enigmatic characters, Sherlock Holmes. The movie stars Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter) and Rupert Graves (Into the West). At a time when the great forensic detective’s reputation is at an all-time low, he is once again called upon to unravel a perplexing mystery. This time, however, it’s not down to earth villainy, but rather a supernatural force. It’s a bit of a shame that this movie didn’t do more to restore Sherlock Holmes’ reputation. It certainly could have. Watching the great detective struggle with his inner demons was very moving indeed.
One of the most interesting aspects of The Lost Prince is how it reimagines Sherlock Holmes as a vampire. This is mostly in the visual language used to represent the undead. From the crimson stains that water turns into to the pale complexion that vampirism imparts, The Lost Prince makes effective use of makeup and prosthetics to evoke the essence of terror. What’s more is that, for once, Sherlock Holmes is not just a foil for the audience. He’s a character in his own right and something of a sympathetic figure. It would have been interesting to see how the great detective reacted to the modern world. Would he adapt to change or would he choose to retreat into his cave, indifferent to the affairs of others?
It’s difficult to talk about Robert Pattinson and his filmography without mentioning his brilliant portrayal of a terrifying monster in the 2014 horror classic The Babadook. The movie’s titular monster is perhaps the most terrifying creature in recent cinema history. He is not a traditional horror villain and instead inhabits a liminal space somewhere between monster and man. There’s a lot of heartbreak and fear in The Babadook. It’s funny how the things we’re most frightened of usually turn out to be the things that care the most about us. That’s certainly the case with this magnificent creature. Though there is a moment when we briefly see his face – a moment that will haunt you for the rest of your days – the vast majority of the time, you know nothing about what he wants or why he’s doing what he’s doing. It’s an incredibly powerful performance, one that ranks alongside the great work that Pattinson did as Arthur in The King of Comedy as some of his most inspired work.