10 most frightening moments in film

DarthDimiDarthDimi Behind you!Moderator
edited September 2011 in General Movies & TV Posts: 21,988
Here are mine, presented in no particular order:

<ul>
<li><b>1. Tina gets knifed by Freddy</b>

The invisible Freddy, the body spasmodically butchered against the ceiling... I simply love this moment. It impressed me so much when I first saw A Nightmare On Elm Street as a kid, I to this day remain in trance when I watch it.

<li><b>2. Captain Howdy</b>

The Exorcist never fails to impress me, even after all those viewings. While some moments have lost their power overtime, the notorious spider walk being one of those, the allegedly 'subliminal' appearances of Captain Howdy's demonic face never ceases to install genuine fear into me.

<li><b>3. Donald Sutherland's final scene in Invasion Of The Body Snatchers</b>

Truly one of the most frightening scenes I've ever stored in my memory, this unexpected ending of Philip Kaufman's powerful remake to Don Siegel's classic remains to this day unmatched as a scary twist in a horror film.

<li><b>4. Kayako, the onryo, crawls down the stairs</b>

I'm a huge fan of the so-called J-horror and much to my own embarrassment also of many of its (usually inferior) Hollywood remakes. Sadako Yamamura's exit from the television in Ringu is spooky and effective, but Kayako's infamous decent from the stairs in the cursed house of Ju-On: The Grudge beats everything.

<li><b>5. The marines enter the abandoned compound on LV426</b>

I love Alien, an overall superior film to Aliens, however I enjoy the latter slightly more in a geeky sense. It also presents a curiously effective moment of pure terror for me, despite this particular moment's lack of explicit horror. You see, when a certain space one constantly expects to be crowded by people suddenly appears empty and silent, it oozes death like even a coffin can't. I myself arrive at school as literally the very first person, besides the janitor, every morning. During the Winter season, I do so when it's still dark outside (and inside the building). Gazing into those endlessly deep corridors and hallways, where during the day many kids produce loud noises while now there's nothing but dead air and darkness, the same scary feeling from Aliens creeps into me.

<li><b>6. Opening to Romero's Dawn Of The Dead</b>

We have yet to see our first zombie and already the very first scenes make me so uncomfortable, I'm in true horror mode. As the eerie score vibrates through the scenery, while ordinary people (like us) run around confused and try to figure out what to do next, we begin to realise that a global apocalypse is in full progression and the only chance for survival we have is to abandon everything and run away, a thought which, in a materialistic world, may feel even scarier than instant death.

<li><b>7. Bela Lugosi's piercing eyes in Dracula</b>

Granted, this is a different kind of 'scary'. It's not your regular wet-your-pants scariness as experienced by us, seasoned horror fans with a fair share of desensitisation from watching hundreds of horror films. In fact, Lugosi's Dracula is a great classic but it has lost most of its effectiveness through the decades. However, when watching this film, I condition myself to the mindset of audiences in the 1930's, which I am able to do with considerable ease. And while I feel the 'fear' on an intellectual level, much rather than on an emotional one, my fascination for this film is not without a certain degree of genuine unease...

<li><b>8. Liberate me ex inferis</b>

I saw Event Horizon in the theatre as a teenager and it has since become something of a guilty pleasure film for me. Thriving on many horror clichés, it nevertheless never fails to pull me back to my first viewing of this film, when the awkward voice recording took my breath away. I am well aware of the nostalgia factor playing a crucial part in my adoration for this film, but on top of that I am still, to this day, truly upset each time the little recording is played.

<li><b>9. Crawler caught on video</b>

Neil Marshall has yet to impress me a second time, as I honestly find most of his work rather poor, with the exception of The Decent that is. One of the best horror experiences I've ever had in the theatre comes with the video camera capturing the image of a crawler standing amidst a confused bunch of ladies in a dark cave. Always does it for me. I know it's coming, I'm prepared for it and then it still takes me by surprise!

<li><b>10. the "Gotcha!" scene from Exorcist III</b>

In an otherwise somewhat dull film, the scene of the killer in white clothes with garden scissors suddenly attacking the nurse during a fierce camera zoom effect, is a shockingly scary moment, unparalleled by anything else in the film.
</ul>
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Comments

  • 0BradyM0Bondfanatic70BradyM0Bondfanatic7 Quantum Floral Arrangements: "We Have Petals Everywhere"
    Posts: 28,651
    Well @Dimi, you are obviously a big horror aficionado. One film that I absolutely regret seeing(it screws with your head big time) is Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer. Have you seen this? It isn't so much horror as it is horrific. It is cold and dark. Probably the darkest film I've watched where pointless killing for killing's sake is glorified.
  • The Exorcist still shocks today nearly as much as it did when released in theaters nearly 40 years ago, not a nice piece of film to endure but a fine movie to sit through if you can stomach it

    I remember seeing Southern Comfort some years back and there were moments during that which really made the hairs stand on end, who can forget that cajun music near the end when the two guys try to get out of the camp

    Hellraiser was another that made me jump when I saw it years back

    also got to mention the Wicker Man, I know it got remade recently but you can't beat the original, both Ekland and Lee would join up together the following year in 'Golden Gun'





  • Creasy47Creasy47 In Cuba with Natalya.Moderator
    Posts: 38,233
    I'm kind of spitballing here, so I probably won't come up with ten, but here's a shot:

    1.) Munich. Best film I've ever seen, so I have to put it on here. Not necessarily 'frightening', but a moment that stops my heart and breathing for at least ten seconds or so. Avner and Carl are with the rest of the team, and are after their second target, Mahmoud Shamhari. Everything is in place: the bomb has been placed in his phone, his wife and child have left for music practice, so all they have to do is call and detonate. A big truck pulls up, leaving Avner cautious and Carl in the phone booth. As he runs over to ask Robert if the truck is blocking the signal, the mother and daughter return, but nobody notices. The daughter runs upstairs for a forgotten item, Carl calls, and Avner walks back to his post.

    As he walks back, the girl answers the phone, and Avner notices the car. The scene goes silent, as Carl exits the booth, Avner turns, and they both sprint back to the car to stop Robert. The tension rises as he pulls the tape off the detonator and inserts the key. Just as he is about to turn it, Avner and Carl arrive in time to stop him.

    No matter how many times I see that scene, it still stops my breathing. So, so intense.

    2.) The Descent. I really can't pick a scene - the entire film is claustrophobic and nerve-wracking from start to finish. The monsters have the ability to pop up (or hide, if you're quick enough to catch them in the shadows) at any scene, scream, and make me jump. One of my top five of scary films.

    3.) Insidious. Recently saw this film, and wow, how fantastic. The scene that made the hair on my arms stand up was the little boy dancing in the living room. In the middle of the day. Wearing what looks like a 30's chimney sweeper outfit. Dancing to Tiny Tim, that 'Spongebob Squarepants 'Living In The Sunlight'' song. Oh, and if you caught him earlier, he was standing and staring at the wall as the mother walked by. Just standing there. So, so scary. And as she walks outside to take the trash out and we follow her from inside the hall, you hear the record skip, change, and as she tosses the trash, she looks through the living room window. Cut, and he is just standing with his back to her, dancing. The rest of the scene is even creepier after this.

    4.) The Strangers. Such a simple plot, such a freaky film. The scene that really got me was a very easy scene to get the viewers with, because you really don't expect it. As Liv Tyler is standing in the living room, she hears something out the window. It's one of the scenes where you think to yourself, "Oh, she'll open the window and nothing will be there, then when it cuts back to her, the killer(s) is/are standing there. I got this." Nope. The SECOND she pulls the curtain back to investigate, one of the killers is standing there, face right at the window. Was not expecting it in the slightest.

    5.) It. Not necessarily scary to me now as I grew older, but when I first saw this film, I was beyond frightened: nightmares for weeks, always thinking I saw Pennywise the Clown everywhere I went. Bothered me every second. This was another one like 'The Descent' that just scared me with every scene. Still a classic to me. Great role for Tim Curry.
  • DarthDimiDarthDimi Behind you!Moderator
    Posts: 21,988
    Well @Dimi, you are obviously a big horror aficionado. One film that I absolutely regret seeing(it screws with your head big time) is Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer. Have you seen this? It isn't so much horror as it is horrific. It is cold and dark. Probably the darkest film I've watched where pointless killing for killing's sake is glorified.
    I've seen and thoroughly studied it, along with its inferior sequel. It is a disturbing film. To even consider the possibility of such madness existing among us, makes me cringe. I absolutely agree, @0Brady!

    @Creasy47 Great selection, sir. 'It' was the first horror film I ever saw as a kid. It both scared me and drew me closer to the genre. I discovered I had a thing for horror films through watching this film. I was about 8 or 9 and while my mind told me to switch off the TV, my pounding heart expressed a desire to keep watching... As if being terrorised was an insanely delicious thing. "The Strangers" was rather effective as well when I saw it, although over the years I've grown very much desensitised to certain forms of violence and horror and whatnot. Even then, this film holds on to its charms.

  • edited September 2011 Posts: 2,782
    The Descent - all of it.

    Ringu - original Ring - coming out of the TV aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah.

    The Devil's Backbone - in the closet - I wet myself.

    The Grudge - cats!!!!!

    Halloween - the slow walk across the road to JLC- aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah.

    QofS - aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhh the horror the horror aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah
  • Creasy47Creasy47 In Cuba with Natalya.Moderator
    Posts: 38,233
    @DarthDimi, exactly. The prospect of being scared is such a unique feeling, but I love it: cowering back in my seat, heart racing, just waiting for the moment I'm both shocked and jumped at the same time. From the start of 'It', when Pennywise appears behind the sheets, it just got me.
  • talos7talos7 New Orleans
    Posts: 6,914
    Two of mine involve babies.

    1. Labyrinth (1986) Yes, THAT Labyrinth. Early in the movie, Sarah wishes for her baby brother to be taken away. As she leaves the room, and is finishing her wish, we her the cries of the baby, Tobey, come to a sudden halt.

    Brams Stoker's Dracula (1992) Dracula stops his brides from freasting on Keanu Reeves. They are upset so he hands them a crying infant on which to dine. Chilling!
  • DaltonCraig007DaltonCraig007 They say, "Evil prevails when good men fail to act." What they ought to say is, "Evil prevails."
    Posts: 15,534
    Roger Moore and Grace Jones love scene in AVTAK... Frightening image.
  • edited September 2011 Posts: 423
    I can't believe nobody's mentioned the shower scene in Psycho yet. Utterly terrifying, backed up with the piercing Herrmann score and the brilliant cinematography.
    The archetypal terrifying moment in cinema :)
  • edited September 2011 Posts: 2,782
    I can't believe nobody's mentioned the shower scene in Psycho yet. Utterly terrifying, backed up with the piercing Herrmann score and the brilliant cinematography.
    The archetypal terrifying moment in cinema :)
    the whole film is a mickey take isn't it. that's how the master of horror wanted it. so knowing this subtext the shower scene is less shocking.










    But this is one of the most horrific films of the last 20 years - truly shocking.



  • DarthDimiDarthDimi Behind you!Moderator
    Posts: 21,988
    I can't believe nobody's mentioned the shower scene in Psycho yet. Utterly terrifying, backed up with the piercing Herrmann score and the brilliant cinematography.
    The archetypal terrifying moment in cinema :)
    It is a great moment, indeed, however I never considered it all that frightening. There's a reason for it too. I saw this scene a gazillion times in school and deconstructing it to the bone left little of the surprise effect intact for when I first saw the entire film at home. I still, to this day, consider it something of a crime that they did this to me. Bad teachers!

  • Good thread as we get closer to Halloween! Great list, Darth- there's a few I need to see still!
  • The Jackal - Jack Black gets his arm blown off.

    Ghost Ship - Opening scene where everyone on the deck gets sliced in half.
  • edited September 2011 Posts: 11,175
    I haven't got a top 10 yet but as soon as I saw the title of this thread I thought of the ending of Se7en

    Note: SPOILER



    The music, the isolated setting and Kevin Spacey are incredible. he gives me the shivers everytime.
  • DarthDimiDarthDimi Behind you!Moderator
    Posts: 21,988
    A friend of mine had rented Se7en back in the day and sat in utter excitement watching this scene, until the tape 'broke' down. He was angry as hell. :D
  • Posts: 11,175
    I've just thought of 2 others, the first is the ending of Psycho. It's a genuinely creepy sequence thats often overlooked in favour of the shower scene. That was brilliant but lets face it, everyone knows about it.



    The second is Lector's escape from Silence of The Lambs. Howard Shore's music is great and really echo's the work of Bernard Herman.

  • Posts: 2,107
    Roger Moore and Grace Jones love scene in AVTAK... Frightening image.

    Funny. I was going to say "I can think of a few and they all involve Grace Jones :-S " before deciding not to post it earlier.
  • MajorDSmytheMajorDSmythe Moderator
    edited September 2011 Posts: 13,101
    Halloween ('78) - The Ending
    Loomis goes to the balcony to find... no Michael.

    Burning Bright - The Laundry Room
    With the Tiger beating down the door, Kelly has no other option than to climb up the laundry chute.

    Death Ship - The Ship
    From when the survivors of the cruiseliner board the ship. Noteable mention must go to the German voices over the radio.

    Outpost - The Outpost itself
    Need I say anything more?

    There's 4 to begin with.
  • edited September 2011 Posts: 163
    *contain some spoilers*

    during my early years there where so many

    1 > HALLOWEEN(78)
    the whole entire sequence involving LAURIE entering the house finding her friends dead, MICHAEL appearing out of the dark then attacking her, follow by the chase. not to mention as stated by @MajorDSmythe the ending!

    2 > FRIDAY THE 13TH(80) kill, kill, kill
    for me it was the ending... ok after ALICE beheads Mrs VOORHEES then gets into a boat and paddles off with the mellow music playing in the background, at that point i'm like this is corny... why not hop into Mrs. VOORHEES jeep and get the f--k out of there. then bam! out pops JASON and pulls her over

    man i'm not gonna lie... i jumped like "KRIS KROSS"

    3 > JOHN CARP'S THE THING(82)
    there were many moments through out the film but for me it was the ending... when your left with the last two remaining survivors in MACREADY and CHILDS you can only but not wonder who's really who at that point?

    to me CARP's is one of two directors to truely capture and merge the "horror aspect" into a SCI FI film, the other being RIDDLEY's ALIEN(79)

    4 > ALIEN(79)
    the sequence leading up to when BRETT gets killed... the fact that i knew it was coming, it still got me

    5 > AUDITION(99)
    nothing scarier than a women's scorn

    6 > THE WICKER MAN(73)
    when SGT. HOWIE finds out he's the joke

    7 > THE SHINING(80)
    the scene where SCATMAN is walking down the hallway and then JACK pops out and nails him with the axe

    8 > BASIC INSTINCT(92)
    lets just say being tied up by a hot chick with an ice pick is a major turnoff for me

    9 > THE CRYING GAME(92)
    yes that's right kids you should listen to your parents, some movies are just not suited for younger viewers... man do i need to explain the "scene"

    10 > THE TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE(74)
    god... where the hell do i start, anyways there's just something about being chased by chain saws that gets me

    others
    JAWS
    PSYCHO

  • Has there ever been a 'Top Ten most frightening moments in a Bond Film' here at any time, maybe I missed it

    Being serious here, I'm sure when we were younger there was scenes that made you jump or had hairs standing on the back of the neck, I could of named at least a half dozen of the top of my head

    Just wanted to mention
  • Posts: 1,894
    I thought the moment excessively gory films like FINAL DESTINATION, HOSTEL, SAW and the HUMAN CENTIPEDE became "entertainment" was pretty damn scary. They're just two hours of people we know nothing about and care even less for being tortured in increasingly imaginitive and disturbing ways.

    That said, the first SAW and FINAL DESTINATION films had some interesting ideas. For example, if you toned down the gore factor, you could make a pretty decent thriller out of FINAL DESTINATION. And the question of "how far would you go to save yourself?" that underpinned the first SAW film had a lot of potential. But rather than go in for existential horror films, the writers and producers of both series focused on extreme gore. So I think it's pretty frightening that films where people get dissolved in acid or melted by hot tar or have their skin torn off are considered entertainment.
  • 0BradyM0Bondfanatic70BradyM0Bondfanatic7 Quantum Floral Arrangements: "We Have Petals Everywhere"
    Posts: 28,651
    ZODIAC had some really great moments of fright, besides actually being a great film in that of itself. The mystery of the killer sending messages and calling in to the police to report the kills he himself did is chilling. Even more scary is the fact that the events in the films(the messages, ciphers, and murders)actually happened and that the real killer was never revealed. I can't imagine living in CA in the 60s with all that going on. Must have been horrific.
  • Posts: 2,341
    The Ring ---- coming out of the TV. scared me so much that I refuse to watch Ringu

    Wicker Man (original 1977) -----the final scene was very disturbing.

    Play Misty for Me ---- when Jessica Walter jumps out and stabs the detective, chilling
  • DarthDimiDarthDimi Behind you!Moderator
    Posts: 21,988
    The Ring ---- coming out of the TV. scared me so much that I refuse to watch Ringu
    You ought to give it a try really. Some say it's a better film than Verbinski's. I myself disagree. Here's probably the only exception to my personal rule that the original is always better.

  • I dunno...but number 1 would probably Leatherface's first appearance in the original Texas Chainsaw...
  • I dunno...but number 1 would probably Leatherface's first appearance in the original Texas Chainsaw...
    I don't remember Alicia Keys being in that movie

    :-))

    In all seriousness, one or two that could of been included would be in Jaws when they are out at sea and our old friend Robert Shaw gets slowly eaten by the shark as it attacks the boat, pretty intense stuff for a Parental Guidance picture

    Saw a film called Creep about the London underground a few years ago and a murderer on the loose, had some shock moments if you've seen it

    Quite embarrassed to say, but one of my favorite films is Ghost Train with Arthur Askey, although released in the 1940s, on first viewing It got quite scary in some parts, although I was a lot younger then etc

    Did I mention Hellraiser, nasty piece of filmmaking from Clive Barker, saw it on it's original release and it scared the pants off me during some bits
  • Posts: 1,856
    PB in Mamma Mia
  • 4EverBonded4EverBonded Riding a white swan to Matera
    Posts: 12,436
    The shower scene Psycho made me feel ill rather than frightened (albeit very ill; I was just a kid and almost threw up);

    For me: The Exorcist. Don't even want to think about it!

  • DarthDimiDarthDimi Behind you!Moderator
    Posts: 21,988
    For me: The Exorcist. Don't even want to think about it!
    Still holds up, doesn't it? Marvellous film. I watch it on a regular basis and I keep discovering new things.

  • 4EverBonded4EverBonded Riding a white swan to Matera
    Posts: 12,436
    I am sure it holds up but I have never had the nerve to see it again! I can't imagine you watch it on a regular basis.
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