Greatest Scariest
Movie Moments and Scenes


Greatest and Scariest Film Scenes
Movie Title/Year and Brief Scene Description

M (1931, Ger.)

The stalking of a little girl by child-murderer Hans Beckert (Peter Lorre), announced by his motif-whistling of "In the Hall of the Mountain King" from Edvard Grieg's Peer Gynt Suite

Manhunter (1986)

Obnoxious, sleazy National Tattler tabloid journalist Freddie Lounds (Stephen Lang) was ambushed by the serial killer, dubbed The Tooth Fairy (aka Francis Dollarhyde) (Tom Noonan), in an underground parking garage, chloroformed, and kidnapped. During a shocking torture scene, Lounds was blindfolded and strapped in a wheelchair, and taunted: "According to you, I'm a sexual pervert. 'An animal,' you said."

The tall, crazed "Tooth Fairy" with a cleft-palate and scraggly white hair wore a ladies' sheer stocking mask over his head and eyes, and forced Lounds to watch a slideshow beginning with a painting of William Blake's The Great Red Dragon and the Woman Clothed in the Rays of the Sun, with further pictures of his transformed female victims (Mrs. Leeds, Mrs. Jacobi). The killer told Lounds:

Before me, you are a slug in the sun. You are privy to a great becoming, and you recognize nothing. You are an ant in the afterbirth. It is your nature to do one thing correctly, tremble. But fear is not what you owe me. No, Lounds, you and the others, you owe me awe.

Lounds was forced to record a note in which he admitted his writings about the Red Dragon were lies, and that FBI profiler agent Will Graham (William Petersen) had coerced him to write the untruths (part of the note: "He will be more merciful to me than to you. You will lie awake in fear of what the Red Dragon will do"). The "Tooth Fairy" then announced that Lounds' promise to tell the truth would be sealed: "We'll seal your promise with a kiss." The screaming Lounds had his lips bitten off (off-screen) and then was set ablaze in the wheelchair. He was rolled down a steep underground parking garage ramp towards the camera - his death occurred later (offscreen) in a hospital.

Marathon Man (1976)


In two excruciating and grim scenes (the infamous scene was split into two segments), sadistic ex-Nazi death camp dentist Szell (Laurence Olivier) tortured tied-up, idealistic doctoral student Babe Levy (Dustin Hoffman) in a window-less room using probing and buzzing dental instruments on a tray -- in a chair, Babe was constrained while wearing a bathrope and striped PJ bottoms; after methodically washing his hands, Szell repeatedly and calmly asked the baffling question: "Is it safe?" He painfully dug around with an implement in Babe's mouth, then plugged in his loud-sounding, whirring drill (the horror was accentuated by POV shots) and threatened: "Oh please, don't worry. I'm not going into that cavity. That nerve's already dying. A live, freshly-cut nerve is infinitely more sensitive. So I'll just drill into a healthy tooth until I reach the pulp...unless of course you can tell me that it's safe." (His question asked whether or not it was safe for him to go and pick up a hidden stash of diamonds stolen from Jewish concentration camp victims)

Men Behind the Sun (1988, HK)

This provocative and sickening documentary-style film (denounced by some as an exploitation film) from director T.F. Mou displayed some of the Japanese atrocities and perverse medical experiments committed toward guinea-pig human victims (Manchurian civilians) in Unit 731 (a biological warfare R & D unit) during WWII (and the Sino-Japanese War). It was claimed that Emperor Hirohito secretly ordered the inhuman lab experiments.

One atrociously graphic scene showed a Chinese woman forced to thrust her deliberately frost-bitten hands into hot water, and then having her flesh ripped off her hands to expose the skeletal bones.

In another sequence, a group of Chinese prisoners were tied to wooden crosses and subjected to aerial bombing - as part of a flawed experiment to expose and infect them with a biological disease.

It was also criticized for its use of actual autopsy footage depicting a drugged young boy whose organs were extracted from his body while he remained alive, and for another scene in which a live cat was thrown into a room and ripped apart by a swarm of hungry rats.

In a decompression or hyperbaric chamber sequence, the intense pressure caused a man's intestines to shoot out of his anus.

Misery (1990)


In the very painful 'hobbling' scene, obsessed "Number One Fan" Annie Wilkes (Kathy Bates) explained how she could assure that her favorite captive author-writer Paul Sheldon (James Caan) would never run away; she placed a thick block of wood between his two ankles, took a huge sledge-hammer (she lifted it and said: "Trust me, it's for the best") and blasted his left foot so that it visibly bent, and then his right foot - after completing the horrible deed, she adoringly said: "God, I love you"; also the tense scene of Paul frantically returning to his bed before Annie returned, and the near-rescue scene in which the Sheriff (Richard Farnsworth) was killed by a shotgun blast at the last moment

The Mothman Prophecies (2002)

The scene of John Klein's (Richard Gere) chilling phone conversations with the inhuman "Indrid Cold" including the one in which John asked: "You're reading my mind, aren't you?...Where's my watch?" and was told: "In your shoe - under the bed"; he also asked: "What's in my hand?" - and was accurately told: "Chap Stick" - and the most amazing mind-reading revelation with John's next question about a paperback book he had: "What's the third line, page 51?" with the answer: "...a broken smile beneath her whispered wings"; then the voice asked: "Still more proof, John Klein?"; John then boldly asked: "What happened to my wife?" and was told: "You were there. Mary Klein cannot be found by looking. You will see her in time"

Mulholland Dr. (2001)

The two startling, creepy appearances of a deformed, dumpster-dwelling crone/vagrant (Bonnie Aarons): she briefly appeared behind the wall at Winkie's to scare Dan (Patrick Fischler) into a heart attack after a long monologue describing a dream she had appeared in, and later she appeared in Diane Selwyn's (Naomi Watts) vision holding a blue box

The Mummy (1932)

The scary sight of the face of undead, cursed Egyptian high priest Im-Ho-Tep (Boris Karloff) who was embalmed in bandages and buried alive 3,700 years earlier (shown in a horrifying flashback sequence), and frighteningly brought to life (unearthed or raised from the dead) by a group of British archaeologists in 1921 including one foolish young researcher who read incantations from an ancient scroll - and now living under an alias as gentlemanly but sinister-looking Egyptian Ardath Bay; in one scary scene, Ardeth attempted to kill Helen Grosvenor (Zita Johann) by plunging a dagger into her stomach - he believed her to be the reincarnation of his long-lost ancient princess-love Anck-es-en-Amon from thousands of years before, and wanted to make her a "living mummy" like himself

The Mummy (1999)

The scene of the final demise of cowardly Beni Gabor (Kevin J. O'Connor), who was entombed in a large underground vault, and quickly surrounded by a vast swarm of screeching, crawling, flesh-eating scarabs, that devoured him as the screen turned black when his torch extinguished

Greatest Scariest Movie Moments and Scenes
(alphabetical by film title, illustrated)
Intro | #s-A | B | C-1 | C-2 | D-1 | D-2 | E | F | G | H
I-J | K-L | M | N-O | P | Q-R | S-1 | S-2 | S-3 | T | U-Z

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