Greatest Scariest
Movie Moments and Scenes


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

Near Dark (1987)


In this vampire-western film with a famous setpiece, wise-cracking, vicious desperado-like, outlaw vampire Severen (Bill Paxton) (dressed like rock singer Jim Morrison), a part of a vampire family that traveled the countryside in a blacked-out Winnebago van, engaged in a blood-lusting, long and drawn-out roadhouse diner fight with hicks - in the massacre, he slit the bartender's throat with his boot's spurs and hissed: "Finger lickin' good"

(Wes Craven's) New Nightmare (1994)

In this horror film-within-a-film, Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund) was again assailing various Dream World victims.

  • Freddy's clawed fingers acted like shark fins through Heather Langenkamp's (Herself) bedsheet, and she also received stalker phone calls.
  • in another tense scene, young Dylan Porter (Miko Hughes) climbed to the very top of the monkey bars under a trance.
  • also, the film reprised a similar scene from A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984), when babysitter Julie (Tracy Middendorf) received Freddy's bladed glove in the back, then was bloodily dragged onto the hospital ceiling where her neck was snapped and she fell to her death.

A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)


Most of the shocking murders in the long-running series of A Nightmare on Elm Street films were committed by red/green striped sweater and brown fedora-wearing dream demon Fred Krueger (Robert Englund). Usually, they took place in the dreamworld setting:

  • nightmare-suffering 15 year-old teen Tina Gray (Amanda Wyss) was pursued into a dark back alley, where she saw the shadowy silhouette of Freddy, with a disfigured face, laughing at her. He spread his arms wide to about 10 feet on both sides to scrape his right-hand fingernails -- razor-bladed -- on the alley wall, causing sparks.

  • in Tina's mother's bedroom, boyfriend Rod Lane (Nick Corn) watched as Tina flailed about against an invisible attacker under the bedcovers. He saw her bare torso bloodily slashed open with four long gashes - obviously the bladed glove. She was picked up into the air (levitated), thrown against the wall, and dragged up to the ceiling upside-down and feet-first - with blood smearing her path, as she was slashed further and blood splattered around the room. In the middle of the ceiling, her body was suddenly released, and she flopped onto the bloodied bed and floor below, dead.

  • Tina's friend and policeman's daughter Nancy Thompson (Heather Langenkamp) was the next one to be terrorized - she experienced a nightmarish confrontational appearance of Freddy, with a horribly burned-melted face, in her school's basement hot boiler room ("Come to Freddy").

  • in the film's most celebrated scene, Nancy was taking a luxurious hot bubble bath when she became drowsy and fell asleep - with her legs open. She was terrorized by the killer's clawed hand appearing and moving towards her crotch area. She was violently jerked, dragged and pulled under the water beneath the surface of the tub -- into a bottomless well or abyss below. In a panic, she flailed, gasped, choked and struggled back towards the surface, managing to break through with her hands by grasping the tub's edge. Nancy's mother Marge (Ronee Blakley) heard her screams and came to the rescue by picking the door lock, although Nancy claimed she had only slipped getting out of the tub.

  • also, Freddy made a terrifying appearance in Nancy's own bedroom during another nightmare, with pillow feathers flying as he slashed at her.

  • in the mini-dream scene, killer Freddy transformed Nancy's phone mouthpiece into his own mouth, with his long tongue darting out into the startled Nancy's mouth, as he triumphantly told her: "I'm your boyfriend, now!"- a premonition of her boyfriend's death.

  • in the liquifying death scene, at midnight after Nancy's boyfriend Glen Lantz (Johnny Depp) had drifted off to sleep sprawled back fully-clothed on his bed with a blaring TV on his lap, Freddy's clawed hand burst through a hole in the center of the bed under him, sucked, swallowed and pulled him through the bed cover down into the hole (along with the TV, stereo, bed covers, pillow, sheet, and headphones, etc.), and then reduced him to a bloody geyser or column of his shredded and drained remains that exploded (or was vomited) out of the hole and gushed toward the ceiling, drenching the room in his blood.

A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (1987)

There were a number of frightening scare moments in this second sequel in the popular series:

  • in the stomach-turning "puppet-marionette" death scene, puppet-master Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund) manipulated troubled teen dreamer Phillip Anderson (Bradley Gregg) like a human marionette. Freddy used the ripped out muscle tendons from the length of both of his hands and legs as the control chords.

    During the nightmare, the adolescent was lifted from his bed with the sinews, and walked out of his room, apparently sleep-walking, into the hallway (the boy's nickname was "The Walker"). He was led to a window in the bell tower of the Westin Hills Psychiatric Hospital where he was a patient. Laughing maniacally as a giant puppet-master looming above the building, Freddy let Phillip teeter there on the edge of the window ledge. He then slashed through the bloody sinews, causing Phillip to frantically fall to his death from the tower, as the other teen patients witnessed his horrible demise.

  • Also in "The Dick Cavett Show" television sequence, Dick Cavett (Himself) was interviewing guest Zsa Zsa Gabor (Herself), while disturbed and institutionalized teen Jennifer Caulfield (Penelope Sudrow) was watching and nodded off to sleep. In her nightmarish dream, the show host was abruptly transformed into Freddy. Following his inquisitive request ("Can I ask you something?"), he slashed at Gabor with the exclamation: "Who gives a f--k what you think!?"

    The picture turned to static and snow, and Jennifer walked toward the screen to adjust the static-rendered picture and change the channel, hearing "One, two, Freddy's coming for you..." Suddenly, two arms (composed of wires and TV parts) ripped through the sides of the wall-mounted TV, grabbed her by the shoulders, and picked her up. Freddy's plastic-shrouded head grew and stretched out of the top of the set, with a rabbit-ear antenna mounted on top. He taunted the screaming teen: "This is it, Jennifer. your big break in TV. Welcome to Prime Time, Bitch!" He then brutally and forcefully rammed her head face-first into the TV screen, causing an explosion of glass and sparks.

The Night of the Hunter (1955)


The scary pursuit sequence in the basement as Preacher Harry Powell (Frankenstein-like) (Robert Mitchum) chased the two children John and Pearl Harper (Billy Chapin, Sally Jane Bruce) up the cellar stairs with arms outstretched; also their mother Willa Harper's (Shelley Winters) frightening murder scene and the discovery of her corpse sitting underwater in the Model T with her long hair tangled in the reeds; and Powell's chilling, sing-song exclamation as he pursued the children and called out: "Chillll-dren? Chillll-dren?"

Night of the Living Dead (1968)


This influential, low-budget, black and white zombie classic was one of the first independent films to gain worldwide popularity.

  • In the film's opening scary scene, Johnny (uncredited Russell Streiner) saw a shambling zombie (thinking it was a drunk vagrant) in a cemetery while visiting his father's gravesite. He taunted his sister Barbra (Judith O'Dea) - "They're coming to get you, Barbra!" -- when Johnny was suddenly attacked and killed by the zombie when his head was knocked against a tombstone.

  • Barbra escaped to a farmhouse where followed horrific scenes of a horde of crazed, flesh-eating zombies ("an epidemic of mass murder being committed by a virtual army of unidentified assassins") surrounding the old farmhouse and terrorizing the catatonic Barbra and the resourceful Ben (black actor Duane Jones).

  • frustrated wife Helen Cooper (Marilyn Eastman) was attacked and gruesomely stabbed to death with a garden trowel - murdered by their own zombified daughter Karen (Kyra Schon) (she had been bitten on the arm).

  • Barbra was bitten (and eaten) and died at the hands of zombies, with a shocked cry of "Johnny!" when she saw her brother Johnny was one of them.

  • in the film's conclusion, Ben was shockingly killed with a bullet to the head by white, redneck zombie hunters in a posse, after which his body was burned on a pyre of corpses.

Nineteen Eighty-Four (1984)

The excruciating torture and brain-washing of rebellious middle-class drone Winston Smith (John Hurt) administered by O'Brien (Richard Burton): ("If you want a vision of the future, Winston, imagine a boot stamping on a human face -- forever") in Room 101 with the notorious rat-cage torture

No Country for Old Men (2007)

The thrilling scene of Texas hunter Llewelyn Moss (Josh Brolin) in his border town hotel room awaiting the arrival of brutal sociopathic hitman Anton Chigurh (Javier Bardem) to collect $2 million in stolen drug money after a botched deal. Moss had the money in a satchel (not knowing it had signaled his exact location with a hidden radio transponder to Chigurh). In the tense scene, Moss discovered the transponder and knew Chigurh would arrive momentarily for a showdown there, and awaited his appearance with his shotgun readied after turning out the light and peering under the door. They engaged in a vicious and bloody struggle that ended on the street and left Moss severely wounded (with a gunshot wound on his right side), and Chigurh shot in the leg

North by Northwest (1959)

The famous pursuit-attack sequence by a deadly crop-dusting bi-plane in an open, flat and desolate field as Thornhill (Cary Grant) sought protection in a cornfield, and the dramatic editing that heightened suspense when the strafing plane ("That's funny, that plane's dustin' crops where there ain't no crops") crashed into an oil truck; also the final and the cliff-dangling episode at Mount Rushmore when Eve (Eva Marie Saint) and Thornhill were clinging for their lives

Nosferatu (1922, Ger.), (aka Eine Symphonie Des Grauens or A Symphony of Terror/Horror)


The scene of Bremen real estate agent Johannes Hutter (Gustav von Wangenheim) in Transylvania at Castle Orlok in the Carpathian Mountains, where he saw Count Graf Orlok (Max Schreck) - an emaciated, balding, undead vampire's image with a devil-rat face, pointy ears, elongated fingers, sunken cheeks, and long fangs -- Orlok was first at a distance, but then approached quickly (through dissolves) toward the horrified man until he was completely in the curved, pointed doorway with a Gothic arch, revealing his ugly, scary figure; also the striking sight of Count Orlok on the ship Empusa, rising straight up from his dirt-filled coffin, causing the crazed first mate (who was hacking into the coffin) to run on-deck and hurl himself into the water; and then later Orlok was seen on deck - imposing when shot from a low-angle; also the scary scene of the shadowy approach up the staircase of the hideous Count Orlok, with his elongated, bony hand reaching out to a door and toward his female victim - an awaiting and possessed Ellen Hutter (Greta Schroeder) who clutched at her left breast in fear, knowing that "Deliverance is possible by no other means but that an innocent maiden maketh the vampire heed not the first crowing of the cock - this done by the sacrifice of her own bloode"; when he entered her room, the shadow of his hand covered her heart, and he began to suck blood from her neck; he was tricked by her into overstaying his welcome when a rooster crowed, signaling dawn and the beginning of daylight; he was exposed to the sun and died in front of her window, grasping his chest, and disappearing in a small wisp of smoke

Oldboy (2003)

In this mysterious and visceral (double) revenge thriller by director Chan-wook Park, prisoner Dae-su Oh (Choi Min-sik) was released after 15 years in a dingy, shabby windowless cell -- without knowing the charges, although he learned over TV during his long imprisonment that he was framed for his wife's murder and that his young three year-old daughter was sent to live with foster parents; he sought revenge for his many unexplained years of being captive after being kidnapped from a phone booth, although he had only a few days (after being freed inexplicably) to find the enigmatic answers; he learned that the villainous, sadistic and insane captor-tormentor Woo-jin Lee (Yu Ji-tae), a former schoolmate, had blamed Dae-su for spreading a rumor about an incestuous pregnancy in his family (between young Woo-Jin and his sister Lee Soo-ah) that led to the humiliated sister's suicide - although Woo-jin's guilt-ridden memory (at the time of his own bullet-to-the-head suicide) revealed that he killed his own sister; there were two excessively vulgar and scary scenes of forcible tooth extraction (one with the claw of a hammer), and Dae-su cut off his own tongue with a rusty pair of scissors -- to show atonement and to prevent any further rumors or talk after taking the virginity of helpful female sushi chef Mi-do (Kang Hye-jeong) -- his own long-lost daughter!; there was also an amazing scene of Dae-su eating a squirming and wriggling live octopus headfirst in a sushi bar

The Omen (1976)


The classic scene of Damien's (the Devil's own son, the anti-Christ, with the 666 sign on his scalp) (Harvey Stephens) 5th birthday party outdoors, when his nanny (Holly Palance) spotted a black dog, went into the mansion's attic, tied a noose around her neck, stood out on the ledge of the window, and suicidally jumped to hang herself (and shattered the second floor glass window with her swinging body) after calling out her final words: "Damien, look at me. I'm over here. Damien, I love you. Look at me, Damien. It's all for you" - Damien's view was shielded by his mother Katherine Thorn (Lee Remick), but a big smile was visible on his face; and the scene in which baboons from the zoo instinctively recognized Damien's devilish-nature and attacked the car carrying Damien and his mother; also the scene of the impalement death of Father Brennan (Patrick G. Troughton) by a freak storm outside a church after warning Thorn that he had adopted Lucifer's son; and the scene of Damien maniacally pedaling his tricycle and knocking his mother over the second-floor railing to the menacing sound of ''Ave Satani''; also, the scene in a cemetery while investigating Damien's origins when Robert Thorn (Gregory Peck) and photographer Keith Jennings (David Warner) were attacked by a pack of vicious dogs; and later, the scary demise of Jennings by decapitation in a freakish accident - a truck lost its brakes parked on a slight incline, and gathered speed as it went out of control. A sheet of plate glass flew off the open flat-bed of the truck and sliced cleanly through his neck. It sent his spinning body-less head flying through the air. It ended up resting on the ground where it could view itself in reflected glass; and the scene of a bloodied Thorn dragging his screaming son to a church altar to sacrifice him

Open Water (2003)

The terrifying extended scenes of vacationing couple Daniel and Susan (Daniel Travis and Blanchard Ryan) in the Caribbean accidentally left behind while scuba-diving, and their ordeal in the open, frightening, shark-infested ocean - especially when Daniel was first bitten by an underwater predator and they struggled in the darkness during a thunderstorm, intermittently lit by lightning

The Others (2001)


The scene of the discovery by young mother Grace's (Nicole Kidman) children that the graves outside were of the three servants that were newly employed (without a want ad) -- and Grace's discovery of their death portrait daguerreotype. Also, the scary moment when Grace confronted a decrepit old woman with a veil over her head, who had the voice of a little girl: (Grace: "What have you done with my daughter?" The voice: "Are you mad? I am your daughter") - causing Grace to attack the figure and strangle it, while screaming out: "You're not my daughter" - although the figure when unveiled was her daughter

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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