Greatest Scariest
Movie Moments and Scenes


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

The Tenant (1976)


In this suspenseful film, a European immigrant Trelkovsky (Roman Polanski) rented an apartment in Paris, whose previous tenant Simone Choule, now lying in a hospital in a body cast in traction (and screaming through her bandages), attempted to commit suicide by jumping out of the window - as the film progressed, he slowly became demented and transformed (mentally and physically) into the previous tenant (i.e., cross-dressing), after finding a bloody tooth in a hidden hole in the wall behind the wardrobe and discovering that the tooth was a perfect fit for a missing molar in his own mouth - he attempted to commit a more successful suicide (as himself and Simone) by hurling himself from the window

The Terminator (1984)


Time traveler and human resistance leader Kyle Reese's (Michael Biehn) frightening memories of a post-apocalyptic future in the year 2029, including his recollection of the infiltration of the resistance's human hideout by another future Terminator (Franco Columbo); and the final face-off scene in a factory between Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton) and the relentless Model 101 cyborg called The 'Terminator' (Arnold Schwarzenegger) - reduced to a metallic, skeletal frame after a fiery oil tanker-truck explosion - crawling and grasping towards her with its remaining hand before being crushed in a factory's hydraulic press

Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)

The film opened, under the credits, with frightening images of the disturbingly-realistic depiction of a fiery, nuclear weapon blast exploding in Los Angeles in late summer, 1997; while institutionalized in 1995, clairvoyant Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton) was videotaped explaining her apocalyptic visions: "We know the dream's the same every night, why do I have to...Children look like burnt paper. Black, not moving. And then the blast wave hits them. And they fly apart like leaves...It's not a dream, you moron, it's real. I know the date it happens...on August 29th, 1997, it's gonna feel pretty f--kin' real to you too! Anybody not wearing two million sunblock is gonna have a real bad day. Get it?!...God, you think you're safe and alive. You're already dead. Everybody! Him. You. You're dead already. This whole place, everything you see is gone. You're the one livin' in a f--kin' dream, 'cause I know it happens. IT HAPPENS!"; later after her escape from the hospital, she experienced further nightmarish, end-of-the world cataclysmic dreams, in which she envisaged the fiery effects on a children's playground and herself; white light ignited everything like match heads as she saw her dream self burst into flames and her skin burned away; Los Angeles landmarks were pulverized as the shockwave of the blast hit the downtown area; the howling wind blasted apart the once-human figures of bone and ash; Sarah's own figure exploded down to skeletal remains.

Also, some viewers were disturbed by the impalement scenes: (1) young John Connor's foster parent father Todd Voight (Xander Berkeley) was skewered by the T-1000 Terminator's (Robert Patrick) transformed left arm into a sword, and (2) Pescadero State Hospital security guard Lewis (Don Stanton) was impaled through the eye by his own T-1000 Lewis (Dan Stanton) look-alike; in the film's action-packed conclusion, the T-1000 also impaled Sarah's shoulder with his needle-sharp pointed finger.

Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003)

This sequel featured an even more impressive Terminatrix (T-X) (Kristanna Loken) - a female, superhuman, sophisticated model ("a far more effective killing machine") with an arm that could morph into dangerous weapons, and was highly lethal; in one of the action film's most startling scenes, the T-X was impersonating Kate Brewster's (Claire Danes) slain fiancee Scott Mason (Mark Famiglietti) in order to locate John Connor (Nick Stahl) who was being protected by another Terminator model (Arnold Schwarzenegger); "Scott" thrust his arm through the heart of the car driver in order to grab the steering wheel from the back seat of the police car

Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003)

In the finale, future liberators Katherine (Kate) Brewster (Claire Danes) and John Connor (Nick Stahl) discovered that Crystal Peak was merely a 30 year-old government fall-out shelter for VIPs, designed to survive a nuclear blast; SkyNet (composed of cyberspace software) couldn't be shut down or destroyed with explosives ("There was never any stopping it"), as nuclear missiles were being launched and detonated - it was an awe-inspiring, scary nuclear annihilation of the world (initiated by the rogue artificial intelligence SkyNet) that was being conducted in the outside world; John assumed command from the underground command post and spoke to Montana Civil Defense on the radio, as the film ended with his voice-over: "...I should have realized our destiny was never to stop Judgment Day. It was merely to survive it, together. The Terminator knew. He tried to tell us, but I didn't want to hear it. Maybe the future has been written. I don't know. All I know is what the Terminator taught me. Never stop fighting. And I never will. The battle has just begun"

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)


The scary nature of this entire low-budget, seminal horror film came from its raw documentary feel - it opened with a sober narration about a crime spree.

The film actually had less bloody chainsawing scenes than might have been expected:

  • One indelible image was of a sliding door that opened and took battered, innocent teenagers into the lair of chainsaw-wielding Leatherface (Gunnar Hansen), wearing a butcher's apron and a mask stitched out of human skin.
  • Kirk's head was bludgeoned twice with a sledgehammer. Later, he was chain-sawed into pieces.
  • Screaming Pam (Teri McMinn) was hanged on a meat hook through her upper back, and then frozen in the freezer.
  • Jerry also had his head bludgeoned with a sledgehammer by Leatherface.
  • Sally Hardesty (Marilyn Burns) was held captive at the dinner table (and had her finger cut as an appetizer for Grandfather (John Dugan)).
  • Franklin Hardesty (Paul A. Partain) was another of Leatherface's victims. He jumped out the shadows, and slaughtered him with a chainsaw applied to his stomach.

In the concluding lengthy scene, Sally was chased as she made a frantic bid to escape down the farmhouse road. As she drove off in the back of a pickup truck, she laughed as Leatherface - in the golden sunset - swung his chainsaw through the air in a frustrating dance.

Theater of Blood (1973, UK)

The scene of Shakespearean actor Edward Lionheart (Vincent Price), after faking his own death, exacting revenge on a nasty London theater critic who had ended his career, by feeding him his own poodles

Them! (1954)


The scene of police finding a traumatized girl wandering trance-like, near a smashed-up automobile with blood around (but no bodies) - and when she was revived out of her shocked state, her screaming of: "THEM! THEM!!!! THEMM!!!!"; also the scenes of the giant radioactive ants with mandibles on the loose, due to atomic testing in the New Mexico desert

The Thing (From Another World) (1951)


The tense sequence in the Antarctic station in which Bob's (Dewey Martin) geiger counter revealed the indestructible, defrosted monster (James Arness) was coming closer and closer - and was revealed behind a closed doorway

The Thing (1982)

The autopsy scene, in which infected Norris (Charles Hallahan), a member of an Antarctica research team experiencing sub-zero temperatures during a snowstorm and extreme paranoia, had a heart attack. As Dr. Copper (Richard Dysart) attempted to revive his heart with resuscitation paddles and CPR, Norris' mutated rib cage/chest and stomach became a fanged, gaping maw with a bear-trap spring that bit off the doctor's forearms. In addition, Norris's head reached up to the ceiling, and as he was incinerated, his head separated from his body and dropped to the floor, where it sprouted spider legs and eye stalks to scurry away like a crab. Also the tense scene of the blood test in the rec room ("We're gonna draw a bit of everybody's blood. We're gonna find out who's the thing") used by R. J. MacReady (Kurt Russell) and Windows (Thomas Waites) upon the participants who were forced to sit tied together and have their thumbs sliced open - in order to 'smoke out' the alien creature, revealed to be Palmer (David Clennon) who shockingly emerged as an eyeless tentacled monster that strangled Windows but was finally incinerated by MacReady's flame thrower. And the additional scary scene of discovering that Blair (Wilford Brimley), slowly going insane, had escaped the storage shed by tunneling under the ice

The Tingler (1959)

In this horror film by 50s B-film director and impresario schlockmeister William Castle, Vincent Price portrayed mad scientist Dr. Warren Chapin who made the discovery that the tingling sensation one felt running up and down one's spine when afraid was actually a parasite that grew and lived in the vertebrae; in a gruesome experiment on deaf-mute patient Mrs. Martha Higgins (Judith Evelyn), he scared her with repeated hallucinatory shocks (including a part-color sequence in which an arm rose up from a bloody bathtub), but because she couldn't scream, the parasite grew to enormous size - he then extracted the squirming, lobster-like centipede from her body - and of course, it escaped into the crowded film theatre; film audiences were encouraged to scream to lessen the effects of tingling fear during a long black-out section in the film's climax by the voice of Vincent Price: ("Scream for your lives. The tingler is loose in this theatre...Keep screaming. Scream for your lives"); to enhance the effect during the film's climax when the tingler was on the loose in the theatre, seats were rigged with vibrating devices to produce the tingling effect; Castle even introduced the film's prologue with this word of advice: "And remember, a scream at the right time may save your life"

To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)

The scary nighttime scene of Jem (Philip Alford) and Scout (Mary Badham) Finch's walk home through the woods with rustling trees and leaves - Scout wore a ham costume, which prevented her from seeing an attacker (the feared Boo Radley?) assaulting her brother

Torn Curtain (1966)

The lengthy murder sequence in a farmhouse kitchen involving the difficult killing (with one's bare hands) of a Soviet agent - German "bodyguard" policeman Hermann Gromek (Wolfgang Keiling) by American physicist and secret double agent Prof. Michael Armstrong (Paul Newman) - involving a thrown soup kettle, strangulation, a butcher knife (thrust into his shoulder), and finally by forcibly dragging his head into a cast-iron gas oven to asphyxiate him to death (with the fingers of his hands expressing his excruciating death)

Twilight Zone: The Movie (1983)

The tense scene, a remade segment called "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet" in which phobic, panic-stricken airplane passenger John Valentine (John Lithgow) deliriously saw a gremlin (Larry Cedar) sabotaging the plane's engines during a turbulent storm, and when he lifted the window shade to see the gremlin pressing its face against the window

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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