Greatest Scariest
Movie Moments and Scenes


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

The Vanishing (1988, Neth/Fr.)


In this unnerving tale by director George Sluizer, a Dutch couple were vacationing in France:

  • Saskia Wagter (Johanna Ter Steege)
  • lover-boyfriend Rex Hofman (Gene Bervoets)

At a French roadside gas station, kidnapper Raymond Lemorne (Bernard-Pierre Donnadieu) abducted Saskia and chloroformed her into unconsciousness - shown in flashback.

Haunted by the curious, obsessive need to find his girlfriend, Rex eventually came face-to-face with her abductor, who had devised a similar hideous fate three years later. Rex was drugged and buried alive in a coffin under the earth.

He woke up in the cramped coffin box and struck a lighter - discovering that he was claustrophobically entombed alive.

Vertigo (1958)

The dizzying trick camerawork (a reverse zoom, dolly-out) visualizing the vortex of vertigo and acrophobia (fear of heights) in the film's opening shots and in the bell tower scenes; in the film's second terrifying sequence, obsessed and retired SF police detective Scottie Ferguson (James Stewart) dragged Judy Barton / Madeleine (Kim Novak) up the stairs to the top of the mission's tower - where she suffered a 'second' (and fatal) fall after she recoiled from the sight of a nun (thought to be a ghost) and stepped backwards through an opening in the tower -- the last shot in the tragic ending showed a stunned, open-mouthed Scottie standing on the belfry tower ledge as he stared down at Judy's dead body

Videodrome (1983)

The scene of cable TV director/producer Max Renn's (James Woods) assassination of political leader Harlan (Peter Dvorsky) by transforming his hand into a gun-grenade, and the killing of head of Convex Optical Barry Convex (Leslie Carlson) by shooting him with an organic gun and causing tumors to erupt from his torso and skull; also the bizarre surrealistic scene of Max kissing a hallucinogenic TV screen displaying a pair of giant seductive red lips that began to suck him into the glass monitor

Village of the Damned (1960, UK)


In this classic horror film about a group of hyper-intelligent, blonde-haired, glowing-eyed kids (an alien race) - born in the British village of Midwich during a mist, resident scientist Professor Gordon Zellaby (George Sanders) faced-off against the deadly-staring robotic children in a brick schoolhouse

Wait Until Dark (1967)


This suspenseful thriller told about the deadly search for drugs, unknowingly stashed in a rag doll; one early shocking moment was Mike Talman's (Richard Crenna) gruesome discovery of the body of Lisa (Samantha Jones) in a plastic garment bag; in the final battle of wits staged in complete darkness, after splashing gasoline all around her tiny basement apartment, there was the exciting jump-out-of-your-seat (or shock-leap) moment of the villainous and crazed Harry Roat's (Alan Arkin) lunge with a knife from the dark bedroom hallway toward blind Susy Hendrix (Audrey Hepburn) - and her retaliation by threatening to ignite his gas-soaked body with a match; also the tense match-up between them, when he discovered the light in the refrigerator, but she outwitted him by hiding behind the refrigerator door and pulling its plug

The War of the Worlds (1953)

The scene of Sylvia Van Buren's (Ann Robinson) scary farmhouse encounter with a Martian

When a Stranger Calls (1979)


The scene of teenaged baby-sitter Jill Johnson's (Carol Kane) fearful torment as she received phone calls from an unknown, lunatic assailant ("Why haven't you checked the children?"), and the police's classic warning: "We've traced the's coming from inside the house!"

What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962)

The scenes of grotesque, former vaudeville child star "Baby Jane" Hudson (Bette Davis) serving an ex-pet and a roasted rat to her paralyzed invalid sister Blanche (Joan Crawford) for "din-din." And the tense scene in which Blanche struggled to get downstairs to the phone to call for help as Jane returned home

The Wicker Man (1973, UK)


Repressed Scottish policeman Sergeant Howie (Edward Woodward) discovered evidence of a potential virgin sacrifice of a missing young schoolgirl named Rowan (Geraldine Cowper) by pagan worshippers and inhabitants of a remote island on May Day, inside a giant hollow Wicker Man statue (created of wicker materials designed to be used for fire sacrifices); in the final scene, he ultimately became the final perfect sacrifice himself

Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971)


This children's film, set in a fanciful land with a candy factory filled with orange-skinned, green-haired Oompa-Loompas workers, had an unlikely scary scene: - the scene in which tormenting, purple-clad Willy (Gene Wilder) offered a boat ride down the Chocolate River to the kids and their parents - while hallucinatory, colorful, hellish and surreal images (a kaleidoscope of insects, a beheading of a chicken, a slimy worm on a face, etc.) were back-projected behind them, Willy provided strange commentary.

The Wizard of Oz (1939)


The character of the cackling Wicked Witch (Margaret Hamilton), and her dispatching of her Flying Monkeys to stop the progress of Dorothy Gale's (Judy Garland) companions to free her.

Wolf Creek (2005)

In a somewhat repulsively-sickening film based on a true story and reminiscent of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974), a trio of stranded backpackers (Britishers Kristy Earl (Kestie Morassi) and brunette Liz Hunter (Cassandra Magrath), and local Ben Mitchell (Nathan Phillips)) in the remote outback of Western Australia were aided by a "Crocodile Dundee"-type local named Mick Taylor (John Jarratt); the sadistic, cruel, and brutal antagonist inflicted violent acts upon the group -- kidnapping, rape, torture (i.e, Ben was stuck hanging to a wall crucifix-style), dismemberment (i.e., Liz had several fingers severed), and murder; in the film's most horrific scene, Mick stabbed Liz in the back - severing her spine and rendering her paralyzed (while calling it "head on a stick")

The Wolf Man (1941)


The amazingly-effective transformation scene in which American-educated British heir Sir Lawrence Talbot (Lon Chaney, Jr.) was changed into the werewolf after being bitten by fortune-teller/ werewolf Bela (Bela Lugosi) - with shots of his legs growing hairier and hairier through dissolves and the appearance of paws for feet; and later the scene when he was chillingly told by Bela's gypsy mother Mariva (Maria Ouspenskaya) that he was in danger ("Whoever is bitten by a werewolf and lives becomes a werewolf himself...Heaven help you!"); also the atmospheric, exciting climax in fog-shrouded woods/swamp when the werewolf during a full moon pursued pretty antique shopgirl Gwen Conliffe (Evelyn Ankers) and was subsequently hunted down

Zombie (1979, It.) (aka Zombi 2)


This gory Lucio Fulci film was set on a voodoo-worshipping Caribbean Island.

In one of the most gruesome and scary eye gouging or 'splinter-into-the-eye' death sequences ever filmed, Paolo Menard (Olga Karlatos) was hiding behind a door to avoid an undead, marauding flesh-eating zombie from attacking; when her bedroom door was broken down, the zombie grabbed her by the hair and slowly dragged her right eyeball into a shard of wood sticking out - after her death, she was eaten by zombies.

A similar scene appeared in director Lucio Fulci's The Beyond (1981).

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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