From RetroCrush:

This has been a great labour of love and truly one of the most fun articles I’ve ever had the pleasure of putting up on retroCRUSH. It’s easy to talk about scary movies, but we wanted to highlight the individual scary scenes that really stick out. Some films aren’t scary by design, but happen to have creepy and shocking moments that deserve special recognition. So enjoy this list and have fun discovering a bunch of new movies to see!


  1. Kinda like Bravo’s 100 Scariest Movie Moments, but still, awesome list. My boyfriend and I have become REALLY into horror movies lately, so we will be sure to check out the rest of these that we haven’t seen yet.

    I actually have a scene to add from a very new film. If you’ve seen Pan’s Labyrinth, then you know who the Pale Man is, and when he bites the heads off those fairies and starts scuffling toward Ofelia with his eyeball-hands outstretched, I just about fainted.

  2. I was flipping channels a while back and Deliverance was playing on one of the non-premium channels. “The Scene” had been completely butchered, totally drained of impact. Why even bother to show these films on TV if the FCC forces you to mutilate them in the editing room?

  3. The Pale Man from Pan’s Labyrinth is really freaky. Even with the unmitigated bursts of realistic violence, that scene still stands out… Whoa.

    My fave is when “Jason” pops out of the water at the end of Friday the 13th. I was so freaked out by that (hell, everyone were) I decided to go back and watch it the next day, hoping the impact would be less shocking, the second time around. Which it was. But mostly, I just enjoyed leaning back in my seat, and watching every single person in the theater jump out of their seats, screaming…

  4. Oh hell yeah — Deliverance…! It probably speaks volumes about male egos, and sexuality, that “That Scene” is the only thing that stands out from that movie… “Squeal like a pig, boy!” and banjo music is enough to set off nervous giggling…

    I saw that flick again recently, and realized that while the rape was a catalyst, the actual point of the flick was more about vigilanteism and paranoia.

    Of course, there are flip-sides to everything… Anyone here ever seen “Plunkett & Macleane”? I love this flick — but don’t take my word for it, cause almost everyone else hates it… Liv Tyler was supposed to be the main character in this movie, while Plunkett and Macleane were actually supposed to be her sidekicks… But Tyler’s character was supposed to have been raped — which would then set her off on her criminal career. But after shooting was finished, the flick received a rating that kinda killed it, commercially — so they had to re-edit it, removing the rape, and make it about the two sidekicks instead — relegating the lead to a minor love-interest in the story… Sad.

  5. While we’re on the subject of male egos and sexuality, WTF is The Crying Game doing on there??? I mean, sure, it was a shock (unless you were paying attention, as some friends have informed me), but was there anyone outside of the Moral Majority who had nightmares because of that scene?

    CREEPY DOG WITH HUMAN HEAD! … This one is really scary and disturbing, it should be on top 10

    Great link

  7. The dog with the human head was freaky, revolting, and nasty. But when Sutherland turns around, and points, and screams at the end — that was WAY worse, for me. I mean, I thought they’d make it out somehow. I thought that they’d somehow manage to fix everything. I hadn’t seen any movies with a non-happy ending before that… That scared me big time.

    Oh, and the head-cutting thing in the Exorcist III — holy shit, that was freaky…

    But for pure evil, you gotta look outside the Hollywood, Western market… Nah, not Bollywood — think Japan.

    And uh yeah — screw Ringu (and Spielberg’s ripoff) Ôdishon, baby. The audition. It makes the gal from “I spit on your grave” look like June Cleaver on prozak, after a couple of bong hits…

  8. I was surprised the nightmare scene from American werewolf in London wasn’t on there. It scared the crap out of me – and it’s a dream within a dream, which right when you think it’s over, it does it again.

    Also, I remember a scen in Crocodile Dundee where the woman is filling her canteen in the river when a giant crocodile kunges out and grabs the canteen. Pretty scary, but the best part was I saw it with my dad in the theater and he screamed like a little girl while the rest of the audience didn’t make a sound.

  9. All I’m gonna say is, fear is a subjective thing, and like with any list like this there’s going to be disagreement. There are plenty of film scenes listed here that I’d not include myself, and still others I’m surprised not to see.

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