Movie Essentials: 15 Scariest Movie Moments

As I was watching the end of Paranormal Activity 2 through the cracks of my fingers on Friday, I got to thinking about other scary movie moments, and what has traumatized me the most over the years.  I've seen my fair share of horror movies, and, though everyone is different, I'm not a fan of the "boo-gotcha!" kind of cheap jump scares that so many of those movies rely on.  Those are easily laughed off as soon as they're done.
No, what I'm talking about here are the moments that stick with you and cause you to shiver a bit whenever you think about them.  The moments where, even though you've seen them a number of times before, you still tense up and brace yourself for the worst when watching them again.  Some have haunted me since childhood, others are more recent.  Some are rational, others are totally irrational.  But each have freaked me out in their own way.  So, in honor of Halloween and in lieu of the yearly essentials installment for this week, here are Hammervision's 15 essential scary movie moments.  And yes, I've finally gotten over my fear of Large Marge.

What are your favorite scary moments?


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  • The fleeting scene in The Exorcist where the devil's face flashes for just an instant. You know what I'm talking about. I regret pausing the DVD and going frame by frame. That was a mistake.

  • Ooh - that's a good one! I've never paused it and gone frame by frame, but I know exactly what you're talking about. I just bought the Blu-Ray of Exorcist though so I'll be sure to try out, even if I may ultimately regret it.

  • Oh my god, that Raiders of the Lost Ark scene scared me for YEARS. Also made me scared of the Quaker Oats guy.

  • Oh my god, that Raiders of the Lost Ark scene scarred me for YEARS.
    It also caused me to be scared of the man on the Quaker Oats box.

  • Scariest moment for me: Twilight Zone movie when Dan Aykroyd's character becomes the blue monster. Was so not expecting that, especially from the sweet guy I knew from SNL.

    Runner-up scariest: Final scene from Dressed To Kill.

  • In reply to JimmyGreenfield:

    I completely forgot about that Twilight Zone moment, but that was definitely a shocker! The end of Dressed to Kill is pretty intense - I've only seen it once. I may need to watch it again.

    Funny how you never forget those scary moments that catch you off guard. Another one I thought about including? When Samuel L. Jackson bites it in Deep Blue Sea.

  • In reply to JimmyGreenfield:

    A good list. But Temple of Doom made the phrase "Kali Ma" a lot more scary than melted Nazis. The movie ratings system had to invent the PG-13 middle ground between PG and R for gems like that little beauty of a scene.

    And let's not forget the scene at the end of "Gremlins" when they all start to melt in the fountain freaked me out as a kid.

  • In reply to JReed:

    Yes! Though in Gremlins, I was just relieved when they all started to melt. I was more scared when the biology professor is offering the gremlin a candy bar under the desk and the gremlin starts chewing on his arm.

  • In reply to JimmyGreenfield:

    Poltergeist, the whole damn movie. Well, from the second act on. Made me never want to fall asleep with the TV on.

  • In reply to djderricke:

    Poltergeist is an awesome one - I love that movie. Here's another: the end of Carrie when Amy Irving goes to visit Carrie's grave and the hand comes out of the ground and grabs her wrist.

  • In reply to djderricke:

    Nice choices! I have to find "Audition" now--that's the only one I haven't seen.

  • In reply to JoetheCop:

    Thanks. Yeah, Audition is one of the must-see horror movies. It's a slow burn, but that ending is killer (and tough to watch). And wait till you see what's in that big burlap sack! Gross.

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