Horror is the most subjective thing there is. Something either frightens you or it doesn’t. Everyone has different fears, whether they be subtle or surreal, so deciding which type is the scariest is essentially a fools errand but luckily for you, I’m about as foolish as they come. This list will be dealing with the most iconic moments of these films so it goes without saying that every clip will be a massive spoiler. I tried to be as vague as possible in my description and write ups but there’s only so much I can do. From here on out, expect nothing but thrills, chills and tons of jumpscares.
These are the 100 Scariest Movie Moments of All Time.
30. The Drop of Water | Black Sabbath (1963)
Horror film anthologies are my favorite sub genre of horror. There’s not many great ones but Black Sabbath is easily in the top five. And it’s mostly thanks to this segment. The other two are mostly effective but The Drop of Water has some of the creepiest imagery in all of cinema. I saw an image from this film and immediately bought the Bava Boxset just to see this film and it didn’t disappoint. (That story is true and I envy this generation that can just Google the scene in question and save they ass 50 bucks. Lucky ass sons a-bitches)
29. Car Attack | I Saw the Devil (2010)
In his sixth film, Kim Jee-Woon proves himself a master of violence, setting the film in a slightly fantastical version of real-world where killers, cannibals, and rapists lie around every corner, and where a body can withstand an ungodly onslaught of violence, if only so that violence can continue. Gorgeously shot in a palette of red and cold blue with incredible acting, I Saw the Devil is an unwavering look at the darkest depths of the human heart.
28. “What Did You Do To Its Eyes?” | Rosemary’s Baby (1968)
Pregnancy is the most common thing in the world, yet only half of the population understand what it’s truly like. A man can sympathize and try to understand but they’ll never truly know the feeling of something growing inside them. The bond that develops between mother and her unborn child. And the horror at the realization that something could happen. Rosemary’s Baby is every woman’s nightmare made infinitely worse.
27. The Dream | Phantasm (1979)
There’s no other horror film quite like Phantasm. It has an otherworldly quality no film has been able to replicate. It feels like the entire film takes place in an elongated dream sequence. I think that’s probably why no one mentions the Tall Man when talking about horror film icons. Everyone instantly thinks of the Freddys and the Jasons but Tall Man stands all by himself. He has carved out his own distinct corner and horror is all the better for it.
26. The Sacrifice | The Wicker Man (1973)
I think there’s certain horror films that transcend the genre. A genre made up of, let’s not kid ourselves, mostly trash. Every once in awhile, a film will rise above the pack and will actually be considered art. It doesn’t happen often but The Wicker Man is definitely considered art. Maybe it’s because it’s filled with British actors but it just feels classy. It feels like a really well made Hammer film. Only the brits could make a film about sex cults classy.
30. The Bear | Annihilation (2018)
Everything caught inside the weird alien bubble known as the Shimmer saw its DNA scrambled and rearranged, offering otherworldly combos of floral and fauna in Alex Garland’s Annihilation. Often it was beautiful, as is the case of the human topiaries, but sometimes it was downright terrifying. Such was the case for the scene-stealing bear, nightmarish in its appearance but even more so in sound. The bear first claimed group Cassie (Tuva Novotny), and later came back for a second helping during a tense standoff between the remaining members. Emulating Cassie’s dying screams as bait was off-putting enough, but the slow reveal of its mutated face was pure nightmare fuel. The human skull within the skull made it even creepier by the humanlike noises the bear made as it stalked its kill. Disturbing.
24. Tina’s Death | A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
As much as I love the series, I kinda wish this was a stand alone film. The franchise eventually got more and more entertaining with its crazy kills but it never got as scary as this film. I distinctly remember having terrible nightmares because of the body bag in the hallway or the glove in the bathtub scenes. I will always love the franchise but I will never the forget the fear I had of the first one.
23. The End | REC (2001)
There’s probably nothing more played out then found footage. It was an interesting story telling device but has now become a refuge for lazy, uninspired filmmakers that want a safety net of “oh it’s shot terribly because that’s realism.” Nine times out of ten, it’s done out of laziness. You don’t have to come up with a shot list if you just give the camera to the lead actor and have him film everything. It’s lazy. REC is among that one percent. There’s a reason why it’s all in one location. There’s a reason why the characters never stop filming. It’s a well crafted horror film that’s one of the best of the decade.
22. The Abduction | Fire in the Sky (1993)
My aunt says she went to church with Travis Walton, the man the film is based on and she believes him. She’s not a gullible woman and can smell bullshit faster than a pig, so if she buys what Walton is selling, I’m a believer. Based on the film, what he apparently went through is unimaginable. I think I don’t believe people who claim to be abducted because I don’t want want it to be true. I’m afraid of these aliens.
21. No Batteries | Child’s Play (1988)
No film on earth scared me more than this one. Every time the commercial would start to play, my mother would quickly change the channel. Because I had a My Buddy doll (don’t make fun of me. I’m super cool and tough) and the thought of my childhood toy coming to life to try and murder me was too fucking much to deal with. One time, my mother and I (I was about 6-7) went to a video store to rent some shit and I distinctly remember her trying to rush me out the door. Which I thought was odd. And then I woke up in the car. Apparently I looked up and there was about 50 Chucky dolls lining the ceiling of the store And I actually passed out. Chucky scared me so much as a child, he stole time from me. I literally do not remember how I got to the car but at least 10 minutes must have passed. That’s the power of horror.
What do you think of the selection so far? What movie scenes have scared you the most? Maybe they will show up further on the list!