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.
70. The Boat Ride | Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971)
There’s something I’ve always found off putting about this film. Whether it was the odd looking Oompa Loompas, creepy ass slugworth or the fact that the kids are nonchalantly killed off through out. Oh and Wonka’s office at the end. Everything is cut in half. What up with that? Anywho, the scene is so traumatizing, some networks still refuse to air it on television.
69. Revenge | Freaks (1932)
Insanely controversial upon It’s release, Tod Browning’s masterpiece found a new audience decades later as one of the first midnight movies. There was a time where just using actors with physical deformities was controversial, but thank God Browning had the balls to buck the system because these “freaks” are incredible. CGI will never be able to replicate these amazingly unique performers.
68. The Hobbling | Misery (1990
While the book might be about Stephen King’s experience dealing with drug addiction, (Annie Wilkes is actually a metaphor for substance abuse), the film is very much every celebrities worst nightmare writ large. Every time they sign some merchandise or stand to take a picture, somewhere in the back of their minds is the thought “this might be the fan that takes it too far”. There’s a reason fan is short for fanatic — some are dangerously insane. Just like Annie Wilkes…
67. Behind You | The Strangers (2008)
We’ve all had that feeling of being alone in a big house and feeling like there might be someone else there. Or maybe you hear a noise you can’t explain. Or maybe you get a knock in the middle of the night that seems suspicious. The Strangers is brilliant because it plays on all of those fears and brings them to life in the most terrifying way possible.
66. The Tree Rape | The Evil Dead (1981)
One of the notorious Video Nasties, The Evil Dead wasn’t as gruesome as some of the other titles but it was most certainly the one you had to see. This was the film you pretended you saw to look tough on the playground. For an entire generation, this was one of the movies that, if you hadn’t seen it, you couldn’t call yourself a true fan.
65. Waking Up To a Nightmare | Dawn of the Dead (2004)
The original Dawn of the Dead is often referred to as one of the greatest zombie films of all time, so remaking it would be as foolish as it would be pointless. You can’t improve upon perfection, so why bother? And yet, against all odds, Zack Snyder pulled off the impossible. His remake isn’t as classic but it’s a helluva lot better than it has any right being. Losing the consumerism metaphor but adding fast zombies, It might not be as smart but it’s easily as entertaining.
64. The Basement | Zodiac (2007)
David Fincher painstakingly recreated 70’s San Francisco to help bring you into this world. And it was a world populated by a devil. A devil that’s never been caught. The fact that the Zodiac killer might still be out there kinda makes this film the scariest of the bunch.
63. Reading of the Book | The Babadook (2014)
Before he was turned into an unlikely gay icon, The Babadook was a terrifying entity tormenting a widowed mother. Is he real? Was he all in her head? Is he actually gay? Whatever he is, he’s scary as shit.
62. The Clapping Game | The Conjuring (2013)
With hit after hit, James Wan has consistently proven himself to be the best horror director working today and The Conjuring might be his magnum opus. It’s a film so good, It’s spawned two sequels and three spin offs. It’s the MCU of horror, which would make this the spooky Iron Man. And now I want a movie where the Warrens dress up like robots and punch ghosts in the face.
61. The Bell | The Autopsy of Jane Doe (2016)
A father and son mortician team must perform an autopsy on a “Jane Doe”, a nameless female corpse, before morning. Before they even operate, everything about her seems odd. She has pale white skin, almost porcelain like. She has no marks on her, even though she was found in the middle of a crime scene involving multiple mutilated dead bodies. The movie brilliantly constructs its scares this way. It feeds the viewer little odd details like this that just get increasingly more bizarre. It also does a great job of planting seeds that will sprout horrifying fruit later on, like the story about how they used to tie bells on the toes of the dead back in Victorian times. If you heard the ringing of a bell, that meant the corpse was still alive. I wonder how that would work its way back into the story…
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!