Greatest Scariest
Movie Moments and Scenes


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

The Game (1997)


Director David Fincher's psychological thriller, his third feature film, was an account of the long 'journey' of its main character - wealthy, cold-hearted, analytical, privileged and soulless, workaholic, "control-freak" San Francisco investment banker executive Nicholas "Nickie" Van Orton (Michael Douglas). He was divorced from his wife Elizabeth (Anna Katarina), who was living in Sausalito with her new doctor husband.

Nicholas was presented with a 48th year birthday gift - marking the same age that his similar Scrooge-like father had died from suicide, by jumping off the roof of their home onto the driveway (seen in scratchy Super-8 footage, a flashback). The gift was from his estranged, rebellious, free-spirited younger brother Conrad (or "Connie") (Sean Penn) while they had lunch together - a gift certificate to Consumer Recreation Services (CRS), a game voucher for a unique, customized 'game' experience of a lifetime. Conrad mused to himself: "What do you get for the man who has everything?" He promised his brother: "They make your life fun...It's an entertainment service. A profound life experience...I think you'll like this. I did. It was the best thing that ever happened to me."

It would soon turn Nicholas Van Orton's world upside down. He ventured to the 14th floor of the high-rise building on Montgomery Street in SF, to enter CRS' offices, where he was greeted by Jim Feingold (James Rebhorn), VP of Engineering and Data Analysis. He was told he had contracted for an intriguing game -

"specifically tailored for each participant. Think of it as a great vacation - except you don't go to it, it comes to you...It's different every time...We provide whatever's lacking...You don't have to decide today. Take the silly tests, fill out the stupid forms. One day, your game begins. You either love it or hate it. Decide then. You know, we're like an experiential book-of-the-month club. You can drop out at any time with no further obligation. That was my sales pitch."

He didn't know that he had already started to play the increasingly-elaborate "game."

The scary scene emphasized by Bravo occurred next. When he drove to his SF home-mansion (actually Filoli in Woodside, CA) that night, Van Orton discovered a life-sized wooden harlequin clown or doll lying in his driveway (in the same position his father had died) - and grinning. At the end of its long cloth tongue was a key marked CRS. Daniel Schorr (Himself), the anchor on the evening news, talked to him through the TV set and called him "a bloated millionaire fat-cat."

At first, he thought the incidents were only a series of "elaborate pranks." However, the ultimate object and purpose of the game became a life/death threatening proposition. The 'game' was composed of an unpredictable series of increasingly life-changing events, causing him to paranoically ask: "Is it real or not?" He wondered: "I'm being toyed with by a bunch of depraved children." Along the way, he met up with his brother who exclaimed about CRS: "They just f--k you, and they f--k you, and they f--k you. Then, just when you think it's all over, that's when the real f--king starts."

Among many other things, his house was broken into and vandalized. He barely escape drowning in a taxi that landed in SF Bay. He discovered that CRS' headquarters had been vacated. His Swiss bank account had been drained of $600 million, and he feared that his lawyer had duped him and was "in on it." He was left broke. Then, he was kidnapped, and found himself buried alive in a coffin-crypt in a Mexico cemetery (from which he escaped); he was reduced to begging in a foreign country, with no money, identification, or passport; he sold his gold watch to pay for transportation.

When he returned to the US, he found his house foreclosed. He returned to the CRS building, believing it was a covert operation out to destroy him ("I'm pulling back the curtain. I want to meet the wizard"). There, he was forced to retreat to the roof when guards opened fire. He was told that everything was a hoax ("This is all a game...There was always a safety net...That's what you hired us for") but he didn't believe it. He shot his white tuxedo-wearing brother Conrad dead as he approached with a champagne bottle from behind the other side of a door. Devastated, Van Orton suicidally jumped off the multi-story building to his death (!). He crashed through two sets of skylight glass and onto a giant air-filled bag-mattress with an 'X' target in the middle.

Nicholas Shot His Brother
Suicidal Jump
Suicidal Jump
Brother Was Alive
Birthday Party

After the fall and the breakaway glass was cleared, he opened his eyes and realized that he was experiencing the start of his own birthday party thrown by his living brother Conrad. A grand ballroom was filled with guests, applauding him and celebrating his special day - on the 20th of October. Conrad was holding up a T-shirt: "I WAS DRUGGED AND LEFT FOR DEAD IN MEXICO - AND ALL I GOT WAS THIS STUPID T-SHIRT." Van Orton spoke briefly with his ex-wife, and greeted others, and then split the expensive bill for the experience with Conrad.

Nicholas Van Orton (Michael Douglas)

Conrad (or "Connie") (Sean Penn)

Birthday Gift For Brother Nickie


Harlequin Clown Doll in Driveway

Broken Down

Gangs of New York (2002)

Director Martin Scorsese's semi-historical film set in the mid-1800s portrayed gang warfare in the Five Points District of NYC between the forces of nativistic Protestant Americans, led by Bill "The Butcher" Cutting (Daniel Day-Lewis), against the throngs of Catholic-Irish immigrants (the "Dead Rabbits"), led by Priest Vallon (Liam Neeson) - and later by his vengeful, grown-up son Amsterdam (Leonardo Di Caprio). As the story progressed, Bill eventually learned of Amsterdam's plot to kill him, to seek revenge for the killing of his father.

In one of the film's more chilling scenes, "The Butcher" baited Amsterdam by engaging in a tense, knife-throwing "command performance" on stage with pickpocket and con artist Jenny Everdeane (Cameron Diaz). Jenny was Bill's former lover ("The Butcher's original apprentice") but now sexually involved with Amsterdam. He demanded her participation: "What do you say, Jen? One more time for the sweet souvenir."

Knowing that she had misled and betrayed him, "The Butcher" violently hurled knives at her with pinpoint precision, first pinning her garment at both sides of her neck to the wall behind her. He then speared the locket (dropped to the floor) that he'd given her as a child as his way of permanently severing his relationship with her. He mockingly chided:

"Whoopsie-daisy! Now it's good and broke!"

He then asked: "You got the sand to give 'em a Grand Finale?" before his final throw, which deliberately grazed her neck and drew some blood.

He then gave a toast before drinking from a flaming shot glass:

We hold in our hearts the memory of our fallen brothers whose blood stains the very streets we walk today. Also on this night, we pay tribute to the leader of our enemies, an honorable man, who crossed over bravely, fighting for what he believed in. To defeat my enemy, I extinguish his life, and consume him as I consume these flames. In honor of Priest Vallon.

Following the toast, an angered Amsterdam attempted to throw a knife at Bill, but he deflected it, and threw a knife into Amsterdam's abdomen. He announced:

"That's a wound! I want yous all to meet the son of Priest Vallon. I took him under my wing and see how I'm repaid. He saves my life one day so he can kill me the next, like a sneak-thief instead of fightin' a man. A base defiler. Unworthy of a noble name. We need to tenderize this meat a little bit."

With Amsterdam splayed out on a table, Bill straddled him, called him fresh meat that needed tenderizing, and vowed: "Let's kiss goodnight to that pretty young face of yours!" Bill head-butted him multiple times, then held up a butcher's meat cleaver:

What'll it be then? Rib or chop. Loin or shank.

(His twirled-into-the-air meat cleaver landed inches from Amsterdam's bloodied face)

Members of the jeering audience called out body parts to be excised:

"The lungs! The liver! The leg! The tongue! The kidneys! The stomach! The heart!"

Bill claimed that Amsterdam had no heart. He said he would let Amsterdam live, but then burned his cheek with a hot blade:

"He ain't earned a death. He ain't earned a death at my hands. No. He'll walk amongst you marked with shame - a freak worthy of Barnum's Museum of Wonders."

Bill "The Butcher" Cutting (Daniel Day-Lewis)

Priest Vallon (Liam Neeson)

(Leonardo di Caprio)

Ominous Bill "The Butcher"

Spearing Jenny's Necklace

Knife-Throwing at Jenny

Bill vs. Amsterdam: "What'll it be then? Rib or chop. Loin or shank"

Get Out (2017)

Writer/director Jordan Peele's directorial debut film, a low-budget ($4.5 million), R-rated horror-comedy titled Get Out was wildly successful ($176 million domestic revenue, and $252.4 million worldwide), due to its timely subjects of prejudice and systemic racism. From its four Academy Award nominations, the social satire won the Best Original Screenplay Oscar for its script, resembling in part The Stepford Wives (1975). Ultimately, it was the most profitable film of 2017 - with a whopping 630% return on investment.

In the film's opening (after a brief pre-title credits prologue), talented 26 year-old African-American photographer Chris Washington (British actor Daniel Kaluuya) was driving to the upstate NY countryside with his white girlfriend Rose Armitage (Allison Williams) of five months. Rose had assured him that although he was the only black guy she had ever dated, her parents would be welcoming. He arrived at the plantation-styled estate to meet her supposedly-progressive, non-racist, liberal parents during a weekend getaway:

  • Missy (Catherine Keener), a steely-eyed matriarch and hypnotherapist
  • Dean (Bradley Whitford), an affable neurosurgeon doctor

There, he met two odd black servants who acted stiff, catatonic, compliant and unnatural: maid-housekeeper Georgina (Betty Gabriel) and groundskeeper Walter (Marcus Henderson), and also encountered Rose's drunken, spoiled and violent, racist son Jeremy (Caleb Landry Jones).

Georgina - Housekeeper Servant

Jeremy - Rose's Brother

A strange foreshadowing was mentioned by Dean when he defended having black servants: "We hired Georgina and Walter to help care for my parents" - literally, they WERE his parents!

During Chris' visit, he was subjected to Missy's hypnotherapy to help him stop his nicotine addiction to smoking in a session to cure him. In an induced trance (caused by her teacup stirring), he became paralyzed in his chair when he described his guilt feelings and self-blame about a hit-and-run accident in his childhood (when he was 11 years old) that killed his mother. He had not done anything and had not called 911, but sat immobile in front of the television. Suddenly, Chris' consciousness left his body as he descended into blackness and screamed (in silence), and he floated paralyzed in the dark void that Missy called the "sunken place."

[Note: It was also a visual representation of his every-day reality, living as a marginalized, powerless individual.]

Chris' Hypnotherapy Session with Missy - The "Sunken Place"

Missy (Catherine Keener)

Eerie Tea-Cup Stirring During Hypnotherapy

Chris- Under Hypnosis

Chris - Descending or Falling into "Sunken Place"

During the weekend, a group of privileged, wealthy white folks unexpectedly arrived (all in black vehicles) for an annual get-together. One of the couples (Alisa and Nelson) spoke to Chris and Rose - when Alisa inappropriately asked about their sex life: "So, is it true? Is it better?" Another gentleman made a second suspicious comment about how it was now fashionable to be black: "Fair skin has been in favor for the past what, couple of hundreds of years, but now the pendulum has swung back. Black is in fashion."

When Chris spoke to "another brother" at the party, he realized that the black man Logan King (LaKeith Stanfield) was acting stiff, vacant and distant, and was married to a much older white woman named Philomena (Geraldine Singer).

[Note: Logan was the same individual from the film's prologue, a Brooklyn native and jazz musician named Andre Hayworth, who was knocked unconscious at night on a dark suburban street in Evergreen Hollow by someone wearing a knight's helmet, and stuffed into a car trunk.]

Chris also spoke to a noted blind art gallery owner Jim Hudson (Stephen Root) of Hudson Galleries. Chris phoned his buddy Rod Williams (Lil Rel Howery), a TSA agent at the local airport, and told him his concerns:

  • "They haven't met a black person that doesn't work for them."
  • "I got hypnotized last night."
  • "Yo, and the black people out here too. It seems like they all missed the movement. It's because they probably hypnotized."

Rod warned: "They could of had you doing all types of stupid s--t. They could of had you barkin' like a dog, flyin' around like you're a f--kin' pigeon, lookin' ridiculous, OK. Or, I don't know if you know this. White people love makin' people sex slaves and s--t.... I think that Mom is puttin' everybody in a trance and she's f--kin' the s--t out of them."

In one of the film's increasingly strange and weird scenes, Georgina apologized profusely to Chris for accidentally unplugging his cellphone, and then uncharacteristically didn't recognize his use of the slang word 'snitch.' She asserted ("Don't you worry about that. I can assure you. I don't answer to anyone"). He responded by trying to relate to her racially: "All I know is sometimes, if there's too many white people I get nervous, you know?" But then she repetitively told him:

"No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no...."

Then, she made a most unusual statement: "The Armitages are so good to us. They treat us like family."

Feeling very spooked by the environment, especially when he was asked an embarrassing question: "Do you find that being African-American - more advantage or disadvantage in the modern world?", Chris tried to take an inconspicuous cellphone photo of Logan, who reacted to the flash with a nosebleed (excused later as an epileptic seizure) and screamed a raving-mad warning:

"Get out!...Get the f--k outta here!"

It was apparent that the camera flash also acted like a trigger, and Andre (who was hypnotically buried inside) was brought to the surface.

Shortly later, Rod phoned and told Chris that he recognized "Logan" as Andre "Dre" Hayworth, a missing person for six months who used to work at a movie theater. Chris explained: "He came to the party with a white woman like 30 years older than him." Rod again warned Chris: "Sex Slave. Chris, you've got to get the f--k up out of there, man. You are in some Eyes Wide Shut situation," before the phone went dead.

The Auction Sequence - For Chris!

Chris was fairly certain that he must leave the house, and happened to notice an outdoor silent auction (a modern day slave auction) being conducted by Dean with the party guests - he saw a giant framed picture of himself on the front stage. To bid, each audience member held up bingo cards - the winner of the expensive bidding was Jim Hudson.

Next, as Chris hurriedly packed to leave, he discovered photos in the cubbyhole-closet of Rose in prior relationships with black people (contradicting her claim that Chris was her first black boyfriend), including pictures of her with Andre, Walter and Georgina.

Rose's Suspicious Pictures

With Other Black Guys

With Andre

With Georgina and Walter

Chris attempted to immediately escape and frantically asked Rose for the car keys, but was confronted by her father Dean who asked a sinister question as he stared at the fireplace:

"What is your purpose, Chris?...In life. What is your purpose?...Fire. It is a reflection of our own mortality. We are born, we breathe and then we die....Even the sun will die someday. But we are divine. We are the gods trapped in cocoons."

Jeremy blocked Chris' exit, and Rose who finally held up the car keys admitted: "You know I can't give you the keys, right babe?" This was a turning point - Chris now realized that Rose was a willing participant and had deliberately lured him into the home of her family for ominous reasons. Missy clinked her spoon on her teacup to trigger a hypnotic response from Chris, who was knocked to the floor and again began to descend to the 'Sunken Place.'

In the next sequence, Chris was bound in the Armitage game-room basement and told the family's evil ploy - the film's major plot twist. It was explained via a videotaped info-mercial delivered by Rose's grandfather Roman (Richard Herd) on an old TV. The cultish Order of the Coagula assisted their beloved older white friends and relatives to live longer, by first brainwashing (through hypnosis) young blacks, and then transplanting (via neurosurgery) the elderly whites' brains into the bodies of the far younger and physically superior black people:

"You have been chosen because of the physical advantages you enjoyed your entire lifetime. With your natural gifts and our determination we could both be part of something greater. Something perfect. The Coagula procedure is a man-made miracle. Our order has been developing it for many, many years and it wasn't until recently it was perfected by my own flesh and blood. My family and I are honored to offer it as a service to members of our group."

Meanwhile, Chris' TSA friend Rod spoke to female Detective Latoya (Erika Alexander) (and two other detectives Drake and Garcia), and claimed his friend Chris had been missing for two days. The two detectives were very skeptical and dubious about his assertion that the missing Andre had been brought back to life as Logan, and that anything else was out of the ordinary, when he told them:

"What I'm about to tell you goin' to sound crazy. You ready?...I believe they've been abductin' black people, brainwashin' 'em, makin' 'em work for them as sex slaves and s--t....See I don't know if it's the hypnosis that's makin' 'em slaves or whatnot, but all I know is, they already got two brothers we know and there could be a whole bunch of brothers they got already."

Roman's TV video, supplemented by an interactive session with Jim Hudson, further explained how the black subject's consciousness would be trapped in the dark void known as 'The Sunken Place,' although they would live on as a "passenger" in a white body:

"Transplantation. Well, partial, actually. The piece of your brain connected to your nervous system needs to stay put, keeping those intricate connections intact. So you won't be gone. At least not completely. A sliver of you will still be in there somewhere. Limited consciousness. You'll be able to see and hear what your body is doing, but your existence will be as a passenger. An audience. You will live in - The Sunken Place."

The blind artist Jim Hudson was being prepped in a surgical operating room by having his scalp removed. His brain was about to be transplanted into Chris' body that he had bought at auction. Others who had been surgically modified were:

  • Walter - implanted with Roman, Rose's grandfather (Dean's father)
  • Georgina - implanted with Marianne, Rose's grandmother (Dean's mother)

Cleverly, Chris stuffed his ears with stuffing from the chair he was sitting in, and blocked Missy's teaspoon clinking sound to hypnotize him. He knocked out Jeremy with a blow to the head using a yellow bocce ball, then impaled Dean in the chest with a mounted set of "buck" deer antlers. Dean stumbled back into the prep room and overturned a candle, setting the entire room on fire and consuming Hudson.

Chris broke Missy's teacup, leaving her defenseless and killed her by stabbing her in the head (or eye) with a letter opener. When Chris was attacked by a revived Jeremy, he was able to stab him in the leg with the letter opener, then brutally stomped Jeremy's skull.

Meanwhile, Rose was unaware of the killings - she was cruising the Internet with earbuds, looking for her next potential victim, while symbolically eating colorful dry Fruit Loops cereal with a separate white glass of milk.

Driving away in Jeremy's 2-door car, Chris also eliminated Georgina (who he had hit with the car) by deliberately crashing the car into a tree. In the final moments of the film, Walter (not the 'grandpa' Roman persona, but the original Walter) shot Rose in the stomach with a rifle, and then suicidally shot himself.

Chris began to strangle the lethally-wounded Rose (who avowed: "Chris, I'm so sorry. It's me. I-I love you. I love you"), but stopped when he realized he couldn't do it.

Chris was rescued by Rod, who drove up in an airport TSA vehicle (with flashing lights and siren) to whisk him away. Rod reminded Chris: "I mean, I told you not to go in that house," and explained how he had figured out the case:

"I'm TS motherf--kin' A. We handle s--t. That's what we do. Consider this situation f--kin' handled."

As the film ended, Rose lay dying by the side of the road.

Dean (Bradley Whitford) and Missy (Catherine Keener)

Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) with Girlfriend Rose (Allison Williams)

Logan King and His White Wife Philomena

Blind Art Dealer Jim Hudson

Logan's Cellphone Photo - Caused Blood to Flow from His Left Nostril

Dean Armitage: "We are the gods trapped in cocoons."

Rose: Refusing to Hand Over Car Keys

Hypnotic Trigger: Clinking of Missy's Teacup

Roman's Video Info-mercial: "Behold the Coagula"

Chris' Friend: TSA Agent Rod Williams Speaking to Two Detectives About His Suspicions

Dean's Surgical Prep Room - Jim Hudson About to Have His Brain Transplanted Into Chris' Body

Chris Saved from Hypnosis by Cotton Stuffed in His Ears

Dean Impaled in Abdomen with Deer Antlers

Rose's Dying Vow of Love for Chris

Ending - Rod to Chris: "I told you not to go in that house."

Ghostbusters (1984)

Director Ivan Reitman's sci-fi comedy film, one of the biggest comedy hits of the 80s, told about three eccentric parapsychologists who decided to rid New York City of its ghosts. The trio were called upon to investigate hauntings in various NYC locations. The unorthodox group of three defrocked, eccentric, Columbia University parapsychologists, in the offbeat business of supernatural extermination of poltergeists, spirits, ghosts, and other haunts, using proton pack weapons, included:

  • Dr. Peter Venkman (Bill Murray)
  • Dr. Raymond Stantz (Dan Aykroyd)
  • Dr. Egon Spengler (Harold Ramis)

Their first real encounter was while tracking down ghosts in the New York Public Library stacks. Ghostbuster-to-be Ray Stantz calmly noted the purplish librarian ghost (Alice Drummond) before them: "A full torso apparition, and it's real." He suggested: "We've got to make contact. One of us should actually try to speak to her."

The Librarian Ghost

Peter Venkman volunteered and approached the figure: "Hello, I'm Peter. Where are you from? Originally." The gray-haired ghost turned and shushed him, with her finger to her lips. When that didn't work, Ray decided to take charge and yelled: "Ready? Get her!" Suddenly, the library worker turned toward them, and was transformed into a screaming spectral hag (with effective special effects) - a great scare!

In a later scene, the Ghostbusters were confronted by the monstrous god Gozer in the shape of a woman, the Gozerian (voice of Paddi Edwards, and portrayed by supermodel Slavitza Jovan) atop the skyscraper; Ray threatened Gozer:

"As a duly designated representative of the city, county and state of New York, I order you to cease any and all supernatural activity and return forthwith to your place of origin or to the nearest convenient parallel dimension."

Gozer angrily responded: "Are you a god?...Then die," blasting them with lightning bolts from her fingertips. Fourth Ghostbuster Winston Zeddmore (Ernie Hudson) angrily chastised Raymond for his stupidity for blasting Gozer: "Ray, when someone asks you if you're a God, you say YES!", followed by Venkman's threat: "All right. This chick is toast...Let's show this prehistoric bitch how we do things downtown" - and the Ghostbusters, with full strength, neutronized the "nimble little minx," explaining her extermination as "a complete particle reversal."

Confronting the Monstrous God Gozer

Ginger Snaps (2000, Canada)


Director John Fawcett's werewolf horror cult film was followed by both a sequel (Ginger Snaps II: Unleashed (2004)) and a direct-to-video prequel (Ginger Snaps Back: The Beginning (2004)). Its tagline was: "They Don't Call It the Curse For Nothing." The film's theme (with a deadly feminine twist) metaphorically tied together puberty with blood, sexual desire and metamorphic body changes (including possession and infection).

These themes harkened back to other films, such as:

  • Cat People (1942)
  • Carrie (1976)
  • The Company of Wolves (1984)

It told about two morbid, late-developing teenaged sisters who were rebellious, death-obsessed, world-hating Goths and disdainful school outcasts in a suburban Ontario high school (in the town of Bailey Downs, a "safe and caring community"). They conducted staged deaths of their own suicidal demises for a school project (shown in the innovative title credits sequence as a series of Polaroids):

  • Ginger Fitzgerald (Katharine Isabelle), 16 years old, red-haired, "the pretty one"
  • Brigitte Fitzgerald (Emily Perkins), 15 years old, "the frumpy one"

When Ginger was attacked/bitten by a beastly, infected lycanthrope ("The Beast of Bailey Downs") while walking through the woods with her sister, linked to the time of her first menstrual period ("the curse") and a full moon, she developed spiky tufts of body hair and a phallic-tail, feral teeth, cramps, a blood-lusting craving for flesh, and a foul temper.

In a rest room, Brigitte spoke with her sister:

Brigitte: "Ging, what's going on? Something's wrong, like more than you being just female. Can you just say something, please?"
Ginger: "I can't have a hairy chest, B., that's f--ked."

The changes caused a major rift between Ginger and her sister, who had made a pact to never be "average" and to suicidally "go together" when puberty arrived. Ginger also became more sexually interested in previously-taboo males, and drew male wolf-whistles when she strutted (and bounced) down the school hallway. Sexually adventurous and hormonal, she was lustily aggressive during her loss of virginity to football player Jason McCarty (Jesse Moss) in the back seat of his car, and during sex, she "infected" him. He was shocked by her masculine-like behavior and told her to "take it easy...just lie back and relax" - but she retorted with the same line, declaring that she was "the guy here."

After the blood-inducing date in which she delivered bite wounds to Jason, Ginger stated her view of predatory teenaged blood-lust sex to Brigitte, as she threw up into a toilet bowl: "I get this ache and I thought it was for sex, but it's to tear everything to f--king pieces." Not satisfied with only having sex with Jason, she killed the neighbor's dog. She also killed a school janitor (Pat Kwong-Ho), disemboweling him with her hand, because she suspiciously feared that he had been looking "inappropriately" at her sister. She then told her sister that she loved the blood, linking the violence to solitary masturbation:

"You like it. It feels so good. Brigitte, it's - it's like touching yourself, you know, every move right on the f--kin' dot. And after, you see f--kin' fireworks. Supernovas. I'm a god-damn force of nature. I feel like I could do just about anything. You know, we're almost not even related anymore."

Threatened, Brigitte argued back: "I'd rather be dead than be what you are."

The film concluded with more horrific elements after Ginger transformed into a monstrous Ginger-Wolf engaged in a killing spree. She had a threatening showdown with Sam MacDonald (Kris Lemche) and her sister, who up until this point had attempted to rescue Ginger from her animalistic urges.

Brigitte felt she no longer had a bond with her sister - she had a choice to either cure her sister with a syringe of "werewolf antidote" or to kill her with a knife. After Sam was mutilated by Ginger-Wolf by bloodily biting him in the neck, Brigitte chose the latter course ("I'm not dying in this room with you")

Brigitte stabbed Ginger with the knife when lunged at. But she was intimately close to Ginger-Wolf and hugging her when she exhaled her last breath.

One of Many Staged Deaths

Ginger Transformed - Not Into a Wolf - But a Sexy Woman

Blood-Lusting Ginger
(Katharine Isabelle)



Brigitte With Knife - Confronting Her Sister

Ginger Attacking Brigitte

Death Hug

GoodFellas (1990)

Director Martin Scorsese's stylistic masterpiece was an unflinching treatment of a true mobster story about three violent "wiseguys" [Mafia slang for 'gangsters'].

One of the wiseguys, charismatic, loud-mouthed, volatile gangster Tommy (Joe Pesci), exhibited the first traces of his quick-trigger, psychotic, pathological temper in a scene set at the Bamboo Lounge.

There, he entertained other mobsters with hilarious tales of violence laced with four letter words. Laughing, wise-guy Henry Hill (Ray Liotta) chuckled at his jokester pal: "You're a pisser. You're really funny. You're really funny." The comedic scene (improvised by the actors) immediately turned sour and the tension mounted as a seemingly-aggravated Tommy persisted in asking - in a cold-blooded, aggressive, fearsome, and ambiguous tone:

What do you mean, I'm funny?...You mean the way I talk? What?...Funny how? I mean, what's funny about it?...I'm funny how, I mean, funny like I'm a clown? I amuse you? I make you laugh? I'm here to f--kin' amuse you? What do you mean funny? Funny how? How am I funny?...No, no, I don't know. You said. How do I know? You said I'm funny. How the f--k am I funny? What the f--k is so funny about me? Tell me. Tell me what's funny...

He appeared to take major offense.

Finally (and thankfully), the situation was eased when Henry used humor to defuse his potentially-dangerous friend, but Tommy identified his friend's mortal weakness: "I wonder about you sometimes, Hendry. You may fold under questioning."

Bamboo Lounge Scene:
"What do you mean, I'm funny? Funny how? How'm I funny?

Great Expectations (1946, UK)

British director David Lean's film was an adaptation of Charles Dickens' classic 1861 novel.

It began with a nearly-silent opening after the reading of the first paragraph of the book's text ("So I called myself Pip, and came to be called Pip") - followed by one of the most nightmarish scenes ever filmed.

Orphaned young Phillip "Pip" Pirrip (Anthony Wager) ran to a shadowy and dark graveyard near a church, marked by crooked gravestones and markers, as the wind howled and whistled through the bare trees. After he planted a small bouquet of flowers on the grave of his parents who had both died in 1817, he became spooked.

As he turned and ran, he found himself in the arms of bulbous-nosed convict Abel Magwitch (Finley Currie) with chains on his legs, who grabbed him by the collar.

The monstrous man threatened to cut the boy's throat for screaming ("Keep still, you little devil or I'll cut your throat"), and then demanded to know where the boy lived. He turned the boy upside down to empty his pockets (he found an apple), and then commanded the scared youngster:

"You get me a file and you get me vittles or I'll have your heart and liver out."

The items were to be delivered to Magwitch in the graveyard early the next morning, and Pip was warned to never say a word about their meeting if he didn't want to be harmed.

Nightmarish Graveyard Sequence: Magwitch with Pip

The Great Train Robbery (1903)

Edwin S. Porter's pioneering western film featured the sensational, stunning shot of a bandit firing directly into the camera.

It was a medium shot close-up of the outlaw bandit chief (with green-tinted shirt and red-tinted kerchief in some versions) (George Barnes) with his hat pushed back on his head. He pointed and shot his revolver point-blank, directly into the camera (and, of course, at the audience).

This caused a tremendously terrifying sensation at the time. This final punch to the film was totally irrelevant to the plot. Theater managers were free to either begin or end the picture with this scene -- a promotional gimmick - selecting it as either a prologue or epilogue.

Firing Directly at Audience

The Grudge (2004)


This non-linear, cursed or haunted house film, an Americanized version of the Japanese original Ju-On (2002, Jp.), was the first Japanese film to be remade using the same director, Takashi Shimizu. [Note: Actually, Ju-On (2002) was the third installment of the Ju-on series.]

It had many cliched jump scenes, sudden appearances/disappearances, and spooky "boo" moments by vengeful ghosts, making creepy rattling sounds. [There were additional sequels about the deadly curse following its initial success: The Grudge 2 (2006) and The Grudge 3 (2009).]

The premise of the film was stated in the opening:


The wretched, much angrier and infectious curse, known as The Grudge, would be reborn and passed on to others in that same location, because of the horror of an earlier event that occurred there.

Scary Boo Moments - Appearances of Cursed Spirits: Wife Kayako, and 8 Year-Old Son Toshio

It told about American foreign exchange student Karen Davis (Sarah Michelle Gellar), dislocated in Tokyo, Japan, who was there with her live-in boyfriend and fellow student Doug (Jason Behr). She had been assigned to serve as caretaker-home nurse, substituting for missing nurse Yoko (Yoko Makai), in the house where Saeki family murders had occurred. (When Yoko investigated strange cat-like rattling sounds in a closet with a top hatch, she was dragged by her jaw into the attic.)

Three years earlier, a raging suicidal Japanese father, Takeo Saeki, had killed his eight year old son Toshio and wife Kayako (and the family cat) after learning from her journal that she was obsessed with a 51 year-old college professor named Peter Kirk (Bill Pullman). After drowning his son and snapping his wife's neck, Takeo then hanged himself. Detective Nakagawa (Ryo Ishibashi) explained to Karen the gruesome details:

"The bodies of the son and the daughter-in-law of the woman you are caring for were found in the attic. It seems that the son killed the wife and then himself."

Subsequently, Peter - in the presence of his 31 year-old wife Maria (Rosa Blasi), bent over the balcony railing and threw himself from his 6th floor in an act of suicide.

In the supernaturally-eerie house with cursed spirits, with litter (food wrappers) strewn around and a taped-shut closet, Karen was caring for a mute and seemingly-catatonic, shut-in, bedridden elderly and senile American named Emma Williams (Grace Zabriskie). She was the mother of son Matthew (William Mapother) (who was married to Jennifer (Clea DuVall)) and daughter Susan (KaDee Strickland).

There were a series of frightening scenes:

  • as daughter Susan left her office work and walked down a series of steps in the stairwell, she was spooked by noises and apparitions. Hysterical, she reported "something strange" on the 10th floor. She continued to be stalked during a terrifying surveillance 'security camera' sequence, while she watched a video monitor as a security guard investigated. [Later, a playback of the video revealed a ghost-like figure with cat-like eyes in the office hallway.]
  • when she took a taxi home and rode up in her apartment's elevator, there were glimpses of a ghostly child-demon passing by on each successive floor; further terrorized inside her apartment, Susan found the blue-tinted, female spirit-ghost Kayako (with a wide mouth and eyes, and a defensive feral cat-like scream) under the bedsheets in the seeming safety of her bedroom
  • as Karen was riding on a bus, an apparition appeared on the window next to her
  • Bravo's scary moment was when Karen was showering and shampooing her hair - she felt (and the audience saw) fingers grabbing on the back of her head - she jerked around to see what was there
  • in the haunted house, as Karen passed by a mirror in the foyer, the reflection of the ghostly woman Kayako passing by was also seen.

Besides the terrifying scary scenes were many murders by the spirits in the attic: Matthew, Susan, Emma, Jennifer, and Detective Nakagawa.

In the film's concluding climactic scene set in the Saeki house, one of the best scares of the entire film, Karen went in a search for her boyfriend Doug. She was trying to save Doug from entering the Saeki house before she arrived. Too late, he was already there, and she feared that Kayako would kill him. She saw Doug in an incapacitated, petrified and paralyzed state - he was on the downstairs floor, crawling, shaken and barely able to speak or move. There was a brief, grainy b/w flashback of the murders of the Saeki family by the husband.

Suddenly, she saw the ghost of freakish-looking, murdered mother Kayako crawling down the stairs from the attic, with the sounds of a death rattle. Suddenly, Kayako turned on Doug and crawled up onto him - and he died from shock as the terrified Karen looked on. As Karen tried to leave the house, the entire structure began to rattle and she heard agonizing shrieks of all of the previous victims of the curse.

To try to save herself before she was also killed, Karen kicked over a left-over gasoline can and used Doug's lighter from his pocket to set the house on fire. As the gasoline ignited, and Kayako also climbed up to Karen, the screen turned bright white.

The Final Scene in the House - Ghost of Kayako Crawling Down Stairs From the Attic

In the next scene set at the hospital - the scary finale, the police mentioned how Karen seemed to have survived the curse and was able to save the house. Karen was asked to identify Doug's burnt body - covered with a white sheet. Then, the sheet jerked, and the dead wife's purplish pale arm flopped out - but it was really Doug's arm on second glance.

The Scary Finale in Hospital - Kayako Standing Right Behind Karen, and a Zoom-In on Kayako's Ghostly Eye

Karen suddenly heard the haunting death-rattle sounds of Kayako - the dark figure standing right behind her. There was a whip-to the left and zoom-in on Kayako's ghostly eye. Karen realized she was still cursed. The screen abruptly turned to black with an echoing scream sound before the credits rolled.

The Murdered Saeki Family - Father Killed Son and Wife, and Then Hanged Himself

Susan In Her Apartment Haunted by Spirit-Ghost Kayako Under Her Bedsheets

Apparition in Bus Window

Karen Showering With Fingers in Her Hair

Karen in Saeki House - Glimpse of Apparition

Karen Finding the Paralyzed Doug in the House

Karen Shocked by Sight of Kayako (Murdered Wife)

Doug Dying of Shock

Karen With Lighter (and Kayako Looking on) Before Karen Set House on Fire

Final Scene - Karen in Hospital

Last Scene - Kayako's Hand Flopping Out in Hospital Morgue

Second Look - It Was Doug's Hand

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

Previous Page Next Page