My life has changed a lot over the years, but the horror genre continues to make the biggest impact on me and my passion for it has remained consistent since 2008. I’m starting to expand my horizon a bit, as you can tell, since this is no longer just a horror blog. However, it’s still a huge part of my life. So, in celebration of my 50th blog post, I wanted to revisit my favorite horror movie moments!
These moments stayed with me over the years, and I can’t tell you how hard it was to narrow the list down to 50 choices. As the title suggests, these aren’t necessarily the best or most iconic horror movie moments, but my personal favorites, so you may disagree with me, but I’d love to hear your favorite moments! Also, I’m going to have to make this article into two parts, so technically, these will be my 50th and possibly 51st articles. Enjoy, and let me know your favorites in the comments!
WARNING! PICTURES MAY BE GRAPHIC!
When Grace and The Children Find Out They’re Ghosts – The Others
The Others was one of my gateway horror films. It was one of the first truly scary ghost films I’ve seen. One thing I always thought about was the song the little girl, Anne (Alakina Mann) would hum throughout the film. When my sister and I were younger, I used to hum that song to freak her out. The moment that really got to me, was when Grace (Nicole Kidman), Anne, and Nicholas (James Bentley) realized they were the ones who were dead, and the intruders were the new owners of the house. Seeing the shock on their faces and hearing them scream “we’re not dead!” sends chills down my spine every time I watch it.
When Helen Is Killed By Her Daughter – Night of The Living Dead
I absolutely love films with a singular setting. In horror films, that single setting brings the isolation and feeling that you’re trapped and all alone. During the beginning of the zombie apocalypse, a small group finds refuge in a house in the middle of nowhere. Among that group is Helen (Marilyn Eastman), her husband Harry (Karl Hardman), and their daughter Karen (Kyra Schon). Unfortunately, before the family made it to solitude, Karen was bitten by one of the infected. When the zombie horde finally swarms into the house, Helen runs to the basement, where she finds zombie Karen eating Harry’s arm. Then unexpectedly, Karen uses a trowel to kill Helen. I love the scene because the way Helen’s screams echo were very haunting and effective.
When Alessa Rises Into The Church – Silent Hill
Admittedly, I’ve never played a single Silent Hill game, but I fell in love with this film. The atmosphere and the mystery are all so fascinating. As Rose (Radha Mitchell) is trying to find her daughter in the mysterious town, while dodging the demons within, she learns the story of young Alessa (Jodelle Ferland). Alessa’s mother was a single mother, and because the town didn’t know who Alessa’s father was, they declared her a witch who needed to be “purified.” That poor soul was burned and tortured by Christabella (Alice Krige) and other town citizens. After Alessa survived the torture, a demon plunged Silent Hill into hell for Alessa’s revenge. Rose agreed to help Alessa get her revenge in order to save her daughter from Christabella. When Rose stood before Christabella and the other guilty parties as Alessa rose behind her, it was such an epic shot!
The Final Shootout – The Devil’s Rejects
I remember watching the trailer for The Devil’s Rejects on my Saw V/H/S tape and wanting so badly to see it. When my aunt finally showed me the movie, my obsession with Rob Zombie’s films officially started. It was also my introduction to Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Free Bird. I can’t tell you how perfect the final scene is. After escaping torture from a vigilante cop, the demented Firefly family, Otis (Bill Moseley), Captain Spaulding (Sid Haig), and Baby Firefly (Sheri Moon Zombie) seem to drive off into the sunset. We get visuals of a beaten and broken family, and video clips of their time together. Then, they come across a roadblock with cops waiting to arrest them. This turns into a legendary slow-motion shootout, all to the tune of Free Bird. It’s undoubtedly in my top 10 favorite movie endings of all time.
Finding Samara – The Ring
This was one of the first horror films that freaked me out so much with its first scene, I couldn’t watch the rest of the film until years later. To this day, I still have nightmares about Samara! I know I picked an unusual scene from The Ring as my favorite, but every time I think about the movie, this particular moment stands out above the rest for me. When Rachel (Naomi Watts) is trying to find out the mystery surrounding Samara (Daveigh Chase) and her disappearance, she and Noah (Martin Henderson) find the well that Samara’s mother threw her into. Rachel ended up falling into the well herself, where she finds out the truth. Then, Samara’s body floats up, out of the water, and Rachel holds her close. When the body quickly decomposes as Noah is calling Rachel’s name from the well opening, and Rachel lets the body sink down into the water, it was a very sad and touching moment.
When Laurie Kills Annie In Her Dream – Halloween 2 (2009)
Before I bought the DVD, I had Halloween 2 recorded and I would watch this nightmare sequence on repeat. For a while, I was straight-up obsessed with it. During the dream, Laurie (Scout Taylor-Compton) taped her best friend, Annie (Danielle Harris) to a chair and proceeded to slit her throat. After that, the dream goes into utter chaos. I love hearing the anger and intensity in Scout’s voice! Also, hearing Annie pleading to her friend built up the tension even more. I also love the visual of Laurie’s mom (Sheri Moon-Zombie) standing in front of her coffin. To this day, this scene has stayed with me.
When Jigsaw Rises From The Blood – Saw
Up until Jigsaw (2017) was released, the Saw franchise was one of the few horror franchises where I loved every installment. Though the sequels brought many good twists, none of them could ever beat this moment. Lawrence (Cary Elwes) and Adam (Leigh Whannel) are supposed strangers chained up in a bathroom with only a dead body in the middle of the room to keep them company. After uncovering the truth about each other and why they’re both there, they come to the conclusion that the identity of Jigsaw, the person who kidnapped them, was an orderly named Zepp. As Zepp is chased by a police officer, he runs to the bathroom in desperation, where Adam crushes his head in. Lawrence escapes and it seems like everything’s going to be fine – until Adam realizes that Zepp wasn’t Jigsaw. That seemed like the only twist, but then the camera pans over and we see the body that was supposed to be dead rise from the blood. It’s such an amazing twist that I guarantee no one saw coming!
David’s Death – The Lost Boys
Thinking about how The Lost Boys was originally supposed to be a Goonies-type Peter Pan film, I’m honestly very grateful it was changed to the film we know and love today. I kept changing what moment I wanted to choose for this list and I finally decided on David’s (Kiefer Sutherland) death scene. Michael (Jason Patric) and his brother Sam (Corey Haim) move to the murder capitol of the world, where their mother Lucy (Dianne Wiest) is pursued by head vampire, Max (Edward Herrmann). In order to get Lucy to join his “Bloodsucking Brady Bunch” family, Max has David turn Michael into a vampire. During the final fight between David and Michael, David tries to reason with Michael one last time as he tries to push him into antlers on the table. But then, Michael catches David by surprise and throws him onto the antlers. The moment was very emotional Kiefer and Jason really sold the scene!
Death Slideshow – Ginger Snaps
Ginger Snaps was a wonderful female werewolf film! The beginning credits scene was the perfect setup for the main characters, Brigitte (Emily Perkins) and Ginger (Katharine Isabelle). As a class project, Brigitte and Ginger created a slideshow of various death scenarios, from hanging, to poison, to suffocation, etc. It flawlessly showed their love of death and the macabre. The special effects, costumes, and music all fit so well together. Plus, it seems like it was very fun to do. Ever since I saw this scene, it made me want to create my own little death slideshow. It’s probably my favorite beginning credits sequence of all time!
When The Wolves Tear Away The Sheep’s Clothing – Trick ‘R Treat
Trick ‘R Treat is the ideal Halloween film. It’s centered around the holiday itself, it brought the best demonic antagonist, and it brought a wonderful collection of spooky stories and scenarios. It was difficult choosing my favorite scene out of all of them, but I love pretty much any scene that has werewolves. That’s not the only reason I chose this scene, though. Steven Wilkins (Dylan Baker) was a deranged individual who believed he was the predator, and young Laurie (Anna Paquin) was the prey. But he was very, very wrong. When he’s thrown into a party in the woods, surrounded by Laurie, her sister, and their friends, he realized there’s something more sinister going on. Marilyn Manson’s Sweet Dreams is playing in the background as the women dance in the woods and proceed to tear their skin off, revealing their true forms. It’s a unique take on a werewolf transformation and I love everything about it!
Casey’s Demise – Scream
This was the other film that I had to turn off because the beginning scene freaked me out so much. It’s a scene that holds a special place in my heart. The Scream franchise is now my all-time favorite horror franchise! It’s still an eerie scene, with our killers taunting Casey (Drew Barrymore) over the phone, and using horror trivia to decide her and her boyfriend’s fates. I’ll never forget the first time I saw the moment where Casey’s vocal chords are crushed and she tries to call out to her mom who doesn’t notice her. She was so close to getting possibly saved and she was too late. It was a chilling and brutal scene.
When Ghostface Disrupts Rehearsal – Scream 2
Now we reach the second film in the Scream franchise. Many sequels have a difficult time capturing the magic that their predecessors provided. However, I believe Scream 2 was very successful in continuing Sydney’s (Neve Campbell) story and keeping up the creep factor. After the events of the first film, Sydney is now in college and rehearsing her lead role in a play. It is the story of Cassandra, a woman who had visions of the fall of Troy. As Sydney’s character is surrounded by those who want to kill her, they chant, “What stays fate’s hands from striking down at thee? What stays fate’s hand from thee?!” As they chant that, the tension builds up, and Sydney starts to see the one who really wants to kill her in the crowd. The scene was so well executed!
When Josh Disintegrates – Jason Goes To Hell: The Final Friday
This film is usually considered one of the worst installments in the Friday The 13th franchise. However, I love how it steers away from the typical storyline, it had some of my favorite kill scenes in the franchise, and introduced an epic bounty hunter whose story I wished I knew more about. Josh (Andrew Bloch) is a poor cop who was at the wrong place at the wrong time. Jason transfers his soul into Josh in order to get closer to his sister, Diana (Erin Gray). When his plan goes awry, he transfers his soul from Josh to Robert Campbell (Steven Culp). With Jason’s soul no longer inside of him, Josh’s body starts to disintegrate. I think it’s one of the most impressive death scenes created by practical effects. The way his jaw sticks to the floor as he tries to pull away was beautiful!
The Bloody Kite – Silver Bullet
There was a time where I couldn’t, for the life of me, remember this movie, or the title. There were only two things I remembered from it. Those two things were a boy in a wheelchair, and the bloody kite. When I finally found this film again, the nostalgia hit me like a truck. Brady (Joe Wright) flying his happy kite with a painted-on smily face was a perfect set-up for what was coming. In a later scene, we don’t know the horrors that happened to Brady. All we see is his smily-faced kite with his blood all over it. It’s an image that will always be seared into my mind.
When Freddy Takes The Form of Jason’s Mother – Freddy Vs. Jason
Though many may disagree, I believe that Freddy vs. Jason did a wonderful job combining these two horror villains and their stories. It made an interesting film to have Jason (Ken Kirzinger), who has a heartbreaking past, face off against Freddy (Robert Englund), who’s specialty is finding out what scares people and using that fear against them. Freddy needed Jason to inspire enough fear for him to enter the real world again. Although, the plan goes south when Jason starts killing Freddy’s victims. When Jason is drugged and finally in the dream world, Freddy doesn’t hold back one bit. He takes the form of Jason’s mother to berate him and get his point across. I love it when Pamela (Paula Shaw) just screams “you are like a big stupid dog who can’t stop eating, even though your master said you’ve had enough!” The delivery of the dialogue was superb, and it really shows how Freddy views himself when it comes to Jason.
When Doug Gets The Upper Hand On Lizard – The Hills Have Eyes (2006)
Doug (Aaron Stanford) will always be one of the best fathers in horror movie history, and he doesn’t get NEARLY enough credit. During a road trip with his wife and in-laws, Doug and the family find themselves stranded in the middle of the desert. Worse yet, the desert is inhabited by deformed, sadistic cannibals. The leader, Lizard (Robert Joy) kills Doug’s wife and takes his baby daughter back to the mines. Doug wasn’t the type to give up easily. He went to the cannibals’ town and did whatever it took to get his daughter back. Unfortunately, Lizard wasn’t the type to give up easily either, and he almost won his fight with Doug – almost. After everything Doug went through and everything he lost, he went from quiet and gun hating to screaming at the top of his lungs while beating Lizard with the butt of a shotgun. It was a truly epic moment.
When The Zombies Are Unleashed In The Facility – Day of The Dead
Day of The Dead is my favorite film in Romero’s original Dead trilogy. I love the characters, and I love the story. An underground facility can be one of the safest places to be during a zombie apocalypse – that is, until the facility is overrun by a horde of zombies and you have no where else to go. It’s scary to think about, but exciting to see the film’s antagonists get their comeuppance. Captain Rhodes (Joseph Pilato) was a brutal and ruthless soldier who disregarded other people’s lives and only cared about his own safety. Miguel (Anthony Dileo Jr.) became overwhelmed and over-stressed about the end of the world. He decided to take his own life by luring the outside zombies to the facility’s platform and let them eat him alive. It was a really satisfying moment when Rhodes and the other soldiers see the horde of zombies being lowered on the platform into the facility. Rhodes got his just-desserts and our heroes got away!
When Annabel Dreams About Mama’s Death – Mama
When Annabel (Jessica Chastain) and Lucas (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) take in young Victoria (Megan Charpentier) and Lilly (Isabelle Nélisse), a sorrowful and clingy spirit, Mama, who’s been with them for five years, starts to terrorize the family. The children’s psychiatrist, Dr. Dreyfuss (Daniel Kash) discovered that Mama was a young mother named Edith Brennan, who was kept in a psychiatric hospital back in 1898. One night, Annabel had a dream about Mama. She saw the world through Edith’s eyes. We see Edith kill one of the nuns who had her baby. Then she ran with her baby through the woods. When she’s cornered at the edge of a cliff by authorities, she decides to cover her baby’s eyes and jump off the cliff into the water below. The visuals during this dream sequence were stunning and dark.
When Mari Walks Into The Lake – The Last House On The Left (1972)
After Mari (Sandra Peabody) is raped by Krug (David Hess), she starts to accept the situation she’s in and walks away. She didn’t try to run or escape again, she said her last prayer and started to just walk. Krug, Sadie (Jeramie Rain), and Fred (Fred J. Lincoln) walked behind her, knowing they were going to kill her soon. Meanwhile, the song playing is talking about how she’s alone and helpless. When she walked into the lake and stood there, waiting, it was such a melancholy moment. I know it’s messed up to have a favorite moment from a film like this, but the feeling of dread, the music, and the loss of hope as she walks into the lake were all perfect.
When Michael Dies (Temporarily) – Underworld: Evolution
Before I got over my fear of most horror films, my go-to movies were Underworld and Underworld: Evolution. They were sort of my gateway films into more hardcore horror because they had action mixed in with the horror and they weren’t too terrifying to me. I loved Selene (Kate Beckinsale) and Michael’s (Scott Speedman) relationship, and when Marcus (Tony Curran) started to hunt them down, they did their best to protect each other. When Marcus gets the upper hand in a fight and kills Michael, it was a very gut-wrenching moment for me. I love that scene in its entirety – from Michael dying, to Selene shooting Marcus in the face, to Selene trying to bring Michael back. It’s one of my favorite and least favorite death scenes at the same time.
When Sweeney Finds Out He Just Killed His Wife – Sweeney Todd
This was the first horror musical I ever watched. I remember constantly singing My Friends with my childhood friends. Even though I’ve seen this film many times, I’ll never forget the moment I saw the twist for the very first time. Sweeney Todd (Johnny Depp) spent so long plotting revenge against the judge (Alan Rickman) who was responsible for tearing apart his family. Todd was so ready and so impatient, he killed a simple beggar woman who wandered into his shop before the judge came in. After he got his revenge, Todd looked at the dead beggar and realized she was his wife, Lucy (Laura Michelle Kelly). What makes things worse is Todd’s new love interest, Mrs. Lovett (Helena Bonham Carter) knew Lucy was alive the whole time and deliberately hid it from him. It was a punch to the gut, but it was the perfect twist.
When The Beast Sees Casey’s Scars – Split
A lot of people tend to bash M. Night Shyamalan and his films, but I’ve loved his work ever since I saw Lady In The Water (2006) (yes, I used to love that film). When Split came along, it seemed he was finally on a redemption streak. In my opinion, he succeeded. Casey Cooke (Anya Taylor-Joy) has been physically and mentally scarred all her life. The Beast (James McAvoy) was a supernatural being who wanted to consume her because he believed she never suffered. After The Beast has Casey cornered with nowhere to run, he looks at her body and sees her scars. He then celebrates and says to Casey, “You are different from the rest. Your heart is pure! Rejoice! The broken are the more evolved.” The broken are the more evolved. That quote has stayed with me for a long time after I saw Split.
When Alice Realizes Nemesis’s True Identity – Resident Evil: Apocalypse
After being experimented on by the sinister Umbrella Corporation, Alice (Milla Jovovich) woke up to find her city run by zombies. As she and others are trying to escape the city, another Umbrella experiment – known only as Nemesis – is assigned to hunt them down. After almost escaping, the group is caught and Alice and Nemesis are forced to go head-to-head, Gladiator-style. Eventually, Alice gets the upper hand and stabs Nemesis. That’s when she (and we) realizes that Nemesis was her friend, Matt (Eric Mabius) the entire time! She and Matt escaped an underground Hell in the first Resident Evil film, only to be immediately separated. Until this point, we had no clue what happened to him. It was such a touching moment when Alice looked in Nemesis’s eye and saw her friend. I’ll never forget the expression of pain on Alice’s face when she realizes she was so close to killing Matt.
When Father McFeely Tries To Bow Out – Scary Movie 2
Yes, I count the Scary Movie franchise as horror. I’ve seen the first two Scary Movie films so many times, I made my friend sick of them! As many times as I’ve seen Scary Movie 2, I’ll never get sick of the Exorcist parody at the beginning of the film! The particular moment that gets me every time is when Father McFeely (James Woods) and Father Harris (Andy Richter) walked into possessed Megan’s (Natasha Lyonne) room, and she does the signature Exorcist head turn. After seeing it, McFeely says, “F**k this!” And tries to bow out of the situation. It was a very realistic response and just comedy gold!
When Rick Came To Evelyn’s Rescue – The Mummy (1999)
The Mummy was a wonderful remake of a classic monster movie. I had a difficult time deciding which moment I loved the most. I almost decided on the moment when Rick (Brendan Fraser) and Benny (Kevin J. O’Connor) taunt each other from different sides of a river. That never get old! But I chose the moment when Evelyn (Rachel Weisz) is taken to Hamunaptra to be sacrificed and Rick comes to her rescue. He grabs a sword and tears apart the mummies that surround her. I love the choreography of the fight and I remember watching the special effects breakdown of the scene when I was younger and I was completely mesmerized. The funny noises that the mummies made as Rick was fighting them was also a plus.
Part 2 will be posted soon!