The big scary moments are the ones that make us scream. Jump scares and shocking deaths in horror are beloved among horror fans. But what are the eeriest moments, the quiet moments of terror that stay in our minds long after the other moments have faded?

  • 28 Days Later (2002)

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    Cillian Murphy's Jim wandering through a deserted London is an excellent piece of eerie filmmaking. It might not occur to everyone exactly how scary it is to be totally alone, but many humans live their whole lives trying to avoid that situation. That echoing stillness when Jim screams, "HELLO," gets you every time.

  • A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

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    Tina's dreamlike reappearance in A Nightmare on Elm Street, wrapped in a body bag, is a fantastic moment of quiet horror. Nancy can do nothing as her friend tries to communicate with her while she's in class, and Nancy is shocked sees her body being dragged away by an unknown force. Watching that happen while she can do nothing is truly disturbing.

  • Pulse (2001)

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    In Pulse, directed by Kiyoshi Kurosawa, in the scene where the character walks down the hallway slowly and equally slowly, a ghost appears seemingly from out of a wall. You see the ghost's shoes first, but while most horror would have the evil run toward the person, the maddeningly slow pace raises the hairs on your neck.

  • It Follows (2014)

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    In It Follows, this eldritch scene happens repeatedly. Once the curse has been passed on to you, you can never be sure when you see someone approaching. You never know if it is simply someone you know or the curse coming to put an end to you. It's the motor that the entire film runs on, that low-grade terror.

  • Jaws (1975)

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    The shark action gets most of the attention when people talk about what is scary in Steven Spielberg's Jaws. It's creepy, no question. But one of the most chilling parts of the film is Quint's tale of the sinking of the U.S.S. Indianapolis. Robert Shaw's mesmerizing monologue grabs your heart. It's a moment horror fans have never forgotten. It's a true story, which makes it all more horrific, and the captain of the Indianapolis was the only captain court-martialed in the U.S. Navy for losing his ship in World War II.

  • Zodiac (2007)

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    David Fincher's Zodiac has more than one intensely chilling scene in it. This one is the scene where Jake Gyllenhaal, as Robert Graysmith, follows up a lead and goes to Bob Vaughn's house. While waiting for Vaughn to find something in the basement, he hears what sounds like footsteps on the floor above. The tension in the scene is extraordinary, without anything overt happening. Graysmith is so freaked out that he tries to escape, but there is nothing.

  • Audition (1999)

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    In Takashi Miike's Audition, you see the man, Aoyama, mentally debating whether or not he should call Asami. You see Asami sitting strangely with her hair in her face and a large bag. It's odd, but it isn't until Aoyama calls her and Asami lets it ring, and the bag starts to roll around. It's a surprise that is quite disturbing.

  • The Blair Witch Project (1999)

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    Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sánchez's groundbreaking found footage film has many eerie moments. The film is remarkably free of the usual gore and violence, but the most terrifying moment is at the end when Heather finds Mike standing up against a wall in the basement. I have experienced a theater full of people gasping in terror because of the shot with all the handprints on the wall, but that is a mere prelude to the scene in the basement.

  • Salem's Lot (1979)

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    Tobe Hooper's Salem's Lot has another one of the hands-down most sinister moments in horror. It's sublime to watch and still scary today. When Ralphie Glick and Danny Glick reappear after their deaths to scratch on a window pane demanding to be let in as vampires, it gives so many of us goosebumps. Ah, I just creeped myself out thinking about it!

  • Halloween (1978)

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    John Carpenter's Halloween is packed with frightening moments, graphic scares, and much more subtle ones. Seeing Michael beside the hedge is one of the more subtle ones, but the most haunting one might be when Laurie thinks she is safe, and suddenly Michael's mask comes into view behind her. You can see his body, so the mask seems like it is floating. It's one that is very hard to forget.

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