50 Scariest Moments In Non-Horror Movies

No Country For Old Men (2007)

The Moment: Chigurh menaces the owner of a lonely gas station, demanding that he call the toss of his coin, gently mocking him throughout the exchange as the man's nerves begin to get the better of him. "You don't know what you're talking about," he sneers, cruelly.

Why So Scary: Javier Bardem is at his most intimidating here, towering over the wilting storeowner and creating a palpable sense of dread without making any explicit threats.

The Witches (1990)

The Moment: Luke is happily playing in a tree when a strange woman hails him from the street with the promise of chocolate and a look at her snake. Don't go down there Luke. She's a witch!

Why So Scary: The Grand High Witch's unveiling might be more gruesome, but for our money, the scariest moment is this early encounter. Poor Luke looks so vulnerable in that tree. This is what happens when you let Nicolas Roeg direct a kids' film.

Fight Club (1999)

The Moment: The narrator finds himself pinned down by a trio of policemen who intend to part him from his nether-parts, courtesy of a rusty set of bolt-cutters. Worse still, they claim to be following his own orders…

Why So Scary: As the full horror of the situation begins to unfold, expect every male viewer to slowly cross their legs in sympathy.

Barton Fink (1991)

The Moment: Charlie Meadows goes full-on nutso in the Hotel Earle, flames roaring around him as he discharges his shotgun into anyone who crosses his path. "I'll show you the life of the mind," he shouts with demented fervour.

Why So Scary: The fact that he's played by John Goodman at his folksiest makes his eventual transformation all the more terrible when it finally arrives.

Bambi (1942)

The Moment: Bambi and his mother flee the fearful hunter, only for a lone gunshot to signal the end of the elder deer's life. Tissues at the ready, folks.

Why So Scary: Suddenly, the full weight of mortality comes crashing down upon the unsuspecting young audience. If that isn't scary,we don't know what is!

Deliverance (1972)

The Moment: Ned Beatty's wretched businessman finds the local hospitality isn't to his taste when he encounters a couple of gibbering hillbillies with a taste for sodomy in the back of beyond. Poor old Jon Voight can only look on in horror.

Why So Scary:
As if the act itself wasn't horrible enough, the taunts ("I bet you squeal like a pig") and toothless grinning add insult to injury. Remind us never to go to the Deep South, ever.

The Godfather (1972)

The Moment: Studio boss Jack Woltz awakens to find a strange companion is sharing his bed. It's only the severed head of his prize racehorse! We've all been there…

Why So Scary:
Not only does it demonstrate the terrifying reach of the Corleone family, there's also the gory immediacy of the head itself to be considered!

Jurassic Park (1993)

The Moment: As Lex and Tim peer out of their tour car into the murky night, part of a bloody goats carcass comes splattering onto the window. And here comes the T-Rex…

Why So Scary:
We've now seen Jurassic Park more times than we can count, but first time around, the T-Rex attack was heart-stoppingly scary. Movie magic on the grandest possible scale.

Zodiac (2007)

The Moment: The serial killer approaches a picnicking couple in California's Napa Valley, calmly ties them up and proceeds to stab them. Over and over again.

Why So Scary: It's the ease with which the killer convinces the couple to accede to his instructions that really provides the chills here. That and the obvious pleasure he takes in going to town with the knife.

Return To Oz (1985)

The Moment: This second outing in Oz cranks up the terror to ludicrous levels as Dorothy encounters a room full of disembodied heads… and the still sprightly torsos to which they belong.

Why So Scary: Severed heads and shambling, headless torsos… and we thought the original was frightening!

George Wales

George was once GamesRadar's resident movie news person, based out of London. He understands that all men must die, but he'd rather not think about it. But now he's working at Stylist Magazine.