Skip to main content

50 Terrifying Movie Jump Scares

The Descent (2005)

The Scare: There are plenty of jumps in the cave-based section of the film, but the one that gets us the most is the horrific car accident in the opening scene. We did not see that flying pole coming!

Brace Yourself When: “I’m fine,” says the Dad, before fate crams those words violently down his throat.

Aliens (1986)

The Scare: As the crew walk through the abandoned science lab, they take a closer look at some of the bizarre-looking creatures housed within the test tubes. Hang on, aren’t they Facehuggers?

Brace Yourself When: The camera lingers upon one beastie in particular… and it moves!

Repulsion (1965)

The Scare: Carole is rifling through her wardrobe when she suddenly closes the door, revealing the reflection of a man standing behind her.

Brace Yourself When: As soon as you spot that there’s a mirror on the door, you should know what’s coming…

Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring (2001)

The Scare: Call us wimps, but the moment when Bilbo’s face changes at the sight of the ring is as scary as any horror movie. Horrible stuff!

Brace Yourself When: Kindly old Bilbo makes to take the ring in his hand, just for old time’s sake…

The Sixth Sense (1999)

The Scare: Haley Joel Osment is quietly sitting in his play tent when a young Mischa Barton suddenly appears before him, spewing up some kind of grey bile. Nasty.

Brace Yourself When:
The fastenings on the tent begin to pop, and the camera pans downward.

Friday 13th (1980)

The Scare: Alice awakens on Crystal Lake as her boat drifts gently across the water. Suddenly, Jason’s mangled corpse pops out of the water and drags her under. Eat your heart out, Jaws.

Brace Yourself When: The camera begins to zoom in on Alice. “He’s still there!”

Signs (2002)

The Scare: The first footage of one of the aliens, as watched by Joaquin Phoenix during a TV news report. The film might lose its way towards the end, but this moment remains bloody terrifying.

Brace Yourself When: The shaky camera zooms in on the end of a narrow alley…

The Eye (2002)

The Scare: Mun takes her new eye for a test-drive when she visits a calligraphy school, only to spot a rather terrifying figure who can’t half move herself…

Brace Yourself When:
Her eye wanders to the corner of the classroom.

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)

The Scare: Kirk investigates what appears to be an abandoned old house, but finds somebody at home in the form of Leatherface, who jumps out suddenly and bashes him over the head.

Brace Yourself When:
As soon as Kirk sets foot over the threshold, things get unbearably tense.

The Others (2001)

The Scare: Having discovered that the house staff are actually dead, Nicole Kidman glances out of the window to see them all stood outside, staring right back at her!

Brace Yourself When: You’ll still be processing this latest plot twist as Kidman moves to the window…

George Wales
George is GR's resident movie news person, based out of London. He understands that all men must die, but he'd rather not think about it.