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50 Terrifying Movie Jump Scares

Ghostbusters (1984)

The Scare: Harold Ramis kicks things off with a genuine scare, as the boys encounter a library-based spook that suddenly transforms into a really-quite-terrifying monster.

Brace Yourself When: Ray announces his grand plan… “GET HER!”

A Nightmare On Elm Street (1984)

The Scare: Marge contentedly watches a group of children playing on her lawn, until Freddy punches his fist through her front door and drags her back into the house. Shamelessly cheap, but delivered with such gusto, it can’t be ignored!

Brace Yourself When: A look of peace finally settles upon Marge’s face…

Pee-Wees Big Adventure (1985)

The Scare: Large Marge is jawing on to Pee-Wee when her story takes a turn for the horrifying, as her eyes suddenly bulge out of her head. Nightmares ahoy…

Brace Yourself When: Marge turns to Pee-Wee saying, “it looked like THIS!”

Hidden (2005)

The Scare: An unusual jump scare in that it isn’t accompanied by a sudden boom of music or a zooming camera, but when Majid calmly slits his own throat, it’s a jolt of seismic proportions.

Brace Yourself When: Majid tells Georges that he has something to show him…

The Exorcist (1973)

The Scare: Reagan’s mother sees something shocking out of frame… her daughter, bent over like a spider, scuttling down the staircase.

Brace Yourself When: Unlike many jump scares, this one is flagged up nice and clearly by the mother’s expression. The reveal still comes as a surprise though!

Halloween (1978)

The Scare: Laurie battles Michael with nothing but a coathanger and miraculously comes out on top. Until he suddenly sits bolt upright, that is…

Brace Yourself When: It appears that Laurie has got the better of her man… she hasn’t.

The Ring (2002)

The Scare: A scene during Katie’s funeral, in which her mother explains just how the poor girl was found, cowering in a closet.

Brace Yourself When: “I saw her face” is your cue to cover your eyes!

Jurassic Park (1993)

The Scare: Laura Dern relaxes when she feels Sam Jackson’s arm on her shoulder, but isn’t so chilled when she realises the rest of his body isn’t attached…

Brace Yourself When:
“Oh, Mr. Arnold…”

The Grudge (2002)

The Scare: Kayako claims another victim, revealing herself to be inside the bed as her prey shrinks under the covers!

Brace Yourself When: As soon as covers go over head, get ready to scream!

Poltergeist (1982)

The Scare: Poor little Robbie is searching under his bed for monsters, only for a giant clown doll to grab him from behind and drag him to the floor.

Brace Yourself When: Robbie raises his head for the second time…

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.