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50 Terrifying Movie Jump Scares

The Shining (1980)

The Scare: The twins make an appearance, before suddenly morphing into a pair of hacked-up corpses. No wonder Danny shits a brick.

Brace Yourself When: The girls make their first appearance at the end of the corridor. Scary enough on their own, they’re about to get a whole lot scarier.

Audition (1999)

The Scare: Shigeharu calls the winner of the audition to become his wife, who is sitting by the ringing phone and a mysterious sack… that suddenly gives a groan and a start!

Brace Yourself When: The phone rings for the ninth time.

Insidious (2010)

The Scare: Any appearance by the demon, when he comes peeking out from one of the main character’s heads. Good Lord.

Brace Yourself When: Whenever there’s a close-up on a seemingly unthreatening character’s face. Just to be sure…

The Woman In Black (2012)

The Scare: Arthur Kipps peers through a keyhole into a locked room, only to be confronted by the pallid face of a creepy little girl.

Brace Yourself When: You might already have jumped at the shadow darting across the room. In reality, that’s when you should be tensing up…

Mulholland Drive (2001)

The Scare: A man tells his dining companion of a horrifying nightmare in which he discovers a terrible figure behind the dumpster of the diner in which they are eating. Sure enough, they head outside to investigate, and the figure is there!

Brace Yourself When: Our hero takes a peek behind the dumpster…

Dont Look Now (1973)

The Scare: Donald Sutherland thinks he’s tracked down the ghost of his dead daughter, only for the red-hooded figure to reveal itself as something far more malign.

Brace Yourself When: As soon as the figure begins to turn. You’re expecting one thing, and then something else entirely makes itself known!

Arlington Road (1999)

The Scare: Having confessed her fears concerning the Langs over a payphone, Brooke hangs up, only to find Cheryl Lang standing right behind her. It comes out of nowhere!

Brace Yourself When: Brooke starts wrapping up her call. Where could Cheryl be hiding, hmmm?

The Blair Witch Project (1999)

The Scare: The sight of Mike, stood facing the corner in the movie’s final scene, isn’t a jump scene in the conventional sense, but the jolt of horror it delivers is enough to ensure it qualifies. The stuff of nightmares.

Brace Yourself When: Heather descends to the basement. It’s all downhill from there…

Jaws #1 (1975)

The Scare: Brody is merrily slinging chum into the water when Bruce the shark suddenly rears his ugly head. Larger vessel required, Cap’n!

Brace Yourself When: As soon as Brody takes his eye off the ball, he nearly loses an arm!

Paranormal Activity (2007)

The Scare: Katie and Micah investigate the sound of breaking glass, only for Katie to stop dead, citing a sudden chill in the room. The tension builds for a second or two before a hair is softly blown across her face and the couple promptly lose their shit!

Brace Yourself When:
The duo freeze in concentration. Who’d have imagined a puff of air could produce such a jump?

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.