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50 Terrifying Movie Jump Scares

Se7en (1995)

The Scare: As Somerset and Mills give the apparent corpse of the “sloth” victim the once over, their theoretical murder victim gives a sudden start before slipping into the hereafter.

Brace Yourself When: When Somerset goes leaning into the body, you can tell something is amiss…

[REC] (2007)

The Scare: Our final two survivors head to the attic in search of a way out. What they find is an infected kid with a very pissed-off expression on his face.

Brace Yourself When: The camera begins to pan around the attic, and Angela says, “there are really weird noises…”

The Orphanage (2007)

The Scare: Having seen the creepy old woman from the orphanage suddenly get splatted by a bus, Belen Rueda runs to her side to double check she’s dead. Guess what? She isn’t.

Brace Yourself When:
As soon as Rueda leans in. What happens next isn’t just startling, it’s pretty gross to boot.

Alien (1979)

The Scare: Its effect has been dulled somewhat by familiarity, but the first time we saw the chestburster come shrieking out of John Hurt’s chest, we jumped clean out of our seats!

Brace Yourself When: Hurt’s character begins to take a funny turn in the mess hall…

The Thing (1982)

The Scare: Copper attempts to revive Norris via defibrillation, only for the latter’s chest to open up like a giant mouth and snap his arms off. Yikes!

Brace Yourself When: You can start clenching those buttocks as soon as Copper reaches for the defibrillator.

Psycho (1960)

The Scare: A double whammy as Norman’s mother is revealed to be a hideous corpse and Norman himself comes bursting in, in all his dragged-up glory.

Brace Yourself When: As the hand falls upon Mother’s shoulder, and the whole house of cards prepares to come tumbling down.

Cat People (1942)

The Scare: “The Lewton Bus”, in which Alice stumbles through a quiet street, terrified of a presence she can sense behind her, only to be scared out of her wits by the sudden arrival of a bus.

Brace Yourself When:
The camera closes in on Alice’s terror-stricken face. The bus is a-comin’!

Carrie (1976)

The Scare: Sue Snell places a bunch of flowers upon Carrie’s grave, and gets the fright of her life as a hand comes bursting out of the earth!

Brace Yourself When:
She begins to lower the flowers to the grave, and the music reaches its twee crescendo.

Jaws #2 (1975)

The Scare: Brody and Hooper go in search of the shark, only to discover the ruined remains of Ben Gardner’s boat… and his body.

Brace Yourself When: Hooper peers through a broken timber, only for Gardner’s unseeing eyes to come looming out of the darkness!

The Exorcist 3 (1990)

The Scare: The camera lingers upon a hospital corridor, as a nurse casually walks from one side to another… followed by a ghostly figure with a big old pair of scissors. Hello heart-attack.

Brace Yourself When:
As soon as the nurse turns away and begins walking, cueing up the crash zoom and screeching sound effect.

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.