Alien – the chestburster
The stories about this killer scene are legend. The cast, John Hurt excluded, had no idea what was going to come bursting out of his chest. When a small, screaming alien foetus smashes through Hurt's ribcage and covers everyone in blood, the look of shock and awe on everyone's faces is absolutely genuine - and on ours, too.
The Blair Witch Project – the ending
Shot on handheld camera with a budget smaller than the average blockbuster's catering bill, The Blair Witch Project was as scary as your imagination made it. Tension built and built until the nerve-shredding final scene, where our camerawoman finds her lost friend in a dingy downstairs cellar, facing the corner. And... cut.
Jaws – the floating head
Crew members on set used to laugh at Bruce the rubber shark, but on screen, Spielberg's deadliest villain turned a whole generation into galeophobics (those with a fear of sharks). Even when off-screen, his exploits were shocking, typified by one scene where a decapitated head floats through a hole in a boat.
Scream – enter Ghostface
Scream? We certainly did when the killer first honed into view! This one proved such a successful shocker that it spawned a whole franchise of scares. But nothing can really top the moment when the killer's hideous costume - mask and all - is revealed for the first time in the original film.
Carrie – from beyond the grave
A graveyard and an ill-placed hand. Sometimes the simplest shocks are the most effective. It's the last scene of this classic and it's all over bar the shouting. But Brian de Palma saves the biggest scare till last, as Amy Irving wanders through the cemetery to visit the grave of her dead schoolmate - but is she quite dead?
We wouldn’t recommend watching this before heading off on a long-distance flight! The first Final Destination film certainly has the power to thrill, not least for the horrific, out-of-nowhere plane crash at the start of the film. It's all in the mind of our hero (Devon Sawa) of course - for a while, at least...
Misery – hammer time
"I'm your number one fan…" This is a scene that'll send shivers down the spines of celebs everywhere. The whole of this adaptation of the Stephen King shocker about a mad woman (Kathy Bates) who imprisons an author (James Caan) in her remote home is edge of the seat stuff, but it's the moment when she takes a sledgehammer to his already mangled feet that really has us squirming.
Bambi – Bambi’s mom
Yes, it's a cute Disney cartoon. But there's nothing as scary as a child who's lost its mother. Just because it's aimed at younger viewers doesn't meant it can't be very scary indeed, and the moment in this Disney classic when Bambi loses his mother in the forest is a tense one for child and grown-up viewers alike. Hankies at the ready!
Psycho – shower shocker
This story of a boy and his mother is guaranteed to put the frighteners up you. Hitchcock's hotel horror is a classic shocker, with moments such as the shower scene that made us jump out of our seats. Arguably, the moment when Norman's mother is revealed to the audience has an even biggest shriek factor.
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang – the Child Catcher
Who says a kid's film can't scare you out of your socks? Widely regarded as one of the scariest children's films ever made, even the toughest kid was liable to be reduced to a quivering wreck when the Child Catcher appeared onscreen. Truly the stuff of pre-teen nightmares, the character puts paid to any suggestion that this is a soppy musical.
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