Horror films are home to some iconic scenes that stay with us for the rest of our lives. While modern cinema has produced a few good horror films, it’s fair to say that the best movies were created decades ago.
With that in mind, it’s always fun to look back at these legendary films and select some iconic moments that are emblazoned in our minds. So, here are the top five horror movie scenes of all time:
The Shower Scene (Psycho)
Even people that haven’t seen Psycho will know of this scene. It’s been recreated so many different times in other media forms, and there’s no escaping the iconic music in the background.
We’re presented with a scene of Marion Crane in the shower, just minding her own business cleaning herself. It’s a three-minute scene in total and a masterclass in building tension and fear. You see Norman Bates’ shadow appear behind the shower curtain as Marion continues to shower unawares. All of a sudden, the curtain is ripped away and he proceeds to brutally stab her.
The music makes this scene all the more brutal, and it has gone on to be one of the most-watched scenes in all of cinematic history.
Here’s Johnny (The Shining)
Truthfully, we could list a variety of scenes from The Shining here. Who can forget the freaky twin girls?! Still, when it comes to iconic horror movie scenes, “Here’s Johnny!” is hard to beat.
Again, like the shower scene in Psycho, this is a scene that transcends the horror genre and is known by people that have never watched the film in their lives. One of the main protagonists - Jack Torrance - goes on a crazy rampage and starts trying to break down the bathroom door with an axe. He chops away part of the door and pushes his head through the gap, uttering the now famous line “Here’s Johnny!”.
Ironically, this line wasn’t in the script, but it’s what makes the scene so memorable. Can you imagine if the film aired without it?! Would we deem this moment as iconic? Probably not.
Run Out Scene (The Blob)
The Blob is a 1958 sci-fi horror film that features a gelatinous alien trying to take over a small American town. Many say that the film was ahead of its time, and there are lots of iconic scenes from it.
However, it boasts one of the most legendary scenes in all horror movies. The scene is commonly referred to as the Run Out Scene as it features a theatre of people running for their lives from The Blob. It’s iconic as it uses camera angles that had never really been seen before. At one point, the camera is close to the ground giving a first-person view of the pandemonium as people run crazily from the theatre.
There’s also just a constant fear happening throughout the scene - it looks like the people are genuinely scared for their lives. Many people praise the scene for a realistic look at how most people would react if there was an alien chasing them. The complete lack of regard for other humans around them shows a desperation that really hits you.
Alien Stomach Scene (Alien)
The OG Alien film is still one of the best sci-fi horrors around. Everyone knows the iconic look of the aliens in this film, and it’s become a very popular Halloween costume.
The Alien Stomach Scene is one that terrified people when it was first seen. We’re treated to the truly gruesome birthing of an alien inside a human being's stomach. It tears its way out, killing the human at the same time and making generations of kids worried whenever they had a stomach ache.
This is one of those scenes you see once and never, ever, forget!
Head Spinning (The Exorcist)
The Exorcist is one of the most highly-rated horror flicks of all time. It’s based on the idea of someone being possessed by the devil, and an exorcism is required to save her.
There are lots of genuinely unforgettable moments in this film, but one that stands out is when the young girl’s head spins around. It is one of the creepiest things you will ever see. We think it’s fair to say that plenty of people never made it past this scene as it was truly terrifying.
And there you have it, the five most iconic horror movie scenes of all time. Which scenes have we left out that you’d include on the list? Feel free to let us know.