Most Paused Horror Movie Scenes

by Yo Adrian on May 02nd, 2018 | |

WhatCulture is exploring just how shocking horror films can be, be the shock sexy, gory, or just plain scary. Horror film lovers have seen the benefits of advancing technology in high-def blue-rays and DVDs that allow them to pause at the most shocking moments and catch their breath (or inspect the practicalities of all that gore). So here’s WhatCulture’s 10 of the most paused horror movie moments.

  1. John Carpenter was a well-known director after his release of Halloween and he shocked audiences further with his 1982 film, The Thing, a much more gory affair. One of the most WTF moments (among many) finds Dr. Copper attempting to resuscitate Norris with defibrillators. When he goes to shock Norris’ chest, is suddenly opens up to a giant teethed cavity which bites off his arms, leaving only bloody stumps. And the horror only increases from there as a spidery legged creature emerges with a long snaking neck that ends at a grotesque version of Norris’ face. A big thank you is owed to Rob Bottin, the genius SFX creator for the film.
  1. Though Signs is a film people debate about, is it really try good and does it hold up, the first moment within the film that we catch a glimpse of the aliens surely had all at-home watchers rewinding and pausing to take a closer look at the green humanoid figure. They’re a bit less scary when you realize all it takes to fight them is a bottle of water or a hose, but they’re first sighting is pretty gasp-worthy.
  1. The 2008 J.J. Abrams produced found-footage film, Cloverfield, had home viewers abusing their remotes to catch the Easter eggs hidden within what others thought was simply static. Three references to classic movie monsters can be found throughout: The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms, King Kong, and one of the giant ants from Them!. Good luck pausing to catch those few milliseconds.Cloverfield King Kong
  1. Though Dark Horse Comics had already published a crossover story between the Predator and Alien franchises the year before, movie fans were apt for excitement while watching Predator 2 when Danny Glover stumbles upon a trophy room that featured the familiar shape of a xenomorph skull. Alien vs. Predator didn’t come out for another 14 years, but it gave film fans of the franchise something to be excited for.
  1. It might sound absurd, but watching a young Victorian ghost boy suddenly appear in a house and do a little jig to Tiptoe Through the Tulips by Tiny Tim might just be the scary tip on the horror iceberg and it truly is in James Wan’s Insidious.
Most Paused Horror Movie Scenes of all Time at All HorrorTweet it
  1. Poor Officer Kane doesn’t get a happy ending in Ridley Scott’s 1979 horror film Alien. After becoming infected, Kane sits down to eat with the rest of the spaceship’s crew before falling ill and well, having a baby xenomorph burst out of his chest, surprising everyone with some scrambled Kane. The part that makes you want to watch and pause again is knowing that the rest of the actors didn’t know the climax of the scene and their reactions to the mess of guts and gore are just as genuine as yours.
  1. Those who love to search for deeper meaning to Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining might have a million and one explanations for this scene, but that doesn’t change a first time viewer’s utter startling reaction to this moment. After Jack Torrence has begun chasing his family around the maze-like Overlook Hotel with an axe his wife comes up the stairs to witness a…strange sight: a man in a bear costume performing oral sex on another man. We’ll leave it at that.
  1. Horror fans can thank Dick Smith and his wonderful SFX work for this next pause-worthy moment. In 1981’s Scanners by director David Cronenberg, the titular Scanners, humans with uncanny and advanced telekinetic abilities , can cause all sorts of damage and one of them proves just how much in a scene where he literally blows up a man’s head. The special effects are astounding as dog food, rabbit liver, and loads of fake blood explode out of a latex head. The explosive trigger? A shotgun (of course).
  1. Even casual viewers will understand this one. Drew Goddard and Joss Whedon crafted what some call a modern horror satire in his 2012 film The Cabin in the Woods. The pause worthy moment? A whiteboard filled with various ways the central college victims might die. There’s a lot of fun Easter eggs hiding among the suggestions including Dragonbat, Angry Molesting Tree (from The Evil Dead), and Sugar Plum Fairy. Even more fun is pausing in the rest of the film to try and catch glimpses of the different monsters themselves.

1. The best is saved for last and it comes from the 1960 Hitchcock classic Psycho. It’s been studied by film students since its release and the final transition in the film serves as a verifiable pause-worthy, blink-and-you-miss-it moment. As the camera zooms in on Norman Bates he looks directly into the camera and scene begins to fade into that of a car being tugged from the swamp. In the middle of the transition the skeletal face of Norman’s mother flashes over Norman’s, telling the audience that Norman’s own personality might just be gone for good. And that’s why Hitchcock is the king of this genre.

Founder and Executive Director of all things Horrific at AllHorror.com (Ok, actually I’m just a guy who watches way too many horror movies. It’s unhealthy, really).

All Horror – Discover new horror movies, create and share your own horror movie lists and curate watchlists from thousands of titles, new and old.

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