Even better, the first thing they do is ask what she did, even though they didn't know if she caused it or not. That must have hit right in Elsa's self esteem.
Imagine being poor Elsa and having to hide away all alone, completely afraid of yourself for years on end. It's heartbreaking to hear her shout for the others to leave her alone, because she doesn't want to hurt anyone and is so afraid she will.
The biggest result of her powers: the eternal winter that literally freezes an entire kingdom in ice. For all we know, the entire world was in the deep freeze and we just don't see it.
Elsa can create sentient life at will, which basically makes her a god. Sure, said life could be cute and friendly like Olaf, but it could also be Marshmallow, a rampaging mountain of temperamental snow fully willing and able to toss someone off a mountain as retribution for getting hit with a snowball. While Marshmallow was an intentional creation, Olaf was not, meaning that in a moment of stress or panic Elsa could unleash such a creature without even realizing she had done so.
Elsa nearly killing the Duke's men with her ice powers. The two may be villains, but they are after all only acting on the Duke's orders, and their potential horrible deaths would have made Elsa a killer for real, even if she was doing it out of self-defense.
Arguably, what makes it scarier is how Elsa went from merciful to murderous. At first, she merely pleaded with them to leave her alone. She didn't begin to fight until they one of the men shot at her. Even at the start of the battle, it looks more like she's only trying to keep them away from her than outright hurt them. But after it cuts back from a scene with Hans, Elsa is actively trying to kill them. Of course, you could argue she hardly had a choice.
When Elsa and Anna are taken to the trolls so they can heal Anna's head, the lead troll tells her that her powers will only get stronger and that while they can be beautiful, people will also fear them, and that fear will be her enemy. This is accompanied by him conjuring a glowing effigy of an older Elsa creating her ice magic only to suddenly be attacked and presumably killed by an angry mob and letting out a terrified scream as they all take her down. They showed this to Elsa when she was eight-years-old.
When the King and Queen bring Anna to the Troll King to heal her from the damage done by Elsa, the first thing he asks is about Elsa's powers and whether she was "born" with them or "cursed" with them, as if they were any other medical condition. It's treated as a throwaway line, but in reality, it can create numerousFridge Horror scenarios in this already frightening universe. For instance, there could be other people like Elsa in similar situations, and instead of being born with them, they could've gotten it in situations as simple as provoking the wrong person.
The King specifically knew where to go when they found Anna was struck, and the way he reacted when told about Elsa's possible future, you could infer he had an older family member who dealt with a similar situation.
More likely a distant ancestor. Remember, before they leave the castle, he goes to the library and gets a book showing a troll king healing a man in medieval Scandinavian dress by drawing something out of his head. A map falls out of the book showing where the trolls lived. So it's more likely that the king knew of some record or chronicle describing powers like Elsa's in the past. Perhaps he researched the subject when he first realized Elsa's abilities.
The wolves coming after Kristoff, Sven and Anna, especially when one grabs Kristoff and drags him behind the sled. The glowing eyes are the first thing we see of them.
Two of them latch onto him and don't let go while Sven is moving at full speed. It's pretty obvious that if Kristoff wasn't wearing his heavy winter clothes, he would have severe puncture wounds.
It's scary enough the first time he shows up, given how close he comes to actually killing Anna and Kristoff.
The main villain is probably one of Disney's scariest, and probably the most perfect depiction of a Sociopath in Disney history. "Oh, Anna...If only there was someone out there who loved you."With one line, his entire character is thrown into question.
It's Hans. He uses his nice guy act to woo Anna and try to rule the kingdom, manages to capture Elsa while still seeming like a good guy as he calmly asks her to stop the winter, and only reveals his true nature when Anna desperately needs the love she thinks he can provide.
Then after coldly trying to speed up Anna's death, he goes back to perfectly acting like the panicked, grieving lover in front of the other dukes, to where even the Duke of Weselton tries to comfort him.
This is someone who can fakeLove at First Sight perfectly. Terrifying, and unlike other villains, where it's just the characters who don't know they're evil (or don't know how evil they are, like Gaston), there is no hint of this villain's nature until the reveal. At which point the Fridge Horror kicks in... He was fully set on marrying Anna before he discovered she was dying and he didn't have to. This calls to mind MANY real-life stories of girls who meet a guy who appears to be a perfect, funny, charming person, and it's only until after marriage that he suddenly reveals his true, abusive, monstrous nature.
This character is scary not because of what he'll do, but what he won't do. It's perfectly possible, and the movie itself never discounts it, that he wants to be a good King for whatever reason and just sees killing two sisters as the necessary price to be paid. If you didn't get in his way, he might seem like a nice guy to you for YOUR ENTIRE LIFE. He's the Most Triumphant Example of Villain with Good Publicity.
There's the Slasher Smile that comes just when he's about to kill Elsa. It suggests that he might enjoy killing her. It was either slice Elsa's head off or chop her in half with a huge freaking Viking sword, and he was loving it. Straight out of Game of Thrones indeed.
Every word of his taunting and mocking Anna after he refuses to kiss her, as it sinks in with a horrified Anna (and audience) just what Hans is and just how much danger both Anna and Elsa are in. For that matter, pretending he's going to kiss Anna, then pulling back at the last second and revealing his true colors. He kept leading her on solely for the purpose of being an asshole and twisting the knife further.
Doubles as Tearjerker. Even more distressing, look at Anna's reaction to being asked about Hans when Olaf saves her, "I was wrong about him. It wasn't true love. I don't even know what love is." Three successive sentences where she blames herself and not Hans for what has happened. The full extent of the impact Hans' betrayal has left on Anna can be seen here, when he has managed to humiliate Anna by causing her to feel guilt for how willing she was to believe he loved her.
Here's one more bit of Fridge Horror. Up until his reveal, Hans was acting exactly like we'd expect from a Disney prince. Can we honestly know for sure all of them were entirely genuine in their actions after this?
The Duke of Weselton's judgmental hatred of magic and sorcery and those who practice them as "monsters", to the extent of even tarring the next of kin with that brush (he was dead set on thinking Anna a co-conspirator with Elsa at the beginning) and wanting them killed at all costs is also pretty nasty even if not in Hans' league. Ironically had Hans not changed his mind by lying to him about Anna's death, he would have attempted to kill Anna too.
After The Reveal, Anna nearly freezes to death, completely alone and not just alone, but weakly pleading for someone to help her. No one hears or even bothers to go back to the room she's locked into, thanks to Hans lying to everyone that she was already dead.
Even worse, Hans' case would technically be right. The blizzard Elsa has caused was already making the room grow colder and speeding up Anna's demise. So if he had won, Elsa would really have killed her own sister!
Following The Reveal, Anna is left for dead, and freezing to death is discovered by Olaf, who immediately responds to lighting a fire, thus achieving his lifelong dream of experiencing heat. While this scene may perhaps not immediately appear nightmare inducing consider this: Not only is the scene itself creepily unsettling, starting with the darkened overcast shadows as fire dances around the parlor (and the fact that he'll be a puddle inside of ten minutes), but it also mirrors how a young child may first interact with fire. From being perpetually mesmerized by it to finally reaching out and burning his hand, Olaf's potential demise symbolizes any Adult Fear.
Olaf: AH! Oh, so that's heat! Anna, don't touch it.
Then Olaf says that he's okay with melting if it means he can keep Anna company, which is both Nightmare Fuel and a Tear Jerker. Granted, he makes it funny immediately afterwards, but it doesn't completely keep the initial line from being disturbing.
Anna's Painful Transformation into ice during the climax. Even the moments before then, showing her aching and quivering as her body temperature gradually lowers, freezing her from the inside out! You can even see "frost bite" settling in on her freezing, blue fingers and there's a bit visible on her face. The worst part is when the curse finally freezes her solid, her last breath fogs as it leaves her body.
It's a short scene, but Kristoff nearly getting impaled by a large icicle in an icy cavern counts.
This counts as a Tear Jerker, but the brief scene of the ship carrying Anna and Elsa's parents going down in a huge storm during one of the songs. No sound, no indication of any people drowning, just a large wave overwhelming the ship◊—and when the wave recedes, bits of the mast can be seen floating in the water.
The Duke's men were simply merciless and had absolutely no regrets or hesitation with killing Elsa. They just stormed past Marshmallow, chased Elsa through the castle and even after Elsa pleads them to leave her alone, they still aim and shoot at her. Even Hans begs them to stop!
Poor Elsa had never used her powers to fight or hurt people, but to be forced into that position must have been terrifying for her as you can see by the looks on her face while she is fighting back.
The entire scene is full of fuel because Elsa was finally free and stayed in her own world far away from anyone else where no one could find her or bother her, and she could never hurt anyone up there. She must have felt terrified that her long awaited paradise was ultimately crushed and she was cruelly taken out by the chandelier.
Freeze-Frame Bonus: The moment Elsa looks up to the chandelier as it falls, you can see it reflecting in her eyes.
The reprise of "The First time in Forever" is Elsa's greatest fears coming true. Her attempt to leave and be free has doomed a whole kingdom of people, including her sister. Anna thinks Elsa can fix everything and Elsa is forced to confront the fact that she doesn't know how to save them, and when Elsa tries to convince her sister to leave she does the one thing she'd been trying not to since the accident: she hurts Anna. What does her fear do? Create a horrifying howling blizzard in the room, thus making things even worse.
Everyone is on the verge of dying from a massive cold front by the end. If this doesn't sink in the impersonal, terrifying power of ice as outlined in "Frozen Heart" nothing else does.
Elsa was almost killed by Hans' Viking sword, as would have Anna had she not turned to ice. That sword previously hacked right through Marshmallow's thigh. The realization that two young, thin, lightly built girls were in danger of being hit by a weapon on those lines, as well as the thought of what kind of carnage would have happened, is truly frightening.
Somewhat less so when you realize that Marshmallow was, by all appearances, made of the same form of loosely-packed snow as Olaf, but still a gruesome prospect regardless.
The entire blizzard sequence at the climax, due to all the confusion surrounding it; Anna desperately searches for Kristoff, Kristoff desperately searches for Anna, Olaf is blown away by the wind, Sven almost drowns in ice water and Elsa is trying in vain to escape with Hans in hot pursuit. All while Kristoff and Anna both know of the very real danger Anna is facing and Hans will try to kill Elsa when he catches up to her.
As soon as Anna informs Elsa of the winter she's caused, Elsa begins to have a panic attack. It's scary enough to see Elsa in that condition, but what makes it more so is her panic attack is frighteningly realistic. It really doesn't help that Anna genuinely is making it worse.
Out-of-universe, this remix of "Do You Want To Build A Snowman". Enjoy!
A couple Tumblr users have even given this remix an Alternate Universe explanation: Basically, Anna froze to death after Elsa struck her with her magic but came back to life as an undead wight that is followed by mutated Olafs and constantly stalking Elsa through the castle. Someone even had the kindness of drawing what 5-year-old Anna's frozen, undead corpse would look like.
Made even more unsettling because what "Anna" is and what her intentions are is ambiguous. It can be interpreted as creepy, zombified Anna trying to engage her frightened big sister in play, not understanding why Elsa is locking herself up and refuses to let her in and gradually going insane from loneliness ("I've started talking to the pictures on the walls!") as the little dead girl wanders that big castle without any human interaction. While that is nightmarish in its own right and also incredibly heart-breaking (both for dead Anna and scared Elsa), going off "Anna"'s distorted Voice of the Legion and the overall creepiness and menace the song gives off, it could also be that "Anna" is some kind of malevolent entity pretending to be Anna to coax Elsa out of hiding / get her let her in to do God knows what to her. What makes it even more frightening is that in this interpretation, Elsa would really be all on her own against a monster that has either killed everyone else or caused them to flee and abandon Elsa ("We only have each other" / "It's just you and me") and is toying with her emotions to terrify and manipulate her for fun.
Non-English versions of "Love is An Open Door" are even moreso than the original because the foreshadow that Hans is the villain is much less evident because the wordplay in "We finish each others'..." "Sandwiches!" is not translatable.
This parody of the song "Do You Wanna Build a Snowman" called "Will You Help Me Hide a Body?" While initially being Black Comedy at its finest, the song makes a dark turn in which it's revealed that Anna killed her parents. When the song ends, Anna implies that Elsa will be her next victim.
Anna: I'm coming for you, Elsa...
Even worse, Anna gives Elsa a Sadistic Choice: Help her hide their parents' bodies, or DIE! And, that last image is of Anna looking deviously at the viewer.
However, it gets Nightmare Retardant when the second line most people remember is "Ugh, we're already running out of space in these caves!"
The scene when Elsa tells her father to back off because she is scared of icing him is mostly tearjerking...but in the Cantonese dub, it is rather eerily similar to a certain government child molestation ad (except with the harm reversed) that is probably the scariest thing the 90s kids grew up with on the TV.
"Let Them Run", the sequel song to "Will You Help Me Hide a Body?" Anna apparently followed through with the threat carried out at the end of the last song ( killing Elsa) and sings in one of the caves how no one, save for Elsa, knew of her sinister actions until it was too late, and she kills people just for the fun of chasing them before they die.. Even worse is the fact that she turns the wording of Hans' Wham Line in the movie against Elsa, presumably saying it to her dead body in the caves if the somewhat gory image is any indication. Yikes.
Anna: Oh my sweet sister Elsa... if only there was someone out there who truly loved you!