Nightmare Fuel: War of the Worlds

The 1980s television series:

  • The Body Horror of alien possession. The possession sequences usually weren't seen on-screen, but the few glimpses we get show the alien literally merging its body on top of a human.
  • The first-season episode "The Angel of Death" shows the aliens casually discussing their plan while a bound and gagged group of humans are trapped in a cage. The scene ends as the aliens walk over to the cage to take over several victims (including the father of a family) as they try to hop away pitifully. Later, we see the possessed father (among others) preparing to attack the team, with the rest of the family never seen again.
  • The cloning process Ironhorse (and others) go through in the second season. Ironhorse gets it particularly bad - kidnapped, stuck into a cloning chamber in a dark warehouse, and forced to watch as a duplicate of himself rises out and mocks him before going off to destroy the Blackwood residence.

The 2005 film:

  • The scene where the aliens first show their hostility - by deliberately, systematically exterminating a crowd of unarmed civilians with a heat ray and destroying every structure in front of them with their Wave Motion Gun. Human bodies turn to nothing but ash, leaving their clothes flapping in the wind. A bridge full of stopped traffic fares little better. Put yourself in Ray's place - he's running for his life, while people all around him are being incinerated. The only reason he survived that attack is Plot Armor. No mystery why he arrives home an ash-covered, shell-shocked wreck.
  • The Ferry scene, where we're introduced to the all-new terror of the Gatherer Tripods. Ray and family just barely survive the horrors of the sinking ferry and swim clear, only to get a front row view of the two choices humanity is given: be vaporized or be harvested. All to mingled screams of an air raid siren (from the town) and the ferry victims being gathered by the Tripods.
  • The marshaling call the Tripods Make. It translates from Martian to "You're fucked!" at warp speed. You hear that noise, nothing good is going to happen.
  • People being captured alive, both a) to feed the Tripods (which have a biological component) and b) to be used as fertilizer.
  • The plane crash scene is absolutely terrifying. It doesn't help that it overdoses on Hell Is That Noise.
    • "Are we still alive?"
  • Rachel stumbling across the river full of dead bodies. The look on her face says it all.
  • The Hobbes Was Right aspect of the crowds, like the one that threatened Tom Cruise's character and his kids just to have access to a car, and the insane mob killing each other over the car beforehand.
    • And then someone picks up a gun and shoots the guy who just stole the car from Ray.
  • "The trees are funny."
  • The basement sequence in general, just because of how dark the mood is and how the tension slowly builds.
    • Rachel's facial expressions during these scenes are a bit creepy. She quite often has this emotionless look on her face, like she's seen too much to take in any more.
  • The scene where Ray is forced to kill Ogilvy. It's eerie listening to Rachel singing her lullaby to herself, knowing what's happening in the next room.
  • When Rachel wakes up to find an alien probe right in her face. Her screaming in this scene is absolutely bone-chilling.
  • The tripod attacking the ferry. Tom Cruise's character and his kids get treated to the lovely sight of a car that still has people in it getting flooded with water.
  • The Train scene. At first, while everyone is making a mass exodus, people see a train coming by. The train is on fire and a not a single noise is made while it goes right by everyone. No screams, no music; Just the sound of the train just whooshing by. Nothing Is Scarier, indeed.
    • Just beforehand, Rachel says, "Looks like the power's still on here." Imagine what would've happened if it wasn't and the train crossing bars didn't go down.