Follow TV Tropes


And I Must Scream / Live-Action Films

Go To

  • Part of the Downer Ending in The Alphabet Killer. Detective Megan Paige, who can see the spirits of the eponymous killer's victims, also has a history of mental illness. In the end the stress of the case and her confrontation with the killer leads to a psychotic break. This results in her being hospitalized and sedated to the point where she can't move or speak, and thus is helpless to stop the murderer (whose identity remains a mystery to the rest of the police force.) The final scenes chillingly show the detective in a near catatonic where it is implied she will remain for years, her bed slowly being surrounded by the ghosts of more and more of the killer's victims.
  • Advertisement:
  • The titular character of American Mary gets revenge on her rapist by kidnapping him and using him as an involuntary guinea pig for her body modification career. He ends up a limbless torso hanging from the ceiling by chains hooked into his skin and his mouth sewn shut.
  • Anacondas: Trail of Blood: The main villain, right after giving himself immortality, gets eaten by an immortal snake and never gets out.
  • A similar fate is suffered by one of the characters in Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid, only in this case, he gets bitten by a spider whose venom will paralyze him completely for two days, outside of breathing and retaining consciousness. He gets discovered but is obviously unable to communicate his situation and then gets swallowed alive by one of the snakes. The other characters then burn down the hut that the snake is in, presumably roasting it, and him, alive.
  • Advertisement:
  • In the German horror Splatter movie Anatomy (orig. Anatomie, 2000), a female medical student who enters a prestigious Heidelberg medical school uncovers a conspiracy by an Antihippocratic secret society operating within the university grounds who are masters of plastination of corpses but due to a lack of fresh, perfect, undamaged corpses have decided to obtain their own "study material". Certain selected victims (people that no-one will miss but also a co-student who discovered what was going on) are injected with a drug that completely paralyses the victim within a few minutes and suppresses all lifesigns so that the victims appears dead on first glance, while still semi-conscious. The drug then transforms the blood, slowly plastinating the victim from within, while the members of the conspiracy pose the body and start to dissect and flay away skin and muscles from the organs and bones. One such victim wakes up, unable to move more than his eyes, and sees his hand has been artfully dissected down to the bones, and he himself is posed naked as a plastinated "scientific show piece".
  • A Nightmare on Elm Street
    • A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors reveals that Freddy actually devours the souls of his victims, keeping them contained in his body while leeching power from them. Some of their screaming, writhing faces periodically appear on his torso. They actually rip him apart in the fourth film, though by the sixth, he presumably trapped more.
    • Freddy's plan for Nancy in the 2010 remake was to trap her in this type of situation.
  • Another Me: Fay's fate. Her soul is trapped inside a mirror while her dead twin takes over her body.
  • The climax of Audition sees the protagonist injected with a drug that paralyzes his muscles but heightens his pain sensation while his girlfriend starts torturing him with piano wire and acupuncture needles. He is trying very very hard to scream, you better believe it.
    • Though he was released from that before too long. This trope applies better to the guy stuffed in the burlap sack in her apartment.
  • Awake is about a man who undergoes surgery, during which the anesthetic had worn off but the neuromuscular blocking agents holding him still had not. Sadly, there's a handful of surgeries in Real Life where this had happened.
  • Awakenings, based on Real Life Dr. Oliver Sachs' experiences with catatonic patients. There is one exchange that expounds the true Fridge Horror of the situation.
    Dr. Ingham: Most died during the acute stage of the illness, during a sleep so deep they couldn't be roused. A sleep that in most cases lasted several months. Those who survived, who awoke, seemed fine, as though nothing had happened. Years went by - five, ten, fifteen - before anyone suspected they were not well... they were not. I began to see them in the early 1930's - old people brought in by their children, young people brought in by their parents - all of them complaining they weren't themselves anymore. They'd grown distant, aloof, anti-social, they daydreamed at the dinner table. I referred them to psychiatrists. Before long they were being referred back to me. They could no longer dress themselves or feed themselves. They could no longer speak in most cases. Families went mad. People who were normal, were now elsewhere.
    Dr. Sayer: What must it be like to be them? What are they thinking?
    Dr. Ingham: They're not. The virus didn't spare the higher faculties.
    Dr. Sayer: We know that for a fact?
    Dr. Ingham: Yes.
    Dr. Sayer: Because?
    • Leonard Lowe actually manages to convey his being trapped by directing Dr. Sayer to the poem The Panther:
      His vision, from the constantly passing bars,
      has grown so weary that it cannot hold
      anything else. It seems to him there are
      a thousand bars; and behind the bars, no world.
      As he paces in cramped circles, over and over,
      the movement of his powerful soft strides
      is like a ritual dance around a center
      in which a mighty will stands paralyzed.
      Only at times, the curtain of the pupils
      lifts, quietly—. An image enters in,
      rushes down through the tensed, arrested muscles,
      plunges into the heart and is gone.
  • In Being John Malkovich
    • John Cusack's character attempts to travel through the portal at a particularly inappropriate time, leaving his consciousness stranded in the body of a young girl that he cannot control.
    • Mr. Malkovich himself — being helplessly forced to watch somebody else control his body for the rest of his life? Eesh.
  • In the film The Black Hole, the finale includes a sequence showing the primary and secondary antagonists Maximilian and Dr Hans Reinhardt being fused together into one hellish hybrid, paralyzed, doomed to forever watch over a dimension of fire and brimstone
  • In The Burrowers, the monsters' venom causes near-total paralysis, save breathing and slight movement of the toes or fingers. Once their victims are paralyzed, the creatures bury their prey with nothing but the nose exposed, ensuring the captive won't suffocate and will provide fresh meat when the time comes. Unfortunately, once the monsters have been killed, the surviving humans don't realize they need to look for a still-living victim, who is left buried up to his nose without hope of rescue. This leads to some Fridge Logic when you realize the missing family may have been buried near the house.
  • Casper Meets Wendy: Although the effect is mostly killed by the movie's cheese factor, the film features evil warlock Desmond Spellman who summons a vortex called the Mystic Abyss, which is magically opened and used to throw victims into which drags them away. After it's closed, very few people can open it again, so a later rescue is out of the question. It's particularly horrific for the ghosts, since a human might be lucky and get bashed in the head but someone already dead wouldn't have that option.
  • In Cult of Chucky Andy has imprisoned Chucky's still conscious, decapitated head which he routinely tortures.
  • In Death Becomes Her, both of the immortal women have this. Their souls are bonded to their bodies, but their bodies do NOT repair themselves. At the end, they fall down a set of stairs and their bodies shatter. Their heads are intact, but they cannot move. So now they can bicker with each other for all eternity, or at least until their heads are damaged.
  • In Demolition Man, criminals aren't supposed to be aware of the time spent as a Human Popsicle. But John spent the time dreaming of the innocents that he didn't save, and seeing his wife pounding on the ice cube he was in. The police are appropriately horrified to learn this. When pressed, Cocteau uncomfortably states that "The side effects of the freezing process are unavoidable".
  • In Clive Barker's Dread, a woman is locked into a room with the dead body of her boyfriend, the implication being that she'll be forced to eat it.
  • Dreamkeeper shows this in the Show Within a Show. Along with Who Wants to Live Forever?, the protagonist is granted clairvoyance. And can see the 20th century.
  • The Empty Mirror: Implied to be Hitler's fate. After spending the whole film trying to justify his legacy and the atrocities committed in his name, a white-haired Hitler is eventually left alone with his thoughts, then the walls burst open and submerge him in a river of blood and human bones. By the end he realizes he's trapped, all alone, and can't escape his past as darkness moves in over him.
  • At the end of the Fantastic Four (2005) movie, the villain Victor van Doom is fully transformed into living metal. His body is heated up and then rapidly cooled, resulting in a crystallisation process that leaves him unable to move, and everyone to believe he is dead. Unfortunately for him, he is still fully conscious.
  • In The Final, one of the outcasts' victims is drugged so that he can't move but can feel everything. Then, Emily sticks him in the throat with needle after needle, all while she remains completely silent and his friends beg for her to stop.
  • The fate of the villain in The Fly II, when fly Marty replaces his mutated genes with the villain ones, thus trapping the villain in a tumorous, deformed mutated body that can barely crawl.
  • The fate of any ghost captured by the Ghostbusters.
  • Phil Conners in Groundhog Day becomes trapped in a "Groundhog Day" Loop where he is forced to relive the same day over and over again, and be the only person aware of what is happening. He tries to kill himself multiple times, but always wakes upon the next day in perfect condition. At the end of the film he manages to escape the loop, but only have spending possibly thousands of years in it.note 
  • The Human Centipede: This is Lindsay's ultimate fate, with Heiter and the other two members of the "centipede" dead, leaving her stuck between two dead bodies with nobody to help her.
  • John Blaylock, as well as Miriam Blaylock's other past lovers in The Hunger, deserve a mention. In short, not only do they age rapidly, they can't physically die, meaning someone else has to kill them. Instead, they are encased alive in coffins kept by Miriam.
  • In Inception, it's alluded that this occurs when someone dies in a dream sedated enough that they can't simply wake up from it. Supposedly they go to a "limbo" where they can trapped for what seems like years or even decades. Cobb and Mal (before she died) have been there and by the end, so has Saito.
  • Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom: The Black Sleep of the Kali Ma, a cursed trance that a person falls under when forced to drink the Blood of Kali. One victim describes the experience as a nightmare from which you can't wake up, and openly prefers death to being forced under it.
  • Interview with the Vampire:
    • the titular Vampire is sealed into a coffin and set into a solid cement wall. Naturally, being a vampire and thus immortal, he does not need the oxygen, food or water that this denies him - and in context, lack of blood does not kill a vampire, it simply torments him and drives him slowly insane. Or it would, if he wasn't rescued shortly after to avoid this fate.
    • This may have happened to another vampire during the time that Louis and Claudia were traveling the world in search of their kin. So for several decades, Lestat was left barely alive in the old manor, seemingly killed for a SECOND time. Instead of dying, he survives as a charcoal covered corpse that feeds on rats, all alone and afraid of the changing outside world.
  • In Iron Man 2, Rhodey is trapped inside the War Machine armor with no control over it, no way out and he is forced to try and kill his best friend. The look he gives Tony when Natasha finally reboots the armor remotely says it all.
  • The Matrix.
    • Given a twist. Since the machines are interested in the energy created by human bodies they need to keep them in a good state, which turns out to be much easier to do if their minds believe they are leading normal lives.
    • Early in the first The Matrix, Neo gets a brief, literal, experience of this type when Agent Smith erases his mouth and implants a tracking bug in him.
    Agent Smith: So tell me, Mr. Anderson, what good is a phone call if you are unable to speak?
  • In Mega Monster Battle: Ultra Galaxy Legends, after trying to steal the Plasma Spark, Ultraman King punishes Belial by imprisoning him inside the moon for all eternity. However, he is freed by Alien Zarab.... 457,542 years later.
  • Those murdered by the killer in Midnight Movie become trapped in the film world he originates from, unable to die and held in a Torture Cellar. Escape is possible, but highly unlikely.
  • End fate of the slasher in Monster Man, where the survivors manage to steal his monster truck and proceed to avert Once Is Not Enough with it. They plough into him, run him over, reverse over him, and then run him over, again and again for hours. As he's been rendered essentially unkillable thanks to his sister's Black Magic, he's still alive and aware even after they finally get sick of it and drive away, leaving behind a great greasy smear of meat-pulp screaming that they haven't killed him yet.
  • Imohtep in both versions of The Mummy (the 1932 original and 1999 remake). The novelization of the 1999 film explains that Imhotep's soul is locked in his body, even after it dies, and in the meantime, he's buried alive with flesh eating scarabs devouring him, and his tongue cut out so he can't scream, at least not effectively.
  • Because Robert's fate is left ambiguous, this could be the case in Mystery Team.
  • In Pirates of the Caribbean, Bootstrap Bill was tied to a cannon and sent to the bottom of the ocean by Captain Barbossa prior to the events of the first film. However, because of the curse of the Aztec gold, which rendered him immortal, he was fated to spend an eternity at the bottom of the ocean and unable to free himself, until the Big Bad of the second film came along.
  • In Pitch Black, a bound, gagged and sedated Riddick tells (in voiceover) how the animal part of the brain never goes to sleep - which is why he is still fully aware of what's going on during the space voyage. Downplayed because Riddick, while certainly not the most well-adjusted individual, doesn't seem to be bothered that much by the sensation.

  • The victim of the "Sloth" punishment in Se7en is kept paralysed in his own apartment for a year by the villain, occasionally given antibiotics so as not to die from his bedsores. By the time he is taken to a hospital, his mind no longer functions.
  • SpaceGodzilla falls under this at the end of his only film appearance (Godzilla Vs Spacegodzilla). Being one of the few truly immortal Kaiju, he's trapped in the form of tiny particles floating through space for all of eternity.
  • Star Wars:
    • Return of the Jedi: In the belly of the Sarlacc, victims find a new definition of suffering as they are "slowly digested over a thousand years".
    • The Expanded Universe story "A Barve Like That", describing Boba Fett's escape from the Sarlacc is a freaking study in this trope... there's something in the Sarlacc's digestive fluids that keeps people alive and conscious, though immobile and in pain, since the thing rarely feeds. Not only that, it's telepathic, can force people to relive their, its, and each other's memories, and apparently becomes sentient through its victims - even after death, they become part of its psyche. When Fett does eventually escape, the Sarlacc appears to express some satisfaction that Fett will "release it from the long cycle". He does not, implying that its own existence is an example of this trope.
    • It's noticible that a Heroic, Republic-side mission for Star Wars: The Old Republic involves charging a Sarlacc pit with a load of explosives - not to destroy the Sarlacc (you'd probably have to nuke it from orbit), but to Mercy Kill the poor Republic grunts a Gammorean gang tossed inside. Even the darkest Jedi, mercenary Smuggler, or sociopath Trooper isn't going to go against the plan.
    • See the Literature section for what carbonite prisons do...
    • Vader's existence in a cybernetic iron lung is not pleasant. The novelization of Revenge of the Sith and The Rise of Darth Vader both by Matt Stover make this clear. Supplementary materials imply that Palpatine gave him shoddy cybernetics to punish him for his failure and to keep him in line.
    • In Revenge of the Sith, Anakin's vocal cords are burned, and thus he now rely on a voice synthesizer in the mask that reads his brain waves to best determine a word to express that thought. In the iconic scene where he learned of the death of Padmé, it is implied that what he did was simply scream in agony, but the translator can only interpret such thoughts to be a long and equally agonizing "NO", making him a literal incarnation of this trope. The look on his face as the mask is lowered onto him is one of pure despair.
    • After the droid L3-37 is killed in Solo, her brain is uploaded into the computer of the Millennium Falcon. She is able to assist with navigation, but is forever bound to the ship. This is particularly ironic given her outspoken stance on "droid rights."
  • Victims of Cecile and Justify in The Skeleton Key tend to wind up in elderly, stroke ridden bodies, unable to take care of themselves, let alone tell anyone what had happened.
  • Happens to Sara Goldfarb in Requiem for a Dream. And to an extent, the other three protagonists during the final sequence as well.
  • Two examples in The Sorcerer's Apprentice.
    • First, the Grimhold kept Morgana and Veronica trapped for a millennium. Morgana and Veronica were trapped in the Grimhold for over a millennium, though, unlike the urn, it isn't expressly stated that the Grimhold prisoners are conscious.
    • A second, shorter version happens when Balthazar and Horvath are trapped inside an urn for ten years. They do have things to read Horvath has Dave's essay on Napoleon (and probably a few of his other papers) and Blake was hinted to have the Encantus.
  • The film adaptation of Johnny Got His Gun. See the entry under Literature.

  • The victims of the killer in the Rest Stop duology become unhinged ghosts, trapped haunting the lonely stretch of highway the killer prowls.
  • X-Men Film Series
    • X2: X-Men United: Stryker's mind control serum makes the victim obedient, but their real self is still in there, fully aware and incapable of controlling their own body. Look at the sheer horror on Deathstryke's face when the serum controlling her briefly wears off. Particularly when she looks at her hands and remembers the pain of being bonded with adamantium, likely because she was being controlled during that process as well. Scott similarly tells Jean he couldn't stop himself from trying to kill her.
    • X-Men Origins: Wolverine: Wade Wilson's fate. He turned from a nice-looking, fast-talking, somewhat funny guy to a pale, disfigured person. He has no hair and his mouth was sewn shut. He got all the powers of the mutants Weapon X captured, but he was completely under their control with no free will.
    • X-Men: First Class: The death of Sebastian Shaw. He's held immobile while a coin is pushed slowly through his skull. Xavier, who's psychically linked to Shaw in order to hold him immobile, does the screaming instead.
    • Deadpool (2016): In the final attempt to activate Wade's powers, Ajax sticks him in a decompression chamber designed to keep him suffering on the edge of suffocation, then leaves him there for a weekend. After it succeeds, Ajax decides to leave him in there even longer, just because he likes Wade suffering.
    • X-Men: Apocalypse: Apocalypse seals the street vendor into a wall when the guy threatens Ororo, so just his eyes (which are still moving) are visible.
  • The "precogs" of Minority Report. Daily life for them involves being forced to watch- and in some cases, relive- future murders in a drugged stupor, incapable of waking up or drifting off into too deep a sleep. Those convicted by their predictions are kept in stasis, while their minds remain active- though there's some debate as to what they experience, mentally speaking.
  • In Infernal Affairs III, Ming is left in a paralyzed and catatonic state after a botched suicide attempt. However, he is still semi-conscious and essentially trapped in an eternal nightmare where he is forced to deal with the guilt of his past crimes. In the very last scene, he is seen tapping his fingers, which is Morse code for "HELL".

  • In Hansel and Gretel (2007), a woman is turned into a tree.
  • Claudia attempted to do this to Lilli with the apple in Snow White: A Tale of Terror. The apple would completely paralyze her, but give her full awareness in the "prison of her mind" as she was buried alive.
  • In Livid, Anna is trapped for years as part of a twisted "music box" with her eyes stapled shut.
  • The Diving Bell And The Butterfly centres around a man having to cope with falling victim to this fate, as a stroke leaves him paralyzed everywhere except his eyes (and one of them is sewn up early on due to infection, so he can only use one eye). It's suggested that it is temporary (the doctors keep talking about how they hope to help him eventually regain the ability to move, though the epilogue reveals that he died of a heart attack before this could happen, but he still ends up like this long enough to write a book about his feelings. And it bears mentioning that this was based on a true story.

  • Wishmaster:
    • The souls the Djinn captures are placed in Hellraiser-like dimension, presumably for eternal torture.
    • In the first film, a woman gets turned into a sentient but inanimate mannequin when she wishes to be beautiful forever, and Alexandra's sister gets frozen inside a painting.
  • Cobra Commander and Destro start G.I. Joe: Retaliation immobilized in tanks and pumped full of drugs that leave them incapable of moving anything but their eyes.
  • The Wizard of Oz averted for The Tin Man, whom if Dorothy didn't come along he would have been in a sentient statue position forever.
  • RoboCop
    • RoboCop (1987) has the scenes of RoboCop's creation from his point of view. The moment that is closest to this trope is surely when Bob Morton and Donald Johnson are commenting in front of him that his memory is going to be wiped, as well as ordering his left arm to be removed and replaced by a cybernetic one.
    • RoboCop 2 gives, too, an example with Cain: his brain and eyeball are surgically removed from his skull, leaving him to stare out at his own autopsy without even eyelids to close.
  • The revenge method of the main villain of Bloodsucking Pharaohs in Pittsburgh involves using a ritual to trap a victim's soul in their decaying body forever.
  • The Japanese horror films Ju-on screams this. As each film's opening spiel explains, when a person dies in the grip of a powerful rage they may be consumed by a Hate Plague which begins in the place that their death took place, then spreads and consumes everyone that enters said location, and then may infect other people that come into contact with the infected. The Saekis become rage-filled ghosts after Kayako's infidelity leads to the deaths of her whole family, often reacting their murders. Anyone who enters their house are doomed, sooner or later Kayako, her dead son or dead husband will come for them and there is nothing they can do but be killed and consumed by the curse. Most victims disappear body and all.
    • To make matters worse, a lot of the victims can materialize as ghosts themselves, tormenting those who failed to save them. A poor school girl suffers this in the fourth film when three friends are consumed by the curse and their ghosts haunt her, watching her through holes in her papered up windows. That is until the ghosts get in and slowly stalk her through the house, then Kayako herself appears and drags the girl to her doom, with the ghost girls still trying to get her.
    • It is implied that the protagonist of the third film was haunted by Kayako and Toshio for a good few years, since the aforementioned school girl was young when introduced.
    • The spin-off films, White Ghost / Black Ghost, it is implied that another curse was responsible for the creation of another. In Black Ghost, a Fetus Terrible who absorbed by her twin sister possesses her body during an exorcism and murders her aunt's family. The house they die in is the same in White Ghost, where a man is possessed is implied to be possessed by the same ghost and murders his family before hanging himself. Several of his relatives return as ghosts, including his young niece who haunts her childhood friend for not saving her when he sexually abused her.
  • Played for laughs in The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec: Adèle undresses for a bath in front of a mummy, which, unknown to her, is being revived and can see, but not move or speak. After the mummy regains speech and movement, he thanks her for the show.
  • In found., this is Marty's ultimate fate. He's left bound and gagged on his bed surrounded by the dismembered corpses of his parents and doesn't know when someone will eventually investigate.
  • A new monster of the Silent Hill universe is introduced in Silent Hill: Revelation 3D. It is a multi-handed mannequin that assimilates people by transforming them into mannequins and putting them on its body. As we watch it assimilate a women, we see the mannequin's head scream.
  • Stitches (2001): Mrs. Albright stores her victims' souls in paper dolls, which she keeps in a scrapbook. Opening the pages makes their screams audible.
  • Victims of the mirror in Mirrors have their souls imprisoned inside of it, a world where everything is mute and backwards. This becomes our protagonist from the first film's fate.
  • We Are Still Here: The souls of sacrifices to the Darkness are said to be "burning till the stars go dark."
  • Doctor Strange (2016)
    • Through the Eye of Agamatto, Strange sets a time loop on the moment where he arrives to bargain with Dormammu. It repeats over and over, no matter how many times Strange is killed - he even says "you are my prisoner". Strange, by the end, is willing to endure an eternity of torture in Dormammu's hands for the sake of the Earth. Eventually, Dormammu gets tired of being trapped and agrees to withdraw from Earth.
    • This scene is actually pay-off to a severe warning Karl gives Strange about using the Eye earlier in the film. He mentions that using it irresponsibly can lead to the user reliving the same moment over and over without end or being removed from existence outright. We'll take the latter, thanks.
    • One of the conditions of Strange's bargain is that Dormammu leaves Earth for good, and takes Kaecilius and his Zealots with him to the dark dimension. Strange tells them they're getting eternal life as they wanted, and they're not gonna like it.
  • Get Out involves black people having a white person's brain implanted in their head, with only a tiny bit of the black person's consciousness still in the body. This means the victims can see and hear anything that is happening but are unable to do anything about it unless they see the flash of a camera, which causes their original consciousness to activate.
  • Zardoz: One subset of the immortal Eternals are the Apathetics, who are so bored by immortality that they literally cannot do anything anymore.
  • In Beauty and the Beast (2017), the Enchantress's curse works this way. The servants are still transformed into household items that can walk and talk, but there's a new codicil to the spell: if the Beast can't learn to love and be loved in turn, they'll be transformed into completely inanimate objects forever. Lumiere notes that as each day passes, they lose more and more of their humanity—they can feel it happening, but are unable to do anything to stop it. And the ending shows this happening to the servants—we watch their bodies lock up in a state of utter panic and despair as their faces fade away. Maestro Cadenza has to watch his wife Garderobe freeze first; their beloved dog Frou-Frou, who's been turned into a small table, desperately tries to wake them up before he too keels over; Mrs. Potts, who can feel the transformation happening, screams for her son, while Chip himself cries for her, only to change before they can reunite; and Cogsworth actually chokes out how the final transformation feels: "Lumiere, I...I can't...speak..." Thank GOD the Enchantress decided to undo the curse despite the Beast technically dying.
  • The fate of Seth Richards in Looper. After he ends up letting his future self escape, Abe is not pleased. He knows he can't just kill Seth (he needs to survive long enough to be sent back in time and complete the loop), so Seth is instead condemned to spend 30 years without his limbs, tongue, ears, or nose. We don't see any of it directly. Instead, as a result of Temporal Mutability, we watch Future Seth's body parts disappear one by one as he tries to get to his past self until he's left a barely intelligible torso and head, then put out of his mercy by a bullet to the cranium.
  • The title character in Patrick is left in a vegetative state after murdering his mother and her lover. His only means of communication is via a typewriter, which he is able to control using his powers, or through occasional facial tics.
  • Ant-Man and the Wasp:
    • Janet van Dyne shrunk between molecules to disarm a bomb headed for Washington, DC. However, in doing so she got stuck in the Quantum Realm, alone, for thirty years, with her husband and daughter convinced she was dead.
    • In The Stinger, Scott is sent into the Quantum Realm in order to get healing particles for Ghost. However, before Hank, Hope and Janet can pull him back out, they're turned to dust by Thanos's finger snap, leaving Scott alone and stuck in the Quantum Realm as he screams for help over the radio. But unlike with Janet, the only people who even know where he is and how to bring him back are gone, and Scott not coming home means he's chalked up as another of Thanos's victims, meaning no-one will look for him.
      • Endgame reveals that luckily the wait was only five hours for Scott...but five years have passed in the real world and he was only freed because of a rat stepping on the right sequence of buttons. It's still pretty chilling that it was only through sheer random chance that he wasn't stuck for any longer.
  • In the first Night at the Museum movie, the pharaoh Akhmenrah was locked in a vault from 1952 to the mid-2000s, when the films take place. The tablet that makes the museum come alive at night is his tablet, and the previous night guards and the other exhibits assumed he'd be evil if they let him out. So they left him to come alive and scream every night in the vault for five decades. When he's finally let out, he turns out to be a Nice Guy who did not Go Mad from the Isolation.
  • Tales of Terror: In "The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar'', Valdemar's soul is trapped at the very instant of his death. This leaves his soul trapped within his dead body (which is slowly putrefying), wracked in constant, and only able to communicate through the auspices of the man who trapped him in the first place.
  • In Hellboy (2019), after Nimue's first defeat in the 5th century, her body was chopped up into half a dozen pieces, sealed in iron chests and hidden throughout the world. Unfortunately for her, her head remained conscious the whole time it was locked in this dark and quiet box for well over 1,500 years. She's remarkably sane when pieced together after this ordeal. Sure, she wants to wipe out mankind, but that's no different from her plans before she was put away.
  • Savaged: Hoo boy. Zoe is dead, and her soul is trapped inside her decaying corpse with the angry ghost of an Apache war chief.
  • Pokémon Detective Pikachu: Mewtwo after Howard hijacks his body. Also anyone who gets merged with their Pokemon. For both the human and the Pokemon.
  • This happens to Jason Voorhees at the end of Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives, as he gets his neck snapped after he is chained to a rock that sinks to the bottom of Crystal Lake. The final scene of the film shows him moving his eye as he floats down there helplessly. Of course, this being a slasher series, Jason is freed from the rock to continue his killing spree in the next movie.
  • The Old Guard: As revealed in flashbacks, Andy's original partner Quynh, upon being accused of witchcraft in the Middle Ages, was locked inside an iron maiden and dumped in the Atlantic Ocean. Due to how immortality works in this film, that means that she's spent centuries drowning, coming back to life, and drowning again; the other immortals, who can see her in their Shared Dreams of each other, can feel how the pain and desperation has driven her insane. Then the last scene shows that she's somehow escaped.
  • In Warlock: The Armageddon, the Warlock gets an art collector to hand over one of the gems that he is seeking by offering him "the greatest piece your gallery has ever seen". He didn't tell him that the collector himself would become that piece. Fully conscious and aware.

Alternative Title(s): Film


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: