The Doctor: Do you know what it means when something chases you very slowly?
The Doctor: It means there's a reason that they don't have to run.
Did you really think you could defeat me? With that little peashooter? This farce ends here!
This is where a villain, or Anti-Hero, will have an enemy at their mercy and instead of immediately shooting them, they'll slowly walk towards them. This is for no other reason other than to impress into the would-be victim that they are completely at their mercy. So much so that there is no reason to hurry since there is nothing their victim can do that would so much as hinder them. Another reason a villain or Anti-Hero will engage in this behavior is to savor the moment as long as they can. This is intended to increase their scare factor or evilness. Very rarely will the question of Why Don't You Just Shoot Him? cause this to backfire as this is intended to develop their character and establish them as a villain or anti-hero. It can also be combined with Smoke Shield or Out of the Inferno for maximum impact if they've been hit with something explosive.
A common characteristic of Westerns and generally used to show who has the upper hand in a gunfight.
- Dragon Ball Z:
- Cell usually walks calmly towards whoever his target is, safe in the knowledge that their fear will cause them to trap themselves, though he also occasionally suddenly breaks out of the walk to do a surprise rush at his opponents.
- Gohan returns the favor after Cell provokes him into achieving his Super Saiyan 2 form, much to Cell's dismay.
- Frieza was a big fan of this as well, which explains why Cell also did this, since he was partially made from Frieza's genes.
- Performed in Claymore by Priscilla, one of the strongest people in the manga toward a young and defenseless girl, just after slaughtering all the people around them, while saying that she really really wants to eat human entrails.
- Hellsing has this in spades but Alucard and Anderson love this trope in particular.
- Naruto: Sasuke does this to Danzo after their battle. While Danzo, bleeding profusely and missing an arm, runs as fast as he can manage, Sasuke just savors the moment as the music and camera place a very heavy emphasis on just how powerless Danzo is.
- Neon Genesis Evangelion: Berserk Eva01 does this to the 14th angel after casually regrowing its arm.
- Happens at the end of Sin City: Family Values. An Old Town girl ominously walks into a mobster's mansion and mows down the entire family with twin uzis.
- Hyperion of Supreme Power did this to a government base. He could have simply flown up to the building right away, but instead he just strolled to the building while getting fired at by soldiers and missiles.
- The soldiers were hurt or killed by only the bullets that bounced off of Hyperion.
- The base general lampshades this, saying that Hyperion is only walking in to send a message.
- Batman: Mask of the Phantasm: A favored tactic of the Phantasm. It works.
- Carry On Screaming!: The mummy which Dr Watt has brought to life simply walks towards the doctor, without speaking; the doctor is terrified.
- District 9 has the jerkass-sadist-total-douche walk in slow motion toward Wikus just before he is torn limb from limb and eaten by the Prawns he hates so much. Jolly good!
- In Dracula Untold, Vlad invokes this as he walks toward the Ottoman army surrounded by a lightning storm with the Ottomans looking on in horror.
- Falling Down: D-FENS hangs up the phone, turns around, and oh so slowly walks over to the crashed car of a group of gangbangers who attempted to kill him in a drive-by, but failed.
- Jason Voorhees of Friday the 13th is similar to Micheal Myers, but only when he's a zombie.
- Halloween is notorious in that Michael Myers NEVER runs, only walks, very ominously, towards his victim at a steady pace.
- He will, however, occasionally pursue his prey with a vehicle.
- Inglourious Basterds: The Bear Jew does this as he approaches a Nazi officer. As he's walking out of the tunnel he hits the bat against the wall as he oh-so-slowly makes his way towards the Nazi officer where he proceeds to bludgeon him to death. Justified as he's trying to scare their prisoners into talking.
- It Follows is basically this trope: The Movie. The titular "it" stalks its victims at a leisurely pace, and never moves faster than that. You can run away from it, but it never stops coming after you.
- John Wick: John lives and breaths this trope when he finally corners Iosef, and takes his sweet time walking towards him, with great emphasis being placed the sound of his footsteps, before finally shooting Iosef in the face.
- The first pteranodon in Jurassic Park III pulls a brief one at the beginning of the sequence it appears in. Simply put, the creature is surrounded by fog when it does this, and is slowly striding its way toward a thirteen year old boy. No one can blame said boy for screaming. Bonus points for the fact that an animal known for its flying prowess is introduced by walking menacingly.
- In Monty Python's Life of Brian, the Centurion does this (complete with scary music) behind Brian, who has his back turned while busily painting graffiti.
- Marvel Cinematic Universe:
- Thor: Ragnarok: Subverted with Valkyrie's introduction scene — she emerges from her ship and begins to walk down the ramp... and falls off the side because she's drunk off her ass.
- Avengers: Infinity War: Played straight with Thanos, who upon arriving on Earth powers through the remaining defenders without any sign of being in a hurry. Even knowing that Wanda is in the process of destroying the Mind Stone doesn't make him speed up at all.
- The rock monsters of Missile to the Moon are unfortunately less than menacing in this area.
June: Oh Steve, we've got to stop it!
RiffTrax: If not we'll be forced to walk away slowly without the slightest trace of urgency, laughing the whole time!
- The A Nightmare on Elm Street movies are just one long love note to this trope.
- No Country for Old Men: Anton Chigurh does this quite a bit. With a limp that shows off just how determined he really is. As long as he isn't facing certain death, Anton always moves at the same, slow pace. It's implied that he had to run to escape a retaliation from Moss, but it's offscreen.note He also tends to hold his shotgun in one hand, pointed down to his feet as he walks. It's a small touch, but it's totally badass when the shot is of his feet and the muzzle of a silencer.
- In The Railway Children, Ruth does this (to a crescendo of scary music) just after she has been drenched by a bucket of water balanced on a door.
- The Tall Man in the movie Phantasm, complete with loud, echoing footsteps.
- Star Wars: Darth Vader, right from his introduction. It's taken Up to Eleven in Rogue One, when Vader does his ominous walk through a hallway in the rebel flagship, massacring the rebels as they pass on the Death Star plans.
- In Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014), Shredder pulls one of these as he approaches the turtles, who are desperately trying to hold the structure on top of Sacks' tower steady.
- Terminator: Most Terminators are prone to this. Sometimes too slowly to catch their victims.
- Rorshach from Watchmen uses this to great effect.
- Sonic the Hedgehog (2020) has a floating variation. While Robotnik had just been chasing Sonic at super speed thanks to having one of Sonic's quills, when he finally blasts Sonic in Egypt just as Sonic enters the portal to Green Hills, Robotnik flies his craft through the portal slowly, knowing that Sonic can't run now.
- American Gods (2017): Mr. World's echoing footsteps precede him as he saunters into the interrogation room. Justified, as he has a literally captive audience and can take his time intimidating Wednesday and Shadow, since he's already killed all the cops. Bonus points for his footsteps illuminating the tiles beneath his feet - it would look silly if he wasn't so terrifying.
- Angelus often pursues his victims this way in Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel.
- Done repeatedly in the Mini Series The Deliberate Stranger, which depicted the exploits of Serial Killer Ted Bundy. A pretty young woman would stroll through a parking lot, down a street, down a hallway, etc., and the camera would pan down to the ground to follow Bundy's feet as he stalked her. What had these women at his mercy was that they were completely alone and blissfully unaware of the danger creeping up on them.
- Kamen Rider BLACK: Main antagonist Shadow Moon is a master of this. The first episode he shows up he is given a special metallic sound effect everytime he moves. This remains later in the series toned down a little due to his body being that of a cyborg. In episode 36 Kotaro has a dream of chasing Nobuhiko and ends up having an encounter with Shadow Moon not without being chased by the metallic sound first just to make things more scary.
- The fourth horseman Death, after he exits his Cadillac, and slowly walks through Chicago, Illinois (which he is planning to destroy) in Supernatural. A poor bastard is unlucky enough to rudely bump into him, and dies only seconds later.
- Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. Cameron. Especially after she picks up that limp at the beginning of the second season.
- Alien: Isolation: The Xenomorph does this several times while stalking you and even does it in a cutscene. The Working Joes do something similar, always chasing you at a walking pace.
- The Nicole apparition that serves the Final Boss in Dead Space 2 does this, but she will also Flash Step so she's never more than a few paces away from you. And she will one hit you if you get distracted by the other mooks.
- In the Devil May Cry series, this is a gameplay mechanic with Vergil in his playable iterations from 4 onwards, where one of the ways to raise his "Concentration" meter is to avoid running and instead walk slowly towards enemies (that or Flash Step to them).
- Krichevskoy's Blazing Rush in Disgaea 4: A Promise Unforgotten starts with him slowly marching towards his frightened opponents before delivering a world of hurt on them. For added awesomeness, flames erupt from under his feet with each step.
- In Doom Eternal, during cutscenes the Doom Slayer prefers to move in an intimidating stroll that terrifies every human around him.
- Mannimarco in the Mannimarco Revisited mod for The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. (In the unmodified game, his introduction is much less dramatic.)
- FEAR: Alma just fucking loves this trope. In the first game she takes this trope to eleven as you find yourself in a hallway and Alma comes out of fucking nowhere and invokes this trope while setting the room ON FIRE! And pretty much every other time you see her throughout the series she invokes this trope, only towards the end does she start averting it. With very good reason.
- Kingdom Hearts:
- This was how Master Xehanort was introduced in the Secret Ending of Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix, later adapted into the climax of Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep. The scene has him trudging veeery slowly through the deserts of the Keyblade Graveyard toward the protagonists. Once he stops walking, things go rapidly downhill for the good guys.
- It's also how his apprentice Vanitas first appeared in the video, joining Xehanort halfway through. Mix that with his dark outfit and feature-concealing helmet, and they serve as a good warning sign for how bad the situation is for Aqua, Terra and Ven.
- Xehanort employs it again in Kingdom Hearts III, twice this time. Once upon confronting the Guardians of Light at the Keyblade Graveyard, shortly before he and his henchmen unleash a horde of the forces of darkness upon them, and once more at the crossroads when he and his Seekers confront the Guardians for the start of the second Keyblade War.
- Imran Zakhaev in the final mission of the first Modern Warfare. It's a little justified, as most of the Bravo Team gunning for him had either been killed or critically wounded by an exploding oil tanker.
- In Multi Track Drifting World Of Tanks, heavy tanks do this when they corner you, at which point, you no longer have any chance of survival. Since you don't have anywhere to run, they'll move slowly to retain accuracy. Heavy T Ds also like doing this.
- Resident Evil:
- Resident Evil 4: Oddly enough enemies will run at you until they get within a certain distance then they will start ominously walking towards you for no reason. However, the Regenerators/Iron Maidens play this trope totally straight.
- The earlier games in the series have Tyrants (Super Soldiers and Implacable Men). They love to slowly walk toward you while you shoot at them. And then they sprint.
- Mr. X from Resident Evil 2 is stuck in power-walk mode, but it doesn't make him any less scary. The Remake takes it even further, upgrading a scripted enemy only encountered in the B scenario to a relentless stalker that methodically pursues the player throughout the Police Station. The sound of his footsteps echoing from another room as he searches for you is utterly terrifying. What makes it even worse is that while the player can absolutely outrun him, his appearance coincides with Lickers spawning all over the station. Walk slowly to elude the Lickers, and you risk being caught by Mr. X. Run to stay ahead of him, and you risk being mauled by a Licker in the process. Good luck.
- In Sengoku Basara, Matsunaga Hisahide has the unique ability to walk rather than run. In the story mode of the fourth game, both he and Nobunaga menacingly stroll to battles rather than riding horses or even running.
- Silent Hill 2's Pyramid Head, unarguably. The laboured walk caused by his huge, metal helmet (and sometimes Great Knife) makes him infinitely scarier, because what does it matter how slow or fast he goes? You're dead either way.
- In Skies of Arcadia, during Vyse and Aika's first introduction to Galcian. As your party rushes to the end of the train to save Fina, Galcian calmly follows you. Despite the slowness of his pace, Aika urges them to hurry, saying she just feels like "they can't take this guy".
- Star Wars Legends: On the first level of The Force Unleashed, you can't run. To emphasize that you're playing Darth Fricking Vader, you're limited to an Ominous Walk.
- Team Fortress 2 has a moment like this in the Meet The Pyro video. After literally massacring everyone in a small town by either burning them alive until death or slamming its? fire axe into their heads, the Pyro is then seen simply walking away very akin to a soldier, while whistling "Do you believe in magic?" as the town falls apart from the severe fire damage.
- Wet: At the end of the game Rubi uses this trope. Taken to eleven since Pelham shoots her twice and she deflects both bullets with her sword.
- World of Warcraft: The Black Knight at the end of the Trial of the Champion plays this trope. He flies in on a griffon, kills the arena herald with a flick of his wrist, and walks towards the players. He even says, "This farce ends, here!"
- Even more so, the Lich King in the Halls of Reflection, who easily kills anyone who gets too close, and the only way you survive is via a an Airship doing a Gunship Rescue, blowing the cave exit up in his face.
- Eddie Gluskin and The Twins from Outlast are unique from the other enemies in that they never run in their pursuit of the player, only walk. They have edges that balance things out, however. The player only encounters Gluskin when their leg is broken, so despite walking, Gluskin's stroll is actually faster than the player's hobble. And The Twins are dead silent, even their footsteps, so they don't need speed to get the jump on you.
- Gamzee Makara from Homestuck does this when he's advancing toward Equius after shooting him in the leg with an arrow. It's absolutely terrifying.
- During the events of [S] Cascade, Jack Noir's only mode of transportation besides teleporting is an Ominous Walk, which he uses to great effect as he advances on WK, WQ, and AR. For bonus points, the scene in which the diseased Lotus Time Capsule blooms has him emerge from it in a pose that makes it look almost as if he had just Ominous Walked into the room.
- Viole from Tower of God uses this trope in the fight against Horyang, Akraptor, and Wangnan.
- In Kaspall, the Veritarc follows its victims at a slow, relentless stroll, accompanied by the tap! tap! tap! of its gnarled walking stick.
- This is how the psychotic dwarven paladin Kore moves in Goblins. Justified by the sheer weight of the armour he wears and his gigantic tower shield, but while he marches forward implacably until he catches his prey, he's not easy to evade just by staying away from him, as he also carries a pair of autocrossbows for purging things out of the range of his axes.
- Lampshaded in The Amazing World of Gumball when Darwin says in episode "The Bet" as he tries to stop Bobert from slowly terminating Gumball: "I'm sorry Gumball! I can't slow him down any longer! My belly is too chafed! Oof! <loses grip> Oh, wait! Never mind! He's still going at exactly the same pace."
- Even animals do this in Archer, particularly the episode "Disheartening Situation" in which a bunch of Komodo dragons slowly tighten their surrounding against Pam, Krieger, Lana and Cyril. They take so long to do any harm to them that Archer and Ray have enough time to drive all the way from civilization straight to the very very exact spot they all are in the middle of the jungle at night to save them in a slow-ass car which Archer and Ray know for a fact is slow, even though earlier it still takes them hours to fly there. It is immediately lampshaded later that Archer is just "lucky" to find them. It all happens in his dream, after all.
- Avatar: The Last Airbender: At one point during Season 2, Azula pummels Aang into near-unconsciousness on top of The Drill and then ominously marches towards him while she readies a fire attack to presumably finish him off.
- There's a brief moment of this in the Danny Phantom episode "Kindred Spirits". Danny and Dani have just destroyed Vlad's perfect Danny clone, severely pissing him off. He starts moving towards the pair before getting interrupted. Since Vlad's powers include projectile energy blasts, it gives the impression that he was really planning to hurt them once he got his hands on them.
- In ReBoot, Megabyte does some of these during a fight with Matrix.
- In Tom and Jerry there is an episode where Tom mixes up a concoction in order to stop Jerry from drinking his milk, but the drink instead makes Jerry huge and strong, and of course Jerry does this trope to great effect along with some sweet music.