- The first twenty minutes or so of the film are quite unsettling, particularly since we are seeing E.T.'s slow burn reveal from Elliot's point of view. E.T. himself is kept in shadow or through glimpses of his long, spindly fingers.
- The opening credits are chilling, in otherworldly, purple font, with a low, tense piece ominously playing in the background.
- E.T. himself, though turning out to be both a hero and a gentle soul, is physically nightmarish. With his Long Neck, Noodle People-like body, Creepy Long Fingers, weird feet, and the variety of bizarre noises he makes, you would think cinema's most iconic alien is from a horror film.
- The noises E.T. makes are a creepfest on their own. Particularly when frightened, he sounds like a distorted crying baby. Even his gravelly voice could be considered disturbing to hear - even if he was voiced by a chainsmoking old lady.
- As E.T. becomes ill, his body becomes more feeble and emaciated. It is particularly disturbing when Michael finds him lying nearly dead in the river.
- The infamous cornfield scene where Elliot encounters his future alien buddy for the first time. Drawn outside by strange noises, Elliot ventures into the corn outside to find the source. He finds E.T. The whole scene comes straight out of a horror movie. It even culminates in a Jump Scare, though it cleverly terrorises both characters. The E.T. puppet is particularly scary, since this the first time we get a proper look at the alien.
- Elliot's next scene with E.T. is even scarier! He is sleeping outside waiting for the "goblin" to return, and boy, does he come back. E.T. stands in shadow, and slowly lurches his way towards the petrified Elliot, who can barely utter a whisper to call his mother and Michael for help.
- Michael and Gertie's first encounter with E.T. leads to a screaming match. The usually cool Michael is so shocked that he stumbles back in horror, trashing Elliot's shelves, and screams in terror. Elliot's reaction is even more frightening, since he is trying to keep both of his siblings from freaking out, only triggered when the oblivious five-year old Gertie bursts in and runs straight into an inhuman, alien creature standing before her.
- E.T.'s early demonstration of his Psychic Powers by creating a floating model of the solar system is regarded as more unsettling than enchanting.
- Even the iconic "phone home" scene could be considered nightmarish, since E.T. says the dialogue in his creepy, gravelly voice for the first time.
- The unexpected appearance of the government agents appearing at the house, dressed in spacesuits. One clambers his way in through a window covered by blinds, while another leaps out of nowhere to grab Mary.
- The equally ominous view of the army of secret agents marching over the hill towards the house at sundown.
- E.T.'s death on the operating table is just plain harrowing, and the most realistic moment of the film. The fact they brought in actual surgeons and doctors to operate on E.T. makes it even worse.
Nightmare Fuel / E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial