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Nightmare Fuel / Jurassic Park

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"Come out, kids. We just want to have you for dinner."
A series of dinosaur movies, two of which are directed by Steven Spielberg, with video games and huge toy lines. Sounds perfectly kid-friendly, right?

You couldn't be more wrong.

As many young fans found out the hard way, Jurassic Park is frightening in the dark. After all, it's about dinosaurs being recreated in our world, including carnivorous species... What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

Film-specific pages:

Other pages:

Hold on to your butts...

WARNING: Spoilers are unmarked.

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  • Rexy is even worse in Crichton's novel than she is in the movie. Unlike her film counterpart, she is far more malicious and intent on killing anything she sees, even abandoning a fresh kill at the prospect of more carnage. Remaining still won't save you for long as she will suspect your presence despite her impaired vision (thanks to her great sense of smell) and deliberately roars in your face to make you move. Trying to squeeze into a place where she can't reach won't save you either, as her tongue is long and flexible enough to drag you out from inside a car. Failing that, she can throw said car into the branches of a tree with such force and speed that, from Grant's perspective, the vehicle had simply vanished into thin air. Try to run, and she will track you across the entire park. Try to escape via raft, she will swim after you. Stay on the river to travel faster and minimize your scent, she will figure out where you're going and be lying in wait for you at a waterfall. It's a chilling depiction of being hunted by a 7-ton predator that wants you dead. See also the illustration here.
  • Nedry catches his own intestines. Before getting his leg chewed through. Made even worse in that he had been recently blinded by the Dilophosaurus's venom, and he couldn't see where the dinosaur would attack as it came closer to him step by step. Here's the illustration.
    • Imagine the fear and helplessness you would feel in Nedry's situation in all reality. First, you're in a dark forest; a tropical storm is in its prime where you can barely see as it is. Then you come face to face with a creature that was supposed to be extinct, trying to comprehend your situation. All of a sudden, your eyes are in EXCRUCIATING pain, then the sudden realization dawns on you that you're blind and helpless, nothing but a torso with limbs. As if things couldn't get any worse, the dinosaur in front of you wastes no time in GUTTING YOU LIKE A FISH, BEFORE PROCEEDING TO EAT YOU ALIVE.
    • The description of his decomposing remains after Gennaro and Muldoon scare off a pack of Compys is unnerving in more ways than one.
  • Another fun scene: Dr. Wu and the other survivors are holed up in the Safari Lodge while Ellie is making a distraction for the raptors so they won't attack Grant who is trying to restore the park's power. However, two raptors already inside the compound which the survivors had kept in sight suddenly disappear, so Wu goes out to warn Ellie that they're on the move. As he does, one of the same raptors jumps down from the roof, tears him open, and eats him while he is still alive. The attack is so sudden that Wu tries to push the raptor's mouth away from him without noticing his intestines have spilled out of him.
  • The bit in the prologue with the injured kid whispering "Raptor, losa Raptor!" As if that isn't creepy enough, he starts explosively vomiting blood.
    • "Oh no, we swear he was run over by a backhoe!" And the "Bloody three-toes footprints..."
  • Face it; Malcolm is convinced that the park was destined to fail and everybody's noticed the fallacies in securities. Even without Nedry, there would have been accidents sooner or later thanks to the park's proximity to hurricanes. And no auto-locks on the damn car doors? And if it hadn't happened then...who knows how many people might have been on the island when there was a real foul-up?
  • In one of the very first chapters of the book, the perspective jumps to a Costa Rican midwife who is checking in on her newborn charge. She hears strange chirping noises and rushes into the baby's room, only to see three dark-green "lizards" (in reality, a pack of Procompsognathus) crouched over the infant's crib. Right before her eyes, they resume eating the baby's face until the midwife scares them off. It's too late, however, and the baby is already dead.
  • The raptors in the novels are fairly chilling by (perhaps artificial, perhaps not) nature. Intelligent as apes, built for frightening speed, sporting a variety of sharp killing instruments, and hunting in highly-organized packs. Not only that, they're explicitly mentioned to hunt and kill because it's fun to do so.
    • The raptor breakout, due in no small part to how sudden and unexpected it was. Just when it looks like things might settle down and the park may actually survive, an alarm starts blaring that the auxiliary power is almost drained, and the park staff realize that the main power has been out since the storm. Cue a cold, horrifying dread spreading throughout the survivors as they realize the raptors have had more than eight hours to escape their pen without anyone realizing. Then they hear screams of terror in the distance...
    • The protagonists in the movie actually had it easy; they only had to contend with three raptors, and never more than two at once. In the book, they have to deal with a bloody swarm of them, who exploit their numbers via coordination and teamwork to deadly effect.
      • It gets worse: when the characters figure out that the dinosaurs must be breeding, Malcolm advises them to recalculate the dinosaurs' population with a higher threshold for the total number of them. Among these, six species turn out to be breeding, including the raptors. The expected number of them was eight. How many were found after they told the computer to look for more than that? Thirty-seven.
    • In the movie, the protagonist only finds a couple of dead bodies. When the raptors start their rampage in the novel, there are dozens of mangled limbs and guts littered everywhere. At one point, Lex realizes that she's standing on someone's ear. To top it off, while all of the bodies were mutilated only a few appear to have been eaten; the raptors butchered the corpses for their own amusement.
    • Muldoon states that all the dinos are very hard to kill, as their nervous system means that even if they are mortally damaged it can take a long time for them to die. We see this when Muldoon nearly blows the leg off one... and it is still able to hunt and nearly kill Gennaro.
    • In universe, Malcolm and Grant note that the raptors' response to seeing/smelling humans is a predatory, hunting one. Which only happens if an animal had learned humans make easy prey...
  • Hammond's death at the hands of Compys. While he deserves it for being a greedy and unrepentant bastard who refused to shut down the park, it is disturbing to see him as a helpless cripple slowly being Eaten Alive, with the dino venom dulling his senses into thinking that it was paradise.
    He felt a slight pain, only slight, as the compy bent to chew his neck.
  • In the book version of The Lost World, Dodgson's gang come equipped with a sonar device that holds off dinosaurs whilst they steal eggs. It works perfectly on the herbivores, and then when they go after Tyrannosaur infants, it's working equally well on the adults. Then, suddenly, the sonic weapon's power cuts out. Quoth Malcolm in the film version: "Mommy's very angry'."
  • If you want to visualize how Dodgson dies in The Lost World (1995), look at this clip from A Bug's Life. Only instead of Flik and Princess Atta, it's Sarah Harding, Dodgson instead of Hopper, and an adult T.Rex and its young instead of a family of birds.
  • Howard King's death in The Lost World. If you thought that just getting your neck snapped was bad enough, King is chased down and torn apart by the raptors and then eaten, all while the main characters helplessly watch on. There's even a graphic description of the raptor chewing through his neck instead of breaking it...
  • The first book features a PR director, Ed Regis, who leaves Lex and Tim in the car to hide while Grant saves the children from the full-grown T. rex. Once it goes away, he comes out of hiding and is surprised by a juvenile T. rex, which is less than half the size of the adult. The scene is played rather innocuously, since Regis tries to push it away like he would an overly-affectionate dog. Then it knocks him down to the ground and bites him. He starts screaming as it starts to eat him, and Grant has to take the kids to hide in the jungle.
  • The kids hide in a baby dinosaur nursery with an infant raptor. They hope letting the terrified creature go towards the adults will distract them, and it does. THEN the raptors rip apart and eat the infant as it screams horribly. The innocent description of the baby raptor makes it so much worse when it's ripped apart like finger food.
  • The Carnotaurus scene in "The Lost World". Imagine being out by yourself at night and slowly coming to the realization that there are two immense, predatory dinosaurs just feet away, capable of blending in near perfectly with their environment. Now in illustrated form here.

    Video Games 
  • The Genesis games SEGA screen. It's basically the T. rex sprite (we only ever see one from the shoulders up) in front of a black background with the SEGA logo above her, and she roars "SEGA!!!"
    • The actual game as Grant. Limited ammo. Dinosaurs at every turn who, 9 times out of 10, want to eat you. Velociraptors who, in addition to being pretty deadly and agile, actually learn from your playing style and duck to avoid your shots. And let's not forget the T. rex, who always appears poking her head out of a hole in the wall and fiercely snaps her jaws in your direction, and can kill you with a single chomp (not to mention she has one of the most impressive dinosaur roars ever made). Her introduction in the Power Station is easily her scariest appearance, as you don't actually see her at first; just some cracks in the wall and a foreboding stomping sound. Get close (which you have to do to exit the level), and CRASH. HUUURAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAR!!!
    • When you're playing through the Visitor's Center (the last level) as Grant, you come across an elevator. Splattered in blood. Sure, it's pretty tame compared to a lot of today's games, but it's still pretty unsettling, especially since the rest of the game is blood-free. The worst part is that you can only imagine some poor terrified guy trying to escape via the elevator as a raptor closes in on him, only for the elevator to be too slow...
  • In Rampage Edition, the last level. It starts with Grant on a boat in a river, with nothing else in sight. If you've read the manual, you know the T. rex is waiting for you. If you haven't... well, you're not going to enjoy what comes next. And then there's the music.
  • Even scarier is the Sega CD version. Pseudo-free roaming, very limited ammo, a time limit (in the form of a plane piloted by a sadistic Biosyn hitman) and a really, very spooky ambiance. Including the ground physically shaking as a T. rex approaches from God knows where for a tasty snack. And it's all in first-person view, so you see exactly what your character is seeing when said T. rex devours him.
  • The SNES version had First Person parts inside the buildings, where random dino growls were to unnerve you even if the rooms were empty! Not to mention that outside that raptors could jump out from anywhere from bushes and thickets and the T. rex was an Implacable Dino! Okay, so you're walking around on top of a building (for example, the Visitor's Center). There might be some compies and a dilo or two, but at least you don't have to deal with any rapto — Oh God, they can jump up on the roof!
    • Again from the SNES version: Don't forget the blackened rooms inside the Visitor's Center/Utility Shed. Unless you have located the night vision goggles, one step inside the room, and some unseen dino swipes at you, killing you and emitting a roar.
    • The three areas in the outdoors part of the game where the Tyrannosaurus rex appears. You're walking along when the music changes into this tense theme, and when you pass by a specific spot the ''T. rex'' suddenly charges from the jungle straight for you, roaring the entire time. If you're not running the instant it comes running after you, you will not outrun it, and unless you have the tranquilizer darts (which only push it back), there's nothing you can do to stop it. Taser? Nothing. Shotgun? Nadda. A goddamn rocket launcher? The T. rex doesn't care, and it's not much longer until you're going through it's stomach - in one massive bite no less. Better luck next time...
    • The 'Continue?' screen...
    • Oh, and those raptors that can jump out of nowhere? Not only do they re-spawn, unlike the other dinosaurs, they also have a bad habit of being Not Quite Dead if you don't blow them to Kingdom Come with the rocket launcher or bolas. And you can run into them in the very first section of the map when you start up the game, unlike most other Jurassic Park games where they first appear a few levels in.
  • The 3DO Interactive Multiplayer version is just a mini-game collection. Nothing scary there, right? Oh wait, there's one game where you're wandering around a nearly pitch-black series of hallways, trying to activate some fuses. You're being chased by Velociraptors; should you run into one, you get a few seconds to contemplate your fate, and then the raptor flies right into the screen whilst shrieking. Oh yeah, and if that wasn't enough, your character lets out a horrified, blood-curdling scream. Better luck next time...
  • Jurassic Park III Dino Defender wasn't that bad...until you die. Then you get treated to a horrifying image of the dinosaur charging you in first-person.
    • In the same game, the level that starts with you being chased by a Tyrannosaurus is terrifying. It's also hard to beat because you can get eaten or fall off bridge!
  • The 1997 game The Lost World: Jurassic Park, which allows you to play both as humans and dinosaurs, have a very frightening intro for the Velociraptor section of the game. You're treated to about thirty seconds of footage from the viewpoint of a human being chased, and eventually captured, by raptors. He can't see them, but the players are treated to a graphical interface displaying their location, which shows not only the raptors gradually getting closer, but also more of them being revealed the closer they get. In addition to that, the fleeing human is communicating with someone over radio, and the fear in his voice is very evident. It's very unsettling trying to put yourself in his shoes.
  • People may have considered Jurassic Park: Trespasser to be a less-than-stellar game, but it could pull some genuinely terrifying moments sometimes. Raptors could sneak up on you and kill you from behind. Even if you do see them, the goofy controls meant it was difficult to aim and kill them. Running is often your best bet. And there are also scripted moments, like in level 4's Diner where a dinosaur could spawn in behind you or push open a door. And finally, the T. rex. There is no fighting the T. rex. There is only sneaking by it or distracting it. Unless you get a good head start, you will not outrun it.
  • There's the fighting game Warpath: Jurassic Park, which allowed you to play as several movie and non-movie dinosaurs (including the then-unseen Spinosaurus). These being dinosaurs, their attacks could be especially brutal. Among the most brutal were those of the Triceratops and Styracosaurus who would impale their enemies during their throw attacks, leaving the enemy dinosaur squirming on the ends of their horns until they were thrown to the ground. Every attack also left some pretty nasty wounds, including some which would do things like leave bones exposed to the open air. Finally, the way to regenerate health would be to catch little running creatures and kill them , but you did not not have to kill them right away. Until you hit an attack button, you could leave a squirming compy, dog or human being in the jaws of a giant carnivore or impaled on the spike of an equally huge herbivore until it was finally swallowed whole or stomped to death.
  • Even the Lost World arcade game had its moments. Namely, the fight with the Carnotaurus. Imagine, if you will, a dinosaur slightly smaller than a T. rex that could turn completely invisible out for your blood. The fact that it looks like a giant Jackson's chameleon will either act as Nightmare Retardant or make it even worse.
  • This intro for NES version had low tense music showing logos for the company and the title of the game, then it cuts to the black screen with nothing on it. The eyes of the T-Rex suddenly comes up blinking at the player, then she slowly rises up until her head is fully on-screen; her eyes grow wide and she suddenly roars at the viewer! Probably causing players to jump and run away from the screen after that. Even worse for younger players, showing the menu in her red mouth while saliva drips from her teeth. Thankfully, the cool menu music mitigates things somewhat.
  • Even though it may lack some horror compared to the other entries on this list, rest assure that even Jurassic Park: Operation Genesis has its own fair share of scares. Think of it this way. You've been given the key to the kingdom. You get to fulfill both John Hammond's dream as much as your own. Being a park manager, working hand in hand with InGen and their assets. You get to make, build, and live the dream. Nothing can possibly go wrong, right? What's that you say? A hurricane is heading towards Isla Nublar? You don't have that many security personnel on hand? An attraction has been downed by high winds and straight into the carnivores pen you say? Better hope you make it to them and rescue the hapless souls before they become a main course by one of your dinos. And if you think that's bad. Watch what happens when you fail a check on some of your fence line statuses. If there is so much as one weak segment out of place in your perimeter. You're going to be seeing true utter horror and chaos unfold on your island if you are managing poorly.
  • The 1994 SEGA arcade game, which is often found at Chuck E. Cheese. You're riding in a jeep through the park with a gun. Your first enemy? The T. rex, which pokes its fearsome head out of the trees as you pass before proceeding to chase you, lagging at intervals, only to then quickly catch up to you, its mouth wide open. Horrifying.

  • In one DVD release of the first and second films, the menus made it so that whenever you either made a selection or waited too long without selecting anything, a velociraptor would run up and jump at the screen! Needless to say, this Playable Menu was scrapped from subsequent DVD releases, and has since gained infamy for traumatizing an entire generation of children.
  • The concept of dino/human hybrids for the fourth movie (mentioned below) actually originated as one of the themes for Universal's Halloween Horror Nights in 2002, where there was a Jurassic Park-themed haunted house called Project Evilution and a scarezone called JP Extinction. The storyline of both centered around a rogue InGen scientist mutating human victims with the DNA of various dinosaurs as well as other animals, resulting in the creation of many grotesque Mix-and-Match Critters that then break loose, kill said scientist, and send Jurassic Park spiraling into chaos. If you're that curious, here's a look at what some of the gruesome hybrids looked like.
  • The concept art for the first draft of the fourth movie, which as mentioned above, depicts dinosaur/human hybrids, that in the movie would've been used as military weapons. Many dedicated fans were relieved that this was dropped, but probably not for the same reasons as a lot of people...