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Nightmare Fuel / Live-Action Films
aka: Film

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The face of a thousand screamers, and for a very good reason.

"Do not watch this movie on drugs unless you've got a mean hankering for PTSD."
D. McCallum (on Shutter Island note ), Cracked

Do you remember as a kid, you couldn't wait until you were 17 so you could watch R-rated movies without your parents' permission?

The scariness of these movies——especially the horror ones may make it feel like it wasn't worth the wait. (And some of these movies aren't even rated R). And watching them in a movie theater might be scarier than watching them at home...

For examples from animated movies, see the Animated Films and Anime & Manga pages.

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This section is separated by genre and placed in alphabetical order by film. Before you add examples here, check the index above and make sure that movie doesn't already have its own page. Please do not put a movie below because it is "scary in general"; provide specific examples of why it is Nightmare Fuel or it will be removed.

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  • In Breakfast on Pluto, a case of Mood Whiplash qualifies for this trope. In one scene, Kitten is slow-dancing with a man at a club when a bomb goes off, blowing up the club they are in. We then get a pan over all of the dead, dying, and injured people, including some very nasty burn wounds, twisted bodies, and sounds of moaning and crying. One of the injured is Kitten herself, which is made even worse when she gets accused of planting the bomb because she happens to be an Irish man who wants to be a woman (the film takes place during the Irish Revolution, and Kitten - who had nothing to do with the bomb - happens to be in London.)
  • Doctor Strangelove: The Downer Ending where the entire world is destroyed by nuclear war, while Vera Lynn's "We'll Meet Again" provides an eerie Soundtrack Dissonance over the credits.
  • For a series of comedy movies aimed mainly at kids, you'd think the Ernest P. Worrell films wouldn't be that bad. You'd be wrong.
    • Ernest Scared Stupid is easily nightmarish for any youngster, especially at the parts where the troll appears almost out of the blue to capture Joey and Elizabeth.
    • Ernest Goes to Camp has Ernest on the end of a disturbingly realistic beatdown from one of the construction workers.
    • Ernest Goes to Jail has Nash. He had no problem getting Ernest sent to the electric chair, is so bad the other inmates are afraid of him, and and attempted to blow up the bank with Ernest's friends still inside. What's really part of the nightmare fuel is Jim Varney's performance: despite the fact he's being played by the same man as Ernest, he convincingly manages to not act a single thing like his trademark character.
  • Junior. The Arnie baby is an example of computer animation gone disturbing.
  • Look Who's Talking Too:
    • Mikey has a nightmare where a miniature Satan shows up in his toy collection and turns his teddy bear into a fanged and clawed monster.
    • Mr. Toilet Man, a furry fanged toilet that harasses Mikey to pee in him and spits disgusting blue goo as he talks. Notably, one woman made the news because she feared going to the bathroom after watching the film as a kid.
  • One scene in UHF involves a parody of the rock chase scene in the beginning of Raiders of the Lost Ark, where Weird Al is chased by an unusually persistent boulder. Bereft of context, the idea of a giant, sentient rock determined to hunt you down to the ends of the Earth and crush you can be quite frightening.

    Crime & Mystery 
  • Angels & Demons has Eye Scream, branding, drowning, choking to death on dirt, and immolation. Self-immolation, too. Freaky beyond measure. Also, the Pope after his impromptu exhumation is really, really disturbing-looking. In another vein, Vittoria attempts CPR on one of the four kidnapped Cardinals, only for it to come to her attention (and the viewer's) that the man's lungs are punctured— because blood squirts out of the open wound in his chest to hit Robert in the face. Gahhhhh.
  • Bad Lieutenant has an infamous scene where a beautiful young nun (played by Frankie Thorn) is defiled by a pair of rapists. Coupled with a cut to Jesus screaming on the cross.
  • Basic Instinct begins with Catherine Tramell (from the back) having passionate sex with a guy in a very warm and rosy setting. She proceeds to tie his hands to the bed with a silk scarf, and just as they are about to climax, things turn very quickly from eroticism to pure horror as she takes an icepick and starts savagely stabbing the guy to death. We don't even see the poor guy die, we just watch him scream madly and struggle to get away as Catherine keeps stabbing, getting bathed in his blood as the movie cuts to the next scene.
  • The Black Dahlia: The last scene where Josh Hartnett's character is talking with Scarlett Johansson's character, then looks back to see the Dahlia's corpse spread out on the lawn just like it was when she was found. The sharp violin music really makes it a freaky moment.
  • Canoa, a film from Mexico. From the very first scene we're told a group of workers got lynched by a town who mistook them for communists. It takes one hour of build-up to get to the point where the fanatic villagers storm the house where the young victims are. As the aggressions begin, some of the victims watch in horror, as impotent as the spectator. The lynching scene is so long, graphic and horrible, there's only one thing capable of making it worse: It really happened.
  • Eastern Promises has a lot of other violence, but it's the throat-slitting that takes the cake. The amount of rape in that movie doesn't help. Also, the very first scene, with a heavily pregnant 14 year-old girl stumbling into a shop and asking for help, then collapsing into the blood that's been dripping down from between her legs, is crazy squicky. A sexually abused 14 year old girl miscarrying is bad enough. The fact that she dies, worse still. The fact that the person who'd been doing the abusing was Semyon...
  • Gozu: The kid in the 'yakuza killing' car staring down a barrel of a gun motionless with a smile that could be used for warfare. Perhaps Manami waking up to find a man with a cow's head wasn't surreal enough. And the ending: not even a spoiler could prepare you for what happens.
  • Kalifornia. The scene where Early makes the store clerk lie down and cover his head, and makes him believe he might get out of it alive. And then, with the guy sobbing in terror, Early shoots him. The image of a yellow smiley-face cushion exploding in fluff and blood is haunting.
  • The Killer Inside Me has a very uncomfortable to watch scene where the Villain Protagonist savagely beats his pretty girlfriend (played by Jessica Alba) into a bloody pulp, even long after she has gone limp. When she reappears near the end of the film, her face is covered in scars, her beauty destroyed.
  • Memento: The scene where he is casually talking on the phone in his hotel while he removes the bandage from his new tattoo only to find that it reads "Never answer the phone." He asks who it is on the other line and gets no answer, followed by the photo of him bloody after a killing being slid under the door to his hotel.
  • Oldboy (2003): The tongue-cutting scene.
  • Reservoir Dogs. When Mr. Blonde is through with his torture, you'll never listen to "Stuck in the Middle With You" quite the same way. And that dance.
  • Smokin' Aces. Specifically the scene when one of the Tremor brothers falls on a chainsaw. Eli Roth of Hostel would be impressed.
  • The Trial (1993 version). The labyrinth of dilapidated corridors as a metaphor for a heartless bureaucracy awakens some childhood fears in some people. A rare case of creating a really unsettling effect without using any horror-associated elements.
  • Untraceable. The first victim wasn't that horrible, but the guy being roasted alive, and the guy being submerged in acid. Add to that the fact that he was a cop.
  • Zodiac is a lovely example of occasional terror, especially the basement scene. That you never know what was really going on made it oh-so-much worse.

  • Before Mayday, there was Air Disasters, an hour-long documentary that exposes some uncomfortable truths behind the world of flight and how the industry is run by utilizing footage of actual accidents, some of it quite disturbing, set to droning, atonal industrial-esque musicnote . Particular attention is given to the vastly differing safety standards in various parts of the world and the industry's practice of operating aircraft under flags of convenience in order to bypass regulations. That in itself is a terrifying prospect. There also exists a Re-Cut, frequently broadcast on TLC in the late 1990s but virtually impossible to find nowadays, which fixes some of the errors in the narrationnote  while adding additional context to some of the clips, which increases the Nightmare Fuel potential by only a small margin.
  • The documentary A State Of Mind, following the lives of two North Korean barely-teenaged gymnasts, is definitely in some parts a Tear Jerker, and rather horrifying.
  • Dear Zachary: The idea of a mother killing her child is bad enough in fiction but it's worse cause this actually happened.
  • Earthlings. Basically the entire film is Nightmare Fuel, as you are watching real animals in the most abhorrent conditions and unimaginable pain possible.
  • The BBC docu-drama End Day, which depicts five different possible scenarios, in order of the amount of damage they would do to human civilization and the planet in general: A mega-tsunami, a killer asteroid, a global pandemic, the eruption of a super-volcano, and the Large Hadron Collider failing, which eventually results in the entire planet being consumed by "strange matter".
  • The notorious Nazi propaganda movie, The Eternal Jew, contained a scene meant to dehumanize the Jews by comparing them to rats. Apparently audiences found the scene so horrifying that they ran out of cinemas and the movie had to be withdrawn. Modern audiences find it horrifying for different reasons.
  • Incendio, a short documentary by the National Fire Prevention Agency about the 1974 Joelma Building fire in São Paulo, Brazil, one of the inspirations for The Towering Inferno. Between the subject matter, scenes of panicked tenants jumping to their deaths, the narrator's Creepy Monotone voiceover, and the spooky synth music reminiscent of Boards of Canada, it's pretty chilling.
  • Trevor McDonald’s duology of ITV documentaries titled Inside Death Row which see him interview prisoners with death sentences in Indiana State Penitentiary expectedly document his encounters with many disturbing and vile characters. The second documentary sees McDonald come face to face with William Clyde Gibson, an utterly remorseless serial killer who candidly recounts his various killings to a barely straight-faced Trevor, and bluntly dismisses the possibility of having any degree of humanity, giggling like a jolly hick all the while.
  • March of the Dinosaurs made feathered tyrannosaurs horrifying. There is one scene where the Edmontosaurus are ambushed by the tyrannosaurs where one literally leaps (like a raptor) out of nowhere to tackle one of the poor plant-eaters. Imagine three tons of teeth and death leaping at you.
  • 9/11 has this as a given, due to it being live footage of a terrorist attack that killed almost 3,000 people. Some standouts:
    • Entering the stricken North Tower, Jules immediately hears someone screaming. His narration states that this is a woman who is burning because of jet fuel that shot down the elevator shafts, and she's a few feet offscreen because Jules didn't want to film something so horrible.
    • Later, you can hear the impacts of things falling from the upper floors of the North Tower. Some of these impacts are from people who jumped to escape the floors above the impact. Jules seems more shaken by this than anything else before it.
  • Night and Fog is a short but powerful documentary on The Holocaust directed by Alain Resnais. Shot less than a decade after the end of WW2, it alternates between past and present, combining eerie scenes of the abandoned remains of Auschwitz with nightmarish historical footage of Nazi atrocities, some of it quite graphic. The chilling score by Hanns Eisler further adds to the unsettling atmosphere.
  • The Man Who Saw Tomorrow - a documentary-style movie about Nostradamus' predictions, narrated by Orson Welles is terrifying, especially when it comes to the infamous "King of Terror" prophecy and was huge Nightmare Fuel for 1980s viewers.
  • Violence: An American Tradition, a documentary that is about, as the title says, violence in USA and its history, its culture, its relationship with media and pop culture, its effects on daily life, the politics and motives behind it, the people involved with it, etc. Anyone who believes that Humans Are Good will definitely have their beliefs destroyed by this one hour long documentary, specially the part that deals with child abuse.
  • Waltz with Bashir: A full-on shot of a nightmarish, wild pack of dogs running at the camera to finish actual footage of the immediate aftermath of the massacre in Lebanon in the 80s.
  • This squicktastic footage of a 70cm long worm being devoured by a giant red leech, filmed for the BBC's Wonders of the Monsoon.

  • The Accused: The gang rape on its own is bad enough, but it's the cheering of the men watching and the ringleader picking out who gets to go next all while Sarah is screaming and crying that pushes it into true Nightmare Fuel territory. That, and the fact that the premise of the movie was based on a true story. That scene was apparently serious Nightmare Fuel for the actors who were playing the rapists; Jodie Foster had to repeatedly reassure them.
  • The Bear: The film has some very terrifying scenes for a PG movie, including the Family-Unfriendly Death of the cub's mother at the beginning, a literal Nightmare Sequence involving spiny fanged frogs, an Amanita muscaria-induced Mushroom Samba, and the gruesome climactic fight between the Kodiak bear and the hunters' dogs.
  • The Big Shave: Martin Scorsese's short 1967 film begins with some simple shots of a bathroom while some jazz plays (specifically Bunny Berigan's version of 'I Can't Get Started'), and shortly after, a man walks in. He begins to shave. Then he keeps on shaving. He shaves too much. The film is often seen as an allegory for what the United States was doing to itself in The Vietnam War. The film can be viewed here.
  • Biutiful: A roomful of sleeping immigrant workers, a total of about 25 men, women and children, all die as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning. When their boss comes in to wake them, they're just all lying there dead. And somehow, it goes From Bad to Worse: the main character, Uxbal, can communicate with the dead to some degree, and as he tries to apologize to one of the dead women, a friend of his, you briefly see the spirits of the dead people suspended weirdly against the ceiling, their faces contorted with fear. It's all the most disturbing because there's no sound effects or dramatic music stings to highlight it. And towards the end of the film, Uxbal (who is dying of cancer) sees himself on the ceiling in the same way in his final hours. It's very, very effective.
  • Blindness: The uncomfortably extended group rape scene is difficult to sit through. It is so amazingly vulgar, while showing surprisingly little in comparison. The pained cries of the victims push this into nightmare territory.
  • The Brainwashed and Crazy scientist's shooting rampage in The Bourne Legacy, especially the scenes of the other scientists panicking and cowering.
  • Braveheart: The ending, where William Wallace is hanged, drawn and quartered - among other things, his torso is ripped open and his intestines are scrambled around while he is still alive. It is horrific to imagine enduring that much pain knowing that the damage is irreversible, and you're already as good as dead.
    • The scene where an English commanding officer tries to rape Murron with the help of two of his soldiers is really uncomfortable to watch. He forcefully shoves her on a hut, then lays on top of her and kisses and licks her while making disgustingly lustful noises. Murron has to settle on violence in order to escape, resulting in her biting the rapist's cheek and even then she doesn't stand a chance against him. The soldier then hits her, calling her a bitch. If it weren't for Wallace, Murron would have ended being brutally gang-raped. It's already creepy enough that the Dirty Old Man flirts with her before the attempted rape and makes perverted notes on how Murron reminds him of his daughter.
  • Citizen Kane: Towards the end of the movie, out of nowhere a scene opens with an extreme close up of a cockatoo giving off a loud screech before flying off. Not only is this seriously startling, but it is also seriously disturbing due to the fact that the cockatoo was poorly imposed on the scene, resulting in it having completely transparent eyes, which in turn makes it look like something that came right out of the deepest trenches of hell. Some have argued that the transparent eyes were done by Orson Welles on purpose, to give off some kind of symbolic imagery, but there's no way to know that for sure. The ironic thing about all of this is that the only reason this scene was put in was because Orson Welles was worried that the audience would be losing interest this late in the film, so he added this to "wake them up".
  • Coma: Unconscious victims go from the OR to the Jefferson Institute, where you think is a nice care home for the terminally ill, but in reality keeps them naked and tube-fed hanging on wires from the ceiling, and the people in charge steal their organs to sell on the black market. If you're in any way afraid of hospitals or medical paraphernalia, don't watch this movie.
  • The Cook, the Thief, His Wife and Her Lover: Michael Gambon's monologues are nightmarish, particularly when he lectures his wife, loudly enough so that everyone in the restaurant can hear, that she's not allowed to masturbate because as her husband, only he gets to decide when she gets touched.
    • Helen Mirren (the wife) and her lover concealing their affair from said abusive husband by stowing away, naked, in a truck full of slaughtered pig parts.
    • The murder of her lover by stuffing the pages of his book down his throat until he chokes to death.
  • Covenant Rider: A flashback scene had a young Wichita Slim tied to a post and branded for misbehavior. The combination of a little boy screaming and the burn on his shirt ensured that Covenant Rider would never, ever be watched after the first time.
  • Dahmer: Particularly the part at the end when he slices the one guy's chest and stomach open and sticks his hands in his intestines.
  • Dogtooth contains a heckton of this. First off is the idea that parents could go to such an extent to isolate their children from reality - they keep them on their expansive estate and redefine several concepts so that their kids are scared into staying.
    • The scene with the cat is just pure nightmare fuel, from beginning to end. A cat appears in the yard at one point. Frightened, the son grabs a pair of gardening shears and decapitates it, while the two daughters watch out the window and scream. When the mother calls the father at work about this incident, they agree that it's a "good opportunity" to further hammer down the message about the dangers of the outside world. The father dabs red paint on his shirt and splits open his clothes with shears, and greets the family by saying that their previously-unspoken-of brother is dead, killed by a cat, the "most dangerous creature in the world." Both the brutal violence of the cat's death (which is shown onscreen) and the idea that such an innocent animal would be given such a terrifying portrayal are creepy.
    • When the son is seen playing with a toy airplane, one of the daughters fights him for it in a childlike manner, grappling for it. She eventually gets the airplane. Subsequently, the girl finds him in the kitchen and (to teach him a lesson) cuts his arm with a chef's knife - the bluntness of the moment is shocking.
  • Downfall (Der Untergang):
    • There's one person guaranteed to haunt your dreams; Goebbels, the guy who looks like the freaking crypt keeper himself. You know the world has come to an end when Goebbels makes Hitler himself appear to be nothing more than a raving drunk.
    • The fate of Goebbels' children. Just in case you started to feel sorry for anyone else.
  • Eyes Wide Shut: About 75% of the soundtrack easily qualifies as Nightmare Fuel. Try listening to the Masked Ball sequence late at night, alone in a dark house. This piece includes sinister strings in a minor key with a backmasked basso profundo voice chanting in Romanian. Try to sleep. The following night, play the most frightening piano piece known to man, Gyorgy Ligeti's Musica Ricercata No. 2 as played by Dominic Harlan, on your Ipod as you walk down the street alone in the dark. Paranoia like you have never known it before.
  • Girl with a Pearl Earring: Van Ruijven's attempt to rape Griet as well as when Catharina tries to suddenly stab the picture of Griet.
  • The Good Earth: The locusts!
  • Gorillas in the Mist The horrible, horrible scene that depicts the murder of Dian Fossey's favorite gorilla Digit at the hands of poachers. But the worst is when they find his corpse propped up against a tree in a sitting position, with bloody stumps where his head and hands used to be. Also tear-jerkingly sad and Truth in Television.
  • I Am Dina. At the beginning, the heroine, then a little girl, causes a the contents of a huge cauldron full of boiling lye to be poured on her mother. First you see the mother, completely scalded. Then the little girl, waiting on her own in an attic, listening while her mother screams constantly for hours, maybe days, before dying.
  • Inglourious Basterds Whenever Brad Pitt's character pulled out his knife, scalped the Nazis and carved swastikas onto the foreheads of the survivors.
  • Inland Empire. David Lynch apparently can't get enough of suffocating suspense and so, being David Lynch, distilled this to an even worse extreme in this film. Slasher Smile, bleeding mouths, and distorted faces combine to create one horrific image. The scene in question.
  • The Invisible: Nick's predicament. Imagine being a spirit doomed to watch helplessly as everyone around you falls to pieces when they believe you're dead, seeing that people you hated or ignored are suffering horribly, while you yourself are dying, and the only person who can save you is the one who put you in a coma to begin with.
  • Iron Jawed Angels They're not called that because they had their mouths pried open with metal instruments and were force-fed raw eggs through a tube shoved down their throat. But after watching that scene, that's all you'll think of. Made even scarier by the fact that it's Truth in Television.
  • Isadora:
    • The death of ballet dancer Isadora Duncan, when the long scarf she wears become entangled in the car's wheel, snapping her neck. The movie manages to recreate in horrific detail.
    • Also disturbing is how her kids drown in when the car they're in accidentally rolls into the Seine.
  • The Last King of Scotland:
    • The scene where Garrigan finds Kay's mutilated body. It's utterly horrific.
    • Garrigan being suspened from the ceiling by hooks through his chest
  • The Last Sin Eater
    • "Who's going to take away MY sins, Cadi Forbes?"
    • Brogan Kai: a man who viciously beats a preacher to death onscreen, rigs a decision to choose the next Sin Eater to marry a woman, and is perfectly willing to murder his own son (and says so to said woman's face, no less!). And even then his father was worse
  • The 1928 adaptation of The Man Who Laughs has Conrad Veidt as the most unbelievably disturbing-looking protagonist in all of film. He has a very creepy permanant smile.
  • The Manchurian Candidate (2004):
  • Munich: The scenes depicting the actual Munich hostage crisis, especially in the scene where one of the athletes is shot in the mouth at point-blank range and survives. Thanks to Spielberg's brilliant and powerful execution, the intensity and brutality of those scenes will be haunting your nightmares for quite some time, no matter how jaded you are. It's scary enough as it is, but on top of that, everything depicted in those scenes actually happened. And the guy who got shot in the face? He was played in the movie by the son of the real guy. That had to have taken a lot of courage.
  • One Hour Photo:
    • The nightmare scene, in which Robin Williams's character's eyes explode with blood. Made all the more disturbing for coming in what is otherwise a fairly conventional thriller film and therefore being completely out of context.
    • The concept is pretty creepy: The idea of people you only see in passing and take for granted finding ways to maliciously invade your privacy.
  • The Patriot (2000)
    • During the disastrous Battle of Camden, an American soldier is decapitated by a direct hit from a cannonball. Another man takes a musket ball to the knee, snapping it at the joint. There is a scene in a field hospital crowded with men maimed in such a way.
    • The British massacring the American wounded at Martin's plantation and burning the place down. And Thomas being shot and killed by Tavington. Tavington generally is frightening, a prime example of a particularly sadistic Colonel Kilgore.
    • Martin's Berserker tendencies. There's a bit where he attacks a convoy, trying to rescue his other son Gabriel. He slaughters the soldiers, singles out this one fleeing soldier and hits him in the back with a thrown tomahawk, downing the man into a puddle. Then Martin runs over, pulls the axe out and hits the man's body again. And again and again. And doesn't stop. All while his sons watch in mortified silence. When Martin returns to his sons, he is drenched in blood.
    • The scene where Tavington orders the burning of a church with the townsfolk locked inside.
  • The Piano Teacher. It features the most screwed up woman ever, named Erika. Notable scenes: the opening scene in which Erika and her mother fight about the fact that Erika came home late, even though she's 40-plus years old, and the fight turns physical. There's also a scene in which Erika cuts between her legs and a trail of blood streams down the bathtub's side, when Erika appears to be attempting to rape her own mother the next-to-last scene in which Erika forces her young male student to rape her while her mother is within earshot and Erika looks like a corpse. The thing comes together to conclude: This protagonist is a very, very screwed up human being.
  • Ray: The scene where he has a hallucination that his drowned brother is in his suitcase.
  • Self Defense:
    • The very premise of this 1983 Canadian flick is the stuff of nightmares — basically, the local police are on strike, meaning they cannot intervene as a vicious gang of armed thugs terrorizes our protagonists.
    • The Homophobic Hate Crime that sets the plot in motion also qualifies, particularly when the perpetrators cold-bloodedly execute all but one of the witnesses.
    • The reveal at the end that one of those responsible for the aforementioned hate crime is a police officer, who just goes back to work (albeit having sustained heavy injuries) once the strike is over. The film does not outright confirm whether he is the only cop in the hate group's ranks, but the extensive knowledge of police procedure they demonstrate to calculate their odds and their access to heavy weaponry heavily implies he is not.
  • The Secret Garden 1987:
    • In any of the film adaptations, Mary walking through the house to find Colin can be deeply unsettling. The 1987 version takes this up to eleven with scary music and a lightning storm raging outside the manor — and let's not forget the cutaways to the light playing off of the dark, ugly statues.
    • There's also the opening from that same movie, where Mary's wandering through a house where everyone except her is dead or dying from cholera, and she doesn't even understand what's happening. Special mention goes to the lingering shot on Mary's dying parents, with their faces twisted up in pain.
  • The Secret Garden (1993):
    • The 1993 film replaces the cholera epidemic with an earthquake. The scene built around said earthquake, while short, could still be a case of Nightmare Fuel.
    • The 1993 film also gives Medlock a very creepy Leitmotif.
  • A Streetcar Named Desire: The depiction of Blanche's descent into insanity. Especially her Freak Out moment after Stanley tears the paper lantern off of the lightbulb.
  • Testament, which takes place in a single town and focused on the effects a nuclear war has on a small group of people. The worst is the main character nursing her children through radiation sickness and watching them die one by one.
  • Titus: the exquisitely shot but horrific scene where Lavinia is found on a stump, having been raped and with her hands and tongue cut off. Twigs have been stuck in the stumps, and when she opens her mouth, blood streams out.
  • Trainspotting If the dead baby didn't creep you out, Renton's withdrawal hallucination of it crawling on the ceiling will.
  • United 93 This movie has a terrorist hijacking an airplane, and also show you how everyone in the plane were struck with panic and terror in the process. Consider the commotion that happened amongst air staff and air traffic controllers on the ground. The kicker? This is not only based on what actually happened on one of the planes in September 11, 2001, but its even documented as accurately as the filmmakers were able to, down to the details.
    • Consider the family of Christian Adams, one of the victims of the hijacking, who would see their loved one portrayed as a coward who urged cooperation with the terrorists, based on nothing more than an interview with one of his friends who said he was a cautious person.

  • Many driver's education films that depicted the grim aftermath of accidents showed photos and live-action film of the victims. Often, these films — some filmed by corporate sponsors, others by a given state's highway patrol or department of public safety — showed the victims lying in pools of blood, mangled beyond recognition (and in some cases severely burned) and in various states of consciousness if not dead. The idea, of course, was to warn of the possible consequences of failing to obey traffic laws and basic driver's safety ... but seeing such things as emergency workers extricate the charred body of a father of four from the burned shell of a car, or a once babelicious teenaged girl screaming in pain while her face is shredded to ribbons was enough to give many of their viewers sleepless nights.
    • In addition to the lack of privacy laws, many of these films did not have disclaimers warning of the graphic footage these students were about to view; it was up to the teacher to decide whether to warn them. Again, the idea was to scare students into driving safely ... but the shock of seeing a little red-headed boy (in a Little League outfit) being pulled from beneath the chassis of the drunk driver's car that just hit him, for instance, was enough to cause more than one nightmare.
    • The Ohio State Patrol issued several driver's education films during the late 1950s through early 1970s, which were distributed nationwide. Several of these films have been posted on various video sharing sites. Memorable films, along with Nightmare Fuel-inducing scenes, included:
      • Signal 30, a 1959 film "shot in living - and dying - color," and the first of the series of films. The goriest of the scenes included a fiery collision on a narrow state highway between two loaded semitrailer trucks, where both drivers are killed (their charred bodies are shown being removed) and a truck driver — on a late-night run trying to make deadline on a load of 20 tons (40,000 pounds) of steel pipe — crushed against the steering wheel and dashboard of his truck by the load, which had shifted after he apparently fell asleep behind the wheel and drove off the road note . Although no death was involved, there is also footage of several cars not only failing to stop for a stop sign but not even slowing down at an intersection where a deadly wreck had just happened; once, one of the cars clears the intersection mere seconds before oncoming traffic passes through the intersection, and a few minutes later, several pre-adolescent boys are shown riding their bikes and failing to stop for the stop sign, again barely avoiding traffic that had the right-of-way.
      • The movie's title, by the way, was police code (at the time) for a report of a car accident involving a fatality.
      • Mechanized Death, from 1961, where the mangled body of a dead baby is found beneath the car, the impact of the crash so severe she was thrown through the floorboard; the responding officers only being aware of a possible body yet to be found after seeing a baby's bottle wedged in the door.
      • Wheels of Tragedy, from 1963. Another truck driver, having driven for hours without a break to make an inflexible deadline on a hot load of freight, rams his speeding semitrailer truck into the back of a sedan; the driver, who was killed outright, is shown with his head wedged in the steering wheel. Spookier was a bloodless scene: A beautiful 15-year-old girl is shown being pulled from a creek, in which she was thrown after the car she was riding in goes off the road. The other two passengers were injured but (apparently) survive, but the harrowing scene comes when a rookie state patrolman — through whom this film is told — carries the girl's lifeless body to the shore and cries "Damn, damn, damn!" ... just before the camera zooms up to the deceased girl's face. Other memorable scenes include a woman lying in her bed at a long-term care facility, sedated to numb the pain from injuries of a crash two years earlier; and the crushed skulls of two young men, thrown from their car after ramming into the rear of a cattle truck (that had pulled over for a mechanical problem).
      • Highways of Agony, from 1969. It isn't always young drivers who cause accidents, as one segment in this film grimly warned. A 77-year-old man, driving well over the posted speed limit on a road covered in black ice, crashed his car into an overpass, causing it to burst into flames on impact and killing both him and his wife; as footage of their bodies — burned nearly to skeletons — being pulled from the burned out car is shown, we learn that the only way they could be identified is through (badly charred) identification papers that somehow didn't burn. Later, the bodies of three young people, a 16-year-old girl and men ages 20 and 26, their faces with expressions of fear and pain frozen on them, are shown strewn on the ground; the 26-year-old driver — all three of them were drunk after a night of partying — had driven around a lowered railroad crossing gate in an attempt to beat an oncoming train. Although the images were grainy, there was the story of the drunk driver who crashed his brand-new sports car into an oak tree, the crash so violent that he suffered enough injuries to kill three people.
    • Not part of the Ohio State Patrol-series of films, but equally nightmarish:
      • Last Date, from 1950 and starring a young Dick York (of Bewitched fame), about the lone survivor of a crash, Jeanne, that killed her bad-boy boyfriend, Nick (York), and a family of five in the car he crashes his hot rod-converted 1932 Ford Model A note  into. First, we see Jeanne helplessly sit by as Nick attempts to pass a slow moving semitrailer truck on a narrow curve, and then — through her eyes — an oncoming car quickly appear in sight (this effect achieved through time-lapse photography), before the screen goes dark in a deafening crash. In the final scene, Jeanne — conceding she was a fool for accepting Nick's offer to go for a ride, knowing he already had a reputation for driving recklessly — looks at her permanently disfigured face in a mirror (having become that way after being thrown through the windshield), screaming out "My face! My face!" before throwing a hair brush into the mirror and beginning to cry. Viewers never see her face, but the moral is clear.
      • The Last Prom, from 1980, where a prom date ends with the death of a beautiful young girl named Sandy, the only child of a respected couple from a small Indiana town. Chilling was Sandy's best friend, who is able to walk out of the crushed van but is holding her face, apparently disfigured beyond recognition, and screaming in agony. This was a color remake of a high school prom tragedy film that had been issued in the mid 1960s.
      • Only Stwpd Cowz Txt N Drive, a 2008 British public service movie aimed at stressing the dangers of distracted driving, specifically texting while driving. The centerpiece of the film is the crash scene wherein, as the main protagonist reads a text message on her Smartphone, the car she is driving drifts into the oncoming lane of traffic, resulting in a multi-car accident that kills two of her passengers and three others. The segment came under criticism after showing the violent whiplash being suffered by the girls (two of them have their heads rammed together during the whiplash) and a young girl pleading in vain for her parents — who are shown dead — to wake up.
      • Death on the Highway, produced by an organization known only as the Suicide Club, is put together with a little less polish than, say, the Ohio State Highway Patrol films, but it may as well be the nastiest road safety film of them all. Three of the accidents shown in the film involve dismemberment, with the worst one being a 130 km/h motorcycle collision in which the driver is literally cut in half. The narrator even outright calls it one of the most horrible things he's ever seen. Other nightmare-inducing moments in the film include a crash in which a young woman has all her limbs torn off and is partially decapitated by the force of the impact, a multi-car pileup that results in the deaths of sixteen people, a driver burned to death inside his car, and a drunk-driving accident in which two young boys have their arms torn off when the vehicle scrapes against a brick wall. The filmmakers' use of a bright red filter to highlight the gore adds greatly to the effect.
      • And then there's California's answer to the Ohio State Highway Patrol films, the Red Asphalt series, in which viewers are subjected to five short films' worth of horrific vehicular carnage. Which of them is the worst is up for debatenote , but one thing's for certain - it's enough to make you think twice about driving recklessly in the future. "Highlights" of the series include a careless motorist who is left permanently blind following an accident, another guy who loses a massive amount of blood but miraculously doesn't pass out, a particularly grisly wreck where the victim's jaw is smashed up pretty badly, a guy who has the skin on his leg rubbed off down to the bone, a crash involving two SUVs where the victim's skull is completely pulverized (leaving emergency personnel to deal with the nauseating task of scooping up the bits of brain left strewn on the pavement), an unfortunate motorist with a large chunk of his face missing, a shot of a severed arm, and images of mangled corpses. Lots and lots of mangled corpses. The third film also includes this chilling monologue:
      Presenter: That's right, there are no second chances on the highway. You do something stupid, you die. You get drunk or do drugs, you die. You race some guy for the stoplight, you die. All you wanted was a little fun, and it killed you. High-priced fun, huh? And maybe that's not the worst that could happen - I mean, sometimes you don't die. Well, most of you doesn't. Of course, you may leave some parts of you behind, and somehow spare parts never seem to be as good as the originals, do they? Ever wanted to give your girlfriend a makeover? How about this? Or this? And some guys will do anything to show a girl a good time. And some girls just, uh, never seem to be the same again. You like to ride free and feel the wind in your face? What about a face full of freeway? Or did you ever think what "brain-damaged" really means? I mean, it means forgetting almost everything you ever knew, maybe reverting to a mental age of three, and staying that way for the rest of your life. Alternatively, you could live to a ripe old age as a human vegetable, leaving your family to pay your medical bills and agonize every single day about pulling the plug on you.
      • Arizona's answer to Signal 30, For Want of a Seatbelt, is a non-stop cavalcade of Facial Horror as our narrator, a plastic surgeon, guides us through a gruesome slideshow of accident victims' mutilated faces in a Creepy Monotone reminiscent of a coroner giving a courtroom autopsy briefing. The worst accident featured in the film involves an unlucky driver who crashes his car into a wayward horse and is subsequently crushed to death by the animal, with the grisly results on display for all to see.

  • Alice In Wonderland: The 1988 Czech version features reanimated skeletons of small animals and a scene of pure madness at the tea party. Makes it even more eerie that there is no music whatsoever in the movie except for the squeaks and clinks of old clothing, footsteps, and winding-gears. This is a Jan Švankmajer film. The same guy made a film where a dude eats his own dick with mustard. Yeah, Nightmare Fuel is a given for his films.
  • The 1983 Hercules film starring Lou Ferrigno features a low-budget but extremely creepy sequence of a villain's corpse slowly disintegrating into dust, including a trypophobia-inducing stage which looks as if it had no skull. Take on account that it's supposedly a kid's movie.

  • The Abyss: Lindsey drowning in the damaged submersible, while her husband has to watch, no less. The water's rising and she's clearly terrified, trying to breathe right up until the submersible has completely flooded.
  • Doomsday. The "cookout" scene; the worst part is that it doesn't bother with discretion, it really just keeps on going and going.
  • Gamer: The concept; it takes place in the future, in which online video games have you controlling real, living, breathing people. If you're playing a first-person shooter, there's no respawning at all, so when your player dies, he's permanently dead.
  • The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (2005): Humma Kavula is a semi-insane missionary living amongst the Jatravartid people of Viltvodle VI, and a former space pirate. (It was presumably during his time as a pirate that he lost his legs and had them replaced with telescoping mechanical spider appendages). He wears thick glasses, which make his eyes appear normal when worn; however, when he removes the glasses, he appears to have shrunken black pits where his eyes should be.
    • The scene where he surgically removes Zaphod's second head behind a curtain while Zaphod is aware and complaining is a bit disturbing.
  • Logan's Run: The Carousel. Basically, people are ritualistically murdered in numbers at a time at the age of 30, and it's all part of their society. Even more disturbing, it's clear that the victims don't want to die, and the crowd cheers as they watch the people explode.
  • The Philadelphia Experiment: A man and a destroyer are sent forward through time as a result of the experiments, which were meant to make the ship temporarily invisible. Time travel certainly isn't all that scary, but that way that the movie pointed out the mechanics of molecularizing the objects moving through time and putting them back together is disturbing; let's just say the crew of that destroyer has a rather permanent tour, and that they've never felt closer to their ship.
  • Saturn 3 had the most terrifying robot in history. It's introduced to us from the feet up (around 1:40 in this trailer), looking for all the world like a skinned, metallic corpse with tubes for veins and metal plates where its muscles would be. Slowly, more of it is revealed, until we come to its head... or lack of one. All it has on top are two insectile, twitching, glowing eyes on an arm. It doesn't talk — it merely flicks its eyes around to stare at you. When you combine those attributes with its measured tread, its deliberately inhuman movements and the fact that it's learning directly from the thoughts of the murderous, psychotic handler who has a stalkercrush on Farrah Fawcett, it invokes the eeriest elements of the Uncanny Valley, essentially recreating Frankenstein's Monster in space. But scarier. What happens near the end of the film isn't pretty either: the handler places his own brain inside the robot, which wears the front of his face like a mask.
  • Skyline:
    • The images of hundreds of people getting sucked up into space ships, all of them screaming.
    • The aliens dissolve the heads of human victims and leave the brain intact for, all intents and purposes, a battery.
    • The giant "Tank" Aliens, who use their tentacles to capture humans and forcibly (no doubt painfully) suck them into their bodies.
  • Strange Days: In the near future, there's a technology that allows to encode and record on disc someone's sensorial experience, allowing another person to experience it later on playing the disc as if watching a movie, re-living everything like if he made it himself. The serial killer in the movie uses it to record his experience while he rapes and kills women, and in the meantime he puts another sensorial machine onto her victims so that they can feel his excitement while he rapes-kills them, enhancing their fear, which would be disturbing enough by itself. But the feedback works both ways, therefore the assassin himself feels the victim's feelings as if he's being raped and killed himself, only exciting him even more, in a perverted infinite loop of murdering. The whole thing is so sick that when the protagonist find a disc made by the killer and watch it he gets terrifically shocked and he's incapacitated for a while.
  • Sunshine: Several characters die by simply being roasted by the sun, due to having no atmosphere or objects blocking the sun from them. While for one, it was something akin to a religious experience, the crew got to listen to the other screaming in pain for about a minute while the sun's rays coming through his visor destroyed his face and head, and the rest of his body simply superheated and boiled.
  • Supernova. The crew members of the ship all die in very creepy ways. One of them melts into the structure of the suspended animation pod that should have kept him safe during the hyperspace jump. Unfortunately, his doesn't seal completely. The rest of the deaths are as bad. When it was in the theaters, this movie was rated PG-13; it has since been re-rated to R.

  • 3 Dev Adam: Back in the 1970s, there was apparently a portion of the Turkish film industry who couldn't care less about copyright laws and made unauthorized films about a number of superhero, action/adventure and sci-fi properties. That's just kinda weird, but one of the most infamous was this film, which involved Captain America, a Mexican wrestler known as El Santo, and Spider-Man. Except it wasn't Spider-Man; it was an evildoer called Spider-Man with a similar costume to Spidey's. Even that wouldn't be so bad, except that this "Spider-Man" doesn't just want to rob banks or take over the world, he's also a serial killer and rapist. There's some unfathomably freakish imagery, like he has some gerbils or hamsters eat someone's eyes out.
  • Kick-Ass: The torture and attempted execution scene is incredibly unbearable to watch. They light Big Daddy on fire, and watch him burn, complete with blisters and torched flesh in the aftermath as he struggles to breathe, and eventually suffocates.
  • The Toxic Avenger: The transformation from 98-pound nerd Melvin Ferd into Toxie. His skin bubbles, pustules form all over his face, and his hair falls out.

  • The Searchers includes not only the very eerie abduction scene of Debbie in the cemetery but also the possible crossing of the Moral Event Horizon in our hero shooting out the eyes of a Comanche's corpse so that he will forever wander blind in the spirit world.
  • Django: When some outlaws cut off a man's ear and make him eat it. It makes the violence in Sergio Leone's westerns look tame in comparison.

Alternative Title(s): Film