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Nightmare Fuel / Maleficent

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  • Stefan's betrayal. He starts off by pretending to be looking out for Maleficent by warning her about the king's plans to have her killed, lulling her into a false sense of security so he can drug and kill her. Then, when she's unconscious and at his mercy, he decides to rip off her wings instead so he can present them as a trophy and still think of himself as a "nice guy." We see Maleficent wake up in pain so excruciating she can hardly articulate a scream, let alone walk.
    • Word of God has confirmed that this is indeed a rape metaphor, which amps the horror Up to Eleven.
    • Also, what he does to King Henry in the novelization counts. After Henry laughs in Stefan's face for thinking a worthless servant like him could become king and saying he doesn't even know his name... Stefan snaps, picks up a pillow and suffocates Henry while snarling "I'm called Stefan."
  • Maleficent's Skyward Scream of rage when she discovers the motivation behind Stefan's betrayal. A lance of scarily familiar, hellish green flame pierces the clouds.
    • The sentence she utters right before it just reeks of fury.
    Maleficent: He did this to me so he could be KING?!
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  • The scene where the soldiers try to burn down the thorn wall, but it fights back. While still on fire, including throwing at least one soldier up in the air and to his death. They were rightfully terrified when they reported back to King Stefan.
  • There's another scene where the soldiers again try to attack the Moors. Maleficent responds by using Mind over Matter to pick them up, spin them around like they were in a tornado, slam them together, and then send them flying off into the distance.
    • Right before that, Diaval (in the form of a giant wolf easily as big as they are) herds them towards her by howling just so, so it sounds like wolves are coming from all directions, doing a Jump Scare, and then chasing them when they run with what, to them, must have seemed like an unnatural intelligence. The poor soldiers were rightly terrified.
  • King Stefan's Adaptational Villainy. A ranting, raving psychopath who's willing to brutally murder hundreds and let the whole world burn just to find a cure for Aurora's curse. Not to mention how quickly he's willing to turn on his friends and loved ones if it means getting himself more power.
    • He's even worse in the novelization. Not only does he murder the true king, but he threatens the other nobles into going along with it, flat-out daring them to deny him the crown when they all heard the king promise the throne to the man who killed Maleficent. He's not even sweet as a child: the novelization straight out says that, though Maleficent dropped the jewel he gave her back into the stream, he kept another in his pocket.
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  • The first king is no angel, either. If anything, what we see of him in the film proper and the deleted scenes is actually worse than Stefan: he views everyone, even his family members, as pieces to be sacrificed on a chessboard. His advice to Stefan in that regard could be argued as indirectly responsible for Stefan's Start of Darkness.
  • Maleficent casting a sleeping spell on Aurora from the "Dream" trailer. Rather than just sinking to the ground, Aurora's unconscious body floats horizontally in mid-air and follows Maleficent as she walks. It's an incredibly creepy image.
    • ...Which becomes deliberately hilarious Nightmare Retardant when the same thing happens to Philip later on. It looks like Diaval is carrying around a parade float.
    • The entire Christening scene is Nightmare Fuel. Maleficent may be the hero of the story but that does NOT mean this scene loses it's fear factor. Her doing this out of pure anger and rage just adds to it. She could've used the spell on Stefan or his wife.... but instead CHOSE A CHILD WHO BARELY UNDERSTANDS WHAT'S HAPPENING.
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  • Also from the "Dream" trailer, Lana Del Rey's haunting rendition of "Once Upon a Dream", which manages to show us a creepily awesome preview of how the film will look like.
  • Maleficent's attempt to revoke the curse from Aurora, who at the time is asleep in her room. Her good, gold-colored magic reaches out to the girl... And the curse's green magic comes out of Aurora's body and blocks her good magic. No matter how hard Maleficent tries, the curse is able to fully repel her magic, and disembodied voices whisper over and over again to Maleficent how the curse will remain with Aurora forever. The entire scene is very creepy.
  • So, the day comes and goes, and it actually looks like Aurora not going to fall victim to the curse, right? Wrong. Maleficent's curse actively seizes control of Aurora's body and forces her to walk to the dungeon, prick her finger, and fall into her coma. The zombie-like way she moves and dead look in her eyes is scary enough, but then you notice how the curse is glowing green beneath her skin...
    • There's also a brief shot where her eyes glow green. In general, the idea that the curse is like a parasite within Aurora's body is genuinely unsettling.
    • During that entire scene? The curse is whispering, over and over, Aurora's name and what is going to happen to her. Very eerie.
    • For that matter, the curse itself. After Maleficent casts it, it seems to become an entity of its own. When Maleficent tries to revoke it, numerous whispering voices remind her how she herself specified that it would last until the end of time. And then seeing it control Aurora when the time is right, and rebuilding a spinning wheel just so she can fulfill the requirements? Having witnessed all that, one could argue that the curse (or whatever power is truly behind it) might be a very frightening Eldritch Abomination.
  • The climax, awesome as it was, is this incarnate. Look at it from Maleficent's point of view: the girl you love like a daughter is being dragged away by her father's soldiers, your loyal servant/friend/Dragon is restrained and unable to help you, and you are trapped in a circle of iron and flames as the man you used to love waves around a giant weapon, all while talking about how he's going to enjoy killing you.
    • Adding a bit of Does This Remind You of Anything?, take into account how Stefan taking Maleficent's wings is a rape metaphor. Continuing on that, a good portion of the final battle involves Maleficent being assaulted by Stefan, while his knights surround her and watch it all happen; it has more than a passing resemblance to a gang rape.
  • Maleficent making herself queen. Until her, the Moors never needed a ruler. The creatures who witness her "coronation" bow. None spoke a word but in that moment they knew their lives were no longer in their hands.


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