Mission Impossible: Fallout is one of the darkest entries in the franchise, not only because of its duller color palette, but also due to the amount of unexpected horrors on display.
As a Nightmare Fuel page, all spoilers are unmarked. Proceed with caution.
- Ethan's nightmare sequence in the opening. We open to a lovely day for a wedding near a picturesque lake for Ethan and Julia, with Julia and the priest going through her vows. But the vows the priest is reciting become increasingly twisted and accusatory of Ethan's choice to remain a spy and doom their relationship and her life, and Julia happily agrees to them all. The distressed Ethan turns to look at the priest, revealed to be Solomon Lane, who hisses, "You should have killed me." Then a nuclear bomb detonates in the distance. Ethan futilely tries to protect Julia as they both incinerate in the blast. For a brief second, we see them melting to their bones (just like in Terminator 2: Judgment Day.)The Priest: Do you, Ethan, take Julia to be your lawful wedded wife?
Hunt: I do.
The Priest: To have, to hold, to love, cherish, honor and protect?
Hunt: I do.
The Priest: To shield from terrors known and unknown? To lie, to deceive. To live a double life. To fail to prevent her abduction. Erase her identity. Force her into hiding. Take away all she has known.
Hunt: [alarmed] Stop.
The Priest: In a selfish, futile, fleeting attempt...
Hunt: [turns to the priest] Stop.
The Priest: ...to escape your own true self.
Hunt: Please, stop!
The Priest: And Julia, do you choose to accept?
Hunt: [turns to Julia, getting distressed] Don't.
Julia: [nonchantly, with a bright smile on her face] I do.
[A nuclear bomb detonates in the distance]
Hunt: No! [turns back to the priest, who is revealed to be his worst enemy]
Solomon Lane: [coldly] You should have killed me, Ethan.
[Ethan tries to no avail to shield Julia from the blast, only for them both to be incinerated in seconds]
- Later in the film, when Lane and Hunt meet in reality, Lane again states "You should have killed me," which, judging by the stricken look on Hunt's face, sends him back into that waking nightmare.
- And then even later, Lark pulls out a photo of Julia and says that he's her guardian angel. Hunt can only hang speechless in horror, staring at her face.
- In-universe Nightmare Fuel for both Hunt and Julia, when they finally come face to face. Hunt is literally seeing his worst nightmare come true - Julia dying because of his actions and job. Julia herself is terrified, wondering what sort of mission has allowed them to cross paths, while trying her damnedest to shield her unwitting husband from whatever Hunt's involved in, while being afraid for Hunt's safety.
- The Imagine Spot where Ethan pictures participating in the attack on Lane's convoy. The near-silence as the cops get mowed down by mercenaries is chilling enough, but then Ethan is forced to execute a wounded, helpless cop to maintain his cover.
- The fake news report - guest-starring Wolf Blitzer himself - about the nuclear terrorist attacks on Vatican City, Jerusalem, and Mecca. There's absolutely no way the world wouldn't be plunged into chaos if it was real. And the even scarier part? The real attack would've been even worse.
- When the team arrives in the camp to find the bombs, Julia is discovered to be there as well - unknowingly summoned by Walker with her new husband Eric as leverage against Ethan. When she sees and catches up with him, Ethan can't help but know that she will be killed when the bombs detonate. When he corrects her assumption of being on vacation with "I'm working", Julia then realizes - by looking at Luther, Benji and Ilsa (Who realizes who Julia is - keep in mind Luther's revealing speech to Ilsa before this mission), that she is in danger and goes into a Heroic BSoD. After breaking out of it and going off with Eric, the team tracks a bomb that was located. Luther is left to try to disarm a bomb alone, but realizes he can't without help. Cue Julia leaving Eric alone to help him, which further scares him, Benji and Ilsa. She did get Luther to a point where he can finish the disarming alone.
- The final fight between Lane, Ilsa and Benji. Ilsa goes into the dark building and finds the second nuke. While she is distracted, Lane attacks her and straps her to a chair. Ilsa is gagged and her wrists are tied to a rope around her neck, choking her if she struggles. Benji soon arrives to provide support, not knowing that Ilsa is captured. Ilsa can do nothing but let out muffled, terrified screams in a fruitless attempt to warn Benji. Not a great close-combat fighter, Benji is left completely outmatched when Lane ambushes him, beats him up brutally, and prepares to hang him from a rope while Ilsa helplessly watches to the whole commotion as she struggles to break free. Even after breaking out of the chair, it's a very close fight as Lane is clearly the more experienced combatant, and Ilsa has to focus on both fighting him and saving Benji from dying. The whole fight sequence is brutal, realistic, and intense. For a moment, you could be forgiven to think that either Ilsa or Benji might not make it out alive.
- At one point, when Ethan's and Walker's helicopters come crashing down a cliff, a burst fuel pipe ends up shooting helicopter fuel at the right side of Walker's face. Surprisingly Realistic Outcome as it literally burns his face, with Henry Cavil's screams of agony being absolutely convincing. It's even worse when the two escape from their crashed helicopters, and the latter has a Face-Revealing Turn to show how much facial damage the fuel has inflicted. This is the main picture.
- How Hunt defeats Walker. The two are desperately trying to climb up a cliff to retrieve the detonator. But since Walker is quickly catching up, Ethan decides to pull on a rope which was hooked to a helicopter. The hook at the cliff's top comes loose, and it literally ends up impaling Walker's skull and dragging him down along with the helicopter, causing his body to bloodily hit the cliff before rolling down to the burning helicopter debris. This may count as one of, if not the most brutal death in the franchise, making the test subject's death by Chimera virus and Lindsey's "brain bomb" explosion look tame in comparison.
- The ending of film kindly reminds us that Sloane is still an evil bitch who will throw innocent people under the bus to stop World War 3 with this chilling quote: "The world needs the IMF. We need people like you. Who care about the one life as much as they care about the millions. That way I never have to."
- This movie somehow makes the Syndicate even more dangerous than they were in Rogue Nation. Now calling themselves the Apostles, the surviving members still continue to launch terror attacks all over the world even without Solomon Lane guiding them for much of the movie. The worst of it is the way they strike without warning at all, even the IMF couldn't see them coming. In the opening IMF mission in Berlin, they shut down the power to Luther's van and captures him, gun down the arms dealer and his goons ruthlessly, and threatens to kill Luther if Ethan doesn't hand over the plutonium. They later infiltrated a SAD team sent by Erica Sloane to apprehend Walker and the IMF Team in London and start firing on everyone once Walker gives the signal, using the darkness of the basement and their disguises to confuse their opponents. And in both occasions, we never saw their faces at all, either hidden in the shadows or behind masks, adding to the creepy factor. Not only that, they show up in civilian clothes as well, the first time in the gala in Paris where they attempt to kill Ethan posing as John Lark and the White Widow, and the second time pursuing Ethan as he chases after Walker in London. Ethan can't even tell if they're actually Apostles or CIA operatives as he's running from them. For all we know, anyone could be a Syndicate/Apostle operative, they can be anywhere and everywhere, and you won't know it until it's too late.