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Nightmare Fuel / Patriot Games

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Given its R-rating as well as it being the darkest and most violent of the Jack Ryan films, there's several of these moments.

  • Basically, the entire premise of the film. You're on vacation with your family in another country when suddenly you witness a terrorist attack unfold before your eyes. You suddenly intervene and thwart the attack, saving the intended target in the process, and you soon learn that one of the terrorists is the younger brother of another one, and now, the same terrorist organization has now targeted not only you and their original target, but your entire family out of revenge for foiling their plans.
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  • Sean Miller. He's easily the scariest villain in the entire film series, only caring about revenge against Ryan, even going as far as to kill anyone, including his own allies, who get in his way. And he only wants to kill Ryan and his family over the death of his little brother.
  • The attack on the desert camp, shown only through infra-red satellite images is a bit unsettling; terrorists are shown being gunned down, one of them is seen crawling feebly away. Jack is visibly affected while everyone else is ho-hum about it. James Horner's recycled score from Aliens adds to the tension.
  • Miller and O'Donnell's execution of Dennis Cooley; it's deeply unsettling how casually and how silently O'Donnell allows Miller to pull the trigger on the unarmed man who had until now been nothing but loyal to their cause.
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  • The attack on Ryan and his family. As Ryan is leaving the academy, we suddenly see a seemingly random civilian appear in his midst. We already know something is a bit off as he suddenly begins to stalk Ryan, and as soon as Ryan makes a move, he quickly tries to retaliate but is almost killed until the attacker is gunned down. We later learn that he was a diversion: Miller makes his move by chasing Cathy and Sally on the freeway and eventually sprays gunfire on her car, causing her to crash into the dividing concrete slab.
  • Sometime later, after the attack, Miller makes a call at night to Ryan, taunting him about Sally losing her spleen. Cathy, hearing the call, expresses concern that he will never leave them alone, and urges Ryan to get him at all costs.
  • The Final Battle is quite possibly one of the most frightening climaxes in any action movie. It starts off like everything is fine, with Sally fully recovering and coming home, but there is something unsettling as a storm occurs during the party. Geoffrey Watkins reveals himself as The Mole, killing a guard and shutting off the power to the house and leaving the Ryan house vulnerable to the villains. Eventually, the chase leads to the bottom of the cliffs where Miller, O'Donnell, and Annette pursue the group by boat, only to find that Ryan is using himself as a decoy. O'Donnell sees through the ruse and persuades Miller to turn their boat around, but Miller is already past his Sanity Slippage and guns down O'Donnell and Annette as continues his pursuit of Ryan in the storm, eventually jumping aboard Ryan's boat and attempting to kill him with a boat anchor before he himself is killed by being impaled by said anchor. James Horner's nail-biting score that plays during this intense battle where Miller tries to kill Ryan once and for all makes the entire sequence feel like it came straight out of a horror film, almost akin to Cape Fear.

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