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Nightmare Fuel / Raiders of the Lost Ark

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https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/toht_8064.jpg

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  • Indiana Jones' traitorous companion Satipo having several tarantulas on his back, which Jones casually pushes off his body, at least for the severely arachnophobic.
  • When Indy triggers one of the traps in the cave, spikes suddenly emerge carrying the decaying body of one of his older competitors. Most disturbing is the way its head fell into Indy's direction.
    Indy: Forrestal.
  • Later, Satipo gets impaled upon the booby trap Indy and he managed to escape from earlier. His horrified expression makes it even more unnerving.
    Indy: (grabs the idol) Adios, Stupido.
  • Major Toht threatening to burn Marion with a poker in The Raven bar. Heck, everything with Toht is terrifying due to the Gestapo Reality Subtext that surrounds him.
    Toht: Fraulein Ravenwood, let me show you what I am used to...
  • Toht having the medallion's side burned right onto his hand after his unsuccessful attempt to grab it during the bar fight earlier.
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  • The unsettling shot of the dead monkey after she ate the poisoned dates. And a second before that, something about Indy tossing the poisoned date up into the air, complete with slow-motion, shadow on the wall... and then Sallah suddenly grabbing it, face stricken. The dim lighting of the room doesn't help.
  • When Indy and Sallah finally uncover the well of souls, lightning flashes revealing a snarling statue of Anubis, it's enough to catch the viewer off guard
  • The Well of Souls is this trope both for the audience and Indy. Unbelievable amounts of snakes. And mummies. And snakes slithering out of the mummies. GAH. Imagine falling down into the Snake Pit and landing directly near your worst fears and it is ready to attack you along with the other snakes all around you. This was enough to cause Indy to panic. "Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?" indeed.
    • And it's not just blind phobia (though Indy certainly has that, too). At least some of those snakes are King Cobras, and probably others are venomous enough to be a very real lethal danger to a healthy adult human.
  • After Indy and Marion found a way to escape from being trapped in the Well of Souls, they are met with an awful surprise when they stumble into a room filled with decaying corpses. The corpses seem to be screeching at Marion and whenever she knocks down the corpses they fall in such a way that makes it look like they are trying to grab her.
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  • While the Ark is being transported, it makes a eerie hum before it burns the Hakenkreuz swastika on the box it's being held in. The buildup of that moment showed several mice wandering in the ship's hold. Just before the Hakenkreuz is burned away, one of the mice rolls over and starts hyperventilating, strongly implying that something had actually come down into the ship's hold for a visit.
  • The (in)famous "opening of the Ark" sequence from the finale is incredibly jarring for a viewer who has thus far enjoyed an action/adventure movie with a relatively light tone. The shot of a head imploding on itself, followed by a melting face - quickly followed by an exploding head - would have been enough to give plenty of theatre-goers nightmares.
    • The moment the spirits that emerge from the Ark turn hostile is utterly nightmarish. At first, they're serene - even beautiful, as Belloq declares - and then they suddenly start to shift into skull-faced terrors, snarling at those daring to look upon the open Ark. The shift in the music at this point is also rather frightening.
    • On top of the visual horror, the sound of Dietrich's head imploding. You can hear his brain matter turn to goop and his bones crunching! To further add to the nightmare fuel, there's the horrific hissing sound Toht's boiling blood makes, coupled with his screams getting muffled by the gurgling of his mouth filling with blood. And those screams continue as he becomes skeletonized. Even worse, when Belloq's head explodes, you can see his eyeballs fly out of the remains of his skull and brain! Sweet dreams...
  • Earlier in the film, a Giant Mook is chopped up by the propeller of an airplane and while it happens off-screen, the copious amounts of blood on-screen are jarring, considering the Ark scene aside, the film is rather light on blood. It's never made clear, but in the long shot of the plane shortly before it explodes, a large smear across the sand with some chunky bits is seen near the plane...


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