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Nightmare Fuel / The Dark Knight

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  • The Joker himself is a potent combination of Nightmare Fuel and premium Paranoia Fuel. If he's after you then he will get to you somehow, no matter how impossible it should be, and carve a smile onto your face with a knife.
  • In most incarnations, the Joker is somewhere on the scale between comedic violence (Nicholson) and violent comedy (Romero and Hamill). What made Heath Ledger's Joker so scary is that Nolan removed the comedic aspect, but Ledger still played him as if he was doing everything because it amused him.
  • The Joker repeatedly implies through the film that he was not born a psycho, and states it only takes a day bad enough to turn a good man into something like him. Which leads to the inevitable question: what happened to the man who would become the Joker?
  • When the Joker pulls a knife towards Gambol's mouth, he delivers a disturbing monologue:
    ''Do you wanna know how I got these scars? My father was a drinker...and a fiend. And one night, he goes off crazier than usual. Mommy gets the kitchen knife to defend herself. He doesn't like that. Not...one...bit. So, me watching, he takes the knife to her, laughing while he does it. He turns to me, and he says, "Why so serious?" He comes at me with the knife - "Why so serious?" He sticks the blade in my mouth - "Let's put a smile on that face!"
  • When the Joker finishes his story, he glances at one of Gambol's cronies and asks him "why so serious?" before brutally murdering Gambol.
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    • What’s worse: we see the terrified reaction of the crony at the moment of Gambol’s death...but we don’t actually see what the Joker does to Gambol...
  • Right at the very end, when Batman throws the Joker off the rooftop. Joker's reaction? Laughing maniacally every inch of the way... and being disappointed when Batman saves him.
  • The infamous scene where the Joker demonstrates a magic trick to a group of men.
    The Joker: How about a magic trick? [slams a pencil into the table, point first] I'm gonna make this pencil disappear...[Gambol's crony stands up and goes to attack him. In one swift motion, the Joker then slams the man's head onto the pencil, forcing the entire pencil—eraser first—through his eye socket; the crony collapses to the floor, dead, taking the pencil with him.]
    The Joker: TA-DA! It's, ah, it's gone.
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  • One of the most terrifying Joker-related scenes comes from when Batman interrogates him and the Joker reveals he's kidnapped Rachel in addition to Harvey, and they both have mere minutes to live. Batman goes berserk and starts trying to beat their location out of the Joker, up to bashing his head against a reinforced glass window so hard the window actually cracks. All Batman's severe beating does to Joker? It only makes him laugh HARDER! It only gets worse when you think about the Joker's line, "You have nothing, nothing to threaten me with. Nothing to do with all of your strength!"
  • A really horrifying scene is where the Joker tells Rachel the second scar story. Something about the whole scene reeks of sexual predation, and to make it even more horrible, there's the fact she knees him in the nuts, and he actually LIKES it!
  • One of the most Nightmare Fuel-filled moments was surprisingly one of the most low-key; when the Joker is videotaping/shooting his nightmare-porn of Brian the Batman Impersonator and orders Brian to "Look at me! LOOK! AT! ME!" That scene gets worse when Brian is done delivering the Joker's message and is of no more use to him. The camera cuts out just as Joker descends on the panicked hostage. The distorted sounds that are heard just before the tape ends, especially since we can't make out anything happening in the last bit of footage... When the newscaster says, "Sensitive viewers, be aware. The image is disturbing," he's not kidding.
    "Batman must take off his mask and turn himself in. Oh, and every day he doesn't, people will die. Starting tonight. I'm a man of my word." *laughs*
    • There's also the discovery of Brian's corpse. Mayor Anthony Garcia was warning Harvey Dent that his arrest of 549 mobsters might put him in even more mortal danger and, right on cue, Brian's corpse suddenly bangs into a window, hung from a noose, wearing the Joker's makeup and facial scars. This scene is the nightmare fuel page picture for The Dark Knight Trilogy as a whole.
  • The Joker's little Would You Like to Hear How They Died? speech.
    "Do you want to know why I use a knife? Guns are too quick, you can't savor all the.....little emotions. You see, in their last moments, people show you who they really are. So in a way, I knew your friends better than you ever did. Would you like to know which of them were cowards?"
  • The defining moment for the Joker was standing in the street as the Batpod race towards him muttering "Come on, come on, I want you to do it, I want you to do it." He is utterly prepared to actually die just to corrupt the Batman. After that, you realize that there was really no stopping him.
  • Two-Face. Don't worry if you really wanted to see it, it's the page picture. Yes, it is so scary that it is shown to represent the Nightmare Fuel section of a movie full of nightmare fuel. Let that sink in.
    Wuertz: Dent? Jesus...I thought you were dead.
    Harvey: Half.
  • The sequence where we see a first-person view of Batman's sonar vision and the Joker lunges right in his face. Ledger's Joker, in general, looks like a difficult-to-identify and terrifying stranger who might approach you in a dark forest.
  • During the attempted assassination of the mayor/ Gordon's Disney Death; the guard who fires upon Garcia? That's the Joker. And he looks nothing like he does in the rest of the movie; even with the Glasgow Grin, you still can't really tell it's the same person.
  • The worst part about Two-Face was when he kidnapped Gordon's family, and Commissioner Gordon, whom many tropers strongly identify as a father figure, cried and begged helplessly for their lives. The thought of a father (whose job is being a policeman, no less) being unable to protect his children is just pure Nightmare Fuel, let alone Adult Fear at it's finest. The music in that scene, appropriately titled "Watch the World Burn", just makes the whole thing so much more intense. It starts off quiet, but gradually becomes louder to the point where it's unbearably intense. There's just something in there that truly and absolutely defines Harvey's Sanity Slippage.
    Two-Face: Tell your boy it's going to be alright, Gordon. Lie, like I lied.
  • Alfred's speech on being in Burma, just because of how true it felt.
    Alfred: A long time ago, I was in Burma, my friends and I were working for the local government. They were trying to buy the loyalty of tribal leaders by bribing them with precious stones. But their caravans were being raided in a forest north of Rangoon by a bandit. So we went looking for the stones. But in six months, we never found anyone who traded with him. One day I saw a child playing with a ruby the size of a tangerine. The bandit had been throwing them away.
    Bruce: Then why steal them?
    Alfred: Because he thought it was good sport. Because some men aren't looking for anything logical, like money. They can't be bought, bullied, reasoned or negotiated with. Some men just want to watch the world burn.
  • When Alfred later finishes the story with how they caught the bandit, he flatly states, "We burned the forest down." In order to get the bandit, Alfred was forced to give the bandit exactly what he wanted and in the process become a man as cold and unrelenting as the bandit himself; a man who would burn everything around him to get at his objective.
  • A fat lunatic complains of stomach pains and rants that the Joker told him that a light would come from his stomach in this high, childish tone. It comes out of his stomach all right...in the form of a bomb the Joker implanted inside of him.
  • Harvey Dent screaming in silent agony in the hospital after realizing that Rachel died. From there his Sanity Slippage is evident, especially following The Joker's disturbing Hannibal Lecture on him.
  • The Joker aims to destroy Gotham City from the inside out, and part of his "plan" involves corrupting the city's heroes — Batman and Harvey Dent — by making their lives hell until they snap. Thankfully, he doesn't succeed with Batman. Harvey Dent, however...
  • Almost the entirety of Joker's theme. One particular part can shock a few. Once the theme gets quiet, it then builds up a note, a musical Hope Spot as if it's going to transition into Batman's theme with a higher note...boom. You're suddenly hit with a deep Scare Chord, a low booming note that drags on for what feels like minutes. It almost feels as if Joker, on top of everything he had done in the film, is even actually controlling the music, just to screw with the viewer themselves!
  • As scary as Ledger's Joker and Two Face are in the film, the early concept art is really something else... The first iterations of Two-face were more realistic, with less extensive damage; test audiences actually found the more subdued, realistic damage to be so unsettling, to the point of unintentional Nausea Fuel, that the Two-Face we currently see was used instead. The Joker pales in comparison to Two-Face's scar-ified half of his face. What is keeping his EYEBALL in the SOCKET!?
  • Though Scarecrow only shows up in one scene, he's still making his horrifying fear toxin, and now evidently contaminating recreational drugs with it. When the Chen Chen brings a victim of the toxin to Scarecrow to show him, the poor victim can be heard screaming, "Please! They're crawling in my mouth! Get them off!"
  • Harvey Dent interrogating Thomas Schiff. Not only is Schiff's inhinged giggling off-putting, but Harvey brings some serious lashings of nightmare fuel on his own. He conducts the interrogation in a back alley rather than at the police station, demonstrates that the gun he brought is not a toy before pointing it at the man's head, then states that he'll decide Schiff's fate by the toss of a coin. This is the most respected man in Gotham.

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