- Galadriel's "Darkness crept back into the forests of the world" exposition. There is something so unsettling about her narration, especially when combined with the clips of darkened forests and swamps that follow.
- The shot from the prologue of the men who will become the Nazgul, each holding a ring and standing in almost robotic uniformity, in contrast to the natural movements of the elves and the dwarves in the previous shots. And then the scene just fades as the darkness swallows them...
- The Thousand-Yard Stare of the future Witch-King, at the very centre of the shot, is particularly unsettling.
- Sauron joining his forces in the prologue's battle. Just as victory seems imminent for the Last Alliance, Elrond and Isildur suddenly give expressions of fear when they see him approach, and the rest of their army quickly joins in as the Dark Lord looms over them. He demonstrates that those fears are well-placed, showing himself to be a One-Man Army who sends at least half a dozen soldiers flying with each swing of his mace.
- The screech and Vertigo Effect combination when someone encounters a Nazgûl for the first time.
- The attack by the Ringwraiths on the Prancing Pony. Watching them come in the front door with the night mist (and Barliman cowering in fear) is bad enough, but then we see a pan around the hobbit's room, and they're just there, with swords drawn and ready, like they came in through the walls or something. It's very unnerving.
- One of The Nine's scariest moments is the attack on Weathertop. Frodo wakes up to find his friends foolishly cooking on an open fire, declaring their location to everyone. Even as he snuffs out the last cinders, the all-too familiar screech of the Nazgûl echoes out and the hobbits look down to see several of them moving absolutely silently through the fog towards them. Now terrified, they run up to the top of the ancient watchtower and go back to back. You expect the Ringwraiths to come up the same stairways the hobbits used, but instead they appear right out of the shadows, in places seeming to step right out of empty air onto the watchtower's upper floor. Before, they were just black-robed riders who made a creepy sound, now they're shown to be utterly inhuman.
- Bilbo Baggins' completely pants-wettingly out-of-left-field freakout when he realises Frodo has the Ring. It really does come out of gracious nowhere.
- Try pausing the film on that moment and moving it back and forward, frame-by-frame. It makes it more horrifying because, if you look closely for that fraction of a second, he becomes Gollum.
- A little extra scary with some supplementary information... he does this in response to Frodo refusing to surrender the ring, which he (Bilbo) was starting to show signs of obsession toward all over again. This is immediately after he willingly (even joyfully) gives Frodo a Mithril Shirt stated in the books to be worth more than the entire Shire. The ring has such a strong hold on him that it's literally more tempting than all the wealth of the land he came from and then some.
- Also terrifying? The transformation is instantaneous. The Ring does not need years to corrupt you. In just one moment of weakness, you belong to it.
- The way Boromir describes it to the Council of Elrond. Despite inspiring one of the most classic memes, just the way he describes Mordor with a slow and intense voice like the hellish Eldritch Location it is, as if he's describing Hell itself, while seemingly Go Mad from the Revelation by doing so, is quite dreadful. And based on how quickly the entire council starts to fight amongst each other immediately after he's done, you could argue that the entire council went mad from the revelation.
- This unnerving shot◊ of Gollum as he spies on the fellowship in the mines of Moria.
- Gandalf reading the final diary entries of the mine's dwarves. "Drums...drums, in the deep...we cannot get out...They are coming-"
- This becomes even worse in hindsight after watching the Hobbit films and you realize that the skeleton Gandalf pulled the book from is most likely Ori, another member of the company (and the youngest), who accompanied Balin to Moria.
- Right then, of course, Pippin knocks a skeleton down a well, making all kinds of racket. After a tense moment of silence, Gandalf scolds him, then turns to leave. And then...boom
- It's not boom. It's DOOM.
- And then it cuts back to the room with the three passages as the light of flames suddenly appears in the middle one. Imagine what would have happened if they'd taken that path!
- The horrors began the very second they set foot in Moria. Gimli is proudly describing his kin's hospitality and how good a time they'll have after slogging through the dark and cold up to this point, then the Mood Whiplash kicks in.Gimli: So, master elf, you will enjoy the fabled hospitality of the dwarves! Roaring fires, malt beer, ripe meat off the bone! This, my friend, is the home of my cousin Balin. And they call it a mine! A mine!Boromir: (sees the entrance hall) This is no mine! It's a tomb! (they see skeletons and signs of battle everywhere)Gimli: No...no! No!!!Legolas: Goblins!Boromir: (as they all start backing out of the room) We make for the Gap of Rohan. We should never have come here.
- And then the Watcher in the Water shows up, quite horrific all on its own, and forces them to go deeper into the very place they were just trying to leave.
- If you found just the face of Watcher monstrous, you're in for a real scare. Games Worshop created a miniature◊ depicting what they assumed the Watcher's whole body looked like; an aquatic chimera that looks more like a slimy, tentacled crustacean than any kind of cephalopod.
- Once the Fellowship is surrounded by goblins in Moria, one orc with cat-like eyes is seen eyeing Pippin, practically licking his lips at the thought of tasting Hobbit for the first time.
- The shot of said goblin became rather iconic and is probably the image most people will see if they look up goblins from the series. Yeah, this is what you'll find staring back at you.
- Galadriel's temptation by the Ring, with absurd amounts of reverb on her voice as she declares herself "Beautiful and terrible as the dawn! Treacherous as the seas! Stronger than the foundations of the Earth! All shall love me and despair!"
- When one puts on The Ring, they turn invisible. It's because you enter a shadow dimension where the only other one there is the DARK LORD OF ALL EVIL. It's Alone with the Psycho on a cosmic scale.
"I see you... You cannot hide from me. There is no life in the Void, only death."
- To say nothing of what Sauron says to Frodo when he puts the Ring on in The Prancing Pony:
- In that vein, the second time Frodo puts on the ring, he sees the faces of the Nazgûl - mummified kings with horrifying death rictuses.
- Even the name of this place is tellingly horrible. It's called the Wraith World and the reason you become invisible to most creatures is because you've just put yourself on the border between life and death. The reason the Ring Wraiths can be seen in full there is because they're stuck in a state of being dead yet still living. It's implied beings like Barrow-Wights could also spot you in this world.
- Viewers who hadn't read the books were likely leaning back in their seats when the Balrog made its appearance. Even before it does, while all the Fellowship look unnerved as the Goblins scatter in terror and the sounds of the Balrog's approach grow louder, the look of terror on Gandalf and Legolas's faces is even worse. They both know full well what's coming, and that it's an enemy beyond any of them.
- The Balrog's roars weren't made from any animals or actors. They were made from the sounds of volcanoes erupting, further highlighting how this is not a beast but a full-blown demon.
Nightmare Fuel / The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring