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Nightmare Fuel / The Prince of Egypt

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WARNING: Spoilers are unmarked.

  • The Angel of Death is both beautiful and horrific. There's no dialogue or even soundtrack at this part; just the sound of the angel moving through Egypt, which sounds like a strong wind, and that creepy sighing noise whenever it kills a child.
    • It sounds more like a sighing gasp, like the sound an adult in any form of fiction/real life makes as they take their last breath.
    • This is how angels are commonly depicted in The Bible. Not white-clad humanoids with wings and halos, but straight-up Humanoid Abominations. There's a reason why their standard greeting is some variation of "Do not be afraid."
    • Especially seeing how terrifying it is to everyone it encounters. There's a moment where you see it from the perspective of a Hebrew family in their home as it's right in front of their door checking for lamb's blood on the doorpost. Later on, two guards at the palace see it rear up, preparing to attack, and just drop their weapons and run for their lives.
    • The sound of thousands of Egyptian parents lamenting the deaths of their first-born children will give anyone shivers.
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    • How the Angel of Death first appears: A brilliant and blinding mass of light forming en masse in the void of the night sky, as though it were some bizarre cosmic anomaly ripping apart the very fabric of space and time before it explodes into a river of death that envelopes Egypt.
    • When the Angel of Death leaves, it forms what appears to be a vortex of souls spiraling up from all over Egypt before disappearing.
    • Another point goes to how it starts out as a tiny stream of near-consciousness, moving through the roads and alleyways of Egypt until it gathers upon the main palace, an ocean of twisting forms that nearly engulfs the entire structure. The two guards who were unfortunate enough to be standing watch that night had the right idea in abandoning their posts and getting the hell out of there.
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    • The death of one Egyptian child: He's walking into his house with a jar of water and clearly doesn't even know the Angel is there sneaking up behind him. The moment we hear the jar shatter and see his arm hit the ground, we know he's dead.
    • The Angel itself actually seems to get bigger with each child it kills. Gives you the impression that this thing was eating their life-forces.
    • The Angel chases one of the palace guards, implying that it went after adult firstborn, too.
    • When everything stops, listen very closely. That sound you hear? That's the faint wailing of anguished Egyptian parents in the background.
    • Another thing that makes the Angel of Death utterly terrifying is that every other miracle or plague seen so far is still fairly mundane; they can still be thought of as a normal illness or natural phenomenon. With the Angel, there is no doubt that this thing was sent by a higher power, as its appearance is just so eldritch compared to everything else in the movie.
  • The river of blood, especially when the soldiers freak out.
    • One of the soldiers even trips and gets dunked headfirst under the blood. UGH!
    • It was the exact same river that Pharaoh Seti I had all the Hebrew newborns thrown into. Symbolic in the most terrifying way imaginable.
  • The rest of the Plagues, such as the endless swarms, the fire raining from the sky, and the people screaming in pain.
    • Aside from being a truly awesome song sung by talented artists (though Val Kilmer was replaced by a studio singer, Ralph Fiennes' wasn't; who'd a' thunk it, huh?), the backing chorus from "The Plagues" is still terrifying. Seriously, just listen to some of the lyrics, namely:
    I send a pestilence and plague,
    Into your house, into your bed,
    Into your streams, into your streets,
    Into your drink, into your bread,
    Upon your cattle, on your sheep,
    Upon your oxen in your field,
    Into your dreams, into your sleep,
    Until you break, until you yield,
    I send the swarm, I send the horde
    Thus saith the Lord.
    • The line "Into your dreams, into your sleep" is probably the most terrifying part. God's not messing around here, as this line indicates that He will NOT stop or leave any Egyptian citizens in peace until they free the Hebrews.
    • I send my scourge, I send my sword. This is not the New Testament God, kids. This is the Old Testament God, and when His people were threatened or maligned, He will destroy nations to protect them.
    • When the Plague of Boils hits Egypt, there's a shot of a terrified Egyptian girl and her younger brother huddling on the floor after watching the infected women through their window. The two are untouched.
    • Then there's the infected women, particularly the one who lets off a bloodcurdling scream.
    • One line that still gives shivers is the "I send the locusts on a wind/Such as the world has never seen". If you're familiar with The Bible, you know that whenever it mentions "such as the world has never seen", things are about to go From Bad to Worse.
      • Especially as it is the locusts. You know, those critters that normally come in swarms of millions of individuals that cover areas measured into several square kilometers but can reach numbers into trillions that cover hundreds of thousands of square kilometers, and eat their own body weight in vegetables daily? And this is a swarm "such as the world has never seen".
      • The next line makes things even worse: "On every leaf, on every stalk/until there's nothing left of green." For the Egyptians, a desert culture, this is the equivalent of threatening to nuke them until nothing remains but radioactive ash. It's the intention of not just wiping out their nation, but all life in the land of Egypt.
    • "I send a hail of BURNING ICE."
    • Take a good look at Rameses as the Ten Plagues go on: He is becoming more and more unhinged as Egypt is being punished by God. And when the Plague of the Firstborn strikes, he goes insane with grief and hate.
    • And the worst part? There's scientific proof that, if they happened, all of them were natural phenomena, with the first six being part of a chain reaction. And all of them could happen again any moment. In fact, many believe that the Plagues were natural phenomena, with the miracle being the timing of them happening in such a short span of time. Here's a short explanation on how they could have happened.
    • Imagine being an Egyptian citizen. Prince Moses has returned after years of everyone assuming that he was dead. He greets Pharaoh Rameses in the palace and ominously says that some strange god is demanding the release of the Hebrews. At first, you might assume he's simply bluffing or that he's lost his mind, but then the Plagues show up. You are left to come to the horrific realization that there is a literal God that is going to do nothing but torment you and your family, friends, and everyone else you know, and there is nothing you can do to stop him, and you have no idea if, how, or when it could get worse, because the Pharaoh has hardened his heart.
      • An extra layer is added for pious Egyptian citizens. Their gods can't save them, either. In fact, God seems to be deliberately mocking the Egyptian gods' ineffectiveness.
  • Moses' nightmare where he finds out that he was indeed born a slave. He sees the guards pulling infants from their cradles or tearing them from their mothers' arms, and near the end he runs from the guards when he sees them coming, only to fall into the river along with the babies, into the teeth of the hungry crocodiles as darkness swallows them all. It doesn't help that, throughout the scene, we hear the babies screaming loudly as they're taken away from their mothers.
    • Fridge Brilliance may ensue when you consider that Moses must've been raised on tales of Egyptian mythology. To him, the symbolism of being cast into the darkness to be consumed by crocodiles may recall being found unworthy upon the judgement of Ma'at and having your soul consumed by Ammut, who was partially designed as a crocodile. It's about the worst fate any Egyptian could possibly ever imagine, worse than death.
  • The slaughtering of the Hebrew babies. Doesn't help that the movie starts with it.
    • Nor does it help when we see the babies getting tossed to the crocodiles during Moses' nightmare and when Moses discovers the picture on the wall depicting the Egyptian guards tossing the babies into the the river, accompanied by very faint crying and screaming in the background.
    • Seti's response to the whole thing? "Oh, my son...they were only slaves." If the act of murdering the babies didn't completely ruin any respect or liking for this man, that line did it. He says it with complete calmness and without a single shred of remorse.
      • It's such a powerful moment. Moses, prior to this, is embracing his father, confused about why this happened, HOW it happened. And then, "they were only slaves." Moses' eyes slowly open, dumbstruck, and he pulls back, staring in confused horror at a stranger. This is the man who has killed a majority of what he's only just found out are his people. Later, as he flees after murdering an Egyptian slave master and Ramses catches up to him, wanting to know why his little brother is leaving, he replies thusly: "Go ask the man I once called 'Father.'"
  • Watching the Hebrews get trapped between the Red Sea and Pharaoh's army is very alarming, even though they're soon helped by some divine intervention.
  • The opening song, "Deliver Us," is particularly chilling.
  • The Pillar of Fire that blocks Ramses and gives Moses and the Hebrews time to escape. It's both beautiful and horrible at the same time, and Moses himself can only look at it with a mix of awe and pure horror.
  • The Red Sea sequence. Imagine walking through that trench, not knowing if or when those walls of water will come cascading in on themselves. Then, seeing it finally happen to the Egyptian soldiers. Even if they were about to murder the Hebrews, that is still a horrific way to go. The fact that Rameses gets blown back to the shore could be seen as God's mercy, if you ignore just what he's returning to: A dead son, a broken kingdom, and the fact that his striving to avoid being "the weak link" made it all happen.
    • Mercy has nothing to do with it, at least in this version of the story. God leaves Rameses alive for a reason: "You ignored my warnings, you ignored my command. You want your kingdom and dynasty so badly? It's all yours."
    • The worst part is that the Egyptians only got into the middle of it because God let the fire barrier end. To reiterate: God let the barrier end, knowing the Egyptians would charge into the middle of the sea, just so he can kill them all by flooding it again. In this universe, not only is God real and a powerful force, but he is pissed. Rameses ignored his commands one too many times and God wasn't going to have any of that shit anymore.
  • Some Fridge Horror regarding the scene where the Hebrews are walking through the Red Sea and see a giant shadow swimming through the water beside them. Whales move through the water by pumping their tails up and down, whereas this thing is moving side to side. Say hello to the whale shark, the biggest species of cartillaginous fish to exist. Thankfully, it is a Gentle Giant that only feeds on plankton and small crustaceans, but still, seeing the massive creature swimming through the walls of water can be a tad unsettling for thalassophobes.
  • Rameses, while the antagonist of the story, is portrayed as a sympathetic character with a deep love for his son and Moses as well as a desire to live up to the legacy he's been born into. Even when he's at (arguably) his lowest point during the penultimate plague, he still longs to reconcile with his brother and tries to comfort his frightened son. That goes all out the window when Moses warns him that something worse is coming and Rameses makes his chilling proclamation: "And there shall be a great cry through all of Egypt, such as never has been or ever will be again!" Gone is the sympathetic man and we see the hardhearted Pharaoh and the expression on Moses' face shows it's not just the final plague he's scared of.
    • The angry stare that Rameses gives Moses after he returns the ring that Rameses gave him years ago. He closes his eyes for a moment, then they snap open again, going from sadness and regret to pure wrath. This glare alone is enough to make anyone jump in their seat.
    • The glare that Rameses gives Moses as he leaves while grieving over the death of his son is equally terrifying.
    • The fact that Rameses, as sympathetic as a villain can be, ends up leading his army to slaughter Moses and his people. His tortured spirit is finally broken by the death of his son and any love he had for Moses is gone. All that's left is a vengeful and murderous psychopath. The war cry he gives after the pillar of fire gives way is both amazing and frightening, given as only Ralph Fiennes could give it.
      Rameses: [screaming at his soldiers, berserk with fury] DON'T JUST STAND THERE! KILL THEM! KILL THEM ALL!
    • The worst part of all? There was a great cry through all of Egypt, such as had never been nor ever was again.
    • Perhaps the most cruel thing God does to humble Rameses after his constant bullheadedness and attempted genocide is to destroy all the remaining soldiers that followed him through the parted seas... but leave him battered, emotionally broken, but alive. He has witnessed devastation brought to his kingdom by his own arrogance, and God leaves him a sobbing wreck on the opposite shore to witness the aftermath as he walks home to a city in shambles.
  • A not-so-subtle visual foreshadowing of the final plague is given when Moses goes to plead once more with Rameses during the plague of darkness. As they speak, Rameses' son shows up with a torch, feeling frightened about the unending darkness. At his appearance, Rameses goes from looking almost willing to hear Moses out to hardening his expression and reviling Moses and his people. Moses then asks him once more to back down, saying "Think of your son!" Rameses' son is shown standing directly in front of the mural depicting the slaughter of the Hebrew firstborn.
  • There's also a blink-and-you'll-miss-it part during the song "The Plagues" when the hail of fire strikes Egypt: There's that statue, pictured above, whose eyes are glowing the same color as the hail as if it was a sentient thing eager to consume the flames.
  • The scene where the Hebrews begin staining their doorposts with lamb's blood before the Angel of Death arrives is really creepy and tense due to the atmosphere and darkness. The music doesn't help either.
  • The darkest scene of this movie is where a frail old slave has collapsed on the floor of the building of the pyramid from the heat one of the slave masters gets angry grabs the old slave and starts whipping him mercilessly while the other slaves look on horror telling the slave master to stop. Moses' sister wanted to help but her brother tells her that there's nothing they could do. Moses gets angry at this then runs up to the slave master telling him to stop it he then accidentally pushes the slave master down onto the ground killing him instantly. Moses is shocked by what he had done. Granted, the slave master deserved it but it's still a dark scene!


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