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Nightmare Fuel / Transformers: Dark of the Moon

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This movie may have more Nightmare Fuel than any other in the franchise.

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  • Nothing is scarier than the total loss of hope. And that's just what the Autobots experience twice during this film.
    • The first time, they've just witnessed Sentinel's ship get blown up by a Decepticon fighter (revealed by the novelization to be Starscream). That ship carried the only device that could take them from Cybertron to a new home. They're doomed now.
    • The second time, after Sentinel's Face–Heel Turn and the Decepticon invasion,]] the humans force them to leave Earth. Then Starscream blows up their ship the same way he did Sentinel's. They got better.
  • The Driller's entrance. A NEST team has just located alien technology buried in Chernobyl, and cases covered in Soviet Space Program markings. Suddenly, one of the soldiers announces that something is coming, while his equipment starts ticking like a Geiger Counter. Then the wall of the reactor below them rips open, and a giant (even by Transformer standards) metal worm thing tunnels out. It uses its tentacles to smash through the humans before grabbing previously mentioned tech. Notably, the scene was quite quiet until that moment, then the music starts up and it sounds like something from The Terminator.
    • Speaking of which, the Driller in general is this. Imagine a mechanical worm that's bigger than Devastator, with a mouth made of a series of buzzsaws and grinders, and able to dig and hide underground and unleash terrifying destruction.
      • It also becomes a bit of Fridge Horror when you learn that it's actually a domesticated Cybertronian beast (similar to Laserbeak, Ravage, and the Insecticons). Meaning that at one point, there were hundreds of them burrowing through Cybertron.
  • The short battle when the Decepticons invade Washington via Sentinel's Spacebridge. They emerge, scan new forms, and drive off to God-only-knows where. Some don't even bother with that, they simply open fire and destroy everything. This is all happening right on the National Mall, too.
    • As an added bonus, Megatron goes to the Lincoln Memorial, a symbol of freedom from persecution, and blasts Honest Abe into shards. He then sits on what's left as if it's a throne, and dares the Autobots to challenge them.
    • Insult to injury, Megatron's pet walking head Igor is seen chewing on Lincoln's detached cranium.
    • While that's happening, Optimus tries to fight Sentinel and get some answers from him. Sentinel basically tells him that it is their right to enslave the humans, and that in time, Optimus will come to see things his way. In fact, Sentinel lets Optimus live because he's sure it will happen.
      • The way the sequels went, Sentinel just might have been right...
  • This is one-upped by the Invasion of Chicago. Considering it is a deconstruction of alien invasions in general...
    • It starts with the Decepticons lording over the city from the top of a skyscraper. Predictably, SWAT teams show up and start ushering people out. Megatron (and Sentinel too) orders the Decepticon troops to seal off the city. The movie pulls a Smash to Black. Then we see massive Airborne Aircraft Carriers launching Macross Missile Massacres and smaller fighters, all of which damage the skyline.
    • Then it cuts to the ground, where Decepticon Mooks lay waste to the civilian population. Not a single Gory Discretion Shot to be found. Nope, we see many many many humans blasted apart onscreen, their bodies reduced to ash and scattered bits of bone, including skulls. This is repeated when Sam and Epps go to rescue Carly, and are attacked by a Decepticon fighter.

     Character Specific 
  • Laserbeak. He's a Decepticon with violent tendencies who can disguise himself as anything in seconds. His kill count is no less than 7 in this film, including a pair of innocent Savannah birds.
    • His very first scene has him hanging in the shadows of Chernobyl like an evil bat, intimidating Aleksei Voskhod. Who he then shoots to death after letting him reach his car.
    Pleasure working with you.
    • After the aforementioned bird killings, we get this gem:
    Soundwave: Laserbeak, kill them all.
    Laserbeak: With pleasure.
    • While they’re saying these lines, the camera is ominously zooming in on a family photo, and the general aura of the scene makes you half expect blood to splatter on the picture any moment.
    • There's a Freeze-Frame Bonus montage then, showing yet more victims of the demented killer.
    • Followed by perhaps the most disturbing scene of the movie. Laserbeak lands in a suburban backyard and transforms into a miniature pink Bumblebee to get close to a little girl. He says, in the creepiest voice possible: "Is your daddy home?"
      • Most movies would be content to leave it at that, but this screenwriter apparently had bigger balls. After the Smash to Black, we see the girl's mother walk in on her and Laserbeak having a tea party, which has gone on long enough to for the girl to be reading a book to him. He immediately transforms back into normal form, scaring the crap out of the mom, and flies into the house. The scene is edited like a horror movie, cut through with flashes of black. He flies up to the girl's father, who was peacefully reading a book. He immediately drops the book and tries to back away, looking terrified. When he asks why Laserbeak is at his house, the 'Con says he's "just visiting". Then we get one of the only Gory Discretion Shots in the movie, meaning whatever happened to the family was too horrible to show. Considering what else we see later...
      • As an added level of horror, that discretion shot shows the man posing with friends in front of the newly built Acurreta Systems, logo and all. The same company that just hired Sam. It's driven home by the very next scene as Sam enters the building, swinging open its door so the audience can see the logo.
    • Fittingly, Laserbeak then shows up at Accureta to "visit" Jerry Wang. Jerry's humor (as well as that of Bruce Brazos) does nothing to lessen the horror of the situation. To elaborate:
      • Sam has just learned of the moon conspiracy from Wang. He tries to go talk to Wang, only to be brushed aside with some Blatant Lies. Moments later, Wang falls to his death from his office window, screaming the entire time. Sam sees this, and the expression on his face after definitely reads as, "I'm next".
      • In the novel, Sam notices the torture computer mouse biting Jerry's hand, and leaves rather than help him out. Because he knows there's nothing he can do.
      • Back in the movie, Jerry speaks with Laserbeak before he's killed. The way the robo-bird says, "Jeeeerry. You were always my faaaaaavorite." gives off strong Stalker Without a Crush vibes. Not helped by Laserbeak slithering around the poor man, who looks about to piss himself with fear.
      • Then there's Laserbeak's attack on Sam. The only thing allowing him to get away (in the movie, he's more a badass in the adaptations) is the cramped office interior that prevents Laserbeak from flying as fast as he'd like. That, and the fact that the Decepticons are counting on Sam telling the Autobots about the moon, so they wouldn't suspect the next attack was a diversion.
    • He gets one last moment before his untimely demise. When Sam goes to rescue Carly from Dylan's apartment, Laserbeak is waiting on the wall as a stereo speaker. But the audience never got to see him take on that form, so the moment he transforms and attacks Sam is a bit of surprise. Then he drops Sam over the balcony, making this qualify for Shocking Moments.
  • Not as serious as the others, but most guys with insecurities would agree that Dylan Gould qualifies. He's rich, handsome, fit, a car enthusiast, and obviously very smart. Most girls would melt from his smile, and he's portrayed by Patrick Dempsey. Good luck sleeping at night now that you know who your girlfriend works for.
    • He becomes the more serious type after The Reveal.
    • The Reveal: Washington DC is being overrun by evil alien transforming robots. Sam goes to Dylan's stupid snob party just so he can make sure Carly's safe. She decides to trust him, and they're rushing out, with Dylan following and giving Sam unwanted advice that his father gave him. He finishes, however, by saying:
    Dylan: 'Course, that was back when he was in charge of Budget and Accounting for NASA.
    Sam and Carly: (Oh, Crap! looks)
  • Megatron's face/head. A large chuck of it is missing after the last movie's ending, and inside the wound are a lot of broken mechanisms that ooze reddish-orange Energon. Crawling around in the wound are dozens of tiny insect-like robots that look like Scalpel from the previous film. Whether they're trying to heal his face, or are Cybertronian Maggots living inside a festering wound, is up for debate. Then Sentinel gouges the wound out further just to remind Megatron who's boss. To clarify, this would be like having a three-inch cylinder of flesh and bone punched out of your forehead, then let it get infected, then let it partially scab over, then have your frenemy tear that scab off with his blunt fingers. Ouch.
  • The Spacebridge is this, In-Universe too. As Mearing points out, if you can send refugees, why not send an army? Or a nuclear warhead? Or something worse?
    • We see later that Mearing was right.
  • Sentinel's Face–Heel Turn.
    • After the Autobots seemed to risk their lives protecting him from the Decepticons, he reveals himself to be in league with them all along. Just the fact that such a revered Autobot, their former leader, would betray them, is terrifying.
    • Then he executes Ironhide. See below for gory details.
    • Then he tries to kill Bumblebee, too!
      • In the novelization, the only reason Bumblebee escapes is because the Twins (Mudflap and Skids for those who have forgotten, or tried to) sacrifice themselves. Skids intercepts the first blast, and has just enough time to lament how he Didn't Think This Through to his brother before dying. Then Mudflap, who felt the death by psychic link, goes Ax-Crazy and charges Sentinel. It doesn't end well for the smaller Autobot.
    • And then Sentinel attacks the human NEST forces, tearing apart their base and demanding the Spacebridge be returned to him. When Mearing arrives and tries to chew him out, he gives her a nice Badass Boast cum Shut Up, Kirk! speech, before No-Selling a rocket launched at him.
    I am a Prime! I do not take orders from you.
    • Sentinel's gun infects his targets with Cosmic Rust, a Cybertronian disease that wastes a Transformer to nothing. The former leader of the Autobots, who instilled Optimus Prime's values of freedom, was more than willing to commit war crimes even before his Face–Heel Turn.
  • Optimus Prime killing Sentinel Prime and Megatron. Notable because he does it execution style, when he's got each of them beat and at his mercy. Optimus Prime has been many things in TF history. An executioner has never been one of them. In the past, he's always tried to end things peacefully when he's got his enemies at his feet. Not here. Not anymore. The leader of the Autobots can be a terrifying force when he's pushed to his breaking point.

     Family Unfriendly Deaths. 
  • Pretty much every time a human dies in this movie. Special mention goes to:
    • Aleksei Voskhod is seen peppered with bloody bullet holes in the front seat of his limo, after running scared from Laserbeak.
    • The Chicago civilians blown up by the Decepticons.
    • One of the NEST soldiers falls out of the Ospreys with his wingsuit on fire. Not to mention all those who never made it out of the Ospreys before they were destroyed.
    • Dylan Gould gets electrocuted when he crashes against the active Spacebridge pillar.
  • For the Autobots, we get two:
    • Ironhide, during Sentinel's Face–Heel Turn. Sentinel shoots him three fucking times with a gun whose ammo is essentially Hollywood Acid rust. The first two shots catch him directly in the back and would be more than enough to kill him. Ironhide pleadingly asks why Sentinel is doing this. The traitorous Prime simply responds, "I hereby discharge you from duty." Then shoots him again. Ironhide's entire body falls in on itself, even his head.
    • The other may be worse. The Autobots are all captured in Chicago. Dylan Gould, pissed about how close he came to dying earlier, asks Soundwave why they're keeping prisoners. Soundwave laughs and says they're not prisoners, they're trophies. He picks Que out of the lineup and drags him away, then allows him to beg for his life. Much like Ironhide, he's shot multiple times. His body is obliterated, and his head rolls across the ground.
    • For a good bit, it seemed possible Bumblebee would follow. He'd already done everything that was shown in the trailers, and the movie had killed off one of the original film's characters. Soundwave had Bumblebee pinned on top of Que's remains, a gun to his head. Sam was watching, wanting to interfere, but his weapon was malfunctioning. Watching it for the first time, you'd be forgiven for sitting at the edge of your seat, going, "No no no no, please no, no no no..."
  • Decepticons get them too, in spite of everything.
    • The three Dreads meet some pretty bad ends. Hatchet is shot up, then double impaled, then tossed into oncoming traffic so that he is torn apart. Crowbar gets the most merciful death, simply shot in the face. Crankcase, on the other hand, is impaled with his dead partner's exploding spear; then flipped into an abandoned car; then shoved into an Auto Repair Shop. Which, thanks to the spear, explodes impressively.
    • The random Mook who attacks Sam and Epps upon arrival gets torn apart by the Wreckers. Its struggling and death noises are quite disturbing, not helped by the Wrecker's comments.
    This is going to hurt. A lot!
    • Shockwave's death. He's shot by humans so much that he's falling apart at the seams, and as he tries to run, they pursue him and hobble him. Then Optimus flies in, and after rapidly destroying 90% of the Decepticons' ground forces, proceeds to break out a new weapon (alien brass knuckles), and shreds Shockwave's side. Then Optimus reaches around back, and rips out Shockwave's optic nerve and spinal cord. Shockwave might not even have been fully dead yet, since Optimus uses his gun to shoot down the Spacebridge pillar.
    • Starscream's death. After chasing down Carly and Sam and finally cornering them, the latter fires Que/Wheeljack's grapple glove into one of the Seeker's optics. Starscream flails in agony and tries to escape, but his boosters end up malfunctioning, allowing Sam to climb up the cable and stab straight through Starscream's other optic with a bomb to completely blind him. All the while, Starscream thrashes and shrieks like a madman as he claws at his face and tries to fly off, ultimately ending up on top of a tall building right as the bomb detonates— blowing his head open and causing him to fall to the ground and smash to pieces on impact.
    • Megatron of all 'Cons gets this. After being Sentinel's Butt-Monkey for half the film, he gets his new status shoved into his face by Carly, and chooses to help Optimus defeat their mutual enemy. Afterwards, he proposes a truce. While it might not seem completely sincere, he at least offered. Optimus verbally flips him off, then attacks. He stabs Megatron in the chest with his ax, then slashes the blade down into his head, then rips out his head and spine. There is a huge spray of energon, and it even sounds as though Megatron is roaring, "Not fair!"
    Megatron: Besides, who would you be without me, Prime?
    Optimus: Time to find out.
    • Even Sentinel Prime gets a wildly Family-Unfriendly Death. After Optimus finishes killing Megatron, he picks up a transformer-sized shotgun and executes Sentinel as the old Prime screams in terror.