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Nightmare Fuel cleanup and maintenance

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It appears that many Nightmare Fuel pages have problems, including:

1. Listing non-scary things that made the viewer feel slightly uncomfortable at worst.

2. Having spoiler tags on them (which is against the page's guidelines).

3. Listing Fridge Horror and fan theories.

And much more!

On a few occasions, people from outside the site's community have pointed out our overly lax usage of Nightmare Fuel to make fun of us, meaning that it can legitimately harm our reputation to let this go unchecked.

The TRS thread meant for redefining Nightmare Fuel started to become a place for cleaning up Nightmare Fuel pages in general, so we may as well move these discussions to Long Term Projects where they belong.

Here are the guidelines to determine whether something is Nightmare Fuel or not.

    Nightmare Fuel rules 
  • This is a page whose name is intended to be taken more literally than most. It's not enough for material to be scary; to truly qualify, it has to be frightening enough to legitimately unnerve/disturb the viewer, with actually being nightmare-inducing as the ultimate endpoint.
    • Good signs that something IS Nightmare Fuel include if:
      • It left you feeling shaken even after the credits had rolled, you turned the last page, or are otherwise done with the work.
      • You have a hard time falling asleep if you think about it at night, or have a literal nightmare about it.
      • You dread that episode, scene, level, chapter, or song during re-watches, and consider skipping it.
    • With that said, don't add something just because it happens to be your personal phobia. For example, spiders can be scary and many people have arachnophobia, but just because a spider happens to be in the work, it does not make a Nightmare Fuel entry. It needs to reasonably be scary to someone without the phobia.
    • Don't confuse tension with fear. If the hero is in trouble, but you know he'll make it out okay at the end, it's probably not Nightmare Fuel unless the threat is especially disturbing.
  • Explain WHY the entry scared you. Try to convey your sense of fear to your readers. Avoid putting up Zero-Context Examples.
    • Remember that Weblinks Are Not Examples, and neither are quotes on their own. You should explain the horror in your own words, rather than rely on others to do so.
  • Don't add things that might have scared someone. If it didn't scare you, and you don't personally know anyone else who was scared, you shouldn't be adding it to Nightmare Fuel.
  • Nightmare Fuel should stick to you even after you're done with the work.
    • If something is initially presented as scary but turns out to be harmless, it's most likely not Nightmare Fuel since The Reveal makes the scariness vanish.
    • Jump Scares are a good source of Nightmare Fuel, but not all of them automatically qualify: being startled is not the same as being scared.
  • Hypotheticals are not Nightmare Fuel:
    • Remember that Trailers Always Lie: a scene that is presented as scary in the trailer could very well turn out to be inoffensive in the finished work. Only add examples from unreleased works if they were especially terrifying in the previews.
    • Fan theories do not belong on the Nightmare Fuel page under any circumstance. No matter how much evidence they have to support them, don't add them until they've been officially confirmed. In the meanwhile, take them to Wild Mass Guessing.
    • Fridge Horror goes on the Fridge page, not Nightmare Fuel. Don't add it unless it's Ascended Fridge Horror.
  • Keep in mind the work's intended audience when considering whether or not something is Nightmare Fuel.
    • If something is normal or expected in the genre, it does not automatically qualify. Violence in a Fighting Series or gore in a horror movie must be especially disturbing or gruesome by the work's standards to be Nightmare Fuel.
    • Remember that Kids Shouldn't Watch Horror Films. If a work is rated PG-13 or higher but would only be scary to young children, it's not Nightmare Fuel.
    • The standards on what qualifies as Nightmare Fuel are especially stringent on works aimed at children and pre-teens: kids have hyperactive imaginations, so even something benign can give them nightmares.
  • Spoiler tags do not belong on Nightmare Fuel pages. Much of what scares us comes from inherently spoilery stuff such as death and the unknown, so finding spoilers on these pages should be expected.
  • Nightmare Fuel is an Audience Reaction, so it needs to be scary for the audience. Describing how the characters react to something scary isn't needed. Just because something scares them, that doesn't mean it scares us as well.

Guidelines when proposing cleanup of a page:

  • Some rules are pretty objective. If you see a Zero-Context Example, Fridge Horror, speculation, In-Universe reaction, examples that describe themselves as not being very scary, or examples that are just scene summaries without going into detail about why it's so scary, you should remove them immediately without coming here to ask.
  • You should also strip all spoiler tags from the page. Itty Bitty Wiki Tools has a tool for that, but it can cause problems, so if you use it be sure to preview the page and thoroughly look it over.
  • Once you've fixed the objective issues with the page, bring it here so we can look at the more subjective problems, such as examples that may not be scary enough to qualify. If a consensus is reached that a certain entry does not qualify, it can be removed.

Edited by Zuxtron on Nov 16th 2018 at 3:14:41 PM

Jun 9th 2019 at 11:24:50 AM

[up][up][up] That definitely sounds like overreacting. I'd delete it.

[up] Maybe that could be changed to Paranoia Fuel. It does sound very weak, especially for an unreleased movie.

Edited by Zuxtron on Jun 9th 2019 at 2:25:11 PM

Jun 9th 2019 at 11:42:19 AM

And other one, yes, and another, yes, other bad Nightmare Fuel example.

  • "Groundhog Day" Loop plots can be rather frightening once the Fridge Logic sets in. Not so much the ones where we see every repeat, but the ones where we don't, and it's implied that they go on for extremely long periods of time. On the order of centuries, sometimes. The idea of being trapped in something like that... Gah!

Let me play why is this bad slowly.

"frightening once the Fridge Logic sets in"

"Fridge Logic sets in"

"Fridge Logic"

WarJay77 Spooky Scary from Upstate New York Relationship Status: Armed with the Power of Love
Spooky Scary
Jun 9th 2019 at 11:45:27 AM

[up] Bingo; kill it with fire.

Female troper who likes Pokemon, ARGs, Writing, and more. / Links: Sandbox.Zero Context Example Thread - Sandbox.Roleplay Cleanup Thread
Jun 9th 2019 at 9:13:33 PM

[up][up] That's more of an example of Fridge Horror.

Libraryseraph Take my revolution! from Canada Relationship Status: Longing for Dulcinea
Take my revolution!
Jun 10th 2019 at 6:22:19 AM

In light of recent events, I think we should go through the Disney nf pages and check for more shoehorning/Fridge Horror

Life before death. Strength before weakness. Journey before destination
WarJay77 Spooky Scary from Upstate New York Relationship Status: Armed with the Power of Love
Spooky Scary
Jun 10th 2019 at 10:39:11 AM

[up] Agreed. I started with NightmareFuel.Cinderella and... it's not too bad. I'd only get rid of the first two examples, personally:

  • Seeing Cinderella's smile from Gus Gus's point of view in the cage is a little unsettling.
  • Also, Gus's point of view of Lucifer roaring at him.

Okay, for a less good page (IMO), I submit NightmareFuel.Finding Nemo— Granted, the movies got some pretty crazy shit in it because the oceans are terrifying places of nightmare creatures, but this page still has some fridge horror, some nattery discussions about just how scary something is, examples that say "X can be this...", an example Played for Laughs...etc.

Female troper who likes Pokemon, ARGs, Writing, and more. / Links: Sandbox.Zero Context Example Thread - Sandbox.Roleplay Cleanup Thread
Jun 10th 2019 at 11:12:35 AM

[up] I deleted this example from Cinderella for being badly-indented Fridge Horror.

WarJay77 Spooky Scary from Upstate New York Relationship Status: Armed with the Power of Love
Spooky Scary
Jun 10th 2019 at 11:15:03 AM

[up] Must've not read all the examples closely enough; good catch. [tup]

Female troper who likes Pokemon, ARGs, Writing, and more. / Links: Sandbox.Zero Context Example Thread - Sandbox.Roleplay Cleanup Thread
TalesofUnder Avatar throwback time! from Some bamboo forest Relationship Status: THIS CONCEPT OF 'WUV' CONFUSES AND INFURIATES US!
Avatar throwback time!
Jun 10th 2019 at 6:58:43 PM

This example from Destroy The Godmodder needs more context in my opinion.

  • The fact that universe eaters exist at all.
    • And they are FAR from the most powerful things in existence.

This could be salvaged, but currently it’s veering into X, Just...X.

Edited by TalesofUnder on Jun 10th 2019 at 8:59:46 PM

Dang, 2 years flies by fast.
Jun 10th 2019 at 7:05:30 PM

[up] It doesn't "need more context in your opinion", it just plain needs more context, period. Whether or not something is a ZCE is an objective fact that you can see by reading the example, so you don't need to ask here to delete them.

The example doesn't even remotely explain what a universe eater is (though I guess it's somewhat self-explanatory), why we should fear them, or what they actually do. No one will miss it if you delete it, and on the off-chance someone does, they can just add it back with more context.

The other examples on the page also sound pretty dubious:

  • First off, the Godmodder himself. Capable of shrugging off damage that would destroy anything else, dodging or blocking almost every attack aimed at him, learns from his mistakes meaning nothing can reliably beat him, and dishes out just as much damage as he evades.
    This describes him as powerful, but doesn't explain why we should be scared of him.
    • The players opposing him. Take a look at any player, and you will find at least one thing that makes them this. Twinbuilder has a literal split personality that tried to kill him, Maniac controls an army made up entirely of the dead which grows stronger with every person who dies in battle, Erelye has dealt with Eldritch Abominations on a regular basis, Blue is perfectly happy to commit genocide to fulfil her goals, and Engie is both a Universe Eater and a Psychopathic Manchild.
      This is a long string of borderline zero-context examples.
  • Being a bystander in this war. Think about it - you're minding your own business, living life as usual, when all of a sudden, you're locked into a game of Minecraft with every other player in the world. With no idea what is happening, you try to survive as best as you can, using any methods you can, and rejoice once you hear that a supercomputer has been built that could end the operation... That is, until you read the news and discover that the players you thought were fighting as heroes are against you too. Life continues on, until a strange orchid glow appears in the sky, spelling the word "OBEY". Your mind slowly clouds, the word repeating itself in your head, until you know nothing.
    This looks like Fridge Horror, judging by the wording "Think about it".

Edited by Zuxtron on Jun 10th 2019 at 10:08:20 AM

TalesofUnder Avatar throwback time! from Some bamboo forest Relationship Status: THIS CONCEPT OF 'WUV' CONFUSES AND INFURIATES US!
Avatar throwback time!
Jun 10th 2019 at 7:12:08 PM

I think no one will miss the page if I nuke it.

Dang, 2 years flies by fast.
Redmess Redmess from Netherlands
Jun 11th 2019 at 3:24:02 AM

"No one will miss it" is not a good reason to nuke it.

If people started editing with that premise, we would have a huge problem on this site, what with There Is No Such Thing as Notability.

Edited by Redmess on Jun 11th 2019 at 12:28:45 PM

TalesofUnder Avatar throwback time! from Some bamboo forest Relationship Status: THIS CONCEPT OF 'WUV' CONFUSES AND INFURIATES US!
Avatar throwback time!
Jun 11th 2019 at 7:44:41 AM

Read above. The stuff on Destroy The Godmodder is either Zero Context Examples or Fridge Horror.

Also, just checked, and the examples are from players of the game themselves. Is that allowed? I feel like it isn’t.

Edited by TalesofUnder on Jun 11th 2019 at 9:46:36 PM

Dang, 2 years flies by fast.
Jun 11th 2019 at 8:07:24 AM

If the players are troping themselves as Nightmare Fuel, that absolutely runs afoul of Auto-Erotic Troping. Nightmare Fuel is an Audience Reaction, and if you're actively writing the story, you're not part of the audience.

The YMMV and other Moments pages also seem to have this issue.

Edited by Zuxtron on Jun 11th 2019 at 11:16:38 AM

TalesofUnder Avatar throwback time! from Some bamboo forest Relationship Status: THIS CONCEPT OF 'WUV' CONFUSES AND INFURIATES US!
Avatar throwback time!
Jun 11th 2019 at 8:24:37 AM

Aight, I’ve placed it on the cut list.

Also, I’ve found another offender: Damages. There are only two examples, and they are entirely bereft of any context. Sounds like an obvious cut.

Edited by TalesofUnder on Jun 11th 2019 at 10:28:08 PM

Dang, 2 years flies by fast.
WarJay77 Spooky Scary from Upstate New York Relationship Status: Armed with the Power of Love
Spooky Scary
Jun 11th 2019 at 7:28:04 PM

Can we take a look at NightmareFuel.Ghost Adventures? I'm not contesting the show being scary- hell, some episodes terrified me!- but the formatting is...weird.

Female troper who likes Pokemon, ARGs, Writing, and more. / Links: Sandbox.Zero Context Example Thread - Sandbox.Roleplay Cleanup Thread
Jun 11th 2019 at 7:35:53 PM

[up][up] That definitely is a bad page that needs to be cut.

[up] That page has a lot of the "robo-speech" type of Word Cruft, and a lot of Zero-Context Examples.

WarJay77 Spooky Scary from Upstate New York Relationship Status: Armed with the Power of Love
Spooky Scary
Jun 11th 2019 at 7:37:01 PM

[up] Also true; I admit that the formatting annoyed me so much, I couldn't read enough of it to judge the quality of examples.

Female troper who likes Pokemon, ARGs, Writing, and more. / Links: Sandbox.Zero Context Example Thread - Sandbox.Roleplay Cleanup Thread
Jun 11th 2019 at 10:12:26 PM

The BOTW sequel trailer got a folder, an image, and a caption on the BOTW page.

Edited by lalalei2001 on Jun 11th 2019 at 11:17:39 AM

The Protomen enhanced my life.
AlleyOop Relationship Status: GAR for Archer
Jun 12th 2019 at 1:20:11 AM

Latecomer to this thread, but as someone who proposed something like this years ago I'm glad it finally exists as a serious project. I get wanting to be open-minded, but this is a trope that has suffered massive decay and overuse to a ridiculous level.

Anyway, I'd like to list Captain America The Winter Soldier for consideration. I think the majority of these should be cut because they're more accurately described as the result of in-universe tension, genre-typical violence, or Fridge Horror. Will point out the exceptions I think are worth keeping.

  • The Reveal of the Winter Soldier's identity and Cap having to fight him. It's no wonder why he goes into shock upon finding out. Imagine your best friend that has supported you your whole life, was there when tragedy struck and when you were bullied, and who now doesn't even remember who you are, wants you dead, and will do the act personally.
    • There's something unsettling about how, when Cap first sees him with his mask off and calls him by his name, the Winter Soldier just growls "Who the hell is Bucky?" in a tone that makes it clear he genuinely doesn't know what the heck his target is talking about.

  • Arnim Zola's present day form as a vast computer inside what's supposed to be a munitions storage facility at Fort Lehigh, especially the way he appears on the old screens and his reveal of HYDRA's grand plan.
    • The way he talks with a slight echo and his face jerking up and down. Then, as a missile heads to obliterate him, Captain America and Black Widow, he talks calmly about his own approaching death. Bear in mind that this is a man who, seventy years prior, was a coward that sold out HYDRA to save his own skin.
    • The entire scene with Arnim Zola is extremely creepy. The way the various computer parts move in their own time and rates independent of each other really gives off a vibe that this is someone's brain that Steve and Natasha are standing in.

Needs condensing. The points about the creepiness of Zola's new form is valid, and accentuated by the picture which showcases a face that can be seen as disturbing, but it's listing everything about his existence instead of focusing on what actually makes it scary.

* The police ambush of Nick Fury. The fact that all of those "cops" were sent to take him out prove just how deadly and serious HYDRA is about people meddling with their plans.

  • Nick Fury being injured at all can be pretty damn distressing, given his Crazy-Prepared tendencies usually mean he's on top of everything, and comes out unscathed.

  • The Stinger, featuring Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch in Von Strucker's custody, not quite sane and continuously using their powers, ending with a quick shot of Wanda using her magic destructively. Speaking of insanely powerful things in the hands of evil, did you ever wonder where Loki's scepter went? Von Strucker has that too.

  • During the final Captain America vs. Winter Soldier fight, after losing his guns, Bucky pulls out a knife. There's a split-second shot of him charging at the camera, an absolutely feral look on his face.

  • A lot of the elements of the Winter Soldier's character and treatment are pretty horrific in general.
    • The electroshock therapy that Bucky is subjected to, in order to wipe his memories of Captain America.
    • Not to mention his flashbacks to everything that happened since his "death" as Bucky, and his transformation into the Winter Soldier. A brief moment in the flashback shows more of Bucky's arm being amputated, from his point of view. They did that without anesthesia, or worse, they used anesthesia and Bucky's enhancements meant it didn't work. The fact that all of the flashbacks are POV shots makes them extra creepy.
    • Of special note is that when preparing for his memory wipe, he calmly opens his mouth to accept the bit he's given. He's been subjected to this torture for so long that he simply accepts it as if it were normal, despite the fact that it's incredibly agonizing physically (and likely emotionally). This behavior is either instinctive or conscious, depending on whether or not the memory wipes actually erase the memory of previous wipes. Whichever is the case, it provides more nightmare fuel: Either Bucky remembers every horrifically painful memory wipe (he was under Hydra's command for at least half a century, so who knows how many times the procedure has been done) and has essentially given up and willingly submitted to the process, or he doesn't remember them, but there have been so many of them that his subconscious has been trained to accept it without resistance.
    • The Winter Soldier's theme on the score. It starts subtle and quiet, and builds into an distorted industrial cacophony culminating in what sounds like a scream of terror. This not only reflects the reaction people who know what he is have when fighting him, but also what it feels like to be, somewhere in Bucky's real mind.
    • The Winter Soldier showing up in Pierce's house, sitting in the dark, not saying anything, and barely even blinking is creepy in its own right. Then you realize Pierce is in on it, not a target. Then the housekeeper shows up and gets shot by her employer, not the Soldier, with no more reaction than "I wish you'd knocked" and a mildly regretful sigh. Cue Oh, Crap! moment.
    • Almost as bad is how everyone else reacts to him. Any time anyone besides Rogers goes up against him, they lose. Badly. And it barely even seems to slow him down. Natasha's brief battle with him just pisses him off and ends with her being shot. Anybody that tries to fight him, like the S.H.I.E.L.D. launch personnel and the Quinjet pilots, just gets taken out quickly, efficiently, and without a single word from him. The Winter Soldier is as close to the Terminator of the original movie as the MCU has come yet.
    • Just the manner in which we're introduced to the Winter Solider is unsettling. Right after Fury's evaded the police, the camera focuses on the road ahead of him, and the Winter Soldier is just there, waiting to kill him, no warning whatsoever.

A lot of this is Fridge Horror (although, is it still Fridge Horror when you don't need to figure out it with a trip to the fridge, because it's heavily implied and closer to unspoken text than subtext?), but the treatment of the Winter Soldier does utilize a lot of graphic and disturbing imagery. Worth keeping albeit in a condensed form.

* Despite him being in league with HYDRA, Agent Sitwell's death is pretty shocking, especially with how we've come to known him in the Marvel One-Shots and previous films. It just happens so suddenly and without warning. Sitwell is in the backseat of the car that Steve, Natasha and Sam are in, when the Winter Soldier comes out of nowhere, grabs Sitwell through the window, and flings him screaming into the other lane of traffic, only to be struck and reduced to pieces by an oncoming truck.

  • When Steve Rogers arrives home and sees Nick sitting in the chair. Nick's appearance after escaping the police and Bucky is far from pleasant. He looks drained of energy, tired, and incredibly weak. The sight is just chilling.

  • Black Widow's face when chased by the Winter Soldier in the bridge scene. She's terrified on the brink of panic. The implication of how terrifying the Winter Soldier is comes when one remembers that the only other time when Black Widow had a similar reaction was when she was alone with the Hulk, trapped in the bowels of the Helicarrier in The Avengers.

  • Pierce activating the security badges placed on the World Council members, which ignite and burn through their chests, killing them. Then threatening to do the same to Natasha.

  • Some of the deaths that Bucky carries out, such as drop-kicking a man into a jet turbine or shooting a guy in the throat, leaving him to die an agonizing death.

  • Natasha's line, "Everyone we know is trying to kill us."
  • The villains' grand scheme combines multiple strains of contemporary popular technophobia, from anonymous, inescapable drone assassinations to "big data"-scale privacy violations, all at the behest of an uncaring computer in the hands of equally uncaring and corrupt authorities.

  • The Insight carriers targeting millions of people... including a man who might very well be playing ball with his son.

  • Insight gets even worse the more you think about it—it constantly tracks everything about you that's online and issues the kill order the moment you demonstrate a pattern that it believes will become a problem for HYDRA somewhere down the line. Meaning that it's entirely likely that after the initial saturation fire, they were going to be picking off high school kids...
    • Sitwell even mentions a valedictorian being as valid a target as Bruce Banner and Stephen Strange.
    • And with the Sony/Marvel deal, Spider-Man is in the MCU. Peter Parker was almost certainly on that list. Spider-bite notwithstanding, he's still a brilliant young mind with a nearly-unshakeable ethical code HYDRA would be unlikely to be able to manipulate or recruit.

  • ...And that satellite running the analyses is still out there. And they're watching YOU.
  • Sam mentions that his wingman Riley was hit with an RPG, while flying the Falcon suits. Think about what Riley looked like afterward.

  • Music-wise, the Winter Soldier's Theme, especially its first half, is just plain unsettling, starting with something that sounds like a woman screaming in an empty hall, going through grinding mechanical noises and then something like engines powering up and a variety of industrial sounds that, with ambient background, are just plain creepy. Not a thing to listen to if you're alone in the dark.

This one is definitely worth keeping. Many people have discussed how they find his theme an effective example of a creepy and disturbing leitmotif, and have described it as a good example of Hell Is That Sound.

Edited by AlleyOop on Jun 12th 2019 at 5:05:19 AM

AlleyOop Relationship Status: GAR for Archer
Jun 12th 2019 at 1:27:15 AM

And the same with the doozy that is Captain America Civil War:

    Examples too long 
  • Bucky's brainwashing scene in the opening. Especially the loud screams Bucky gives as the machine wipes his mind. It's so much like the scene in Winter Soldier that it truly brings home how this happened to Bucky over... and over... and over. How it was routine.
Debatable. Once again it's a gruesome scene of a man getting tortured, but it's dealt with relatively quickly, and focuses more on the Fridge Horror aspect of it.

* While the airport fight is more or less the heroes attempting to subdue one another with minimal lasting harm and is viewed as a fanboy spectacle, the final fight between Iron Man and Cap and Winter Soldier is pretty unsettling in its brutality. Tony, who even at his worst, is the picture of Tranquil Fury, teeters the closest to Unstoppable Rage as he's ever been seen. You can see the moment where the switch flips and he turns into a murderbot with Bucky in his crosshairs. One of the first things he does in the fight is try to literally take Bucky's head off, twice with a point-blank repulsor blast, and immediately again with a forearm-mounted rocket. What's worse is that even though Tony originally tries to passively keep Steve out of the fight, his continued interference leads to Tony ultimately delivering him a bloody No-Holds-Barred Beatdown. Finally, when the tables turn on Tony, Steve proceeds to give him a beating that ends with him crashing his shield into the arc reactor. Given that Tony's mask had been ripped off, leaving his head vulnerable to attack, in those few seconds before the shield came down, Tony legitimately thought Steve was going to kill him.

  • Tony Stark himself. Gone is the cocky and arrogant (yet lovable) goofball we're used to. He's been replaced with an empty and broken shell of a man whose true love has left him, and that's at his best. Suddenly, he learns the Avengers' actions got someone killed by said person's mother, and he feels the need to abide by the Sokovia Accords, and for good reasons too. After the airport scene, we are treated to The Reveal where we find out under HYDRA's influence, Bucky killed Tony's parents. His pure rage from there on is just terrifying, and he doesn't even raise his voice any more than a slight shout - rather, he either speaks in a chilling, low voice of pure anger, or furious whispers. Even if Tony is justified, don't piss him off. Really.
    • It's pretty clear at this point that Tony — from the death of his parents, to his internment in the cave to almost dying of palladium poisoning to his near death experience in New York to the Ultron crisis — that he is having a PTSD-fueled nervous breakdown and nobody is even catching on to get him help. By the time of The Reveal, you can't even really blame him for snapping.

  • The brainwashed Bucky is trying to leave via helicopter, and Steve just manages to keep it down using his Super Strength. Then the helicopter rotates toward Steve because of the former, who just barely manages to avoid being chopped to death by the rotors - it's even worse if you remember the Mook who died the same way in the first Cap movie, with no Gory Discretion Shot.

  • While many fans already suspected that Howard and Maria Stark were personally assassinated by the Winter Soldier, the video footage confirming it is pretty disturbing to watch: he brutally beats Howard to death in two hits with his metal arm before placing his body back in the car, crossing to the other side, and strangling Maria with a blank expression on his face... no real shock that Tony snapped.
    • Picture it from Howard's POV. You're driving along the road when suddenly your car is attacked, causing you to crash into a tree. As your wife is crying in pain, you crawl out injured so you can try to get some help. Then the man who caused it shows up and grabs you. Looking up, you see it's your comrade from World War II that you thought died 46 years earlier. He shows no recognition towards you and then beats you to death with a metal arm as your wife cries out.
    • Maria's perspective is probably even worse than that. Even if she knew who Bucky was, which is doubtful, her husband is murdered with her being unable to do anything about it. Then the killer casually places the dead body next to her to make it look like an accident and slowly walks around the car to strangle her, which is a much longer death than Howard got. At least Howard was a former soldier who has seen violence; Maria was just a civilian who had no idea what was going on or who was attacking them.

  • Rumlow's face when he takes off his mask. As even he stated, he doesn't look terrible, considering he had a building/helicarrier dropped on him. Still, it ain't pretty.
Relatively mild given the damage he sustained in the last movie, but it might constitute a form of Facial Horror.

* When Rumlow attempts to pull a Taking You with Me on Steve by blowing himself up, Wanda manages to telekinetically contain the blast... and you can see Rumlow screaming in pain as he burns. He was probably hoping for a quick death, but nope. Then she hurls him upwards... and blows up part of a building and kills a dozen people.

  • If you're unfamiliar with the comics and don't know who he is, Black Panther's entrance can come across as somewhat terrifying. Without warning, he just shows up out of nowhere in a demonic-looking suit, with no explanation of who he is or how he's connected to the plot, and starts trying to kill Bucky.

  • What could be worse than suddenly being unable to fly and free-falling hundreds of feet? Free-falling in a big metal coffin with only two eye slits to see through while spinning. Rhodes experiences exactly this. What makes it even scarier is up until this point, the battle had lots of humor as most people pulled their punches. Even the hit he took, originally meant for Sam, was intended to take out his thruster and "turn him into a glider". Instead, it blew the chest out of a titanium-alloy suit of power armor. If that had hit Sam, he would have been blown in half.
    • Seeing Iron Man and Falcon dive after him. There is no more visceral way to convey their failure than the deadened thud when Rhodey hits the ground, leaving a crater around him. The war has its first real casualty, and in those seconds before Friday confirms a heartbeat, it's impossible not to believe James Rhodes has just died.
    • Also worth noting is that when Sam was in the Air Force as part of a pararescue team, he watched his flight partner Riley get shot out of the air and couldn't save him. No doubt he was dealing with his own PTSD at that moment.

  • The ending: most of the Earth-bound Avengers are either broken (physically and/or emotionally) or on the run. Remember that Thanos is coming to Earth, and the Avengers were carrying something that he wants. He's getting it, and there is nothing to stop him. That's not counting the HYDRA remnants and the many other superhuman threats that will have a freer hand to operate without interference from the Avengers.

  • Wanda bringing Vision to his knees with her eyes glowing red and Vision being rendered helpless to resist, a hint at the true extent of her powers.

  • The idea of HYDRA having five more Winter Soldiers. They're powerful enough to take over countries overnight, and one beats down on Bucky during sparring. Remember how competent, lethal and terrifying the Winter Soldier was when he first appeared? Well, it's very likely that if any of the five had shown up instead, Cap, Nat, and Falcon would have been killed in seconds.
    • Hydra making these "Winter Soldiers": Cap had the "vita-rays" to speed up the process. These guys? Just injected with a blue goo and left in a room. One screams "It hurts!" as the leader of the program just closes the door and listens to him scream. No wonder they snapped.
    • There's something strangely sorrowful about the five dead "Soldiers" too. All of them were people made into weapons. They represent a terrible danger, but they never got the chance to be anything else, which is just as frightening. They have such similar mannerisms to the initial Soldier - robotic, unstoppable, forbidding - that it's hard not to see some of Bucky in all of them. How many people like that exist because of HYDRA? And can all of them be thrown away just as carelessly, like empty clothes?
    • The worst part? Some of them weren't even voluntary. The last soldier to receive the treatment was brought in kicking and screaming, probably scared of what it might do to him, and the scene is very disturbing.
    • The scene where they rampage and they just start killing their comrades/jailers. They just snapped for seemingly no reason. One guy lost it and the rest just followed. A scientist tries to calm one them down and he gets slammed face first into the concert. Guaranteed, that man is dead and that rage just comes out of nowhere. Worse, the Winter Soldier pulls his superior out of the holding area via the heavy steel gate and just leaves the others to their fate as they desperately try to hold back the rampaging killing machines.
    • The scene where Bucky is beaten down by the other Winter Soldier is horrifying because it shows just how badly Bucky was treated. He's not a soldier in this scene, he's not an asset, he's a toy. He's a punching bag. He's only there to take the punches and push down the pain and put up enough of a fight for the newly-made Winter Soldiers to cut their teeth on.
    • As Tony, Cap, and Bucky enter their holding chamber, Tony reports that he only sense one heat signature. This gives the audience some relief, thinking that the Super Soldiers haven't been released yet. Then Zemo calmly says they died in their sleep. Okay, maybe there was a malfunction in their life support and they... oh. He shot them all in the head. In cold blood. I mean, they were bad news, but still. Kind of dark, that. It's how casual Zemo is about the whole thing that's chilling.

  • The shot of the dead psychiatrist in his bathtub, with his mutilated arm sticking out behind the curtain.
Debatable. It's a scene meant to shock the audience, but not a particularly notorious one, and many have described it as Narmy due to Joe Russos' fake mustache.

* While Helmut Zemo might not have any special powers or unlimited resources like other previous MCU villains, it's also what makes him so terrifying. He looks and acts just like any other normal civilian, meaning absolutely no one can see him coming when he strikes. He makes up for his lack in strength to take on the Avengers by being a master tactician, having spent a long time studying his enemies and behaviors, taking advantage of the global distrust of the Avengers, and attacking them at their most vulnerable. Best exemplified by his cold-blooded murder of a HYDRA colonel after he refuses to give him the information he needs, and his attempt to take control of Bucky/Winter Soldier during the blackout at a Berlin base while Bucky screams painfully as he desperately tries to escape the cell he's in.

  • Who knows what Tony was thinking when he saw Peter, the 15-year old he recruited, lying semi-conscious on the ground.
    • Possible lawsuits aside, probably that his well-meaning but impulsive decisions were about to cost another promising young man his life.

  • Ironically, Spider-Man kinda was this for Team Cap. Granted, we know he's just a goofy kid, but they know nothing about him... he just appears, and along with his combination of speed and strength, plus his unnerving ability to quickly crawl along walls, Spidey was definitely an x-factor that none of them were expecting. He managed to bring down Giant-Man and go up evenly against Captain America. One can only imagine how they'll react when they meet him next.
    • For Bucky, he gets a double dose of the true extent of Spider-Man's capabilities when he tries to go toe-to-toe with him. Look at the stunned expression on his face when he throws a haymaker punch at Spidey with his robotic arm. Spider-Man easily catches the punch, then effortlessly turns the robotic arm to one side while continuing his light-hearted banter. That arm, which had been so formidable to practically every other opponent he'd gone up against, was basically a joke to Spider-Man.

  • Zemo reading out the reset phrases to Bucky. It could not be any more nightmarish to see and hear Bucky jump straight to tearing the restraints off and begging for the words to stop coming. He's frantically clawing at the glass while his mind is broken down. When the cage finally shatters, it's as though the body stepping through the barrier leaves "Bucky" behind and goes forward into the Soldier. Zemo does that with nothing but words.
    • On a related note, during the final fight, Tony asks "Do you even remember them?!" Bucky's blood-chilling reply? "I remember all of them." He remembers every last murder and atrocity HYDRA forced him to do. He might well have been aware of his actions at the time they were taking place, powerless to stop himself, which adds a whole new level of horror.
    • Even worse is when you consider how often Bucky must have been brainwashed, had his memory wiped, or been put on ice. Through the years, he'd lost memory of his friends, his family, even his own name, but still clung to all the innocents he'd killed.
      • If you go off Sebastian Stan's interpretation of the scene—that Bucky didn't actually remember and he was just telling Tony what he knew he wanted to hear—it becomes frightening in a new way. First, it's a sign that Bucky has given up hope of talking Tony down and is convinced one of them - himself, Tony or Steve - is about to die painfully. Second, it means that there are still massive holes in Bucky's memories. Knowing that you've done horrible things but not being able to remember any of them, all while being aware that it could happen to you again at any time is terrifying to think about.
    • Also in the final fight, Bucky has his metal arm blown off—the same arm he lost in the fall from Zola's train back in Captain America: The First Avenger. It's not unlikely that Bucky was reliving the trauma of the amputation, and everything in his life that it was connected to.

  • A more existential horror shows up in the final fight, where Tony guards his head when it looked like Steve was going to kill him with his shield. Things had fallen so far that he truly believed that Steve Rogers, the moral center of the Avengers if not the world, was going to kill him to protect Bucky. Not only that, but Steve knew he would believe it, since the feint was what allowed him to destroy Tony's arc reactor instead.
    • Think about this: it was only 2 appearances before this film that Tony got the shrapnel out of his chest in Iron Man 3. If that had not occurred, the scenario described above would certainly have meant that plant in Siberia would have become the site of the slow, freezing, torturous death of Anthony Stark.

  • After Tony goes to the Raft and finds out from Sam where Steve and Bucky are going when he's in the helicopter as he's getting ready to put on The Suit—he looks as though he's about to throw up—he's having to brace himself to do it.

  • The final exchange between Cap and Tony is a back-to-back Curb-Stomp Battle verging on Extreme Mêlée Revenge. First, Tony analyzes Cap's fighting patterns and swiftly turns the tables, effortlessly throwing him around and proving that while Cap may be the world's greatest soldier, he's no match for the world's deadliest weapon system. Then Bucky distracts him for a split second, and the boot is on the other foot. Cap lifts Tony into the air, in a scene disturbingly reminiscent of Bane breaking the Bat, and hurls him head first into the concrete wall. Cap leaps on top of him and flails at Tony's head, first with his fists and then with the edge of his shield (which has sliced right through tank armor(!)), proving that while Tony may wear the world's deadliest weapon, he's just a man up against a superhuman killing machine. The sheer helplessness they each experience, and the suddenness of the reversal, are bone chilling reminders of what they look like from the perspective of a normal human.
    • Tony's face right before the shield comes down for the last time, during that beating, is frightening all by itself. He's not displaying fear, or even pain: he's outright fucking furious. He's been pushed and pushed and pushed and now, after God-knows how many horrible experiences, he's finally snapped into a state where killing Bucky is the only thing that matters to him. The sheer hatred he summons for Rogers and Barnes in that moment is terrifying, because that is not the Tony Stark we know and love.

  • The Accords themselves. They may not be as immediately horrible as the Superhuman Registration Act, but the sheer amount of shady political maneuvering that went into them is pretty alarming in and of itself. The Avengers were presented with the document three days before it was due to be ratified - nowhere near enough time to read the whole thing and think about it in enough depth to make an informed decision - and it allows for citizens to be imprisoned without charge or trial. Wanda's confinement may have been comfortable, but it was still holding her prisoner without any right to face her accusers or hear the evidence against her. Whether you believe the Avengers needed oversight or not, the Sokovia Accords and what is done in the name of them is genuinely horrifying to anyone familiar with the history of these sorts of containment facilities, particularly when one considers Agents Of Shield bringing up the fact that the stipulation that every superpowered individual sign the Accords regardless of combatant status means that they are, in essence, a registration act in addition to their other role.
    • Even worse is Tony's (quite accurate) warning that, "If we don't do this, it'll be done to us". Now imagine being the regular, non-powered human soldiers that would have to enforce the Accords if the Avengers as a whole decided not to play ball. Imagine growing up idolizing and revering these men and women, then being ordered to capture, incarcerate, or simply kill them. Not only that, but the whole world would likely be informed and turned against the very people that saved it on half-a-dozen occasions. It's quietly terrifying to think that for all their power and experience, these are still just a handful of people against the agendas of a planet of billions, and against those odds, despite their integrity and intentions, the world at large will always win.
    • This video breaks down in detail how the Sokovia Accords are "legally problematic." This includes violations of the freedom of speech, to associate, travel, intellectual property, and habeas corpus, right to privacy, council, and due process, as well as internment and imprisonment of American citizens, forced registration and involuntary conscription, warrantless monitoring without probable cause, on top of issues with other international laws. The fact that the Accords are written vaguely can render it void in court, but that's assuming the heroes get a day in court at all. Just imagine saving the world and having all of that dropped on your lap.

  • As the final battle with Tony becomes more vicious, Bucky attempts to rip the arc reactor out of Iron Man's chest. Even though we know that as of Iron Man 3, the arc reactor is no longer necessary to keep Tony's heart beating, it's so symbolically linked to Tony's life that it's as nightmarish and visceral as if the Winter Soldier were genuinely attempting to rip Tony Stark's heart out.
    • Remember, Stane actually DID rip the arc reactor out back in Iron Man, and so did Killian in Iron Man 3. This has got to trigger some more PTSD in Tony.

  • Wanda's glare at the camera while she's imprisoned - with a straitjacket, no less. She may be on the Avengers' side now, but she certainly hasn't lost her creepy vibes.

Edited by AlleyOop on Jun 12th 2019 at 4:46:26 AM

AlleyOop Relationship Status: GAR for Archer
Jun 12th 2019 at 1:32:22 AM

From Captain America The First Avenger:

  • When Steve asks if the serum made Schmidt stronger, the tone of Erskine's reply suggests firsthand experience.
  • Steve is locked in a metal coffin, screaming in agony... And note that he also grew about a foot as well as gaining about eighty pounds of muscle - he was essentially being rack-tortured.
    • Steve wasn't kidding when he said, "I can do this" in response to the above. The Long List of chronic ailments he's suffered for his entire life essentially boil down to "a life of constant hell." Steve's day-to-day pre-Serum EXISTENCE is the single purest Nightmare Fuel in the entire movie, if not the entire MCU. Especially given the kind of crap sick people went through during The Great Depression — read this and be in awe that Cap can be so inherently good in such an era.

  • When Johann Schmidt rips his mask off, revealing his true face. There's a good reason he is nicknamed "Red Skull".
    • The earlier scene in which he is having a portrait taken of him. The lighting is too dark for us to see him, but we can see that the painter seems to be using an awful lot of red. He does turn the light on when Zola enters the room, but all we are shown is Zola's unsettled reaction.
First one is valid, as it's a form of Nightmare Face.

* Red Skull being sucked into the Tesseract's beam-portal, and screaming. It looks like it disintegrates him, and no one knows where he has been beamed, provided he survived handling the power of that Infinity Stone at all. Come Infinity War, he DOES survive this incident. Perhaps? It could come off as a little gruesome to some people, given it's a callback to Raiders of the Lost Ark, but it is sanitized in comparison.

* Whatever did the serum excatly do to Schmidt that resulted in him having a red skull must've hurt like hell.

  • When Steve finally finds Bucky, he's Strapped to an Operating Table, half-conscious and reciting his name rank and serial number over and over again to an empty room. What exactly happened to the poor guy?

rjd1922 Paladin from Illinois Relationship Status: Love is for the living, Sal
Jun 12th 2019 at 6:54:32 AM

Is there anything salvageable in this natter on NightmareFuel.Pikmin?

  • The Candypop Buds in both games are somewhat disturbing. You throw Pikmin into them, and they are mutated into the colour of the Bud.
    • In the second game, this is the only way to get Purple and White Pikmin.
      • The Pikmin make their death cries as they are thrown into the damn things!
      • The ship notes they seemed to be antsy to get into it. If that makes things worse or not is another matter.
      • It does. It's a scarily effective way of reproduction. The Pikmin, urging to get in at the mere sight of, mindlessly hurl themselves in, and are then KILLED and replaced with an exact replica... minus the color. Thinking about things too much can really send shivers down the spine.

Steel be with you.
TalesofUnder Avatar throwback time! from Some bamboo forest Relationship Status: THIS CONCEPT OF 'WUV' CONFUSES AND INFURIATES US!
Avatar throwback time!
Jun 12th 2019 at 7:58:01 AM

Damages is now on the cutlist. I’ll let you know if I find anything else problematic.

Edited by TalesofUnder on Jun 12th 2019 at 9:58:21 PM

Dang, 2 years flies by fast.
Jun 12th 2019 at 8:05:57 AM

[up][up] The example already starts off with "somewhat disturbing" (read: not very disturbing), and ends with a Pot Hole to Fridge Horror. It probably needs to be rewritten from the ground up if it's to be kept at all.

Page Action: Nightmare Fuel Other
24th Aug '19 5:20:24 PM
What would be the best way to fix the page?
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