Revealed: The Ten Scariest Movie Moments of All Time

Looking for a scary film to watch tonight?  The Exorcist’s head-spinning scene has been named the scariest movie moment of all time, a new study reveals.
The research by Gala Spins asked 2,000 people about the scariest film moments of all time, as well as the movie character that gives them the heebie-jeebies the most.
Of the films Brits have watched, nearly a third (27%) voted The Exorcist’s eerie head spinning scene as the scariest movie moment of all time, with a quarter (25%) naming Psycho’s shower stabbing scene and 22% choosing Alien’s gruesome chestburster scene as the scariest of all time.
The full list of the top ten moments, are:
1. The Exorcist (1973) – Head spinning scene (27%)
2. Psycho (1960) – Shower scene (25%)
3. Alien (1979) – Chestbuster scene (22%)
4. Misery (1990) – Leg breaking scene (20%)
5. The Shining (1960) – Here’s Johnny (18%)
6. The Ring (2002) – Samara comes out of the TV (15%)
7. Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) – The ending (15%)
8. Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) – Dinner Table Scene (15%)
9. The Shining (1960) – Bathtub scene (12%)
10. Halloween (1978) – Laurie vs Michael in the closet (12%)
The research suggests that Brits are more frightened by classic horror movies, as 70% of these top ten films were made in the 1970s or earlier. Just one, The Ring (2002), was made in the 21st century, and the least scary moment voted for by Brits came from 2019 movie, Us, when Adelaide is revealed to be the evil twin (2%).
We know the scariest moments, but which notorious horror movie villain is the most terrifying of all? The top five voted for by Brits, are:
1. Freddy Krueger – Nightmare on Elm Street (12%)
1. The Alien – Alien (12%)
2. Regan MacNeil – The Exorcist (9%)
3. Norman Bates – Psycho (9%)
4. Leatherface – Texas Chainsaw Massacre (8%)
4. Pennywise – IT (8%)
Nightmare on Elm Street’s razor-handed Freddy Krueger and Alien’s antagonist, the Alien, take the top spot as the characters that frighten Brits the most, both receiving 12% of the overall vote.
While the rest of the top five movie characters are also featured on the scariest movie moments list, Stephen King’s shapeshifting clown Pennywise, from 2017 movie IT, sees its first introduction here, coming in joint 4th place with Texas Chainsaw Massacre’s masked villain Leatherface (both 8%) as the scariest movie character of all time.
Karina Adrian, Head of Brand Marketing at, commented: “It’s interesting to see what Brits think the scariest moments of all time are – with classic movies The Exorcist, Psycho and Alien coming out on top, despite being released more than forty years ago. So, if you are looking for a good old fashioned scare this Halloween, we definitely recommend you give these movies a watch!
“And if scary movies aren’t quite your thing, why not get your Halloween fix by playing our Pumpkin Bonanza game instead?”
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*All data was obtained from a survey of 2,002 people through TLF, unless stated otherwise. The survey was conducted in September 2019.

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