One of the very best things about watching a good horror movie is getting enveloped in suspense. The build-up of tension - and then eventual release - is accomplished through a myriad of techniques, but one of the best methods is through a "what's around the corner" moment. These reveals are typically guarded just out of sight, off-frame, or behind a given object, and have delivered some of the most iconic moments in the horror genre.
Whether accompanied by a bone-chilling jumpscare or a melody of gruesome imagery, done well, these horror movie moments leave a lasting impression and encapsulate the pinnacle of suspense and terror. Knowing that there's something just out of sight peaks curiosity and dread in equal measure; we can't help but want to know what's around the bend, even if we know it's probably nothing good.
The following "around the corner" horror movie moments were all delivered with expert precision by some of the most legendary genre directors - masters of horror like John Carpenter, Tobe Hooper, Alfred Hitchcock, and so on - and lay claim to being the high-point of each given film respectively.
From re-formed attic corpses to cannibal houses caked in a searing Texan sun, the following horror movie moments are all too good to look away from - no matter how much we may internally scream to do so.
10. Frank Cotton Regenerates In The Attic - Hellraiser (1987)
Clive Barker's 1987 horror classic Hellraiser is an at-times weirdly incongruous film. Filmed and clearly intended to be set in the UK but changed during post-production to take place in the U.S., Hellraiser features some awkward dubbing and wonky VFX that can at times prove distracting. Still, the film is an admirable directorial debut from Barker, who renders flesh and bone from his novella, The Hellbound Heart, to viscerally entertaining effect.
There are a number of iconic moments in Hellraiser, chief among which rests the introduction of Doug Bradley's Cenobite Leader, the fan-dubbed Pinhead. However, arguably the best moment of suspense and eventual pay-off is the rebirth of Frank Cotton (Sean Chapman), who manifests from bodily juices after being torn apart by the Cenobites in the film's opening.
Frank's reemergence is framed excellently by Barker, who by this point in the film has already established the cold, aching, and barren surroundings of the house Frank's old flame Julia (Clare Higgins) has moved into. Slowly fading to the attic, the floorboards begin to creak and rumble, until eventually Frank's skeletal musculature emerges piece by piece. It's a stunning, juicy effect - a Bob Keen special that recalls Rob Bottin's work on John Carpenter's The Thing - with the gnarly coup-de-gras coming where Frank's spinal column fuses itself to his partially regenerated brain.
Barker follows this with another great reveal when Julia discovers Frank's return - his body slightly less worse-for-wear, but still gooey in all the wrong ways.