Once movies get going, they generally want to sustain a consistent momentum as they hurtle towards the finish line, to ensure the viewer is engaged from beginning to end without any boredom-inducing dead air.
But sometimes films intentionally hit a jolting stop to intentionally jarring effect, effectively pressing pause on the ongoing story and bringing it to a standstill.
And this can prove especially unnerving in horror of all genres, where filmmakers deliberately upend the story's momentum for one reason or another.
Perhaps they choose to linger on a moment of shocking brutality, break the fourth wall to wink at the audience, or otherwise blindside the viewer with an unexpected break in the action.
Whatever the means, it's a bold move that doesn't always pay off, but when it does, an unforgettable sliver of cinematic brilliance is guaranteed.
Following up our prior article on the subject, these 10 horror movie moments, whether for better or worse - mostly for the better, thankfully - stopped these films dead in their tracks, pulling the audience out of what they were watching and forcing them to reflect on it...
10. The Car Crash - 28 Days Later
Danny Boyle almost invoked the ire of everybody watching his low-fi post-apocalyptic horror 28 Days Later when he seemed determined to end the film on an elliptical cliffhanger.
The movie's climax sees survivors Jim (Cillian Murphy), Selena (Naomie Harris), and Hannah (Megan Burns) fleeing from the rogue soldier Major Henry West (Christopher Eccleston), desperately driving their cab into the metal gate of West's compound in an attempt to escape.
At the precise moment of impact, however, Boyle freeze-frames the image of Jim and Selena being catapulted forward, as the audio stops and the movie suddenly cuts to black.
But just as viewers started to believe that Boyle had ended the movie on an infuriatingly non-committal sequel-baiting ending, the words "28 days later" appear on the screen, before a brief epilogue reveals that the trio have survived and are awaiting rescue.
For a moment there, though, it sure seemed like Boyle was actively trying to piss everybody off - an act of cinematic trolling if there ever was one.