10 Most Anxiety-Inducing Horror Movie Scenes EVER

Scary comes in many forms. Many STRESSFUL forms.

Mother! movie
Paramount Pictures

Horror movies are, for the most part, built to make you uncomfortable. Whether that's through subjecting you to some particularly icky gore as bodies are turned into bonemeal, or through hidden political messaging lurking in the depths of your monster movies, feel-good scares are a bit of an oxymoron.

But there are some movies that go a step further in the name of horror. That take a tension-fulled, terrifying moment and stretch it out to unbearable lengths - creating scenes of insurmountable anxiety that will have you hiding behind your sofa lest the atmosphere crush you to death through the screen. And it's psychological horror that absolutely dominates this style for the most part, crawling right up into your head like a wayward beetle as your fight or flight response is pushed to breaking point.

Films that feel like an actualised panic attack are hard to pull off, but oh boy, did these horror movies use everything available to make the whole experience an unpleasant one. Read on, if you can bear it...

You can find a few other horror movies on our list of broader anxiety-inducing movie moments, too, just in case you're somehow not a quivering, sweaty wreck by the end of this one.

10. Bathtub Birth - A Quiet Place

Mother! movie
Paramount Pictures

When a horror film revels in its silent moments far more than its noisy ones, you know you're in for a rough ride. And with one titled A Quiet Place, it's all but guaranteed you'll be warming up the edge of your seat as you're perched there for an incredibly taut, unbearably hushed 90 minutes. Unless you're watching on TV, that is, in which case at least you've got dancing meerkats and operatic insurance companies to break it all up a bit.

No dose of advertising will save your poor heart from the bathtub scene, however, which locks you in place as Emily Blunt's very pregnant Evelyn is attempting to very quietly give birth in the midst of a very scary alien invasion. Oh, and just for good measure, the aliens attack and kill anything that makes sound. Good, great, this can only go well.

Watching Blunt's suppressed screams as she attempts to alert her family - all away from the farm and only notified by a light system that glows red for the danger she's in - is nothing short of horrifying, and will have you releasing a breath you didn't know you were holding by the time husband Lee reaches her bathroom hideout.

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Horror film junkie, burrito connoisseur, and serial cat stroker. WhatCulture's least favourite ginger.