There’s a difference between ‘a bit of a shock’, or a ‘mild surprise,’ and an absolutely jaw-dropping moment. Horror is a genre that has these in abundance, offering up some of the wackiest, most unpredictable storylines around and supplying us with endless “oh my god did that really just happen?” moments.
I could make this list about a thousand entries long and it still wouldn’t cover the half of it, so we’ve got to at least kick it off with a few honorable mentions for well-known shockers like Psycho’s shower scene, Saw’s killer reveal, Sleepaway Camp’s finale, The Mist’s soul-destroying ending and Hereditary’s road accident. There are a whole bunch more prominent and widely-acknowledged shock moments, but for the sake of keeping this concise I’ll just have to cut it down to ten.
In these moments your whole world is rocked: your perception is changed, your ideas are thrown out the window or you are just absolutely blindsided by something you never thought was a possibility. There’s nothing quite like the sensation of being so surprised, you’re not actually sure what you feel at all.
10. The Boy - He Is Real And He’s In The Walls
At first, The Boy seems like a supernatural horror revolving around the beloved staple of the ‘haunted doll.’ Lauren Cohen plays Greta Evans, an American who comes to the UK after being hired as a nanny by an elderly couple.
She is charged with the care of a porcelain doll, whom she comes to believe is possessed by the spirit of a boy, Brahms, who died years earlier. When Greta’s abusive ex tracks her down, he destroys the doll in a fit of rage. As a consequence, Brahms goes berserk.
From behind a mirror on the wall, an adult Brahms crashes into the room and murders the ex before turning on Greta. It turns out he didn’t die in a fire as we thought, instead he has been living in the walls of the house ever since with his parents - and now Greta - caring for him.
It’s not only a properly shocking moment because of the jump-scare factor, but because this whole time we thought we were looking at a haunted doll when really a grown-ass man has been crawling around in the walls orchestrating everything!