10 Most Nerve-Wracking Scenes In Non-Horror Films

You don't need a slasher or a monster to deliver a good scare.

Buena Vista

Films blend genres all the time, creating hybrids of genre that lead to subgenre. Mystery-thrillers have aspects of slasher films. Comedies commonly have romantic subplots that lead plot conficlit. Ther are occasions, however, when such mixtures don't pay off that smoothly.

It can be jarring, out-of-place or downright inappropriate. It can also be intentional, jolting an audience out of their comfort space and thrusting them into a much more grim reality. In The Bedroom's seeming romantic conflict of a young man dating an older divorcee of whom his parents disapprove take a sharp left turn into a revenge thriller about half-way through. But so long as the film's thematics fit within whatever narrative structure has been set up, we're generally willing to go along for the ride.

Here are the occasions that didn't - or did in the wrong way - pay off.

10. Pee Wee's Big Adventure - Large Marge

Warner Bros.

When Pee Wee's Playhouse - the brainchild of Paul Ruebens - debuted on CBS, critics and audiences didn't quite know what to make of it. It had the noise and energy of similarly designed children's programming of the late 80s, with the host getting into a hyperactive frenzy over a moral or ethical quandary, animated shorts and other things commonplace for a kid's show, but the jokes were a little dirtier, the issues more mature and buried under the wackiness there was a sincerity that somehow made it coherent.

But Ruebens had been doing the character on stage five years prior to the show, and he had quickly become a cult staple amongst those in the know. The show proved enough of a hit for Warner Bros. to throw the oddball a budget for a feature film. He set out with a then-unproven Tim Burton to make a feature film - a light remake of The Bicycle Thieves as a parody. For the most part, it stays true to the spririt of the show, light and goofy and mostly harmless.

Save for Large Marge. Early Pee Wee's cross country journey to find his missing bike, he hitches a ride with the ghost of a truck driver, who reveals monstrous self in a moment that could have only come from the mind of Burton. It's a moment that sticks with 80s kids to this day.

In this post: 
Return To Oz
 
Posted On: 
Contributor
Contributor

Film nerd who studied with an MBA in Poet Laureate with a minor in Humility.