9 Horror Movies Everyone Remembers For One Scene

Truly horrible or horrifyingly funny, these moments made their movies unforgettable.

Carrie Sissy Spacek
Warner Bros. Pictures

Horror movies have been a staple of cinema since the medium first began.

The idea that pictures on a screen can be used to scare the absolute pants off of just about anyone seems to grab so many of us, and maybe that's one reason why so many filmmakers like to test their hand at the genre. It makes sense, really; it's a singular challenge, framing and timing each shot to elicit the appropriate response from your audience, and over the last century, we've seen it perfected by the likes of Alfred Hitchcock, James Wan and George A. Romero.

Given that those scares often thoroughly sear themselves into our memories, it follows that we'd remember the movie for it.

And in many cases, this is exactly what happens: horror movies remembered for their scariest moment, the one that grips you the hardest.

There are other occasions when the most memorable moment is a line of well-placed memorable dialogue, or a particularly iconic image that comes to symbolise the movie itself, but, put simply, so many horror movies sink their teeth into you with one lingering, impossible-to-forget moment.

9. Misery - Hobbling

Carrie Sissy Spacek
Columbia Pictures

Misery continued the trend of adapting Stephen King's bestselling novels for the big screen, starring regular collaborator Kathy Bates as Annie Wilkes alongside James Caan's Paul Sheldon.

After a car crash, writer Sheldon is rescued by mega-fan Wilkes, and is taken back to her cabin to recover. Luckily, she's a nurse and treats his injuries.

The problem is, she's a little upset with Sheldon for killing her favourite character, so holds him hostage and forces him to write her back to life.

The writer does everything in his power to escape, leading to one particularly unpleasant and brutal scene where we see just how far Wilkes is willing to go. Putting a log between his ankles, she swings a club hammer at his feet, painfully hobbling him and rendering him even more helpless to resist her.

It's dark, visceral and entirely brutal, and it's a scene that people still talk about whenever Misery is mentioned.

It could have been very different, though: in the book, Wilkes cuts off one of Sheldon's feet with an axe. In this case, less is most certainly more, and the sickening sound of Sheldon's ankle breaking was more than enough to cement Misery's place in horror movie history.

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Antisocial nerd that spends a lot of time stringing words together. Once tried unsuccessfully to tame a crow.