19 Accidentally Scary Movie Scenes That Still Haunt Me

Yes, the horrid “Thumb Thumbs” off spy kids is discussed here.

Hello, I’m Luca and I watch too many movies! Today I want to talk about moments in movies that weren’t ~ intentionally ~ disturbing, but definitely are.

From spooky special effects to disturbing story implications, these 19 movie moments scared me to death, even if they didn’t mean to:


This music scene with hot chocolate in The Polar Express.

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Warner Bros. Pictures

I know this movie is supposed to be scary at some points, but in this particular scene the dancing is just too perfect and too well choreographed. The worst part? The dead eyes of the background characters staring lifelessly ahead. Relax.


The awful “Thumb Thumbs” scene in spy kids.

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These films always make me feel ~off~, but the feeling is particularly strong here. The odd sets that look like indoor play centers are one thing, but when you’ve got a gang of cheaply rendered thumb people running around, it’s more art house horror than a kid’s movie.


This sudden and violent scene in The plague dogs.

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United artists

For those who don’t know, this animation has the same director as watership below. If that wasn’t traumatic enough for you, The plague dogs was rated higher, and you can see why in this scene. The eerie silence, the sudden cut on the man’s bloody face when he wasn’t making any sounds of pain, and just the older animation style. I don’t think you could recreate that unsettling atmosphere with modern animation.


The vending machine that follows Wallace and Gromit A great day.

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channel 4

There’s something very eerie about the duo’s first appearance – maybe it’s the moon setting or the fact that this is their first film. Whatever it is, I’ve had nightmares for years about this vending machine rolling behind me.


The iconic cake scene in Mathilde.

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I really feel like I’m the one eating too much cake. I will never look at the screen when this scene occurs – ever.


This brief look at the spidery alien in Close Encounters of the Third Kind. (It’s at the five minute mark).

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Columbia images

I assume it’s the head alien that appears with its massive, lanky limbs. I Yes, really hate long-limbed creatures ok but it’s specifically the way it’s ominously backlit and NONE of the other aliens look like it. It always freaked me out how it suddenly disappears when the camera crops back.


Shorty gets whipped Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.

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Paramount Pictures

This is honestly my least favorite of the series and this scene was one of the reasons why! It’s ridiculously dark, the filmmakers agree!


This “improved” version of a dance sequence in Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi.

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Fox of the twentieth century

Much has been said about director George Lucas tinkering with the original war of stars Trilogy. I daresay nothing is worse than this monstrosity. Breaking the fourth wall for war of stars is an odd choice, but when it’s done in a new CGI sequence for an ’80s movie, we’ve hit the bottom of the uncanny valley. Why is that thing screaming at the camera?!


This woman transforms into a robot Superman 3

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Warner Bros.

This terrifying transformation belongs in a 70’s horror movie and my friend was not happy that I “unlocked” the memory of this scene for him.


The electrocution scene in Home Alone 2: Lost in New York.

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Fox of the twentieth century

Whenever a skeleton is used in one of these family-friendly movies, it’s always chilling. I thought he was actually pulverized into a skeleton when I saw that as a kid.


When this unfortunate citizen of Springfield is crushed by the dome The Simpsons Movie.

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Fox of the twentieth century

Ok, I know it’s played for laughs, but the existential crisis the man has before he gets knocked out STILL bothers me. But the real horror is that he’s just stuck under that dome for the rest of the movie.


Watch the instructional video on how humans “evolved”. Wall-E.

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home entertainment from Walt Disney Studios

Wall-E has many points where people said “THIS IS our future,” but nothing beats the chart of how people got weaker. It’s shown as a cute visual joke, but maybe something along those lines could happen?


Neo battles a massive group of CGI agents Smiths Matrix Reloaded.

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Warner Bros.

It starts off well, but the CGI doesn’t take over the scene in a great way. It looks like cheap video game footage – why does everyone look like rubber?! When it cuts back to the real footage from CGI Neo and Agent Smith, it’s like two different movies.


The Scorpio King, who you hardly see, is brought in by The Rock The mummy returns.

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Universal images

The Rock is such a recognizable guy, so it’s absolutely stunning how it takes me a second to say, “Oh yeah, that’s him” when I see this CGI nightmare.


When they put on their disguises White chickens.

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The masks remind me of the movie eyes without face, what kind of comedy shouldn’t be the goal, right?


The fish end up in their plastic bags Find Nemo.

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Distribution of Buena Vista images

I know Find Dory I got that straight, but for YEARS these fish were trapped in their plastic bags in my mind. I wouldn’t stop asking my parents if they died or not!


The sheer violence of the “les poissons” scene in The little mermaid.

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When a movie humanizes animals, do the filmmakers SURELY know how awful it is to see them as food!? The scene is said to have dangerous energy, but just look at these lifeless fish being gutted…


When Patrick and SpongeBob are literally dried to death The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie.

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There are a lot of intentionally cursed moments in this film and I love it. But we are literally seeing sea creatures slowly suffocating! And there’s the really nasty touch when they become actual dried objects – beyond cruel!


After all, it was supposed to be the whole movie, but this scene in Labyrinth.

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This film gives me a special kind of nausea. Everything about the creatures is unsettling enough. But it’s the monotonous colors and terrible green screen that combine and make it beyond weird.

Are there any examples I’ve overlooked? If so, let me know in the comments below!

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