Top 10 Scariest Scenes in Superhero Movies

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Top 10 Scariest Scenes in Superhero Movies

VOICE OVER: Kirsten Ria Squibb WRITTEN BY: Garrett Alden
No superhero can save you from these horrific movie moments. For this list, we'll be going over the most terrifying moments from heroic tales. Our countdown includes “The Batman”, "Spider-Man 2", "Blade", and more!
Transcript

Top 10 Scariest Scenes in Superhero Movies


Welcome to WatchMojo and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the top 10 scariest scenes in superhero movies.

For this list, we’ll be going over the most terrifying moments from heroic tales. Since we’ll be talking about important scenes, beware of spoilers ahead.

If there’s a superheroic scene that had you wanting to get up, up, and away from your screen, let us know down, down, below in the comments!

#10: The Reaper Reveal

“Blade II” (2002)
Jared Nomak arrives at a shady blood bank at the beginning of this film. Hooded and coughing, Nomak seems desperate and clearly in over his head. After all, the blood bank is clearly run by vampires. After he is apparently pressured into an isolated room, things look dire for him. However, he starts laughing and attacks one of the vampires himself, apparently feeding on it. Nomak is a Reaper, a mutant vampire that can feed on other vampires! The concept alone is creepy, but his mouth and chin splitting open and letting out all those tongues just gives us the heebie-jeebies!


#9: The Riddler Kills the Mayor

“The Batman” (2022)
The opening moments of “The Batman” let us know right from the beginning that this is a darker take on the Caped Crusader. First, we watch through the Riddler’s eyes as he observes Gotham’s mayor, Don Mitchell Jr., as the song “Ave Maria” plays. Then, as Mitchell watches a debate between himself and his opponent in his reelection race, we see Riddler standing behind him in the darkness. The tension builds and the eerie music reaches a crescendo when the questionable villain savagely takes the mayor’s life. Riddler’s unsettling breathing and the sound of the duct tape are upsetting caps on a scene that feels lifted out of a slasher movie.


#8: Boardroom Massacre

“Shazam!” (2019)
Although his domineering father and brother always doubted him, Dr. Thaddeus Sivana always believed in magic. After he acquires magical powers through a bargain with the Seven Deadly Sins, he barges in on a board meeting at his family’s company. Sivana wastes no time sending his brother on a one way trip out of the window. Following that gruesome moment, Sivana unleashes the Sins to slaughter the remaining board members. While the ensuing scene may not have any blood, it comes off as terrifying as any mature horror sequence. The board is picked off one by one until Sivana’s dad is left for last. By the time he’s literally “undone” by Greed, the audience carries a deep fear for both Sivana and the sins.


#7: The Trench

“Aquaman” (2018)
On a dark and stormy voyage at sea above the Mariana Trench, Aquaman and Mera are attacked by mutated Atlanteans. These creatures, simply named “the Trench,” are every nightmarish deep sea creature rolled into one. Despite how strong they are, the duo are only able to repel a few while keeping the others at bay with flares. The softly plucking strings of the soundtrack feel like they’re pulling the hairs on our necks. Additionally, the image of the huge swarm of them lit by the flares is truly haunting. If anyone needed a reminder that “Aquaman” director James Wan is good with horror, this scene ought to do it.


#6: Fear the Bat

“Batman Begins” (2005)
After Dr. Jonathan Crane, a.k.a. the Scarecrow, traps Rachel Dawes and doses her with fear toxin, Batman comes to the rescue. His ruthless takedown of the criminals holding her is pretty frightening for the goons he beats up. But the dark knight becomes more intimidating when he gives Dr. Crane a taste of his own fear toxin. Suddenly, the villain goes from looking at a mortal humanoid Batman to hallucinating a monstrous caped crusader who’s oozing black liquid from its mouth. Honestly, we don’t blame Crane for caving under questioning while looking into the face of this nightmare fuel. That monstrous Batman would have us wishing for Arkham Asylum just to get away!

#5: Blood Bath

“Blade” (1998)
The “Blade” movies really understood horror right from their beginnings. In the introduction scene of the first film, an unsuspecting man goes to a rave club with a woman underneath a meat warehouse. The scene is pretty typical club fare at first. Suddenly, the man sees a blood drop on his hand. Before he knows it, he’s surrounded by vampires who are looking to get a mid-rave snack. It takes the arrival of the legendary Blade to put an end to the frightening night. This sequence was an excellent way to draw the audience in while scaring the pants off them, leather or otherwise. Still, we’re not half as scared as the vamps were when Blade shows up!

#4: Smiley Men

“The New Mutants” (2020)
While this movie may not have been worth the wait for many fans, it did deliver one of the most skin-crawling scenes in a superhero movie! It’s revealed that a young mutant named Dani has the power to manifest people’s fears. Unfortunately, her fellow mutant Illyana was most afraid of people who mistreated her in the past who wore smiling masks. When they’re brought to life with mutant powers, they look like tall monsters with no eyes, toothy mouths and a love for violence. They are far and away more chill-inducing than any other apparition that shows up. These Slender Man-esque creatures are so disturbing that we wouldn’t blame anyone if the creatures put them off smiling ever again!


#3: The Joker’s Home Movie

“The Dark Knight” (2008)
The Joker dropping a very deceased Batman impersonator right in front of the mayor made us jump out of our seats! But what’s worse is the video the Joker sends along with the act. Even though a news outlet warns viewers before the station broadcasts the clown’s “home movie”, we’re surprised they were allowed to show the disturbing clip at all. During the report, The Joker taunts a wannabe Batman. The jarring contrast between the clown’s playful manner and the pure menace he radiates throughout the footage still gives us the chills. And thanks to the low quality of the video, the scene feels visceral and real. There’s no way we’d ever volunteer to star in one of the Joker’s home movies.

#2: Doc Ock’s Hospital Visit

“Spider-Man 2” (2004)
After a scientific accident, Doctor Otto Octavius needs some heavy-duty surgery to remove his metal arms. It’s so serious that his surgeons need to use buzzsaws. Unfortunately for them, the arms are intelligent enough to come to life just to protect themselves and Otto. Throughout the scary sequence, the metal “tentacles” throw medical staff around the room, drag them along the floor, and even electrocute them. While the visuals aren’t bloody, it's still terrifyingly effective horror. You can tell director Sam Raimi borrowed his “Evil Dead” trademarks like POV shots and a chainsaw to use in this scene. It’s downright “groovy” that he was able to bring so much terror to a “Spider-Man” film.

Before we get to our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:

Forced Transformation Sequence, “Swamp Thing” (1982)
The Look on the Poor Victim’s Face As He’s Forcefully Changed Says It All

Ultron the Party Crasher, “Avengers: Age of Ultron” (2015)
A Shambling Iron Man Suit & That Menacing Voice Make the Robot Instantly Creepy

Tony’s Anxiety Attack, “Iron Man 3” (2013)
The Unsettling Scene Is Capped Off By a Child’s Creepy Whisper

The Hulk Chases Black Widow, “The Avengers” (2012)
We Have No Idea How Natasha Hung Out With Hulk After This

Imprisoning Gotham’s First Born Sons, “Batman Returns” (1992)
Seeing Innocent Souls Be Taken by Goons Made for a Skin-Crawling Sequence

#1: Slaying People At His Home

“Brightburn” (2019)
Ever wondered what would happen if a young Superman turned out evil? Well, “Brightburn” has a few terrifying ideas. Despite Tori Breyer’s best efforts, her adopted alien son goes on a violent rampage after discovering he has tremendous abilities. He stalks and hurts poor victims with no abandon. All of Brandon’s crimes build up to the moment police officers try to confront him. Unfortunately, they have no idea what they’re in for. The evil superbeing puts on a scary mask and torments an officer and his mother for a while. After executing the remaining officer, he ends his adopted parent’s life. We can only hope there’s a Lex Luthor in this universe who can stop this extremely menacing villain.
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