The Most Dangerous Treasure Rooms In Movie History

Voting Rules
Vote up the treasure rooms that are really golden death traps.

Every action-adventure movie worth its salt has at least a couple of treasure room scenes. The best movies about treasure hunting all send their heroes into a dark room, often only lit by torchlight, to face off with beasts, monsters, and traps all in the name of scoring untold riches. More often than not, the hero only escapes with their life, but in some circumstances, they strike it big.

The treasure room scene really is a classic of the action-adventure genre, but you'll see variations of these scenes across genres. That being said, these are the classic, real-deal treasure sequences that often end with everything falling apart as our heroes race to see sunshine as the world falls down around them.

Which one of these treasure room scenes is the most dangerous? That's for you to decide.

  • Where's The Treasure? In the film's opening treasure hunt, Dr. Jones travels to the Peruvian jungle to grab "the idol."

    What's Guarding It? This treasure room is as classic as it gets. There are tainted arrows, a giant pit that has to be jumped over, and a giant boulder threatening to crush anyone who removes the idol from its place.

    Does Everyone Make It Out Alive? Indy survives the trip to the idol and back in spite of his helper swiping his whip and nabbing the idol, but he makes it out of the temple with his life intact. His helper (played by Alfred Molina) isn't so lucky.

    Do The Heroes Get Richer? Indy rarely gets out of a treasure room with the treasure intact, and the opening scene of his first film is no different. Even though he initially escapes with his hands on the idol, he has to immediately turn it over to his rival Belloq.

    71 votes

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  • Where's The Treasure? Deep inside the temple in the Canyon of the Crescent Moon, the Holy Grail is held behind a series of traps. First, Indy has to make it past a couple of super-fast saw blades before solving a word puzzle and then crossing a hidden bridge. 

    What's Guarding It? After fighting off Third Reich zealots, sliding through traps, and solving word problems, Indy speaks to a Templar Knight who's been guarding the Grail for 700 years. The knight informs Indy that he must "choose wisely" from a collection of grails. The wrong one will bring an instant and painful demise.

    Does Everyone Make It Out Alive? Indy is followed into the Grail Room by two zealots, one of whom drinks from the incorrect cup and rapidly ages before turning to bones.

    Do The Heroes Get Richer? Indy is able to bring the Grail to his father and heal his bullet wound, but shortly afterward, the whole temple starts to crumble. Indy and his father manage to escape the destruction (the zealots don't fare as well), but the Grail is once again lost to time.

    58 votes

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  • 3
    67 VOTES

    Where's The Treasure? This truly glorious treasure is located deep within the heart of Hamunaptra, the city of the dead. Aside from traveling to Egypt, our heroes have to ride camels to the middle of nowhere. It's not an ideal journey.

    What's Guarding It? This pyramid has a real who's who of traps and creepy-crawlies. There are scarabs that dig their way into a person's body, undead priests with 10/10 digging abilities, and plenty of good ol' fashioned rats.

    Does Everyone Make It Out Alive? After turning the undead Imhotep into a mortal and knocking his block off, pretty much everyone but Beni, Imhotep's sole mortal henchman, makes it out of the treasure room to live another day. Beni is left in the treasure room to be eaten alive by scarabs. Brutal.

    Do The Heroes Get Richer? Rick O'Connell and his pals escape the crumbling temple with their lives intact, but the ancient treasure stays put.

    67 votes

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  • Where's The Treasure? To get to the spear that can destroy the Scorpion King, the O'Connell crew has to travel to a mysterious temple in the middle of Egypt that's constructed beyond an area absolutely filled with pygmy mummies. As funny as that sounds, it's actually super dangerous.

    What's Guarding It? It can't be stressed enough just how many pygmy mummies there are outside the pyramid. It takes an entire army to go toe to toe with these creatures while Rick O'Connell fights Imhotep. Inside, there's also a real live Scorpion King, tons of fire, and an opening into the underworld.

    Does Everyone Make It Out Alive? Rick and his family barely survive the destruction of the temple thanks to a friend with a dirigible as a sandstorm engulfs the entire area. It's honestly pretty awesome.

    Do The Heroes Get Richer? In this case, the heroes actually get out of there with some loot. Rick's buddy Jonathan snatches a giant idol from the top of the pyramid that looks like it could pay for the college education of everyone in the country.

    51 votes

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  • Where's The Treasure? Cibola, the lost city of gold, is found beneath Mount Rushmore of all places. To get to this city of treasure, Ben Franklin Gates and the group have to briefly kidnap the president of the United States, look for clues in the Library of Congress, and outsmart an FBI agent that's onto them.

    What's Guarding It? The city of gold is surrounded by traps. There's a floor that gives out when people walk across it, a series of structures that collapse when anyone touches the ropes holding them in place, and interlocking doors that serve to keep explorers as far away from the treasure as possible.

    Does Everyone Make It Out Alive? All of our protagonists survive, but the FBI agent on their tail sticks behind when the chamber around the city of gold begins to flood. He makes sure Gates and his team are able to escape, but makes Gates promise to give him credit for discovering the city.

    Do The Heroes Get Richer? At the end of the day, the discovery of the city of gold is more of a moral victory than anything else. Gates is able to clear his family's name, and his team gains the notoriety of discovering not one, but two national treasures.

    49 votes

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  • 6
    43 VOTES

    Where's The Treasure? One-Eyed Willy's treasure is held deep within an old pirate ship, the Inferno. The ship itself is found deep within a cave beneath Astoria, OR, that can only be reached through a series of tunnels found in the basement of a restaurant.

    What's Guarding It? The Inferno is surrounded by some major traps, all of them designed to end anyone who wants to get to the treasure. There are falling boulders, there's a classic pit of spikes, and there's a scale that has to be perfectly weighted unless the user wants to set the Inferno out to sea.

    Does Everyone Make It Out Alive? The Goonies and the Fratellis make it out of the cave unscathed, albeit a little worse for wear.

    Do The Heroes Get Richer? Most of the treasure is left beneath Astoria or on the Inferno as it drifts out into the Pacific, but Mikey Walsh escapes with a bag of jewels that's able to cover his family's mortgage. 

    43 votes

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