Entertainment

The All-Time Best Jump Scares in Horror Movies  

Christopher Shultz
23.1k votes 5.3k voters 391.5k views 21 items

List Rules Vote up your favorite horror movie jump scare

Jump scares: they're the bane of some horror movie fans' existence and for good reason. When used ineffectively, jump scares are nothing more than cheap jolts. They're no more impressive or memorable than that a quick jaunt through a decent haunted house. But when used appropriately, the jump scare can create some of the most startling scenes in horror movie history.

Good jump scares make some horror films unforgettable. Who can forget Jason Voorhees's magnificent debut in the original Friday the 13th? Or Dallas's unfortunate meet-up with the xenomorph in Alien? Or the utterly terrifying jump scare from The Exorcist III (you know the one).  

If you love horror movie scenes that make you jump, this list of the best jump scares is sure to delight (and terrify).
1
The Conjuring, Clap-Clap
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Video: YouTube
The Conjuring uses a lot of jump scares and stings. This one, featured in the film's trailer, is solid because of its simplicity. No loud or jangling music cue, no explosives of any kind, just two hands appearing from the darkness and clapping. 
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2
Insidious, The Face of Fire
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Video: YouTube
This scene from Insidious feels a little like one of those "when you see it..." photos come to life. The only difference, of course, is that you don't have to search at all to see the creepy face looking over someone's shoulder, because it's RIGHT THERE!
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3
Friday the 13th, Jason's Last Hurrah
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Protagonist Alice (Adrienne King) just decapitated the crazy, vengeful mother (Betsy Palmer) who was out to kill promiscuous camp counselors, since a group of them had let her son Jason drown years ago. Now, Alice floats in the still-as-glass lake. The police arrive. The music on the soundtrack is serene and beautiful. The nightmare is over.  

But no... the nightmare is just beginning! 
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4
Halloween, He's Already in the House
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Video: YouTube
The stab (pun intended) of John Carpenter's synth score is perhaps the highlight of this jump scare, where Michael Meyers (AKA The Shape) bursts out of a cabinet and stabs Bob with such force it pins him to the wall. An absolute classic.
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