Under the wrong circumstances, going to the bathroom can be terrifying. It’s one of the places where we’re most vulnerable and tend to need peace. Thanks to the horror genre, there are plenty of movies that offer alternative reasons why you should never go to the bathroom, from the supernatural to the all too real. These aren’t the best horror movies ever made (though some could make the case for Ghoulies II), but they are a lot of fun, and they’ll make you think twice about going to the bathroom.
Whether you’re in the mood for a cult classic about people melting into neon-colored goo or a legitimately good slasher flick, these horror movies with terrifying bathroom scenes will freak you out in one way or another, and they’ll definitely ruin the concept of public restrooms for the rest of your life.
Being a podcaster isn’t easy, and no movie illustrates this point better than David Gordon Green's Halloween. After visiting Michael Myers at the psychiatric facility where he’s interred, podcast hosts Aaron and Dana stop at a gas station before their long drive home and find themselves on the receiving end of a classic Michael Myers slaying sequence. When Dana goes to the bathroom, she’s followed by Michael, who drops a pile of teeth over the stall door.
That’s gross enough, but then Dana crawls along the floor of the truck stop bathroom and tries to get away from the boogieman. When Aaron intervenes, he’s immediately dispatched by Michael in fairly gruesome fashion before Michael sets his sights on Dana.
Actors: Jamie Lee Curtis, Kyle Richards, Donald Pleasence, Sandy Johnson, Charles Cyphers, + more
Directed by: John Carpenter
Anyone old enough to have walked the aisles of a video rental store remembers the tattered VHS of at least one Ghoulies tape. Even if your parents didn't let you rent one of these gruesome B-movies, the box art was enough to keep you from going to the bathroom when you made it home. The second film in this splatter-filled franchise follows the titular creatures as they get a job at a carnival; people love them until they realize that they're actually from hell, and then the attraction loses its steam.
The bathroom scene in this film shows the biggest problem with using a portable toilet trailer in the middle of a carnival - the probability that something is waiting in the bowels of the tank. When a man sits down on the toilet, a ghoulie crawls up through the pipes and the film mercifully cuts away as he screams while the creature rips him apart from the inside out.
Actors: Phil Fondacaro, Royal Dano, Damon Martin, Kerry Remsen
Directed by: Albert Band
The Scream franchise not only reinvigorated the slasher genre but Wes Craven as well. With the first two films in the series, he and writer Kevin Williamson created interesting, twisted narratives as well as some of the most inventive fatalities in the genre. The standout moment in every Scream film is the intro, and while mileage varies depending on the sequel, the Scream 2 opening scene is inspired.
Riffing on the popularity of the first film, two students, played by Jada Pinkett Smith and Omar Epps, attend a screening of Stab. When Epps's character goes to the bathroom, he's tempted by the sound of something coming from a neighboring toilet stall. He puts his ear up against the stall and is surprised by a knife. This scene lets the viewer know that just because they're watching a sequel, doesn't mean they're safe.
Actors: Sarah Michelle Gellar, Courteney Cox, Heather Graham, Liev Schreiber, Jada Pinkett Smith, + more
Directed by: Wes Craven
Rule #3: beware of bathrooms. Even if the world of Zombieland didn't have a clear guide on how to keep safe from zombies, it would be wise to avoid enclosed spaces that play host to the flesh-eating creatures. Early on in the film, it's made clear to the audience just why they should avoid public restrooms in the event of a zombie outbreak - if you don't, you're going to get chomped.
While illustrating some of the most important rules for survival in case of a global strike of walkers, a man (played by Mike White, the writer of School of Rock and Nacho Libre) tries to use the bathroom in peace but instead ends up in pieces when a zombie crawls under the stall and has its way with him. Regardless of what kind of supernatural creatures are chasing you, it's always best to use the bathroom before you go out.
Actors: Emma Stone, Amber Heard, Bill Murray, Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, + more
Directed by: Ruben Fleischer