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mattbrowne's avatar

Which movie scenes triggered a sudden involuntary jerk of your whole body?

Asked by mattbrowne (31580points) May 14th, 2010

Of course there are countless unexpected or scary scenes in movies that do take us by surprise, but in my view there are very few scenes leading us to experience a sudden jerk over which we got no control. And this only works the first time we see a particular movie and the experience is more intense in a movie theater. Here are my top 3 unforgettable movie scenes:

Alien in 1979 when the alien critter pops out of the man’s belly.

Sleeping with the Enemy in 1991 when Julia Roberts is attacked by her alleged widower at her new home in Iowa.

The Hand That Rocks the Cradle in 1992 when Rebecca De Mornay as a vengeful nanny begins the physical fight.

How do you experience intense scenes? With or without body jerks? Do you gasp? Or yell? Only in a movie theater or also at home?

What are the scenes you remember most vividly?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

94 Answers

Lightlyseared's avatar

In Aliens when they have just moved into the medical centre and one of the face huggers in the tanks moves.

Cruiser's avatar

Phoebe Cates getting out of the pool scene in Fast Times at Ridgemont high! WOOF!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PqMIfeTc-CM&feature=related

ucme's avatar

Sharon Stone, Basic Instinct. I think we all know what I’m talking about.Certainly made me jerk & then jerk some more.Hubba hubba.

MissAusten's avatar

The scene in “Seven” when the police and SWAT team storm into the apartment where a man has been kept tied to a bed for years. They think he’s dead, but then he gasps and starts to shake. I almost jumped right out of my seat.

wonderingwhy's avatar

The first one that comes to mind is when Gage slices Jud’s achilles in Pet Cemetery. That always made me cringe. Now I’ll be thinking of these scenes for the rest of the day, thanks!

jeanmay's avatar

The scene in “Crocodile” Dundee where Linda Kozlowski seductively kneels at a lakeside to fill her water bottle, when suddenly a huge croc launches itself at her! Argh!

But then Paul Hogan saves her. Phew.

Gemini's avatar

Way back when….Carrie, when flowers were being put on her grave and her hand reaches up out of the ground.

ucme's avatar

Oh & anything with Angelina Jolie in.She’s been on the phone & insisted I give her a shout out.Tsk, she get’s so jealous the sensitive little darling.Happy now dear?

Draconess25's avatar

I forgot which movie it was, but a hand reached out of the sink & grabbed some lady.

Aethelwine's avatar

Just about any scene from Exorcist III. Especially this scene
and this one. This movie is my all time favorite scariest movie.

chels's avatar

There’s a scene in one of the Harry Potter movies (I just woke up so my mind is a little blurry, Prisoner of Azkaban maybe?) where Harry is playing Quiddich, is on the ground, and a Quiddich ball is flying down and almost hits him. Anyway, yeah. I always jerk at that scene as if I’m scared it’s coming at me and going to hit me.
/nerdfear

janbb's avatar

The scene in Bily Bob Thornton’s film Sling Blade where he uses the knife. The Klan meeting in O Brother, Where are Thou?

filmfann's avatar

@chels That’s Chamber of Secrets.

My moment was in Klaus Kinski’s Nosferatu. There is a scene where rats run wild all over the city. I started spasming because it upset me so much.

janbb's avatar

The scene in The English Patient where he is tortured and his fingers are broken by Willem Dafoe. For that matter, almost any scene with Willem Dafoe in it.

ucme's avatar

A scary jerk would be the little old woman & the meat cleaver in Don’t look Now.Poor Donald Sutherland, although he did get to have a romp with the delectable Julie Christie, so you win some you lose some I guess.

janbb's avatar

@ucme Julie Christie is so beautiful.

BoBo1946's avatar

@mattbrowne Oh, if i knew that….would make “zillions!” In the game of golf, there is a phenomenon called the “yips!” It is not confined just to amateur golfers, but the PGA players experience this involuntary jerk of the hands, called the “yips!” This involuntary jerk of the hands causes players to look very foolish.

On a personal level, I’ve them. You will take the putter back and “out of the blue,” your hands will explode and yank the putter way off line. That why you see so many players going to those long putters, etc. The “yips” has caused many serious golfers to quit the game.

If someone has an answer, please let me know! I would give this person 90 percent of the money and i will take the 10 percent and still be rich!

Cruiser's avatar

Ok since no one has put this up yet…the all time OMG WTF HS moment in movie history HAS to be in the movie Misery when Kathy Bates demolishes James Caans feet with the sledge hammer…OMG ouch!! That definitely made me jump and go HS!!!

Towards the end of the very short clip! eeeeewww!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=enECGYRKDBU&feature=related

janbb's avatar

(There are so many films I haven’t even watched because I am afraid of those moments.)

marinelife's avatar

I was in college. I got talked into going to a scary movie (my memory fails me as to which one) by one of my roommates. I had gotten a giant soda, which I had sitting on the seat between by legs. At a scary moment in the movie, my roommate sanbk her fingernails into my arm. My knees clenched together involuntarily, squashing the coke whose wet bottom fell out soaking my nether regions with soda.

zephyr826's avatar

Pulp Fiction – when Uma Thurman has ODed and they have to stab her in the chest, and she sits bolt upright and starts screaming. I had to leave the room because I was so freaked out.

I was probably way too young to see that.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

I have to wear a diaper when I watch “Jaws”...still.
sigh…my beloved Quint

Trillian's avatar

Crash, when the little girl jumps into her dads arms to protect him as the gun goes off. Actually, lots of movies make me jump. I’m jumpy to begin with and suspense movies are made for people like me. I get really invested, I sit bunched up at the edge of my seat clutching things, and if you want to keep the popcorn safe, don’t let me hold it because I scream and jerk my entire body. I also talk back to the screen; “Bitch! Get away from the window!”
Yeah, I usually go to the movies alone. My son is a little braver and tries to check me, but hey! I paid my money, I’m damn well going to enjoy it.
At the end of the first LOTR when Aragorn fights the Orcs I was cheering him on and really into it. I actually forgot where I was. Yup. I made no friends at the theater that day.

BoBo1946's avatar

@mattbrowne looking forward to your thinking on the “yips!” Problem is Matt, if you are not a golfer, you probably would not understand my comments. But, the “yips” are a involuntary jerk of the hands.

Every golfer in the World would give you money for a cure for the dreaded “YIPS!”

janbb's avatar

@Trillian Aragorn has spoiled me for real men for life.

Trillian's avatar

@janbb (fans face with hand) He’s everything a king should be, isn’t he? Faramir is better looking, but Aragorn is the king! Hoo! Is it warm in here?

chels's avatar

@filmfann Thanks ^_^. Not sure how I didn’t just know since I’m obsessed with HP :\ oops!

jaketheripper's avatar

In Forest Gump when Lt. Dan has legs!

BoBo1946's avatar

@mattbrowne my bad..did not read the whole question!

My answer is Caddieshack!

Al Czervik: Oh, this your wife, huh? A lovely lady. Hey baby, you must’ve been something before electricity.

Al Czervik: You’re a lot of woman, you know that? Yeah, wanna make 14 dollars the hard way?

Jerking with laughter!

LuckyGuy's avatar

Wait Until Dark, (1967). The scene when the Alan Arkin character jumps across the room.
I jumped too.

poofandmook's avatar

I second Pet Semetary‘s oh-so-lovely Achilles scene.

Also, the scene in Man on Fire when he cuts off the guy’s fingers and cauterizes them with the car’s cigarette lighter. Yipes!

Seek's avatar

@janbb @Trillian
Me, too. Totally spoiled them. A condition of my marriage is that if Viggo Mortensen ever comes looking for me, I get to leave my husband, no questions asked. ^_^ ((He gets Katherine Heigl.))

tinyfaery's avatar

The Uma Thurman scene in Pulp Fiction made me scream out loud, in the movie theater. Just thinking about it makes me shudder.

Seek's avatar

Oh! forgot to answer the question.

The movie “1408”, with John Cusack. Pretty much the entire friggin movie had me squirming.

poofandmook's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr: 1408, really? I thought that movie was boring.

are you sure your husband would want Katherine Heigl? Did he see what a bitch she can be in Knocked Up? lol

Seek's avatar

@poofandmook Yeah, but did you see the public orgasm scene in “The Ugly Truth”?

poofandmook's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr: LOL no.. still.. that was some pretty bitchy bitchiness!

kenmc's avatar

The scene in Suspiria when the hand bursts through the window and shoves that poor girl’s face so slow and hard (giggity) that she breaks the pane with her face.

poofandmook's avatar

OH!! I thought of another one, and I can’t believe I forgot it! It was either in The Ring or Stir of Echoes (actually, I think there was something similar in both)... it was a quick flash of a hand scraping a wooden floor and the fingernails being ripped off or something to that effect. Blaaarrrrghghghgh.

Seek's avatar

Oh! You just reminded me of “The Tale of Two Sisters”, a Korean horror flick. The girl under the stove! Gah!!

One that actually got my husband (which never happens. Ever.) was a Korean short called “Dumplings”. He didn’t jump, but it really wigged him out, and he hasn’t eaten dumplings since. It’s a story about a woman who eats aborted human foetuses to stay young. The more taboo the foetus (young mother, incest, etc.) the more powerful the magic. In the end, she takes a crochet hook and… ::shudder::

poofandmook's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr: GAH!! I HATE YOU!!

but not really.

but, sorta.

free_fallin's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr GA for The Tale of Two Sisters.

perspicacious's avatar

When the girl fell in the first part of Cliffhanger.

MissAusten's avatar

I just thought of a more recent example. My sister-in-law and I went to see “Girl With the Dragon Tattoo,” and there’s a rape scene that starts with man suddenly backhanding a girl. She doesn’t see it coming, and even though I read the book and knew what was about to happen, it still totally caught me off guard. Both of us jumped, and we probably weren’t the only audience members to do so. We both then spent the next several minutes with our hands over our eyes. :(

YARNLADY's avatar

Final Destination, over and over again.

Cruiser's avatar

The scene in Pulp Fiction when Vincent (Travolta) gives the chick OD’ing on heroine the shot of adrenaline right in the heart! Whoa!!

PacificToast's avatar

In the Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe when the wolves come out of nowhere at the beavers. I jumped.

boffin's avatar

I think it was the movie Chinatown. One of the characters stuck a switchblade knife in, I think it was Jack Nicholsons nose and sliced it. It looked pretty real to me at the time. Yeah, Hollywood and all, still I jumped.

Zen_Again's avatar

The attack in A Clockwork Orange. I saw it at a very impressionable age and I still can’t seem to shake it.

janbb's avatar

@Zen_Again That was one of my first hairy ones too.

Zen_Again's avatar

@janbb When we finally get together for a movie – let’s watch it again together for closure?

janbb's avatar

Are you sure we won’t be too scared?

Zen_Again's avatar

@janbb Not if we’re together, dear. I’ll spring for popcorn.

janbb's avatar

But what will Jeruba say?

Zen_Again's avatar

She’s too smart to be the jealous type.

* sigh *

mattbrowne's avatar

Thanks for sharing this including, all your wonderful anecdotes. And I also got a couple of great suggestions for movies to be put on my to-watch list.

@Zen_Again – I found Clockwork Orange so horrible it made me feel totally numb and wretched and I was too paralyzed to even be able for sudden involuntary jerks. I couldn’t get the pictures out of my head for several days and really regretted having watched that movie. I think it was around 1984.

Zen_Again's avatar

I saw it in 78 or 79 as a young teen – but I saw it in the cinema with friends (the rules of parental guidance were very lax here). I have since watched it again, never from beginning to end, a couple of times. Of course I am longer afraid to watch the scenes, as today I have since seen or been exposed to so much… your average “Bones” or CSI: whatever might have something as violent or gruesome.

I am looking forward to the Psychological studies on the kids of this generation in 10–20 years.

poofandmook's avatar

This isn’t quite an involuntary jerk, but it’s my most common reaction to what makes most people have an involuntary jerk, as I have a rather strong tolerance for all things icky… I yell “OOH!” in a sort of surprised, higher-pitched voice.

Like today, while watching Taxi Driver when DeNiro shoots some guy’s fingers clean off: “OOH!”

Draconess25's avatar

@poofandmook What if the whole movie is like that? You’d sound like an opera singer!

poofandmook's avatar

@Draconess25: I don’t do it on purpose… it’s just as much a reflex to me as when the doctor taps your knee with the rubber thing. And yes, there are movies where “OOH!” comes out in several different tones and decibels in just a matter of minutes.

Draconess25's avatar

@poofandmook Well, my mom has a habit of lighting things on fire during movies.

poofandmook's avatar

@Draconess25: Does she breathe fire?

Draconess25's avatar

@poofandmook No, she smokes. And has a tendency to drop it & not notice.

Draconess25's avatar

@poofandmook When I was 14, it somehow fell under the pillow I was sitting on. For half an hour, we were wondering what was burning. It was me.

Zen_Again's avatar

I just thought of another one and perhaps someone can help me out: When I was little, maybe between the ages of 5–8 I’m not sure, so this is late 60’s early 70’s – I caught a few moments of a movie while at a neighbour’s house. The folks there were watching an I popped in for candy or something. This wasn’t a movie kids were supposed to see. The scene was some kind of battle scene – but the memory I have is of women killing men. Were they amazon or something? I’m not sure, but I distinctly remember one woman mercilessly shooting a blowdart into a man and watching him die.

The expression on her face, and on his, remain indelibly etched in my mind.

Does this ring a bell with anyone? I’d love to re-view that movie for some closure. It was quite traumatic.

augustlan's avatar

I love scary movies, and react to them much like @Trillian. I didn’t exactly jerk, but my biggest “holy shit” moment has to be in The Sixth Sense, when I realized what the twist was. Best. Twist. Ever.

mattbrowne's avatar

I wonder how people can not jerk when watching Alien the very first time when the alien critter suddenly pops out of the man’s belly. I was in a movie theater filled with at 100 other folks at least. There was a collective jerk and gasp, although only a minority actually shrieked.

janbb's avatar

I just saw pictures of that – never the movie – and I jumped. GRRR-OSSS!

poofandmook's avatar

@augustlan: I just watched that movie in the last day or two and I hated it!! Which further proves my belief that any movie with Haley Joel Osment is crap. The only exception to that is Pay it Forward, because Kevin Spacey is in it, and his genius cancels out Haley Joel Osment. Anywho, I really didn’t think that movie lived up to its hype.

Seek's avatar

@poofandmook

Two exceptions:

Secondhand Lions is really good. You can’t deny the greats Robert Duvall and Michael Caine.

poofandmook's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr: I am suspicious. The horrible-ness of Haley Joel Osment is nothing to be trifled with. But I will add this to my NetFlix queue, and then we’ll see if you’re right.

augustlan's avatar

@poofandmook Honestly, I thought most of the movie was kind of boring… but I never saw it coming, and that’s pretty rare for me. I usually spoil movies for myself in the first 15 minutes!

poofandmook's avatar

@augustlan: It was very “Seven Pounds”. You don’t find out what the heck is going on until the last 15 minutes or so. Which I hated about Seven Pounds. How are you supposed to keep your attention on a movie where you don’t know what’s going on? The Sixth Sense at least made sense, it was just snoozetastic.

MissAusten's avatar

@poofandmook Will Smith being in the movie helps keep my attention, that’s for sure.

kenmc's avatar

I hated 7 pounds because when I saw it I had an extremely bad sunburn that itched like anything beyond belief.

Seek's avatar

See… Seven Pounds made me cry like a baby. I also think I was heavily pregnant at the time, but still. It was really good.

Cruiser's avatar

I can’t believe nobody has mentioned the scene in Jaws where the head pops up in the port window of the sunken boat!! YIKES! I hated Steven Spielberg for that!!

poofandmook's avatar

@Cruiser: I hate Steven Spielberg for commercializing Poltergeist, which could have been an excellent horror film.

poofandmook's avatar

I just watched The Fourth Kind. Does “never going to sleep again” count as a sudden involuntary jerk?

augustlan's avatar

@poofandmook I loved Seven Pounds, too. I guess we’re not movie soul mates, huh? I still lurve you. What did you think of Memento? Talk about never knowing what’s going on!

poofandmook's avatar

@augustlan: I just watched Memento this past weekend. I was okay once I figured out how the movie was structured. My biggest problem was that I was watching it during work on Saturday, and I missed a little bit of the beginning. I thought it was really interesting the way they put it together. I will say that the guy was a little too pretty though. I actually got bored with looking at him. LOL

jeanmay's avatar

@mattbrowne I definitely jerked several times when I saw Alien at the cinema.

Has anyone said The Shining? Well if they have, I’m saying it again! The part when we see the twin girls who used to live in the hotel, and then they flash and change into horribly bloody and chopped up twins. Aaahh!

poofandmook's avatar

@jeanmay: That didn’t bother me. Very clever on Stanley Kubrick’s part. What bothered me was the rotting old woman in the bathtub. CREEPY. Every time I see that movie.. and it’s one of my favorites that I actually use to go to sleep on occasion.. I close my eyes for that part. And I also thank the Lord that I don’t have a bathtub. LOL

janbb's avatar

@poofandmook I am so glad I have never made myself see that movie.

poofandmook's avatar

@janbb: Gore and whatnot aside, it’s a very well made film. You’re really missing out!

poofandmook's avatar

@mattbrowne: I hope you don’t feel like we’ve derailed your thread… I’m enjoying the movie talk. Is it okay with you?

jeanmay's avatar

@janbb and @poofandmook It’s quite psychologically disturbing rather than gratuitously gory, I think. One of the scariest parts is when the wife finds her husband’s “work”: nothing but the same phrase typed over and over… AAAAAAAHHHHH!!!! RUNN!!!! But that part didn’t make me jerk, more of a shudder.

Yes, sorry @mattbrowne, just getting into the discussion!

poofandmook's avatar

@jeanmay: I sort of have to disagree with you. There is a fair amount of gore. The twins, the cook (poor ol’ Scatman Crothers), Grady briefly nearer the end, and let’s not forget the infamous elevator shot. Granted it’s not as gratuitous as your typical slasher movie, but what gore there is is executed very well.

my co-worker, as I was typing this, just said to someone on the phone “reminds me of Stephen King… REDRUM!” O.o weird.

jeanmay's avatar

@poofandmook Yes, but the gore is all relevant to the telling of the story and the psychological suspense, rather than, “oh well it’s a horror movie, lets throw a few decapitations in here, and some exploding eyeballs there for good measure”!

poofandmook's avatar

@jeanmay: I’m not sure the elevator fits in there… but yeah I see what you’re saying.

Seek's avatar

Watched “Cannibal Ferox” last night (If you’re looking for it, it could also be under the title: “Make Them Die Slowly”) Quite good, and a few of the scenes was more cringe-worthy than jump-out-of-your-seat.

poofandmook's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr: @Vunessah referred that to me just a few days ago, but it’s pretty far down in my queue. What did you think?

Seek's avatar

It wasn’t as horrible as I thought it was going to be. My husband was pissed. Apparently, the DVD version edits a lot of the stuff out, including the only sex scene, and gives a lot of tame alternate camera angles. I’d love to get a copy of the VHS.

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