27 Iconic Movie Moments That Just Stressed Everyone The Heck Out

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Recently, we asked the BuzzFeed Community to tell us the most anxiety-inducing movie moments. Here are some of the most nerve-wracking of all time!

WARNING: This post contains mentions of domestic violence, pedophilia, and kidnapping.


In the beginning of Scream, when Casey gets a call from Ghostface:

Dimension Films

“It shakes me to my core every single time I watch it, and I’ve seen every horror movie under the sun twice…for some reason this one still has me holding my breath for the whole scene. And the part with her parents is just heartbreaking.”



In Star Wars: Rogue One, when Darth Vader massacres the crew as they try to get the Death Star plans to Leia:


“The scene at the end of Star Wars: Rogue One, when Darth Vader basically massacres the crew who are trying to escape with the Death Star plans. The door won’t completely open and you can just feel the tension and the desperation of the guy who is trying to open the door while Darth Vader is killing everyone behind him. The guy is able to pass the Death Star plans through the small space before he dies and the rest of the resistance (including Princess Leia) is able to escape while Darth Vader looks on. I’ve seen this movie lots of times but that scene still gets me every time!”



In The Lovely Bones, when Susie’s sister runs from Susie’s killer:

Paramount Pictures

“Even though I know she gets away, I’m always on edge when it gets to that part.”



In The Hunger Games, when all the tributes run towards the cornucopia:


“I’ve read the books and seen the movies multiple times so I know Katniss survives, but the scene is just so intense that I always feel stressed out while watching it.”



In Get Out, when Chris is asking Rose for the keys and her family surrounds him:

Universal Pictures

“That movie is full of intense moments but that one had me sweating.”


“That scene is so freaking good. I wish I could relive my first time seeing it!”



In The Color Purple, when Celie is about to kill Mister and Shug is running to stop her:

Warner Bros. Pictures

“Nothing happens, but [it] makes me nervous every time!”



In Parasite, when the Kim family is hiding under the Park family’s coffee table:

CJ Entertainment



In Room, when Jack crawls out of the rug and escapes Old Nick:


“I nearly passed out when watching it.”


“I honestly don’t think I took a breath for that entire scene.”



In Now You See Me, when Henley is trying to escape the tank:

Summit Entertainment

“I know it’s a magic trick, but my heart stops every time she gets to the top too late.”


“Apparently she was really stuck and drowning during that scene, and all the other actors and workers thought she was just being a really good actor.”



In Argo, when the Revolutionary Guards try to stop the plane from taking off:

Warner Bros. Pictures

“Even though I knew the characters succeeded in real life, [I] still watched it through my fingers.”



In The Sound of Music, when they’re behind the gravestones hiding from the Nazis:

Maria quieting Gretl as they hide behind gravestones and the Nazis come through the cemetary

20th Century Fox

“I’ve seen that movie dozens of times and I still get soooo tense every time.”



In Matilda, when Matilda and Miss Honey are trying to escape from Trunchbull’s house:

Sony Pictures Releasing

“I’ve seen that movie so many times and I still hold my breath every time.”



In Mission: Impossible – Fallout, when Benji, Julia, and Luther are trying to disarm the bomb:

Paramount Pictures

“A silly choice, I know, but the climatic scenes where Ethan is trying to get to the detonator, and Benji/Ilsa/Luther/Julia are trying to disarm it is so freaking intense. I saw the movie in IMAX and after this scene (and frankly, most of the movie), I was out of breath. I’ve rewatched the movie several times, and I’m never sure they’re going to pull it off.”



In Jurassic Park, when the raptors get into the kitchen:

Universal Pictures

“The kitchen scene with the raptors always gets my heart beating even though I know they get away. That scene still holds 25 years later.”



In Silence of The Lambs, when Buffalo Bill uses his night vision goggles to follow Clarice:

Orion Pictures

“The camera perfectly captures what she is experiencing and I hold my breath every single time I watch it.”



In Searching, when Margot’s location is revealed and you don’t know whether or not she’s alive:

a newscaster asks if Margot is still alive or if it's too late as the screen shows footage of the search in the quarry

Sony Pictures Releasing

“At the very end of Searching when the cars turn around and start racing to the quarry and the news anchors are announcing everything happening. Then when his daughter is brought up, but you don’t know if she survived or not. That whole movie was very good, but the end was so nail-biting.”



In Back to the Future, when Doc is hanging from the clock tower:

Universal Pictures

“When Doc is hanging from the clock tower, my legs always turn to jelly. Especially when the concrete breaks.”



In Alien, when the alien is about to burst from Kane’s chest:

20th Century Fox

“The chestburster scene in Alien! I think everyone knows that scene is coming, whether you’ve seen the movie or not. But something about that scene gives me the heebie-jeebies!”



In Die Hard, when McClane jumps off the roof:

20th Century Fox

“When McClane jumps off the roof to escape the explosion and SWINGS AWAY FROM THE BUILDING tied only with a fire hose to break through the window. My stomach drops every time.”



In Requiem For A Dream, when Sarah Goldfarb hallucinates a game show in her home:

Artisan Entertainment

“Her descent into madness is nearing completion. There are so many moments that are nerve inducing in the film, but this is one of my personal favorites.”



In Hamilton, when the ensemble starts counting during Philip’s duel:

Phil says "slowly and clearly aim your gun towards the sky" and starts to aim up as the ensemble counts


“During ‘Blow Us All Away,’ when Philip is saying, ‘Look him in the eye, aim no higher,’ and the ensemble starts counting. I’m actually getting nervous just writing this.”



The opening scene of The Invisible Man, when Cecelia is running away from her abusive boyfriend:

Universal Pictures

“Personally, I’d go with the opening ten minutes of The Invisible Man. I know what happens every time I watch it, but I still feel the massive anxiety that Cecelia feels when escaping from her abusive boyfriend.”



Basically everything after the ship starts sinking in Titanic, but especially when Jack and Rose are trying to get through a gate and the man helping them drops the keys:

the man says he dropped the keys, and on the other side of the gate, Rose looks shocked

Paramount Pictures

“DEFINITELY the part in Titanic when, well, the Titanic is sinking. We all know it happens but i always get so stressed out when Jack is stuck belowdeck and Rose is trying to save him, and then when they try to get out, it’s just so AHH!”


“In Titanic, when that guy drops the keys to open the door and Jack has to swim for them with the water rising.”



In Inglorious Basterds, when Hicox gives himself away with a hand gesture at the underground tavern:

Hicox says "three glasses" and puts up three fingers (but not his thumb) — as Dieter looks at him suspiciously

The Weinstein Company

“I knew from French class how to properly count, and when the spy did it wrong I freaked out.”


“The basement scene in Inglorious Basterds. That’s it. That’s the moment.”



In Spotlight, when the Boston Globe reporters learn that their estimate of the priests involved in the scandal is wrong:

Robbie says he thinks they have 13 priests in Boston that fit this pattern, and Richard on the phone says that's not right

Open Road Films

“The investigation team of the Boston Globe is on a telephone interview with a man named Richard Sipe, who works to help rehabilitate pedophile priests. The Spotlight team believes the number of priests who have been abusive might be around 13, but aren’t positive. Sipe tells them their numbers are wrong, and for a split second your heart kinda stops, and then Sipe continues on with ‘I predict that there might upwards to 90 something priests’ and whole scene just shifts and spins. Everyone is just completely gobsmacked and at a loss words…Just writing this description has even made my breathing become labored. The whole movie is tough to watch, but that scene in particular just gets me.”



The ending of Free Solo, when Alex Honnold finishes his climb up El Capitan:

National Geographic Documentary Films

“I get so anxious whenever I watch the ending of Free Solo. For those of you who don’t know, it’s a documentary about the first person to ever free climb (meaning no ropes/harnesses used) El Capitan in Yosemite. I’ve seen the movie a few times and he obviously lives because it’s a historical record, but the last 20 minutes or so when he’s climbing FREAKS ME OUT. I get super dizzy and sweaty, and my hands get all tingly. It’s a great movie so I enjoy watching it, but the end makes me more anxious than any horror movie I’ve seen.”



And finally, all of Uncut Gems:


“Basically the entirety of Uncut Gems. Great movie, loved watching it. But every decision Adam Sandler’s character made had me biting my nails and screaming ‘why?!?’ at the screen.”


“I have never experienced so much anxiety watching a movie as I did for that one. I literally hated every moment but also loved every moment and was on the edge of my seat the WHOLE time!”


Note: Submissions have been edited for length and clarity.


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