Disturbing Horror Movie Scenes Set In Broad Daylight

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Vote up the scary scenes so bright, it’s hard to hide the fact you peed your pants.

While almost every horror movie relies on the dark to assist in its scares, some take on the challenge of presenting their spooky scenes in broad daylight. When done well, this can create a much more disconcerting environment.

One factor that makes horror movies scary is the notion that what's happening on screen could happen in real life, and when the events take place in the middle of the day, it’s much easier to imagine them happening to you.

Horror movies may traditionally take place at night, but disarming the audience with daylight, then horrifying them to their core with an unexpected scare can be too good of an opportunity to pass up. These sunny scenes that cause nightmarish dreams pop up in both classic and modern horror flicks, and the films below contain some of the best examples.

  • In the same way you shouldn’t watch Jaws before swimming in the ocean, don’t plan on watching 2003's Final Destination 2 before embarking on a road trip where you might encounter large trucks. You'll never look at a logging truck again after seeing the first few minutes of the film.

    Just before getting on a freeway onramp, a teen driving a car full of her friends has a vision of what's to come in the following minute on the crowded road. First, a massive log will break a chain on its truck and fall into the middle of the road directly in the path of a police car; then it will break through the policeman's windshield and completely decapitate him before the blood-red log bursts through the back window.

    A motorcyclist falls off his ride trying to avoid the logs, and after skidding several feet, he lands safely - only to be crushed by his bike a moment later.

    Three cars flip, each crash more violent and deadly than the last, while another three vehicles explode into mountains of flames after high-speed impacts across the two-lane highway. It's the perfect domino chain of horrible circumstances.

    316 votes
  • John Krasinski’s 2018 film A Quiet Place made audiences hold their breath countless times with its goosebumps-producing scenes, but the very first sequence is perhaps the most sinister of them all.

    Before the movie even attempts to introduce the audience to the world in which the film takes place - one rampant with deadly but blind and noise-sensitive aliens - we find our characters on a family-wide supply run in an abandoned town. All we known, at least at first, is that the parents and three kids are making as little noise as possible, and that the family's youngest child is told he can't keep a toy spaceship because it will be too noisy. Still, he secretly keeps it anyway as the family returns to their remote home in the woods. Thanks to this toy, however, they won't all return to their mostly silent oasis.

    As the family crosses a bridge one by one (with the youngest child in the back), they freeze once they hear loud beeping and blasting coming from their rear, where the boy has just fired up his stolen toy. The father, played by Krasinski himself, charges after the toy as quickly as he can, but just before he can reach his son, a terrifying massive brown spider-like blur swipes in from the forest and nabs the child.

    Most of the time, movies aren’t even willing to kill a child off-screen, let alone show a completely preventable adolescent death on a sunny afternoon in real time. Sure, we don’t see too much of the child's violent demise, but there is a flash of blood as the kid is viciously nabbed by the noise-attracted alien species.

    307 votes
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    157 VOTES

    A Meeting In The Park In 'Creep'

    A good horror movie constantly keeps you on edge, and 2014's Creep does that and more, as each scene is more intense than the last. It's chock-full of jump scares, but the anticipation of said jump scares is almost worse than the actual pop-out. The film makes you feel unbearably uncomfortable, and it combines awkward social situations with horror in a way that disarms you with a combination of fear, shock, and embarrassment.

    The movie follows a videographer, Aaron, who records a man named Josef as a video diary for Josef's unborn son. Josef claims he's dying of cancer, but it later becomes clear his story is fabricated and is simply a means to trap Aaron, who barely escapes.

    Aaron then starts receiving mail that makes it clear Josef is now stalking and threatening him, such as a video of Josef digging a grave. When Aaron receives a video message suggesting they meet in person to end this strange “miscommunication,” however, he stupidly accepts. He does fear for his own safety, so he lays out precautions like pre-dialing 911 and keeping a camera on to capture anything he might need proof of later.

    With their meeting being set during the day in a public park, he clearly feels somewhat safe and out of danger. This is a grave mistake on his part. Josef records the encounter from afar, and on his footage, we see him creep up behind Aaron, who sits with his back turned on a park bench. Josef finally approaches and swings an axe directly into Aaron's skull.

    157 votes
  • Tobe Hooper’s masterpiece The Texas Chain Saw Massacre brought with it a unique sense of fear because the events aren’t supernatural in the slightest. The horrible terror that awaits the five young friends looking for a weekend getaway could, potentially, happen to anyone who makes a wrong turn into an unsavory area of the country, and the fact that many of the frightening moments take place out in the middle of the afternoon doesn’t make it any easier to digest.

    The plot is a simple one: Five friends embark on a road trip to a weekend getaway when they're picked off and slaughtered one at a time by a cannibalistic family who uses their son, “Leatherface,” as their enforcer. The film builds tension masterfully and features plenty of shocking scenes, but something about the kills that take place during the daytime ring scarier than those that take place in the blackened night.

    After the group's van runs out of gas, they find a nearby house that's running on gasoline generators. One of the men, Kirk, decides to ask the homeowners for some help. He knocks to no avail, but when he enters the house through the screen door, he trips, and when he looks up, he realizes he isn’t alone.

    A monstrously large man wearing a mask of human skin stands above him, and before Kirk can even scream, the nightmarish figure bludgeons him in the head with a large mallet. It's shockingly realistic with barely any cuts, so there’s no chance of not witnessing the violence.

    166 votes
  • The 'Midsommar' End Of A Life Cycle
    Photo: A24

    Midsommar - Ari Aster’s 2019 sophomore feature - accomplishes the difficult task of setting an entire horror film in broad daylight. It's a refreshing and impressive dose of bone-chilling nightmare fuel that doesn’t hide its activities in the shadows. Instead, it shows off each individual terror in the sunlight of a Scandinavian sky that almost never ceases to shine, with only a few minutes of darkness coming each night.

    The film follows a group of travelers brought to witness a festival at a communal village in Sweden, but they quickly find that the cultural differences are a little extreme - for example, their constant psychedelic tripping, the routine suicides of elders, and human sacrifices. The last of these, eventually, awaits most of the said travelers.

    Perhaps its most jarring and unsettling moment comes when the film's heroine, Dani, witnesses the fate of tribesman once they reach the age of 72. In a ceremony attended by the entire village, a man and woman - who have reached what this culture has deemed the golden age - jump off a cliff to die. The locals describe it to the travelers as a simple stage of human recycling, and 72 years old is when you start fresh.

    First, the woman takes the fatal plunge, and, in a bout of gruesome slow-motion, she face-plants, and her head bashes against the rocks. It's one of the grossest, meatiest prosthetics of recent memory, and it's so realistic, it will instantly make your stomach churn.

    Next, the old man jumps, but unfortunately, he falls feet-first and snaps both his legs. At first, he lies at the foot of the cliff in agony while the village weeps for him; then, what appears to be his grieving family approaches him with a massive hammer and take turns bashing his head in.

    235 votes
  • The Old Woman In 'It Follows'
    Photo: RADiUS-TWC

    With scenes like the tall man’s appearance to the first introduction of the film's monster, there are countless moments in 2014's It Follows that will make you jump out of your seat.

    The film itself is about a girl who's being hunted by a monster that walks directly toward its victims in a straight line while taking on whatever appearance it chooses. The only way someone with this curse can prevent their own death is by sleeping with someone, thus passing the curse onto them; if the monster successfully kills them, however, the previous person in the chain is back on its list.

    One of the most anxiety-inducing scenes comes in the middle of the school day, as the film’s protagonist, Jay, tries to attend classes. This isn’t a wise decision. As Jay peers out the window of her classroom, she notices an old woman wearing a hospital gown slowly walking across the grass directly towards her. She immediately gets up, grab her things, and skips out on class.

    Tension builds as Jay peers into the surrounding classrooms and halls without seeing the old woman. But when she turns a corner, we see the old woman slip into view down the hall behind Jay. After a few heart-stopping beats, she notices the threat behind her, and it becomes clear that none of the surrounding students see the old woman.

    The monster's painfully slow walk make this film truly dread-inducing.

    197 votes