'The No Doctor Cop Lawyer Show': Our favorite scary scenes in non-horror movies


Horror movies are supposed to be scary. If you walk away from a scary movie with an emotional scar or a terrifying new phobia, you have no one to blame but yourself. But there’s a special subsection of cinematic horror reserved for scary movie sequences in non-horror movies. These are the scenes that snuck out of nowhere to frighten you, suddenly emerging in the middle of thrilling adventure or comedic hijinks. Scenes like the transporter malfunction in Star Trek: The Motion Picture, or the diner scene in Mulholland Drive. In the new episode of The No Doctor Cop Lawyer Show, we discuss some of our favorite out-of-nowhere scary sequences. Watch the video, and tell us some of your favorites in the comments!

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Read more:
20 Scariest Movies of All Time

Comments (23 total) Add your comment
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  • Peter

    Most of “The Secret of NIHM” and “Return to Oz”

  • Todd

    The wheelers in Return to Oz. Those chilly down creatures in Labyrinth scared me too. The skeksis in The Dark Crystal. All good movies, but terrifying for kids.
    A frustrating movie that could have been really good is Little Monsters, that movie was nightmare fuel for kids. It’s pretty unpleasant.

    • MissMel

      Oh I LOVE “Little Monsters!” My brother and I used to watch it all the time and it never scared us at all. The only part that freaked me out was when Boy’s face comes off but I would just turn my head until it was over.

  • Ames

    There’s a scene in The Wiz that scared the be-jesus out of me. These yellow slinky like things came after scarecrow and Dorothy. It doesn’t sound that bad, but it was.

  • Leo

    Judge Doom’s “reveal” in Who Framed Roger Rabbit was also some pretty fun, and creepy, nightmare material for young ones.

  • MissMel

    That video was stupid but I do agree with one thing: That Large Marge scene used to scare the bejesus out of me as a kid.

    • Tranzchick

      Yeah looking at it now I’m ashamed to say that Large Marge scared the crap out of me.

  • Dessy

    There are some creepy looking people in Tim Burton’s ghost bride

  • FernLaPlante

    When Joan Cusack pops up next to the phone booth in Arlington Road scared the crap out of me.

  • Rayann

    The scene in “The Never Ending Story” when the horse sinks into the muk. It get’s me every time. And almost every other puppet in that movie. And I know it’s a Disney movie and for kids but when I was a kid the scene in both “Pinnochio” when the kid turns into a donkey and the last scene in “Fantasia” (I think it was called ‘ Night of the Skulls’?) totally freaked me out. “Fantasia” was a tripped out movie. Another movie scene in a non horror movie that freaked me out was in “Clash of the Titans” when Medusa was shown for the first time. I had trouble sleeping for weeks after that scene.

  • Buz Kohan

    There is a scene in the movie “Young At Heart”, where Frank Sinatra, a down on his luck piano player who luckily gets to marry Doris Day, realizes she loves Gig Young, and driving back from the railroad station after dropping someone off, he decides to commit suicide. It is a very snowy evening, and the camera shows the windshield wipers moving back and forth, wiping off the snow. Frank reaches over and shuts them off. The camera shows the show building up on the windshield, until it is completely covered with snow, and Frank can no longer see where he is going, even though the car keeps going till you know he has to crash…and he does. Scary as any horror movie I’ve ever seen.

  • pastafarian

    The banshee in Darby O’Gill and the LIttle People. And Sean Connery’s singing.

  • Elysia

    Mulholland Drive was a mostly scary movie, so don’t know what you mean by out of nowhere…?

  • Jj

    Willy wonka, the scene in the boat.


  • Lo

    The junkyard lady in The Labyrinth freaked me out when I was a kid. I still don’t like that part!

  • CRobinson71

    Posts awesome and fun! For me: 1)Meg Mucklebones jumping out of the water with that horrible scream to eat Jack (Tom Cruise)in Legend scared the crap out of me! If fact, the whole film has just amazing visuals throughout. 2)2001 a space odyssey, just thinking about HAL jettisoning the crew of the ship into space gives me chills, and the StarGate scene with Dave Bowman (silently) screaming as he loses his mind while going through space/time in the Monolith terrified me while blowing me away. 3)The “Changling” scene in Krull when the one-eyed giant killed it before it got Colwyn got me, not only for it decomposing and burrowing into the ground after it died, but that horrible scream it made lasted forever, shivers! 4) Speaking of decomposing, did anyone anticipate the final scene of Raiders of the Lost Ark being that horrifying? Nazis melting away in Grand Guignol fashion by the light and power of God! I was disturbed! 5)Assault of Precint 13, John Carpenter’s original was an urban thriller rather than a scary movie, but the scene that had my jaw drop was the ice cream truck scene when the gang member shot the little girl from Escape from Witch Mountain in the chest because she was given the wrong ice cream… HOLY CRAP!!

    • Squishmar

      You mentioned the one I was going to… “Raiders of the Lost Ark.” I was old enough to not have nightmares but it was pretty gross and intense for that movie. The Nazi’s face melting was just unexpected…. but awesome!

  • tresorparis

    Great article. I caní»t wait to hear more about your research tool. If it is as good as your other products, then you will have another winner. Your article pretty much summed up what I have been seeing too. Great to see some hard data.

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