We all have those movie scenes that we’ll never forget. The ones that keep us on the edge of the seat every time we watch them. Whether it’s a terrifying horror scene or a touching first kiss, these are the scenes that stick out in our memories the most.
It doesn’t happen very often, but every once in a while a film catches lightning in a bottle, giving us a scene so perfectly rendered that it can be hard just to watch it.
Here are 12 Movie Scenes So Good They Give Us Goosebumps.
12. The Millennium Falcon Reveal in Star Wars: The Force Awakens
There are a lot of goosebumpy moments in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Like Han (Harrison Ford) saying to Chewbacca (Peter Mayhew), “Chewie, we’re home.” Or Rey (Daisy Ridley) coming face to face with Luke (Mark Hamill). But the Millennium Falcon scene is possibly the most thrilling, in that it was a surprise throwback to the original trilogy.
Fans who have been waiting for years for a new Star Wars movie were pumped when the camera panned out, revealing that the ship Rey had considered garbage is actually the Millennium Falcon. It’s a great moment because it feels like director J.J. Abrams is tipping his hat to the fans.
11. The End Scene in Thelma and Louise
There really couldn’t be a better ending to this movie. The two characters have profound and dramatic arcs. Thelma (Geena Davis) starts the movie as a timid housewife under the thumb of her husband and ends it as a brash outlaw who has stepped into her power. She breaks out of her shell and personally evolves to the point where she can’t go back to her old life. And Louise (Susan Sarandon), by killing the man who attempted to rape Thelma, is able to symbolically fight back against her own rapist.
10. Heather’s Confessional in The Blair Witch Project
If The Blair Witch Project doesn’t give you goosebumps, nothing will. Heather’s (Heather Donahue) confession scene is particularly chilling. In it, her face is right up in the camera, and little else can be scene in the dark woods. She’s crying and admitting that everything that has happened to her, Josh (Joshua Leonard), and Mike (Michael C. Williams) is, in her mind, her fault.
This is a creepy scene because Heather is recording it in case she doesn’t live. She has really grasped the severity of the situation at this point, and is now genuinely afraid of dying (and she knows it wouldn’t be an easy death, either – it would be a violent one at the hands of a witch).
9. Hans Landa’s Opening Dialog with the Farmer in Inglourious Basterds
In this scene, Landa (Christoph Waltz) is a Nazi colonel in the home of a farmer named Perrier (Denis Ménochet), talking to him about the Jewish family he is giving refuge to. Landa, of course, wants to kill them.
What’s so chilling about this scene is how ruthless and unfeeling Landa is, and how that juxtaposes with his civilized mannerisms and way of speaking. Landa tells Perrier that if he cooperates and reveals where the people he’s hiding are, his own family will be spared. So Perrier complies, and the kills the Jewish family. The scene immediately lets the audience know how brutal Landa is.
8. Ryan Stone Being Thrown into Space in Gravity
After their spacecraft is hit by a satellite, astronauts Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock) and Matt Kowalksi (George Clooney) find themselves tethered to the craft in space. Ryan has to detach herself from a piece of the craft that is careening around in circles, and gets thrown into the void.
There are few experiences we can think of that would be as scary as being adrift in space, and watching Ryan tumble around, gasping for breath and trying to get her bearings, is pretty terrifying. It’s such a helpless feeling, seeing her thrown through the void of space with nothing to anchor her – definitely goosebump inducing.
7. Andy Breaks out of the Prison in The Shawhank Redemption
Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins) is a great protagonist. He’s a good guy who’s wrongly convicted of murdering his wife and her lover. Over an extended period of time, he digs a tunnel under the prison that leads to the sewer and, ultimately, to freedom. He crawls through the tunnel that’s barely wider than his shoulders, then through 500 yards of human waste, but finally emerges outside the prison.
It gives us chills because it’s what we’ve been wanting all along, and because Andy had to work so hard to get it. It’s an incredibly triumphant moment for Andy, and probably the movie’s most memorable scene.
6. The Xenomorph Breathing in Ripley’s Face in Alien 3
This is one of the most iconic moments in the franchise – along with the baby xenomorph bursting out of Kane’s (John Hurt) chest in the first movie. In the scene, Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) has her back against a wall, and the xenomorph puts its face right up in hers, just inches away from her.
It gives us goosebumps because it’s just. so. gross. The alien is covered in slime, and saliva is dripping from its tongue and teeth. And then that second, tiny alien head pops out of its mouth and gets even closer to Ripley. And all the while, Ripley’s expression shows us that she’s just as grossed out as we are.
5. Velociraptors in the Kitchen in Jurassic Park
So you create an amusement park/zoo with real dinosaurs – what could possibly go wrong? There are quite a few pretty scary scenes in Jurassic Park, but the kitchen scene takes the cake when it comes to giving us goosebumps. In it, the grandchildren of the park’s creator, Lex (Ariana Richards) and Tim (Joseph Mazzello) are trapped in the park’s kitchen with a couple of velociraptors, and they have to sneak around behind counters and kitchen equipment, without making any noise, in order to evade the dinosaurs.
This scene is loaded with tension. The velociraptors are so close to the kids that the smallest misstep on Lex and Tim’s part would give them away. It’s one of those scenes where you’re probably holding your breath the entire time.
4. The Pottery Wheel Scene in Ghost
This has to be one of the sexiest scenes of all time. In the middle of the night, Sam (Patrick Swayze) wakes to find his girlfriend Molly (Demi Moore) working on her pottery wheel. He sits behind her and reaches around her to help with her creation, both of their hands covered in clay. And the music in the background is the Righteous Brothers’ “Unchained Melody.”
In addition to being sexy, it’s also very sweet and shows the audience just how much Sam and Molly care about each other, and how deep their love is (making it all the more tragic when Sam is killed).
3. Spock’s Death in Star Trek II: Wrath of Khan
This scene gives us goosebumps because it’s such a touching demonstration of friendship. Near the end of the movie, Kirk (William Shatner) finds Spock (Leonard Nimoy) in the engine room, dying of radiation poisoning. When Spock slumps to the floor, Kirk slumps with him. They both hold their hands to the glass and form the Vulcan sign that means “live long and prosper.” Spock delivers his famous line, “I have been, and always shall be, your friend.”
It’s enough to make the toughest of us start bawling. And the fact that Spock’s death is an act of self-sacrifice makes it all the more moving. It’s one of the most iconic Star Trek scenes, and it hits us right in the feels every time.
2. Loki Discovers His True Parentage in Thor
There’s a reason a lot of people think that Loki (Tom Hiddleston) stole the show in Thor. In this scene, Loki’s father Odin (Anthony Hopkins) tells Loki that his biological father is their enemy, Laufey, ruler of the Frost Giants. And not only that, Laufey abandoned him as a baby because he was supposedly too small.
Loki is deeply hurt that his father had been concealing the truth, and he shows so much raw emotion – it’s fantastic. When Loki shouts at the top of his voice, “Tell me!” demanding to know Odin’s real reason for adopting him, it sends shivers down your spine and makes you want to give Loki a hug and tell him it’ll all be okay.
1. The Joker’s Interrogation in Batman: The Dark Knight
Truthfully, Heath Ledger’s entire amazing performance as the Joker gives us goosebumps. But this scene really stands out. It isn’t the Joker’s most brutal scene – there are plenty of candidates for that, like the scene where he makes a video with Brian, the fake Batman. But what’s so chilling about this scene is the astute insights that the Joker demonstrates – about Batman (Christain Bale), about law enforcement, and about other criminals.
At one point, Batman asks him why he wants to kill him, and the Joker laughs and says, “I don’t want to kill you! What would I do without you? Go back to ripping off mob dealers? No, no, no no. You complete me.” It’s at this point that we start to wonder if maybe, just maybe, the Joker is the one who’s right about the way the world works, and if that prospect doesn’t give you goosebumps, nothing will.
What scenes give you the chills they’re so good? Let us know in the comments!