The Young Teacher and Twister were both forgettable films that were made memorable for one very good reason: they were the first movies to be released on VHS and DVD, respectively. Even the jerky pausing capacity of VHS represented something of a breakthrough for movie fans. For the first time ever they could watch a film at home, pausing it at the interesting bits and fast-forwarding through the boring parts.
Then, in 1997, the jerky VHS was replaced by the DVD and film fans everywhere rejoiced when they realized the jerkiness was gone and they could smoothly freeze-frame any scene. Those naughty bits, the special effects, those “did I just see what I think I saw” moments, as well as the fleeting images that came and went in an instant were targeted by eager fans.
That skull that gradually appeared on Norman Bates’ face in Psycho could be gradually forwarded and studied. Margot Robbie’s character exposing herself in The Wolf of Wall Street was paused in the vain hope of actually seeing something.
Including these and more, here are the 15 Shocking Movie Scenes You NEED To Pause At.
15. Doctor Strange – Dies And Dies Again
Doctor Strange has many pause-worthy moments, but the scene towards the end when Doctor Strange dies over and over again has become a fan favorite. Doctor Strange uses the Eye of Agamotto to manipulate time and save the world. He traps himself and the evil demon Dormammu in an endless time loop and tells the villain that, unless he agrees to leave the Earth alone, they will stay there forever.
Dormammu tests the time loop by killing Doctor Strange over and over again. Scriptwriter Kevin Feige has said that Doctor Strange dies dozens, if not hundreds, of times. The montage, like many scenes from the movie, has a psychedelic feel.
Many fans believe that the Eye of Agamotto is going to have an important role to play in future installments, which is also why so many chose to zoom in on its effects.
14. The Bronze – Naked Acrobats
Fans were rushing to pause Melissa Rauch’s raunchy bedroom scene in 2015’s The Bronze, not only because she is naked but also because she is doing handstands and acrobats. It is a feast for the eyes.
Sadly, the film is a bit of a disappointment that tries to cash in on the funny anti-hero idea. Its star Melissa Rauch plays the usually sensible Bernadette in CBS’s The Big Bang Theory. In The Bronze, however, the comedic actress plays a foul-mouthed and bad-tempered former Olympic Bronze Medal gymnast has-been.
She is a big fish in a small town pond, and is talked into coaching an aspiring Olympic wannabe. The movie uses a one-joke sense of humour, with a stand out moment when a naked Rauch jumps onto a bed and does a hand stand before she and her lover recreate the acrobatic lift from Dirty Dancing. It’s quite a long scene, with many opportunities to pause, watch, and enjoy.
13. Hardcore Henry – Exploding Head
In a film filled with gimmicks and tricks, it is the shocking scene with the exploding head that had fans freeze framing the most. Hardcore Henry is a 2015 Russian science fiction action film, which follows the story of Henry, a cyborg with no memory, who is resurrected from the dead.
His mission is to save his “wife” from a warlord with an evil plan, which involves bio-engineering soldiers so he can take over the world. Intriguingly, it is told from Henry’s first person point of view, and aims to both shock and astound in equal measure.
At one point, Henry corners a criminal on the streets of Moscow whose head explodes just at that moment, courtesy of a sniper’s bullet. It’s a well-done piece of special effects and, even in pause mode, it’s difficult to see exactly how it was put together.
12. The Brothers Grimsby – Streaking
The scene in The Brothers Grimsby that had most fans reaching for the remote control is the one in which naked actress Rebel Wilson streaks across a football field. The only thing, however, that it isn’t really Wilson.
The very funny star of Pitch Perfect said no to nudity and insisted that it be written into her contract. The movie, which received poor reviews, tells the tale of Sebastian (Mark Strong), a top MI6 assassin who is trying to save the world.
However, he is on the run and his only option is to team up with his repulsive football hooligan brother Nobby (Sacha Baron Cohen). Nobby lives in Grimsby Northern England with his children and wife, who is played by Wilson.
Cohen tried to convince Wilson to do the streaking scene herself, but she refused. So the naked blonde is a body double who, believe it or not, is a larger-than-Rebel burlesque dancer from South Africa.
11. The Greasy Strangler – Eye Popping
In a film full of awkward and uncomfortable pause-worthy moments, the eye popping strangulation scene in The Greasy Strangler is a fan favorite. If someone were updating a list of the most unwatchable films ever, 2016’s Greasy Strangler would almost certainly be on it.
It is a perverted, crass movie that is full of cartoon-like gore– it is a film in which fans reached for the remote control because they couldn’t believe what they’d just seen.
The story involves a father and son competing for the same girl, at the same time as a lard-covered strangler begins to stalk the streets. The movie, billed as a horror comedy, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2016, along side Swiss Army Man.
10. Star Wars – Darth Vader’s Skeleton
Star Wars: Return of the Jedi was made in 1983, and part of the fun of watching the movie is pausing at scenes to see how its visual and specials effects have held up over the years.
Surprisingly, they’ve actually held up pretty well. The most paused moment in the film comes when Luke Skywalker backs away from killing his father and the Emperor attacks Vader with a bolt of lightning.
Vader responds by throwing the screaming Emperor to his death down a reactor pit. As he stumbles back, the remaining bolts of lightning flow over him and, for the briefest moment, audiences could see his skeleton illuminated under his armor.
Over the years it has since become a classic and iconic movie moment. While Return of the Jedi is not everybody’s favorite Star Wars film, it does offer epic battle scenes and has a few brilliant moments. The brief skeleton scene, for example, is an extremely memorable scene.
9. Lights Out – Dead Cop
Lights Out has two scenes that are freeze-frame favorites. One involves the demonic Diana revealing her putrified face, while the other includes the hollowed eye, zombie-like dead cop appearing in the darkness. Because Diana is a cliché boogie woman, most fans prefer the unforgettable dead cop scene.
The movie tells the story of a woman named Rebecca who is haunted by the long-dead Diana, a being from her mother’s past. Diana only ever appears when the lights go out. The question is: is Diana real or a figment of Rebecca’s mother’s deranged imagination? At the very least, the two are intertwined.
At the end of the film, the police arrive to save the day and are murdered by Diana. They then reappear in a frightening zombie-like state. The film received mixed reviews, with high marks for scare-factor and lower marks for film craft.
8. Nerve – The Mooning
Nerve doesn’t have many pause-worthy moments until you get to the cheer scene where cheerleader Sydney (Emily Meade) moons the crowd. The crowd goes wild at the sight.
The movie follows Vee (Emma Roberts), the archetypal quiet and shy girl living in the shadow of her more popular friend Sydney. So, she decides to make some changes and starts playing Nerve– a sinister online game where game players are dared to do increasingly dangerous things for money.
Theses tasks can be funny moments, but unfortunately they become more sinister and dangerous as time goes on, and what began as a bit of liberating fun becomes a deadly trap for Vee.
The 2016 film was an obvious nod to the dangers of social media, with Vee, a bashful and suggestible young girl seeing the game as a way of breaking out. At the end of the day, Vee is forced to fake her own murder in order to bring an end to her Nerve nightmare.
7. Sausage Party – Orgy
The orgy scene in the 2016 film Sausage Party offers a wealth of shots that fans love to pause at. The 3D R-rated adult animation tells the story of Frank the sausage, who is seeking the meaning of life.
He and his food friends live at a supermarket called Shopwell’s and, in the beginning, worship humans. However, once they learn their that fate in the “Great Beyond” is to be eaten, they rebel and fight the shoppers in a battle that ends in a victory for Frank and his friends.
Finally liberated, they celebrate with an orgy. The orgy sequences are pretty graphic, and the film was one of the first American CGI-generated films to receive an R-rating. Witnessing different items of food get together and have an orgy has to be one of the weirdest scenes in movie history, so it’s no wonder that so many viewers were quick to hit the pause button.
Sausage Party is a quirky film, but it’s certainly not for everybody.
6. The Lion King – “S-E-X” In The Sky
Even kids’ movies, such as The Lion King, have scenes where adults were quick to grab their remotes and hit pause. When a discouraged young lion named Simba slumps down on a rock and blows dust into the air, it appears to spell “S-E-X.”
Fans of The Lion King love to freeze the scene and then slowly advance the movie in order to see how far they can go in perfecting that three letter word. Disney animators are famous– or infamous– for injecting naughty little Easter eggs and images into their films.
As Disney’s take on Hamlet, the movie tells the story of Simba, a son who loses his father and must take on a villainous uncle to reclaim what is rightfully his.
The “sex” scene comes at a low point in Simba’s fortunes and, in some ways, presages the happy ending that inevitably comes at the end of Disney cartoons. While some fans claim that the letters spell “SFX” and are a well deserved shout out to the studio’s Special Effects Department, most fans favor the “sex” interpretation.
5. Wolf Of Wall Street – The Security Camera Flash
When an angry Margot Robbie shows Leonardo DiCaprio what he is missing in the 2013 film The Wolf of Wall Street, she is also inadvertently caught on a security camera, thereby flashing the security guards as well.
Fans love to pause and rerun the moment just to see if anything is visible. The scene is funny, sexy, and sets the scene for the battle of the spouses that punctuates the film. DiCaprio plays Jordan Belfort, the eponymous Wolf of Wall Street. Jordan is an unlikable and arrogant Lord of the Universe type.
Robbie portrays Naomi, his long-suffering wife, a woman adept at using her smoldering good looks to take her revenge on her cheating husband. It is a raucous film, reflecting the free-wheeling Wall Street of the 1980s. It is no surprise that the “f-word” has over 500 outings in the film.
4. She’s The Man – Shirt Lifting Scene
When She’s the Man star Amanda Bynes lifts her shirt to prove that she’s not a man, every guy watching at home was grabbing the remote control to see what she was revealing. The story is pretty predictable: when her twin brother Sebastian decides to go to London rather than to his posh boarding school, Viola, played by Bynes, gets talked into standing in for him.
Having disguised herself as Sebastian, she turns up at the school and later joins the school soccer team. She, of course, falls for Duke, played by Channing Tatum. At the end, comes the inevitable big reveal.
“He” is a she, love triumphs, and everyone lives happily ever after. The 2006 film is a mainly unexciting teen-at-boarding-school fare, but worth a watch if only for the big shirt lifting scene and the sight of a young, fresh-faced Amanda Bynes.
3. Psycho – Human Skull
In a film full of pause-worthy moments, the sight of Norman Bates in a police cell looking straight into the camera as a montage sequence gradually reveals– quite literally– his skull is probably one of the most paused movie moments ever.
It is a chilling reminder of both his victims and his ultimate fate. It is a classic must-see moment that fans still pause to study, which proves Alfred Hitchcock’s mastery of film. Psycho thrilled and stunned the 1960 audiences with its tale of theft and murder.
The frenetic stabbing murder of Janet Leigh as she showers, as well as the lurking mother and Norman’s ultimate transformation into her has made the breakthrough psychological thriller a must-see even now.
Although some fans disagree, Psycho may well be Hitchcock’s best work, coming at the end of his golden era in the 1950s. Shot in gloomy black and white, Psycho is still a tantalizing thriller
2. Star Wars: The Force Awakens – Gravestone
The sight of cloaked Jedi Master Luke Skywalker standing on a hill near what appears to be a gravestone in 2015’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens has already become a popular moment to pause at simply because of the unanswered questions it raises.
After landing the Millennium Falcon on a deserted island, Rey, a new recruit to the Resistance, finds the Jedi Master in order to begin her training. It’s a feast of a scene for fan theorists everywhere.
Is the stone a man-made object or not? Most fans believe that it is, which brings us to our next question: is it a gravestone? Again many fans think so, and also choose to believe that Rey is Luke’s daughter. So, if it is a gravestone and Rey is a Skywalker, it is possible that Luke’s wife– and Rey’s mother– is buried there. This theory is a fan favorite, and perhaps further explains why Luke has been standing on the island for so long.
The scene is both beautifully shot and full of emotion, and, with all of its unanswered questions, it has left fans eager for the release of Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
1. Signs – First Glimpse Of The Monster
The first glimpse of the creature in 2002’s Signs comes and goes in the blink of an eye. It had most fans reaching for the pause buttons in order to confirm that what they thought they’d seen was true.
Some fans say it looks a little bit like a skinny guy in a lizard suit, while others say it looks other worldly, and– as with a lot of aliens in old films– it’s impossible to say whether “it” is good or evil.
M. Night Shyamalan is, to say the least, an erratic filmmaker. Some say when he is good, he is very good. The problem with this, however, is that when he is bad, he is awful.
The quirkiness of this movie just about saves it, as a small family in Pennsylvania witness an alien invasion. However, the movie’s ending where an alien shows up in the family’s living room is often mentioned as one of the worst endings ever.
Can you think of any other movies with scenes that are so captivating and shocking you can’t help but reach for the pause button? Let us know in the comments!
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