The 5 Worst Horror Movie Jump Scares That Fell Flat

Horror movies notoriously make audiences jump. After all, most fans expect at least a few jump scares in the genre. These moments — which, as the term implies, are supposed to give viewers a jolt — can be an effective tool in a filmmaker’s arsenal. But sometimes, this horror trope is a cheap way to try to enliven a film. Here are five of the worst examples of horror movie jump scares.

‘The Amityville Horror’ (1979)

Worst horror movie jump scares: The Amityville Horror
Rod Steiger and Don Stroud in a scene from 1979’s ‘The Amityville Horror’ | American International Pictures/Getty Images

1979’s The Amityville Horror remains a horror classic. It spawned several sequels and a 2006 remake starring Ryan Reynolds. But it’s also one of the best-known examples of an all-too-common jump scare, as the sudden reveal of a cat as a false threat gives fans a short-lived sense of security. Perhaps if the filmmakers had known this would be the beginning of an unfortunate trend, they might have replaced this moment with something more terrifying.

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