10 Short But Scary Horror Movie Quotes
Sometimes the scariest part of a movie is the writing, and it gives cinema some of the scariest quotes imaginable. But while recent movies like X and Drink are certainly all very scary, there haven’t been many purely classic quotes. Many great horror movies can strike terror with well-crafted monologues, but some can do it in five words or less.
Brevity is the soul of wit, as the saying goes. However, it could also be the soul of a good scare. Some of the scariest sentences in the horror genre are sharp, short, and to the point.
“Course.” – Alien Pact
Although that’s actually the catchphrase for Ridley Scott’s most recent entry in Brutal Extraterrestrial frankness, he hits the nail on the head when it comes to being direct. Faced with the deadliest creature in the known galaxy, there is only one thing you can do to hope to survive.
No witty lines, no reasoning, no deep statements, no “In space, no one can hear you scream”, just “run”. A pure, simple, and accurate representation of the type of monster viewers that will be exposed to. Nothing more is needed.
“It’s alive!” -Frankenstein
As one of the pillars on which the horror genre was founded, Frankenstein introduces moviegoers to a new world of gods and monsters. At a time when horror was still an experimental art form, Golden Age Hollywood needed to give its monster movies a theatrical twist.
“It’s alive!” was Henry Frankenstein’s victory cry as he brought his heavy monster to life. It’s a line that has been repeated, ridiculed and praised for decades, and it still hasn’t left the public consciousness.
“It’s show time!” -Beetlejuice
While some might take issue with considering a tagline a weird quote, consider what happens before Beetlejuice utters its famous line. Lydia broke the big house rule, don’t say her name. Summoning Beetlejuice releases him into the house and leaves him on a rampage to unleash his own brand of havoc.
It’s not a slogan, it’s a warning shot. Beetlejuice has a quirky, unhinged sense of humor, and his mad, macabre antics quickly turn Maitland’s household upside down.
“Surprise!” – The invisible Man
It’s not often that a simple word is enough to instill fear and terror, but when it’s an evil ex-boyfriend with a powerful invisibility suit who wants his victim to suffer, the subtlety can be extremely scary. Silence is golden when stealth is the focus, but the right word can always get the perfect response.
When audiences are first introduced to Adrian Griffin, he’s an abusive and aggressive partner who chases his girlfriend out of a wooded forest. When he dons the stealth suit, he almost becomes some sort of supervillain as he terrorizes her into a frenzy. Of course, there was perhaps no better statement to reveal than “Surprise.”
“Be my victim.” – Candyman
To be fair, everything Tony Todd’s raspy baritone says can sound both intimidating and seductive. For example, three little words that end up trapping Helen in the Candyman’s trap. “Be my victim” sounds like both an invitation and a threat.
candy man could very well be seen as something of a modern goth, having such a dignified and tragic spirit of revenge as its central figure. Of course, it’s mostly Tony Todd’s performance that really sells the show, but it’s still one of the most unsettling things to ever echo.
“It was the Boogeyman.” -Halloween
“Actually, it was.” In the original version Halloween, John Carpenter’s masked assassin had a deliciously mysterious identity and reputation. Until the sequel, he was just an escaped mental patient with an affinity for Shatner masks and sharp objects. He wasn’t even given a name in the credits, just as “The Shape”.
While he is called out by name many times in the film, the myth of the Boogeyman is already established on the playground. Playing with this idea gives Michael an almost supernatural element to his appearance, as if his coming was foretold.
“Have the lambs stopped crying?” – Thesilenceofthelambs
Hannibal Lecter is one of fiction’s most infamous serial killers, and his mind games and mind manipulation are the subject of literary and film legends. His relationship with Agent Starling in Thomas Harris’ book series is worthy of an analytical character study, but the moment he really gets into his head is with this chilling quote from Thesilenceofthelambs
Despite his carnivorous appetites, Dr. Lecter is still a psychologist first and a killer second. He doesn’t just want to play with his prey, he wants to understand them in the process, hence the quid pro quo game.
“You will float too.” – This
In the book and both films, Pennywise’s evil chorus is how his victims will all “float” through the monster’s dead ends. The ominous call of “You’ll Float Too” is a phrase that has haunted many readers, moviegoers and kids in Derry, Maine.
Although it’s a prominent phrase on the pages of the original novel, it was in the feature that audiences saw the victims of Pennywise’s glamor literally float to their deaths. Suddenly the idea of floating doesn’t feel like such a slight threat anymore.
“We will tear your soul apart.” -Hellraiser
Clive Barker is a chilling icon of horror, and that’s a fact that saturates his screenwriting as well. This can be unusually noticed in the dialogue of the Lead Cenobite himself, Pinhead. Doug Bradley lends a kind of Shakespearian quality to his performance, making Pinhead and Cenobites more than average fiends.
Lines like “we’re going to tear your soul apart” and “such a waste of good suffering” give insight into just how dark and corrupt his being is. He is not there to deliver an infernal punishment, he is there to collect the soul that has been promised to him.
“There’s Johnny!” – The gloss
the brilliant is perhaps one of the most studied films in the horror genre, and this line is also perhaps one of the most infamous bits of improvisational dialogue in the field. While Jack Torrence’s big line in the novel was “It’s time to take your meds,” Jack Nicholson’s improvised line “Here’s Johnny” would go down in movie history.
Some use this line to draw connections to Jack Torrence’s disdain for television hinted at at the start of the film, others simply say it was a stroke of genius on the actor’s part. Either way, there are few horror movie quotes that are simpler and easier to remember than these two words.
NEXT: 10 Most Emotional Quotes From The Scream Franchise
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