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10 classic GIFs from horror movies

From Poltergeist to Child's Play, these GIFs created by artist Jason Reed will surely fright and delight. 


Fernando Alfonso III


Posted on Oct 31, 2012   Updated on Jun 2, 2021, 8:22 am CDT

The look of horror in Jeff Goldblum’s face when he rips off his fingernails in The Fly. The sight of a possessed young girl spider walking down the stairs with blood dripping from her mouth in The Exorcist. Jack Nicholson’s devilish grin in The Shining as he wedges his face into a hole made in the bathroom door.

These are three of the scariest movie scenes in history, the moments that play over and over again in a person’s head no matter how much they try to think “happy thoughts.”

GIF artist Jason “challenger” Reed knows these scenes well.

A 34-year-old graphic designer from Syracuse, Reed is known for his surreal and often hand-drawn GIFs, not to mention “altering archival footage for nefarious purposes.” His work has been featured on Tumblr’s GIFwich, a blog where artists live GIFed the recent presidential debates, and Reblorg, a new art hub run by Tumblr’s editorial team.

In preparation for Halloween, Reed created the following cinematic animations for the Daily Dot.

1) Alien 3 (1992)

“Though Alien was by far the scariest movie of the franchise, this scene from Alien 3 was my favorite. The Xenomorph (I did that for you, nerds) looks amazing, right down to the lip articulation and the freaky tongue.”

2) Child’s Play (1988)

“Chucky…I’ll admit it; when the kids toys make noise after their in bed, this is what I think of (Be right back, installing locks on the toyboxes).

3) Dawn of the Dead (2004)

“The first five minutes of Dawn of the Dead is like a series of rapid-fire punches to the brain. Zombie kids, a bloodthirsty spouse and the subversion of an ambulance into an instrument of death. Good morning!”

4) Jacob’s Ladder (1990)

“Though this film is horrifying for a number of reasons, I think this GIF speaks for itself. Who wants a needle in the third eye delivered by a doctor with none? Not this guy.”

5) It (1990)

“Leave it to Stephen King to dig at what really freaks us out.”

6) Jaws (1975)

Jaws isn’t your standard horror flick, in that you don’t even see the antagonist for most of the movie. When I saw this on the big screen a couple years ago I realized the true impact of this scene. ‘We’re gonna need a bigger boat,’ indeed.”

7) Poltergeist (1982)

“Kids + ghosts + static = creeeeeepy. Plus that whole sing-songy ‘They’re he-ere?’ GET OUT.”

8) Shining (1980)

“Just before the iconic ‘HEEEERE’S JOHNNY’ moment when Mr. Torrance peers through the bathroom door, we get to see the efficacy of Jack’s ax and his willingness to use it. On his family.”

9) The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)

“These couple frames give us a clear shot of our pal Leatherface and are creepy enough to have ‘icon’ status among the greatest horror movies of all time. Evening-wear inspired by Ed Gein.”

10) The Gate (1987)

“Overall, this movie is good for a laugh, but this scene still holds up amazingly well, considering it’s from 1987. And yes, that’s a young Stephen Dorff.”

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*First Published: Oct 31, 2012, 1:00 pm CDT