The Top 10 Scariest MCU Moments
The MCU is hardly known for its moments of dread or horror…but I’m feeling lazy so here’s a quick list. Happy Spoopy Season!
DISMEMBERMENT IN THE LIBRARY
Kaecilius is not the most talked about part of the MCU’s line-up of villains, being an evil version of Doctor Strange with a basic motivation. Maybe that’s why we’re newly surprised at how dark his first scene is. The theft of a magical text is the event that kick-starts the adventure, and involves Kaecilius and his acolytes severing the head of the librarian…someone they know personally.
Speaking of evil versions of Doctor Strange…
THE EVIL VERSION OF DOCTOR STRANGE
What If… certainly opens the door to horror themed stints through the MCU landscape. The first season delivered just that with zombie, apocalyptic landscapes and the tragic fall of one hero. When Stephen Strange toys with the timeline to save a loved one he spirals further and further into desperation and darkness. The final form of Doctor Strange is imbued with demons and elder gods, ultimately bringing about his own downfall.
THE QUANTUM REALM
This is an unimaginable nightmare. Michael Douglas concisely sums up why falling into the microscopic quantum realm is best avoided. “It means that you would enter a reality where all concepts of time and space become irrelevant as you shrink for all eternity. Everything that you know and love, gone forever.” It’s a one-way journey into nothingness, while the world moves on without you.
THE DAD TALK
Now to shift from an abstract horror to a very, very grounded scene. Shortly after Peter Parker realises that his date’s father is The Vulture, the villain comes to the same realisation and insists on a ‘dad talk’ with the hero who has been interfering with his business. Michael Keaton shows why he’s made a comeback with a coldly menacing and very believable threat against Spider-Man’s family.
Spider-Man really can’t catch a break. His holiday to Europe was free from Vulture, but Mysterio creates a potentially more frightening experience. Using his illusion based technology, Mysterio drops Peter into a confusing world of horror where MJ is at risk and Mysterio is unstoppable. It comes to a peak when a zombified Tony Stark in crumbling Iron Man armour crawls out of the ground before us.
SCARLET WITCH’S NIGHTMARE
Mysterio wasn’t the first villain to inflict nightmares on our heroes, as Wanda put the whammy on almost all the Avengers when they first met. Steve sees his friends taken away from him, Thor has a prophecy of Ragnarok, Natasha returns to the Red Room that created her and Tony sees the failure of the Avengers with an interstellar invasion destroying the Earth. Not everything in Age of Ultron works, but the tone and style of these sequences lands hard.
This nightmare was just a warm-up for the nightmares Scarlet Witch would unleash in the process of grief. Beginning with a glimpse of a corpse-like and gouged out Vision, and ending with a mother pleading with Wanda to let her children out of their imprisonment…there’s some disturbing stuff here. The David Lynch style dinner sequence is the first scene that steps away from the light tone and goes into full creep factor.
During his time in SHIELD, Coulson helped oversee the sinister Project TAHITI. Using a desecrated Kree corpse, they collect their bodily fluids and transfer them into the brain of a mortally wounded Avenger. That was the plan, but the project was shut down with the exception Coulson himself. The visual of Coulson begging for the procedure to stop while they work on his exposed brain is one of the lasting images of Agents of SHIELD.
It was a shocking moment for audiences when Thanos wiped out half of life in the universe. The opening of Endgame turned the concept into something more haunting when we open on Clint Barton’s farm. The warm family scene quickly turns dark when Clint finds his family…gone. The confusion, fear and horror Hawkeye experiences in the next few hours and days is left to our imagination.
THE SCARIEST MOMENT IN THE MCU