There is just something about eyes that freak me out, specifically having someone touch my eye or touching my eye myself. It's the reason I could never wear contacts. This condition is often referred to as ommetaphobia, and I am convinced this is because of movies like Stanley Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange with the whole eye clamps therapy scene. It hasn't gotten much better over the years thanks to Minority Report, Final Destination 5, and countless others, but today I want to start a little immersion therapy of my own.
I can't be the only one freaked out by scenes in movies that involve eyes, so I guess you all will be going on this journey to overcome our fear of others touching our eyes by looking at some of the most terrifying eye scenes cinema has to offer. Heads up, there are some disgusting and repulsive scenes that could have a psychological effect on all us, so you have been warned. Without wasting any more time, let's take a look at the most disturbing eye scenes.
A Clockwork Orange - The Aversion Therapy Scene
After street hooligan Alex DeLarge (Malcolm McDowell) and his gang of droogs commits a series of vicious crimes, the young Brit is jailed and subjected to intense behavioral modification therapy to change his ways.
The Terrifying Eye Scene: In a scene that will probably ruin your day, doctors strap Alex to a chair, fill him up with all sorts of drugs, install metal clamps on his eyelids to keep his eyes open, and force him to watch the worst humanity has to offer. The scene isn't as gross or demented as some of scenes found in some horror movies, but the thought of having cold, sharp metal clamps fixed to your eyelids and having an eye dropper keep your eyes moist is just about as terrifying as it gets.
Final Destination 5 - The Lasik Scene
Like the previous four installments, Final Destination 5 follows a group of friends who survive a major catastrophe but are still unable to escape death.
The Terrifying Eye Scene: The Final Destination franchise has given audiences dozens of the most gruesome and inventive deaths scenes since the first movie was released 20 years ago. One of the deaths that sticks out the most is Olivia Castle's (Jacqueline MacInnes Wood) lasik surgery gone bad in Final Destination 5. When the doctor steps out of the room, the machine comes alive and begins shooting a laser into Olivia's eye. And although Olivia dies after falling out of the window moments later, the visual of a laser piercing her eye is just as bad, if not worse.
Zombie - The Eye Splinter
Italian horror king Lucio Fulci released several zombie movies under the Gates Of Hell trilogy, but the most notable of the bunch is his 1979 masterpiece Zombie (Zombi 2 in Italy), which follows the inhabitants of a small Caribbean island curse by voodoo that is overrun by the undead.
The Terrifying Eye Scene: This iconic and stomach-turning scene takes place when Paola Menard (Olga Karlatos) tries to hide from a zombie in her house, only for the ghoul to break down the door, grab ahold of the researcher's hair, and slowly pull her eye towards the giant wooden splinter. The sound of Paola's desperate screaming as she is slowly pulled toward her death is only made worse by the extreme closeup of the splinter popping her eye.
Fire In The Sky - Alien Test
The 1993 biographical science fiction thriller Fire In The Sky tells the disturbing story of Travis Walton, who claimed to have been abducted by aliens in the mid-1970s.
The Terrifying Eye Scene: During a flashback, Travis (D.B. Sweeney) remembers the events of the alien abduction where the extraterrestrials poke, prod, and probe the human as they run a series of tests. After wrapping Travis in some type of skin-like material and inserting tubes, the aliens placed a clamp over his eye, pour a milky liquid on it, and then pull down a large needle towards his eye.
Pan's Labyrinth - The Pale Man Scene
Before Guillermo del Toro was winning Academy Awards for The Shape Of Water, the Spanish filmmaker gave the world one of the most terrifying experiences with Pan's Labyrinth, a story about a young girl who escapes to a fantastical realm in 1940's Spain.
The Terrifying Eye Scene: Like the rest of Guillermo del Toro's movies, Pan's Labyrinth is equal parts beautiful and horrifying with its depictions otherworldly creatures, including Pale Man, a humanoid with eyes in the palms of his hands. Though he's only featured in one scene, Pale Man (Doug Jones) is probably what most people remember about the movie, especially after he pulls his hands towards his face to reveal two large eyes.
Minority Report - Eye Transplant
Steven Spielberg's 2002 science fiction epic Minority Report follows Washington, DC police captain John Anderton (Tom Cruise) who is accused of a murder that won't happen until the future and his journey to clear his name.
The Terrifying Eye Scene: At one point, Anderton goes to an underground doctor to undergo an eye transplant so that the city's optical recognition system won't be able to trace his steps. Like all good "eye scenes," the anticipation here is just as bad, if not worse than the procedure itself. The fact that you don't know whether you can trust the black market doctor performing the surgery makes it that much worse.
28 Weeks Later - Don Becomes Infected
Set months after the events of 28 Days Later, the 2007 apocalyptic horror film 28 Weeks Later follows members of a NATO military force attempting to restore order to a small salvageable section of London, which all goes to hell after two young children break protocol.
The Terrifying Eye Scene: There are plenty of spills and chills in this disaster epic, but one of the most grotesque deaths comes in a scene where Don (Robert Carlyle) becomes infected by the rage virus and viciously murders his wife, Alice (Catherine McCormack). During the attack, Don sticks his thumbs into Alice's eyes and continues to push until there is nothing left and his wife is dead.
Total Recall - The Bulging Eye Scene
Paul Verhoeven's 1990 science fiction action movie Total Recall follows Douglas Quaid (Arnold Schwarzenegger) as the bored construction worker dreams about visiting the colonized Mars, but things don't go according to plan once he visits a company that can plant false memories into clients' minds.
The Terrifying Eye Scene: We get the first bulging eye scene at the start of the over-the-top sci fi movie when Quaid dreams about walking on the martian surface. When he loses his footing, Quaid falls down a rocky hill and shatters his face-mask, causing his eyes to bulge out of his head. And remember this was just the beginning of this quintessential Verhoeven feature.
BONUS: Kill Bill Vol. 2 - Losing The Other Eye
I couldn't make a list of movies with terrifying eye scenes without including Quentin Tarantino's kung fu revenge epic Kill Bill Vol. 2, which features not one by two gross scenes where a character loses an eye.
The Terrifying Eye Scene: The more disgusting of the two eye scenes comes towards the end of the Kill Bill saga where the Bride (Uma Thurman) pulls out Elle Driver's (Daryl Hannah) only remaining eye before stomping on it with her bare foot. The blood, the agonizing screams, and the visual of an eyeball being squished sticks with me after all these years.
Wow! You were able to make it through this list of movies with the most terrifying eye scenes. Make sure to take the poll below and let me know which one grossed you out the most. And if there are any movies or scenes I left off the list, let me know in the comments.