The Moments Of Maximum Tension In Cinema

The Moments Of Maximum Tension In Cinema English Article

There are moments in the cinema when everything is so tense that you could hear a pin drop. While we all know what we are watching is not real, some movie directors are masters at engrossing us and building up the tension so much you could cut it with a knife. Here are some of our favorite moments in movie history where the actor, director, and writer perfectly combined to make unbearably tense scenes that we will remember forever.

Goodfellas – "Funny how?"

Joe Pesci Joe Pesci is an American comedian, actor, and musi >> Read More... Joe Pesci is terrifyingly deranged as Tommy DeVito in Martin Scorsese's Goodfellas. An iconically tense scene from this movie is that of the poker game. The mob and Goodfellas, in particular, are synonymous with gambling with a Good Feathers slot alongside bingo games on Paddy Power, the Goodfellas soundtrack often selected for poker nights, and people often dressing gangster style when playing casino games. In this poker scene, the boys have an enjoyable card game until Spider forgets to bring Tommy his drink. This tiny mistake and a few choice words create a nerve-shredding atmosphere that does not end well for Spider.

It's a great scene, but for just pure tension, the scene with Tommy DeVito asking Henry Hill (Ray Liotta) to explain why he's a funny guy takes the biscuit. The contrast to what preceded Hill's comment and the terrifying way DeVito shifts the atmosphere make for agonizing viewing. The use of silence, the reaction of those around them, the terrifying presence of Pesci, and the regretful squirming of Liotta make this one of the tensest scenes in cinema. 


No Country For Old Men – "Heads or tails?"

Javier Bardem Javier Bardem was born into a Spanish family from >> Read More... Javier Bardem truly scared us with his dark performance as Anton Chigurh in this Coen Brothers thriller. We had previously seen in the movie that Chigurh is a cold-blooded hitman with imaginative weaponry. In this scene, Chigurh arrives at a gas station and meets the innocuous attendant/owner who simply doesn't know the danger he's in. The tension rises as Chigurh makes the man more and more uncomfortable and eventually forces him to play a deadly coin toss game. The fact that we know what is at stake with the toss of a coin, but the gas station owner has no idea makes this particularly uneasy to watch. To use a coin toss to decide this man's fate makes Chigurh particularly menacing, and Javier Bardem will probably continue with great villain roles because of this performance. 


Seven – "What's in the box?"

David Fincher David Fincher was born on 28th August 1962 and is >> Read More... David Fincher has previously made moments of tension with The Social Network Click to look into! >> Read More... The Social Network , Gone Girl Click to look into! >> Read More... Gone Girl , and Zodiac, but The Box Scene is his most brilliant. Detective Mills () and Somerset () have been trying to catch an ingenious serial killer John Doe ( Kevin Spacey Kevin Spacey is a film writer, producer and direct >> Read More... Kevin Spacey ), all movie, and now they have him in custody and need to tie up some loose ends. What could go wrong? As they drive into the desert with Doe to reveal the location of more people, the tension builds. A delivery van arrives on the scene to present the detectives with something truly dreadful that will result in Doe completing his gruesome sinful project. Viewers were caught off guard by discovering two-time Oscar-winning actor, Spacey was the bad guy, and the tense finale made this one of the stand-out movies of the year. It's crazy to think that Brad Pitt's most famous line and the ending to 'Se7en' was an accident, but it's cinema gold. 


These are just three moments in cinema that made us feel the tightening of our stomachs and an urge to bite our nails. The actor, director, and writer placed us in a situation where the character's distress was palpable and making the audience feel something, even tension, makes for great movies.