8. Quirrell/Voldemort Drinks Unicorn Blood – Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone
If there was any scene in the first film that could instil utter terror into our hearts, it was this one. Everything about this scene takes us straight past magic and right to the supernatural. It. Is. Horrifying! It’s our first glimpse of Voldemort, who glides across the ground in an almost serpentine way, and everything about him means he wouldn’t look out of place in any horror movie. It’s enough to give anyone nightmares!
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7. Dementors on the Hogwarts Express – Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Let’s face it, nothing about the Dementors is pleasant; at three metres high and cloaked in tattered black robes, these immortal beings look terrifying. In Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Remus Lupin describes them as ‘among the foulest creatures to walk this earth’, feeding on happiness and causing feelings of despair. Really, any scene with the Dementors could have made it onto this list, but as they board the Hogwarts Express seeking Sirius Black, when we have no idea who or what they are, this first encounter has us feeling like we are face to face with death itself.
6. The Quidditch World Cup – Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
With each new instalment of the Harry Potter series, the story grew notably darker, with Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire marking the clear step away from the almost whimsical world we were first introduced to, towards the darker and more sinister story to come.
The Quidditch World Cup was excellently adapted to film and managed to uphold the level of terror exhibited in the books. This was the first sequence in which we were introduced to the Death Eaters as they reaped devastation upon the attendees of the World Cup. The frantic, disorientated style of the shots, overshadowed by blazing fires and screaming, leaves the viewer with a real sense of terror and dread. And then, as Harry wakes up on the ground of the smouldering campsite, and as Voldemort’s dark mark is cast among the devastation, we are given a glimpse of what things were like the first time he was in power, as well as the realisation that he may be more close to returning than ever.