Lots of people love going to the movies. There are so many different genres that there really is something for everyone. While we might all go for different reasons, there are moments in cinema that have everyone reaching for the pause button. We hit pause to try and determine whether the thing we think we have just seen is what we really did see. They can be moments of disbelief or moments to get a closer look at the details on the screen. Sometimes it will be something you spotted at the movie theatre, but you have had to wait until the DVD comes out before you can check it.
It could be that there’s a cameo of someone famous, or perhaps we get to see a little more of our favorite actor or actress than we bargained for. Some of these steamy scenes have become more famous than the movies they were taken from, and the people hitting pause helped to make that the case. Many movie directors deliberately leave little images and visual clues, known as easter eggs, in movies as a little message to many of the people viewing. Almost like an ‘in-joke’ that you need to know the background information about, otherwise, it might just pass you by. Here are some of the moments in cinematic history that had many people wearing out their pause buttons.
Cabin in the Woods
Think back to the scene where they cut back to the headquarters, and we get to see the sweepstakes board. On this board is all of the possibilities that await the unlucky victims of the science experiment gone hideously wrong. Viewers stopped the scene time and time again to see what monsters they would have preferred to attack the protagonists instead of the monsters we did get. This board alone has led to many calls from fans of the horror movie to see further movies, and gruesome deaths, from the franchise.
Indiana Jones: Raider of the Lost Ark
Many people love to watch Indiana Jones in his action movie series, and Raiders of the Lost Ark was the first in a series of high-octane movies. While the stunts performed were incredible and the film was set at a frantic pace, there was a moment that had viewers looking twice and reaching for the pause button. Belloq has the misfortune of having a fly run across his mouth during the scene, but the actor carries on, and even appears to eat the insect. Yuck!
Marvel hid several easter eggs in their movies that foreshadow future events in their universe. In the original Thor movie, released in 2011, they included a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it shot of the Infinity Gauntlet. This gauntlet will be familiar to Marvel fans and is set to be the focus of attention in the upcoming Avengers movie later this year. It could be seen in the Asgardian weapons vault as the Ice Giants infiltrate and launch an attack.
In the 2006 crime drama, The Departed, each and every time a character is about to die the director foreshadowed this by hiding an X in the scene. They aren’t always obvious, and so some eagle-eyed viewers had to pause the movie several times to find the Xs that gave away an impending death. Director Martin Scorsese left the X marks hidden in scenes involving the main cast; the only character without an X in their scene was Mark, played by Mark Wahlberg, who survives the whole movie.
1982 sci-fi movie Tron is a film largely based on the world of video games. It is fitting, then, that the director, Steven Lisberger, threw in a subtle nod to one of the biggest and most recognizable gaming franchises in the world, Pac-Man. In a scene when one of the characters is looking at a map, there is a little Pac-Man who is all set to gobble up some of those precious Pac-Dots. Thankfully there wasn’t a giant Pac-Man running around gobbling people up, that would make a terrible movie.
The filmmakers of action movie Fast Five were really cramming hidden meanings into the Korean character Han’s name. You probably won’t have noticed it because it is only on the screen for a flash, but his name is a pun of Star Wars character Han Solo. Han’s full name in Fast Five is “Han Seoul-Oh.” Not only is this a tribute to the Star Wars character but it also is a nod to the actor’s Korean heritage, Seoul is the capital of South Korea.
Terminator 2: Judgment Day
The sci-fi sequel is considered to be one of those rare occasions in cinema where the second film is actually considered better than the first. There is a baffling scene in which the evil terminator, T-1000 grows an extra hand to help it fly a helicopter while continuing to use his firearm. The liquid metal machine just will not stop until it achieves its goal of eliminating John Connor. This innovative solution to its problem had many people double-taking and hitting pause to see if their eyes were lying to them.
Three Men and a Baby
In this 1987 comedy movie, viewers were leaving cinemas convinced they had seen a ghost. So much so it became a common thought that the set must have been haunted. With these wild rumors surfacing people would pause their VHS tapes at the right moment to spot the mysterious figure standing in a window. It eventually became clear that the figure was not a ghost, but just a cardboard cut out of one of the stars of the movie, Ted Danson. The rumors undoubtedly helped the rental figures though!
Star Wars: A New Hope
In sci-fi fantasy Star Wars: A New Hope there is an unforgettable scene for anyone who has seen it. It is one of the most well-known movie bloopers in cinema history. An exceptionally tall stormtrooper is walking through the halls of the Death Star and hilariously smashes their head on a beam. Many fans of the movie have paused that scene to get a good look at the hilarious calamity that made its way into the final cut.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Luke’s solo scene in Episode VII of the Star Wars franchise left many cinemagoers underwhelmed as they hoped his story would have been explained further. Without much to go on, fans of Luke Skywalker paused the scene on top of the rock numerous times to try and eek out any information from their perceived clues. Star Wars fans had been starved of information and were hoping there were some subtle nuggets in this scene, so they paused and pored over every frame in their numbers.
Dinosaur adventure Jurassic World was a return to cinemas for the movie franchise. It received mixed reviews from fans and critics, but there was one thing many people could agree on. There was some dude running around with a bunch of drinks, and he didn’t manage to spill a single drop. That man was legendary musician Jimmy Buffett. Viewers paused the scene to confirm they had seen a man not spilling his drinks before it dawned on people that it was the legendary singer.
The 2008 comic book hit, Iron Man had Marvel fans going crazy over a tiny hint of what is to come. Captain America’s shield is seen on one of Tony Stark’s workbenches, which was an easter egg in a Marvel movie before they had really established their cinematic universe. It had people freaking out as they had spotted a sign that Captain America could be making his way to movie theatres. As we know, Captain America would come to movie theaters, and he even featured alongside Mr. Stark a few times too.
Tyler Durden pops up a lot in this psychological thriller. He is a mainstay of the movie after we meet him, but he is also cropping up many times before we are aware who he is. Durden appears for split seconds as a hint that Edward Norton’s character, The Narrator, is channeling him. Anyone who watched the movie more than once is looking out for his subliminal images, as that is a favorite activity of his when he works in the movie theatre.
This psychological horror film that was released in 1960 and was directed by the legendary filmmaker, Alfred Hitchcock. Norman Bates is locked in custody, and the final image of the move has a superimposed skull appear over his face. This makes him appear even crazier and scared many audiences in an era when people were not used to such scary images. Fans of the movie were pausing the scene to make sure they would believe their eyes and were left with one final chilling moment from the film director.
The horror film was banned in many countries as it was seen as too controversial. It told the story of a priest and his attempts to help a possessed girl get rid of her demon inhabitant. While it terrified many audiences for the subject matter and what they were seeing in most frames, the directors decided to mess with audiences further. Several shots of a demon named Pazuzu were cut into the film, and VHS viewers tracked down the moments the fearsome demon appeared.
Memento is one of the best pieces of film Christopher Nolan has ever done. The psychological thriller depicts a story of memory loss and is told in incremental pieces of footage, that get longer and longer as the main character is regaining his memory. One scene that had people hitting pause was when the director switched actors in a mental institution for a split second. It had many people questioning whether what they had just witnessed had really just happened, so they figured they’d have another look.
The steamy movie Basic Instinct, 1992, was filled with incidents that would make your grandmother blush and no moment captured that feeling more so than when Sharon Stone uncrosses her legs. Stone’s character had the men interviewing her eating out of the palm of her hand, and this leg movement seemed to be her final attempt at seducing them. It appeared as though Stone wasn’t wearing any underwear and that led to many people smashing the pause button to have a closer look for themselves.
Many people fell in love with Gene Wilder’s portrayal of the quirky chocolate factory owner. Fewer people would have been impressed by a candyman who nearly breaks a little girl’s jaw. It is a scene that is meant to be filled with pure joy, there are a bunch of kids in a candy store, what could possibly go wrong? Well, this unfortunate kid gets hit in the face by the candy man’s counter. It is such a quick moment that you’ll need to make sure you hit pause to witness it.
The science fiction movie was surrounded by so much hype when it was released in 2002. It was a thrilling story that had people questioning whether aliens were real or not. Well, it did until they actually got a good look at the aliens in the movie… then they realized they looked a bit silly. The first time viewers got to witness one of the little green men is still one of the most paused movie moments because it comes as such a shock when the little figure walks across the screen.
Burn After Reading
Burn After Reading is a black comedy released in 2008. In one scene a gym employee portrayed by Brad Pitt is hiding in a cupboard when he is suddenly shot in the head by George Clooney’s character. The shot is so sudden and is done more as a reflex than with any kind of intent. The film moves quickly on and doesn’t show much after the event. This caused many viewers to hit the pause button and check out what just happened.