Hi! I was wondering if you guys have your favorite scenes, in which sound effect or effects that somehow affect your body, for example, making your heart to go crazy, or impacting your emotional state, making you cry/laugh/sad/blissful etc?

7 Answers 7


i think i know what you mean, like give you almost a physical reaction...

the famous "bite the curb...' scene in american history x... just that sound of the teeth on the concrete is what scares me the most and makes me want to turn away...

i also remember in 127 hours when he has to place the knife to the nerve endings in his arm and there is an almost feedback kinda sound, worked on me... i couldnt watch and that pain lasted with me for the next few days... im a wimp

  • 1
    I second the nerve one, that got me down my spine. Oct 20, 2012 at 0:48

I'm not quite sure I understand what you mean when you say the sound effects "impact" the physiological aspects — do you mean the characters' physiology or mine?

The Hurt Locker is one of my more recent favorites that emphasizes the body. The use of breath sounds to create an intimate perspective made me very nervous during the bomb diffusion scenes, as well as the sniper scene. I find that in scenes involving mortal danger, it's what we don't hear that creates the most suspense.


  • Yes, I meant yours as the audience. Sorry for being inaccurate.
    – agama23
    Oct 16, 2012 at 23:14

In Blade Runner, the scene where Batty kills Tyrell ... all happens off screen, but the sound made me squirm... still does!

Oh and pretty much ALL of the original 1963 The Haunting. Most of the scares are sound based, and they STILL make me tense.


No Country For Old Men, when Josh Brolin is sitting on the bed in the hotel. The design in that is so "minimal" but talk about putting a viewer in the scene. It made me feel so nervous and filled me with anxiety I was literally on the edge of my seat as if I was in the hotel room.


I recently saw the film Killing Them Softly. Though the film didn't do great commercially, there are a few nicely done sound design-y moments. Eg. the scene where 2 people are beating the Ray Liotta character. Here are a few things the sound editor has said about how they did the sound for that scene. And it is really effective. The punches sound brutal and it has an affect on the viewer too. I found it very disturbing.


I think you are asking a very difficult question. I mean, as it is written it makes sense, but as someone who has studied sound and become very analytical, its very difficult to address it as a simple objective viewer.

As a viewer, trying to switch off from being subjective, I think some of the best sounds that make me happy, or have evoked a viewer "hell yeah" moment, has to be the simple sound cue of a gun being cocked. For instance, the "payback time" mini-gun cocking from Predator, or the "I like to keep this handy (SFX)... for close encounters" from Aliens.

I think its the sounds that create a narrative statement that resound the most with me.


The one I always find most striking is the rising heartbeat sound effect that is used in the original Alien film. (It is worth a watching if you have not seen it and although fairly old now it still stands up very well.) Anyway the heartbeat can be heard before all the Alien attacks and as the attack get closer the speed and level of the heartbeat increase. Most people watching the film will not even notice the sound effect, it is so subtle, but it creates clear a physiological effect in the audience where their own heart rate rises in unison with the sound effect.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.