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Most terrifying movie plane crashes

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Well, let's be honest, any form of plane crash is going to be scary. Like any other sane human being, we've spent a good portion of our time pondering the possibility of a rapid descent to the ground.

Watching this unfold on screen has helped to inform and expand this fear and we're blaming the following ten films.

Hollywood, you'll burn for this.

(Images: All Star)

Final Destination

Year: 2000

Although the sequels might have upped the shocks and the gore, nothing in the Final Destination franchise ever matched this terrifying opener. We experience every horrible stage of being involved in a plane crash through the eyes of Alex, played by Devon Sawa, and it's this first person intimacy which makes it so effective. Although given what plagues the survivors, we'd probably have stayed on the plane...



Year: 2012

Taking a different tack here, we go through the ordeal of a plane crash through the eyes of the pilot and just to add to the tension, he's under the influence of both alcohol and drugs. While the crash itself is scary enough, it's the fact that we never really know who might be in charge of the plane, and our lives, that really terrifies.



Year: 1993

Eschewing shock and thrills for something rather beautiful, this crash shows Max, played by Jeff Bridges, come to terms with his impending death which allows him to calm a young boy next to him. We need to learn to do this.



Year: 1993

One of the main reasons why we feel stone cold terror when boarding a smaller plane, this classic sequence moves from unsettling turbulence to full-on "where the hell is the back of the plane?" terror with alarming speed. For anyone who's seen the rest of the film, the awareness of what's to come makes it all even worse to watch.


The Grey

Year: 2012

One of the most underrated films of recent years, this brutally effective Liam Neeson thriller focused on a bunch of blue collar workers who find themselves up against the Alaskan wilderness. But before they've had a chance to wrestle any wolves, they endure a sudden, shocking plane crash that, thanks to Neeson, gave us a future tactic for surviving a crash. Note: must sit next to an empty seat.


Con Air

Year: 1997

Like the rest of the film, this climactic plane crash is played so far over the top that it's hard to see where the top has even gone. Bombastic guitar music soundtracks one of the more spectacular landings on the list as the criminal-filled plane heads straight for Vegas. Best appreciated with more alcohol than you're currently drinking right now.



Year: 2009

Getting full marks for surprise, this shock moment from the slightly bonkers Nicolas Cage thriller has our slightly bonkers hero working out that something terrible is about to happen in his exact location. Given the subject matter of this list, you can probably guess what's about to happen...


Fight Club

Year: 1999

Made for $63 million yet only making $37 million in the US, Fight Club was considered a bit of a flop. It's scenes like the above that help to explain its rather large budget, given the subject matter. A brief sequence shows a fantastically realised plane crash existing purely in our narrator's mind. Well worth the dollars, if you ask us.


Cast Away

Year: 2000

While we typically remember Robert Zemickis's Oscar-nominated drama for an island-dwelling Tom Hanks and his surprisingly moving friendship with a volleyball, it's worth remembering how he got there in the first place. In this viscerally effective scene, we see Hanks and the plane plummet into the ocean and his struggle to survive. Five seconds is how long we'd have lasted.


The Aviator

Year: 2004

A plane crash directed by Martin Scorsese was always going to be a thing of greatness and this frantic sequence from his Howard Hughes biopic didn't disappoint. Tearing through Beverly Hills, DiCaprio's take on the eccentric director, finds his XF-11 on a rapid descent.


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