Time travel always sounds like an exciting concept as we imagine the events, past and present, that we would like to visit and be part of. However, time travel also has the potential to be terrifying. Whether it’s a monster that won’t stay in its own time period, the perils of being stuck in a time loop, or dealing with the ramifications of changing the past, horror movies are here to show us that time travel is scary!
So to celebrate daylight savings time, and the magical time-traveling wonder of suddenly jumping forward in time an hour, let’s explore some of the spookiest time travel moments from horror films and TV!
10. Wind Chill (2007)
When Girl and Guy end up sharing a ride together to get home for the Christmas break, they soon find themselves in a perilous situation when their car is buried in a snowdrift. The pair are approached by a Highway Patrol cop, who is a little bit over-confrontational and disappears as soon as he arrives.
The pair soon find out that the Highway Patrol cop liked to kill people on their stretch of road, but accidentally killed himself in 1953 while running a young couple off the road. The ghost of the Highway Patrol cop is stuck in a sort of time loop, forever haunting this stretch of road, only appearing near Christmas, and adding to his body count from beyond the grave.
9. Synchronic (2019)
In a world where designer drugs are rife, a new drug called Synchronic hitting the market doesn’t seem like too big a deal. However, when Dennis’s daughter goes missing after taking the drug, his best friend and co-worker, Steve, decides to buy up as much of the remaining supply as possible to remove the risk to others.
Steve soon dabbles in the drug himself and discovers that it throws you into a random point of time, depending on where you take it. While this places Steve in some scary situations, he’s determined to use the last of his dwindling stash to try and find out what happened to Dennis’s daughter before it’s too late to save her.
8. Donnie Darko (2001)
Donnie Darko finds himself sleepwalking, which is handy when the jet of a plane falls through his house, crushing his bed where he had been only hours before. Followed by a spooky-looking bunny called Frank, Donnie tries to wrestle with his strange new view of the world, and the possibility that he now exists in the Tangent Universe.
Donnie soon realizes that his powers are needed to set the world to right, and ultimately sacrifice himself to save those he loves. Donnie pulls the jet engine through from the Tangent Universe into the Primary Universe, sending it back in time, along with himself, meaning he’s now in bed when the jet engine crashes through the roof. His death changes the timeline greatly, though those that experienced the Tangent Universe with him seem to hold memories of what happened to them there.
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7. Doctor Who (2005)
Doctor Who is all about time travel, but there’s one particular villain that uses time travel as a weapon, with devastating consequences. The Weeping Angels are beings that can only move when you’re not looking at them, meaning a glance in the other direction or even a blink can lead to an angel sneaking up on you.
Rather than killing you, the Weeping Angels get close enough so they can touch you, and then send you back to a random point in time, living off the time energy of your life. While being thrown through time is preferable to being killed, victims of the angels have to live without their friends, family, or anything they hold dear, in a random time period, with only the belongings they have on them for company.
6. The Butterfly Effect (2004)
Evan experiences blackouts and memory lapses as a child, resulting in him blocking out some very traumatic things which happened to him as he grew up. After seven years without a blackout, Evan discovers that by reading his old journals, he can travel back to the point in time he’s reading about, and even change the events of the past.
Evan soon discovers that traveling back into his past is what caused the blackouts in the first place, as the older version of Evan takes over his younger body. He also quickly realizes the consequences that changing the past can have on the future, the lives of those around him, and his brain’s capacity to form new memories.
5. The Terminator (1984)
Perhaps not considering a horror movie, but it should be because The Terminator is straight-up terrifying. It tells the tale of Sarah Connor, on the run from a cyborg assassin who has killed every Sarah Connor in the area and is determined to finish his task.
It turns out the Terminator has been sent from the future to kill Sarah to prevent her from having her son John, who leads the resistance against Skynet and their scary robots in the future. Sarah has to fight for her life against this time-traveling killer in some of the tensest chase scenes I have ever watched.
4. Blair Witch (2016)
Blair Witch opens with a terrifying chase through a dark and dilapidated house, which we soon find out is a tape found in the woods the Blair Witch is said to haunt. The tape is uploaded to YouTube, and James, the brother of Heather from The Blair Witch Project (1999) heads into the woods with a group of friends to find some answers about his missing sister.
As the movie reaches its climax, and the remaining group members come across Rustin Parr’s house in the middle of the woods, the audience realizes that the action they’re seeing is the same footage from the start of the movie. Whatever haunts those woods in Maryland uses footage of the group running for their lives to lure them into the woods in the first place, which is equal parts terrifying and confusing.
3. The Haunting of Hill House (2018)
There are a lot of ghosts in Hill House, but few are as terrifying to young Nell as the Bent-Neck Lady. Nell has been haunted by the ghost of the Bent-Neck Lady since childhood, frequently waking to find the ghost hanging over her bed as she tries to sleep. The Bent-Neck Lady follows Nell into adulthood and is the cause of Nell’s sleep paralysis.
However, when Nell returns to Hill House and is tricked into hanging herself on the iconic staircase, her life literally flashes before her eyes, and she finds out that it’s her own hanging corpse that’s been haunting her for her entire life.
2. Triangle (2009)
A day trip on a boat with some friends quickly turns into a nightmare when Jess and her boatmates come across an abandoned ocean liner after their own boat capsizes. Once onboard, things start to get spooky, and a sack-wearing killer starts picking off the group one by one.
Jess is the only one to survive, and she soon sees another group of her friends, including her, show up. Soon the ocean liner is overrun with different timelines of the group, with only Jess aware of what is going on, as she tries to stop the killer and make it back to dry land.
1. Happy Death Day (2017)
The only thing more horrifying than the thought of getting murdered in a horror movie is the thought of getting murdered over and over again. And that’s exactly what Tree has to face when she finds herself stuck in a time loop on her birthday. With a killer after her, Tree is determined to figure out what is going on, which leads to her getting killed quite a lot.
While Tree wakes up in bed relatively fine the next morning, the effects of all the murder’s injuries soon start to take their toll on her, meaning she can’t survive in the time loop forever, and really needs to get a move on to figure out who is after her.
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