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DID YOU READ

The top 10 “Oh Shit!” moments in video games

Resident Evil 4

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By Adam Rosenberg

Video games may well be the greatest source of “oh shit!” moments in fiction. With movies and television and books you’re really just along for the ride, whereas games force you to actively engage with the world around you. As terrifying as it can be to watch as Victim #26 is confronted by a ghostly killer without warning in Horror Movie Sequel #347, the experience strikes on a much deeper level when you yourself are the agent of the unfolding action.

We’re taking some time today to look back at some of those classic “oh shit!” moments in gaming. Do these line up with your own favorites? Are there others that hit you even harder? This isn’t a definitive list, it’s a starting point. Share some of your own favorite “oh shit!” moments in the comments below, and don’t forget to watch IFC’s “Scared Shitless” back-to-back horror movies every Saturday in October at 8/7c!


Dead Island – A most unexpected trailer

The game itself is quite enjoyable, but the top “oh shit!” moment for Dead Island goes to its initial reveal trailer. Essentially a gameplay-free short film, the trailer serves up a brutal scene of a family as they are literally torn apart by a horde of zombies. What’s unique about it is the presentation, amounting to a pair of concurrently playing sequences that show the same event: one at normal speed in chronological order and one in reverse that plays in slow-motion, all with a very quiet, calming piano theme playing behind it. Seeing the pieces all fall together in the final seconds is deeply disturbing, and the finished product is one of the best trailers we’ve ever seen, in this or any other medium.


Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare – Getting shot in the face

Modern Warfare 2‘s infamous “No Russian” airport shooting might be more horrifying, but it was Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare that provided one of this biggest “oh shit!” gaming moments of this generation. An early level sees you, a captured and newly deposed leader, shuffled into a car in a nameless Middle Eastern nation. In the sequence that follows, you drive slowly through the war-torn streets until you reach a large, open outdoor space where one of the game’s chief antagonists is waiting. Following a brief speech, he pulls out his sidearm, takes aim at your face… and fires. It’s a trick that seems so common now, but that Call of Duty 4 level very effectively set our expectations moving in one direction only to bring them all to a crashing halt in no more than the time it takes to pull a trigger.


Halo: Combat Evolved – A flood of Flood

Over the years, Halo‘s “other” enemy — the zombie-like Flood — has transformed from dreadful terror into hated gameplay hook. The puffy, explosion-prone beings may be absent from the upcoming Halo 4‘s story, but their first introduction in Halo: Combat Evolved amounts to one of gaming’s most chilling moments. Master Chief was already lost and stranded on what appeared to be an unusual alien world, but he discovered real terror deep below its surface as the Flood make their series-first appearance in an overwhelming horde. Many look back on that moment now and scoff, but their collective “oh shit!” shouts echo back to us even now.


Dead Space – The whole damn thing

Dead Space effectively out-Resident Evil‘d Resident Evil. Visceral Games’ atmospheric sci-fi horror tale follows engineer Isaac Clarke as he explores a dead spaceship that’s been overrun by fearsome alien creatures known as Necromorphs. These twisted beings infect regular people, turning them into nightmare visions that hunt you every step of the way. There are so many moments in Dead Space that make the blood run cold — and in Dead Space 2, for that matter — that it’s easier to just point at the whole game and go “oh shit!”


Silent Hill – Welcome to horror

There’s a different “oh shit!” moment for nearly every flavor of Silent Hill fan, a series built around horrifying imagery and building tension through desperate situations. Really though, it all comes back to those first tentative steps that we all took through the titular town. No one really knew at that point what was to come. The fog. The desolation. The white noise. As open as that environment is, it always felt so alarmingly claustrophobic. It teased you too. The game didn’t start with OMG THERE ARE MONSTERS IN MY FACE. It keeps you dangling on the hook for awhile, for quite awhile, before the first hints of nastiness rear up and try to kill you.

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Final Countdown

The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at IFC.com

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Rev Up

Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Give Back

Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

It’s the final countdown to Christmas and thanks to IFC’s movie marathon all Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, you can revel in classic ’80s films AND find inspiration for your last-minute gifts. Here are our recommendations, if you need a head start:

Musical Instrument

Great analog entertainment substitute when you refuse to give your kid the Nintendo Switch they’ve been drooling over.

Breakfast In Bed

Any significant other or child would appreciate these Uncle Buck-approved flapjacks. Just make sure you’re not stuck on clean up duty.

Cocktail Supplies

You’ll need them to get through the holidays.

Dance Lessons

So you can learn to shake-shake-shake (unless you know ghosts willing to lend a hand).

Comfy Clothes

With all the holiday meals, there may be some…embigenning.



Get even more great inspiration all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC, and remember…