Hungry Pigs and Horse Heads: 9 scary gangster movie scenes

1 of 6

— Courtesy of Warner Bros.

Gangster movies can be brutal, creepy and gory. Here are nine chilling scenes of gruesome gangster genre horror!

In general, gangster movies get more mainstream respect than horror flicks. In fact, most horror fans like the occasional gangster movie, as there’s some definite genre crossover. Many (if not most) gangster movies showcase cold brutality, crazy thrills and downright creepy moments, and sometimes make people think. Well, the same thing can be said of plenty of horror movies! Sure, Goodfellas lacks human-animal hybrid zombies (à la Zombeavers) or a slow-moving, hulking boogeyman, but it does have scares.

Anyway, let’s get to the scenes!

1) Goodfellas – Dress Scene

More from Lists

Goodfellas is a little bit of everything. It’s drama, it’s comedy, and it’s about crime and horrific violence. Still, one of the scariest scenes in Goodfellas is actually pretty subtle. Jimmy (Robert DeNiro), one of the film’s main gangsters, has been arranging hits of people he doesn’t trust. So, when Karen Hill (Lorraine Bracco) — the wife of cocaine dealer Henry Hill (Ray Liotta) — meets with Jimmy, she doesn’t know quite what to expect. Things seem normal at first. However, he asks her what kind of questions they (the authorities) have been asking Henry. He also instructs her that Henry has to call him, then gives her a few thousand dollars.

However, things take an odd turn when he tells her to collect some nice dresses in a storefront around the corner. At first she thinks little of it, and walks to where he directs her. However, we can sense her character’s paranoia as her steps slow down, and she senses something weird. Why is Jimmy watching her? Why does he seem kind of nervous, looking behind his shoulder at one point, as if looking for witnesses? Then, when she reaches the storefront and spots some men inside, she has a complete change of heart — especially when one of them goes, “Shhh,” as they spot her. She backs away and Jimmy says, “No, no no no, it’s in there! Right in there!” She tells Jimmy she’s busy and she’ll pick the dresses up later, gets in her car and speeds away.

Again, it’s a very subtle moment, but pretty terrifying in the film’s context. While Goodfellas isn’t considered a horror movie, this scene definitely is a nod in the direction of a suspense/thriller.