The 5 best jump scares from the Jurassic Park franchise

"Welcome to Jurassic Park!" – four famous words entrepreneur John Hammond probably regrets ever saying.

Little did the late Richard Attenborough's character know that his ambitious theme park would cause the deaths of many people over the long-running Jurassic Park movie franchise. Even now, we're asking the question: why do they still try to genetically engineer dinosaurs? It's gone wrong four times now and with this summer's Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, it is set to go wrong all over again.

The latest trailer implies the film will be thematically similar (at least to some extent) to Steven Spielberg's The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997), with the suggestion of a corporate conspiracy that results in dinosaurs wreaking havoc in society.

Director J.A. Bayona (The Orphanage) has promised the scariest movie in the series so far, and there seems to be plenty of the running from dinos, death and destruction that we all know and love. But will there be any jump scares? You know, those moments when popcorn is sent flying, bums leap from seats, and gasps are audible?

The blockbuster series may not be synonymous with such things, but you better believe that there are plenty across the four films...

5. Raptor ambush – Jurassic Park III (2001)

For all its flaws, Jurassic Park III does contain a few good moments, with a couple of decent jump scares to boot. Stranded on the dino-infested Isla Sorna after a plane crash, Alan Grant (Sam Neill) and his group are walking through an abandoned InGen cloning factory, looking through each cloning booth – the foreshadowing, people! Amanda Kirby (Téa Leoni) has a long look at what she believes to be an inanimate velociraptor. Then the eye moves. Shivers. A raptor attack ensues, everyone screams.

4. Ben's skeleton – Jurassic Park III (2001)

Following a close encounter with a Spinosaurus and a T-Rex, Grant and the others decide to return to the crash site of their aeroplane in order to salvage what they can. After walking for a short while, they discover the parasail flown by Ben (Mark Harelik) and Eric (Trevor Morgan), both of whom disappeared on the island. An emotional scene follows as they find a camcorder that seems to imply Eric is still alive. All seems fine, but then Ben's mangled corpse falls from the trees and onto Amanda. Scary stuff, especially for the younger viewer.

3. Raptor vs. gymnast – The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997)

Steven Spielberg's Jurassic Park sequel acted as our introduction to Isla Sorna, aka Site B, where our prehistoric ancestors have thrived on their own. But, as ever, it all goes horribly wrong and the human characters barely escape with their lives.

In a frantic attempt to outrun raptors from within the InGen Worker Village, Sarah Harding (Julianne Moore) and Kelly Curtis (Vanessa Lee Chester) are seen trying to dig their way out of a shed, with raptors behind them, slowly but surely making their way into the building. The back wall shakes, you tense up. Finally, after what feels like an age, the gap is large enough, at least for Kelly to sneak through.

Checking it is safe first Sarah sticks her head out. Sure enough, it's fine – time for Kelly to make a break for it. She sticks her head out, looks around, and then – all of a sudden – a raptor bursts through.

2. The Raptors are coming – Jurassic World (2015)

There's nothing quite like a sudden slap of a bloody hand on your car window to leave your pulse racing. This is exactly what happens to Jurassic World manager Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard) in director Colin Trevorrow's franchise-reviving 'fourquel'.

Rogue raptors are on the chase as Claire and family are attempting to make good their escape. Following an unexpected communication between the raptors and the rampaging Indominus Rex, the toothy dinosaurs have turned on their human trainers, and a helpful park ranger advises Claire to get away as fast as possible by slapping his blood-soaked hand on the window of her truck.

Jump one, check. Just twenty seconds later, a blood-thirsty raptor jumps through the very same window. Just as you thought your pulse had settled down, it shoots right back up. You'll never see that popcorn again.

1. Back in business – Jurassic Park (1993)

Of course we would choose this as the best jump scare in Jurassic Park history. In a particularly tense encounter towards the end of the film, Ellie Sattler (Laura Dern) offers to turn the park's power back on. This comes after the group decides to shut down the entire grid in order to completely reboot the system. The task was first handed to Ray Arnold (Samuel L. Jackson), who failed to return…

A 'buy one, get one free' of jump scares, you've got to hand it to Spielberg and company for masterfully ramping up the tension so tightly that anything could set you off.


Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is released on 7th June. Check out the trailer and share your favourite scariest Jurassic Park moments @Cineworld.


Toby Saunders is an Unlimited card holder who blogs for Cineworld as part of our news team.