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Bob is facing the camera. Unknown to him, an enemy is rising up behind him. It may be a giant monster whose head is rising up to his level, an enemy in an aircraft, or a much smaller enemy rising up right behind Bob. The important details are that Bob has no idea of the danger coming, and that the shot is continuously from in front of Bob until he has some inkling of the danger. May result in a Right Behind Me and/or Oh Crap. If Bob isn't a main character, he may be killed and never know what killed him. If the enemy is in a vehicle, there's a good chance it's a Surprise Vehicle. Can be subverted by an Offhand Backhand.

Examples of Enemy Rising Behind include:


  • True Lies - Harry in the Harrier rising up behind the main villain.
  • Umpteen giant monster movies, someone fishing on a pier and the monster rising up out of the water on the other side of the pier. Or the crew of a fishing boat or small freighter may be looking off one side and the giant monster comes up on the other side.
  • Men in Black, when Elle blasts Edgar before he can attack Agents Jay and Kay.
  • The Kraken in Pirates of the Caribbean does this.
  • Gollum ambushing Sam in Mt Doom in Return Of The King
  • In Star Trek II the Wrath of Khan the Enterprise does this to the USS Reliant, Khan's commandeered ship.
  • In V for Vendetta, inside the broadcasters' studio when the whole place is filled with smoke. The cops think they've got V on the ground... but it's the wrong guy, and as the horror of it dawns on them, we see V rise up behind them.
  • Batman (1989) The Joker's goons shoot Batman while he's on the ground, then turn away. He rises up from the ground behind them, then proceeds to beat them up.
  • This is how we get our first look at The Terminator's real body.
  • The Silence of the Lambs. Hannibal Lecter is lying on a gurney in an ambulance with the face of a murdered police officer covering his own face. He sits up behind a paramedic, pulls off the false face and... We don't see what happens next, but we learn that he killed everyone in the ambulance.
  • One of the more iconic examples comes from the original Halloween, where a presumed dead Michael Myers slowly rises up behind an exhausted Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis).
  • Featured on a memorable scene in Hell Night (1981) where the final couple are talking to each other and are oblivious to the killer (who was hiding under a mat, which was on top of a trap door) rising behind them.
  • Constantine. After Angela falls into the pool, the man possessed by the Spear of Destiny rises up behind her.
  • Fluffy in the first Harry Potter movie. The gang don't notice until he starts drooling on them.
  • The giant maggot in Galaxy of Terror does this to a female crewmember, it...well, some people call it "Rapeworm". That should explain what happens next.
  • Resident Evil. When Spence is holding the other survivors at gunpoint, a zombie rises up out of the water behind him and bites him on the neck.
  • Superman. When Superman is standing on the deck of the small ship waiting for the crooks inside to give up, another crook rises up out of a hatch behind him and hits him over the head with a crowbar. The crook is stunned by the impact.

 Superman: Bad vibrations?

  • Aliens: The abduction of Newt.
  • Life of Brian: Brian is writing (poorly composed) graffiti on a wall. The audience can see the approaching silhouette of a centurion-complete with ominous music and Scare Chord when the centurion claps his hand on Brian's shoulder.
  • League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. After Dorian Gray removes his sword from Mina Harker's body and prepares to leave, she rises up behind him, stabs him and pins him to a wall. Vampires like Mina are only incapacitated by being staked, not killed.
  • Directionally-inverted example: Godzilla: Final Wars. Godzilla has just destroyed the rogue "planet" Gorath with his breath, and as he stands recovering from the effort, the camera cuts to a close-up of his face and a shadowy figure slowly lowering itself into the frame behind him. Godzilla slowly raises his head, turns around, and faces his most powerful opponent, Monster X.
  • Happens in Dead Space Downfall.
  • Exactly what makes Nosferatu so terrifying.
  • Fright Night. Dandridge's minion Billy Cole is shot in the head by Peter Vincent and falls down the stairs. A few moments later, while Peter Vincent and Charlie are facing the other way, Cole gets up and starts walking up the stairs toward them,
  • Judge Dredd. Rico escapes from Aspen Penal Colony in a body bag. When the body bags arrive back in Megacity One, a technician is left alone checking them out. Rico's body bag rises up behind the technician and Rico shoots him through the bag.
  • Rambo. Rambo does one in style, beheading a Burmese soldier with a machete.


  • Sten: the protagonist and his Lancer are retrieving a poor bastard from a prison hell-world. They are offshore on a small boat when a sea monster pulls this move on them. Cue screaming and thrashing and Sten doing cool stuff with his Absurdly Sharp Blade.

Video Games

  • Prototype: Alex rising up behind a Blackwatch trooper who thought one bullet to the head was enough to kill him.
    • And then Alex does it again at the end of the game, to General Randall. This time, though, he's disguised as Colonel Taggart.
  • Resident Evil 4 has two examples. The first example is Mendes popping up just behind Leon and grabbing him by the neck. Played with when Jack Krauser rises up behind Leon Kennedy, disappears when Leon senses something and turns around, and Krauser attacks Leon from above.
  • Ace Attorney: Investigations features this. In the third case, when Miles Edgeworth drops off the ransom money in an amusement park's Haunted House dining room and steps into the hall, a slumped, seemingly-lifeless costume stands up and begins creeping up behind him. Add supremely creepy music to the montage, and it's a part of the game that you would not want to play while alone at night.
  • The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess has a cutscene like this. A ball and chain statue comes to life and attacks Link from behind while the camera is in front of him.
  • Another World has an example from the first moments in which you take control. If you leave the protagonist standing in front of the deep pool he was teleported into (and swam out of to avoid multiple tentacles belonging to an off-screen monster), you'll notice something appearing behind him. If you do not move despite this, the tentacle will grab him and drag him to a watery death.
  • Much like the one in Pirates of the Caribbean, the Kraken in God of War II does this to Kratos while he screams at Zeus.

Web Comics

Web Original

  • In Suburban Knights, Jaffers does this when he attacks the reviewers after they recover the gauntlet.

Western Animation

  • Subverted and played for laughs as Book Ends in Monsters, Inc. At the start of the movie, a monster rises up behind a kid's bed. His screams startle the monster. At the end, Mike rises up behind a kid's bed, then goes into a stand-up comedy routine.