Jump Scares in Dressed to Kill (1980)

Dressed to Kill (1980) screenshot
Dressed to Kill (1980) screenshot
Dressed to Kill (1980) screenshot
Dressed to Kill (1980) screenshot

See below for the exact times and descriptions of the 5 jump scares in Dressed to Kill, which has a jump scare rating of 2.0.

Jump Scare Rating: Even though the title tips its hat to traditional horror, Dressed to Kill is straight up Hitchcockian noir. The plot’s two-art act mirrors Psycho to perfection. Complete with shower scene! Filmed at a time when the horror genre was diverting from traditional slasher and zombie films, director Brian De Palma touched on a taboo theme (for the times) and charged it full of sexual electricity. The magnificent score from Pino Donaggio compliments Ralf D. Bode’s cinematography to a T. Dressed To Kill is a visual scare feast of 80’s cinematic suspense horror excellence.

Synopsis: When handsome, caring psychiatrist Dr. Robert Elliott finds his professional practice upended by a mysterious transsexual named Bobbi, carnally-minded wife Kate, and mouthy high-priced call girl Liz, the “therapy” becomes toxic, and the diagnosis and treatment come with grisly results.

Contributor: Kelly Gajer contributed all the information on this page (Sign up now to become a contributor too! Learn more)

Jump Scares: 5 (4 major, 1 minor)

Reviews: IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes

Rating: R

Director: Brian De Palma

Runtime: 104 minutes

Netflix (US): No

Tags: Body Horror, Revenge, Slasher

WARNING: The jump scare descriptions listed below may contain minor spoilers

Jump Scare Times

The jump scare timings listed below are based on a theatrical viewing and are approximate only.

00:04:00 – A man grabs Kate from behind in the shower while she fantasizes about her husband.

00:33:46 – As the elevator door opens Kate comes face to face with a blonde woman wielding a razor.

01:00:00 – Liz glances up to see a woman watching her with binoculars and quickly get into a taxi.

01:07:55 – Liz runs frantically through a moving subway car to avoid an angry gang. As she struggles to close a door connecting two trains, a shiny razorblade appears in the window next to her head. She is grabbed and attacked!

01:42:25 – Liz emerges from the shower horrified to see someone standing just outside the bathroom door. She slowly walks to the medicine cabinet for a straight razor. Closing the mirror, the murderer appears in the reflection behind her, the film jump cuts to empty shoes, and Liz screaming.

(Major jump scares in bold)

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