The 7 Most Gnarly And Metal Moments Of Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness

Warning: This article contains major spoilers for "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness"

The Marvel Cinematic Universe has always appealed to audiences of all ages, which is a reason why all tension is quickly cut with jokes. This has changed somewhat over the years, especially with the Disney+ shows increasing the amount of violence we see on screen like in "Hawkeye," along with "Moon Knight" becoming the most brutal MCU project.

But give it to Sam Raimi to bring horror back to the MCU with "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness." This is a movie that feels like his triumphant return to superhero movies, and at times a family-friendly continuation of his horror work.

We're going to break down the most gnarly and metal moments in "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness." It bears repeating, in case the headline or the warning at the top of the article wasn't enough, we're going full spoilers for "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness" starting now.

Gouging out Gargantos' giant eye

Near the beginning of the film, Gargantos invades Earth-616 on the day of Christine's wedding. It's a great little action scene that immediately displays Raimi's different approach to superheroes. For one, the magic consists of much more than just a magic whip, as he instead conjures weird multidimensional creatures to help attack Gargantos, and Wong uses magical swords to slash away its tentacles.

Then as Gargantos starts closing in on America Chavez, along comes Strange with the kill, magically throwing a light post right into the creatures' eye and yanking it out, spilling all sorts of guts and viscera. It's a moment that goes from heroic, to super gross, and hilarious in seconds, like Raimi's best horror-comedy moments.

Wanda going full horror monster

No matter how Sam Raimi may try to avoid answering the question, there was no doubt in "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness" that Wanda is a more powerful sorcerer than Stephen Strange. The "WandaVision" protagonist and terror of Westview moves to new grounds and now terrorizes everywhere from Kamar-Taj to Earth-838, becoming a truly terrifying monster where Raimi pushes the film's PG-13 rating to its limit.

While at Kamar-Taj, Wanda is briefly trapped in a mirror dimension, from where she escapes by turning into a stop-motion puppet straight out of "Evil Dead," with grotesque movements, a look that screams "I've been buried for 25 years," and a knack for jumping out at the screen like she was Sadako from "The Ring" or the Lamia from "Drag Me to Hell."

The Illuminati, we hardly knew ye

Despite trying to hide it in the trailers (poorly), the new "Doctor Strange" was always building up to the moment it introduced The Illuminati, a group consisting of the smartest and most powerful people from all corners of the Marvel universe. This meant the return of Hayley Atwell as Peggy Carter, Anson Mount as Black Bolt, and Patrick Stewart as the absolute best version of Professor Xavier, the one from the '97 cartoon. But also our first look at the perfect casting of John Krasinski as Reed Richards himself.

And yet, they are absolutely pointless to the movie, because Wanda goes through them like a knife through butter or Vader through Rebels in "Rogue One." She seals Black Bolt's mouth shut, forcing him to blow his head off trying to speak; she uses Captain Carter's shield to cut her in half; turns Mister Fantastic into linguini; and even breaks Xavier's neck with ease.

Raimi doesn't try to play any of these for laughs like "Deadpool 2" with the X-Force, or intercut the kills with one-liners. This is the MCU doing James Gunn's "The Suicide Squad," and it is a shockingly macabre sequence that feels like Raimi unleashed.

All the jump scares

Indeed, the film is surprisingly heavy on horror, at least compared to the rest of the MCU. We may never know what Scott Derrickson's version of this film would have looked like, but Raimi still brings his horror sensibilities to make a really great gateway horror movie for all ages.

From Wanda pulling a Sadako from "The Ring" to scare the hell out of a pre-neck-snap Xavier, to shots of Earth-838 Wanda being possessed by Scarlet Witch Wanda like a demon from "Evil Dead," to her jumping in front of a tunnel door and scaring Strange. But also the evil guards at Wundagore Mountain that jump out at Wong, the quick cuts in editing timed to people screaming, and even a fantastic fakeout with Christine and America Chavez thinking Wanda is coming after them, but it turns out to be Dr. Stephen Strange at your service.

Raimi pulls a perfect balance of silliness and horror thanks to his trademark camera work and editing style. There are quick zooms and extreme close-ups of people's eyes, whip cuts that turn a simple fight scene into the horrors of the hospital sequence in "Spider-Man 2," and even superimposing of images during exposition dumps.

Zombie Doctor Strange is the stuff of nightmares and laughs

Stephen's last-ditch effort to stop Wanda involves breaking the laws of nature by using the Darkhold and possessing the dead body of an alternate version of himself like a puppet.

The scene is both horrific and outright funny, in no small part due to the fantastic practical makeup effects that are the perfect mix of cheap-looking zombie makeup, and gnarly details. Zombie Stephen has half of his jaw missing, most of his teeth showing, a decaying skin tone, yet also a rubbery look that somehow works as one of the coolest practical effects moments in the MCU. Best yet, he bursts out of the ground, rotting arm first, like a scene out of "Evil Dead."

A new Cloak of Levitation

As if a zombie Doctor Strange wasn't gnarly enough, Raimi one-ups himself not 10 minutes later and gives us an incredibly metal scene: Strange tying up the Souls of the Damned, a bunch of little gremlin demons, and making a new Cloak of Levitation with their bodies.

It's a giant shadow cape that helps zombie strange fly up to Wundagore like he was Chernabog in "Fantasia," a moment of dark triumph that shows the power of Stephen Strange, the silliness of magic in the MCU, and Sam Raimi's power to make even the most bizarre comic-book concepts look earnest and rad as hell.

A musical fight

Speaking of silliness and Disney's "Fantasia," there is a sequence that works as a better live-action "Sorcerer's Apprentice" than Disney's own live-action "Sorcerer's Apprentice." As Strange faces an evil version of himself from another universe, the two engage in a magic battle.

Thankfully, this is no "Harry Potter" and its clashing rays of color, because Raimi understands that the infinite world of possibilities allowed by magic means there should be all sorts of spells and magic tricks. So the two Stranges make the musical notes in a sheet come to life and throw them at each other like knives, emitting sound right as they hit — as if Stephen was Mickey in "Sorcerer's Apprentice."

"Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness" is now playing in theaters.