In movies, nosebleeds are major events. It suggests that you have psychic powers or a serious disease. Maybe you've overused your telekinetic powers; maybe there's a storm coming or your god parents are trying to send you a message from heaven.
In real life, a bloody nose is a sign that you've been picking your nose too much. It's less about god-like powers and omens of doom and is more suggestive that you have a hangnail and have scraped your septum. But we can let Hollywood do its thing, as it creates some memorable moments, including all of the following scenes of nosebleeds in movies:
Based on a Stephen King story of the same name, Firestarter is a 1984 sci-fi horror film that features a young Drew Barrymore as a girl with the power of pyrokinesis, which means she can control fire with her mind. It also introduces us to a character who can control others with his mind, and this is when the nosebleeds occur.
Stephen King is one of the greatest horror writers ever. There's no denying that, and Firestarter is a fantastic novel. The same can't be said for the film and it's far from a classic, but it's still worth a watch, especially if you're looking for some classic Hollywood nosebleeds.
Stranger Things is a horror TV series with fantasy and sci-fi elements. It also has a Stephen King vibe to it, but the great author had nothing to do with the show. It introduces us to the brilliantly talented Millie Bobby Brown, a young Spanish-born British actress. Millie plays Eleven, a girl with telekinetic powers who gets nosebleeds when she uses those powers.
It's a classic 1980s vibe—use powers, control things with your mind, have a nosebleed, faint. But we're willing to give it a pass as it takes inspiration from those iconic 1980s films and from the horror directors that made it such an influential era.
The Ring was a pretty solid film. It followed a very intriguing premise whereby everyone who watches a certain VHS tape dies.
Admittedly, the synopsis makes it sound a lot better than we just did.
The 2002 Hollywood release, starring Naomi Watts, is based on a Japanese original and while some horror purists rejected it outright, it was far from a bad film and still holds a 7.1 rating on IMDB.
The nosebleed scene comes fairly early on in the film, when the protagonist sees a flying object on a video tape, realizes it's a fly, and then watches, in amazement, as the fly comes to life. She plucks it off the screen and then someone appears from around the corner to point out their bleeding nose. There are no psychic powers here, but the suggestion is that bridging the gap between the real world and the world behind the screen is what caused the issue.
How? We're not sure. Films are weird. Just be thankful that unexplained epistaxis is as weird as they get and a creepy black-haired girl isn't going to crawl out of the TV and kill you.
Dario Argento’s Suspira is filled with color, most notably red. It's visually striking, and so it's no surprise that we see a nosebleed in the film, even if it's relatively inconsequential.
Unfortunately, the remake, directed by Luca Guadagnino, is a little more washed-out and those red hues are noticeably absent, but it's still a stunning movie overseen by a supremely talented Italian director.
Drag Me to Hell
The nosebleed in Drag Me To Hell has to be included for its sheer volume, if nothing else. It occurs early on in the film when the protagonist, Christine Brown, spews a torrent of blood over her boss, raining crimson all over him.
Sam Raimi, the director of the Evil Dead franchise, was also the visionary behind Drag Me To Hell, which should come as no surprise when you witness this epic scene.
Bloody Nose, Empty Pockets
There are no Hollywood-style nosebleeds in Bloody Nose, Empty Pockets. The 2020 film was directed by Bill Ross IV and Turner Ross and premiered at the 2020 Sundance Festival. It went down well with the audience and currently maintains a very strong 7.2 rating on IMDB and a 93% score on the Rotten Tomatoes Tomato Meter.
We're including it because it makes a lot of appearances when you search for films with nosebleeds. It's also a very unusual and unique film. It's shot like a documentary but is also a drama. It's not real, but it has elements that are real and they make it seem more authentic. It has been said that they used real alcoholic drinks, for instance, which means the "actors" are drunk for a lot of the filming.
There is also only one professional actor, as the others were recruited following bar crawls. The film follows the final days of a Las Vegas watering hole called "The Roaring 20s" and is a great exploration of community and companionship.