Zendaya's Challengers movie includes a surprise iPhone alarm jump scare, and everyone is saying the same thing

Challengers Movie
(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

There’s no sound that quite wakes up iPhone users like Apple’s alarm sound – and viewers of the hit Zendaya movie Challengers were reminded of this over the film's opening week.

As shared in an X thread, the opening track from the Challengers movie, also called “Challengers” has an iPhone alarm sound at 1:15 until the end of the song, which is only 1 minute and 25 seconds long. Composed by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, who have previously worked on The Social Network, Gone Girl, and Bird Box, it’s a trance club song with a focus on rhythm and texture.

The song isn’t designed with an easily singable melody, instead intended to be played at clubs and bars. This is what makes that iPhone alarm jump scare work so well. In the track, which you can listen to here, you can hear a grunting noise as the alarm hits, presumably to signal a character from the film waking up.

The audience’s reaction

The original post thread from X describes the alarm as “one of the most triggering things I’ve heard in my entire life.” Another user says: “I’m so comforted to know that others agree because my heart rate went up and I had to take a deep breath.” It seems everyone’s reaction to the iPhone jump scare in the soundtrack is the same — a mixture of horror and surprise.

It’s worth noting that the reason for part of this fear is the fact that many who will have listened to this soundtrack have not yet seen the movie. With Trent Reznor, the frontman of influential rock outfit Nine Inch Nails, involved, many fans of the band will listen to that soundtrack purely to get more music from him. Despite the fact that this iPhone jump scare is from the movie, it has also been kept on the soundtrack. However, as the original post points out, you can listen to the remix of the “Challengers” song, which is a few minutes longer and doesn’t include that dreaded jump scare.

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James Bentley

James is a staff writer and general Jack of all trades at iMore. With news, features, reviews, and guides under his belt, he has always liked Apple for its unique branding and distinctive style. Originally buying a Macbook for music and video production, he has since gone on to join the Apple ecosystem with as many devices as he can fit on his person. 

With a degree in Law and Media and being a little too young to move onto the next step of his law career, James started writing from his bedroom about games, movies, tech, and anything else he could think of. Within months, this turned into a fully-fledged career as a freelance journalist. Before joining iMore, he was a staff writer at Gfinity and saw himself published at sites like TechRadar, NME, and Eurogamer. 

As his extensive portfolio implies, James was predominantly a games journalist before joining iMore and brings with him a unique perspective on Apple itself. When not working, he is trying to catch up with the movies and albums of the year, as well as finally finishing the Yakuza series. If you like Midwest emo music or pretentious indie games that will make you cry, he’ll talk your ear off.