Top 10 Most Horrific Deaths in Horror Movies

You’ve carved your pumpkins, put up some decorations and gotten some friends round. You now begin a night of terror and blood! Maybe you even dressed up a little. Because this isn’t a night to be ourselves. It’s a night to think about the things we don’t often like to think about. The dark things that lurk in the shadows. The crueler things that lie in nature that mean us harm and don’t obey the rules of our complicated little social rules. And when I say nature, I don’t just mean the trees outside that seem to move with sinister inpetous, or the beasts that squark and screech in the woods in the night. No I mean the nature in you. The part that makes you want things you know you shouldn’t. The part that cares only for itself and it’s own survival and pleasure. The deep dark woods to be found behind those delicate eyes. Tonight is a night to tap into that little dark place inside us all. What better way to indulge this (legally) than in movies? The characters on the silver screen can act out and experience things we never will. It is the ultimate escapism, and tonight we escape into horror. The scariest of these experiences is the one we shall all one day face. Death. Death is portrayed as sinister, malicious and inevitable. It is the end of all we shall ever know and who says it has to be pleasant? This is a time to be a little morbid. A time to experience the terror and pain of which we will never feel….hopefully. And so here, submitted for your approval, is a list of the most horrific deaths that ever befell hapless horror movie stars.

10. Keith Jennings -The omen

 The omen is a creepy insight into religious fears and more specifically the end of the world marked by the rise of the anti-Christ. Born of a jackal and adopted by American ambassador, the antichrist is given the name Damien Thorn and is raised as a perfectly normal child. However strange omens begin to manifest. The child can’t enter a church, he has a strange connection to a wild looking dog and on his fifth birthday, his nanny commits suicide in his name. Anyone who stand in his way is met by a series of unfortunate events which cause their demise. This culminates in the death of Peck’s sidekick, Keith Jennings (David Warner), who meets his end at the edge of a pain glass mirror. The scene has fantastic pacing and a beautiful payoff. The devil seems to have control over every circumstance and has infinite ways of killing you using only the mundane items around you. The threat could come from anywhere and plays into the human habit of perceiving a sinister presence behind the little coincidences in life.

09. Paola Menard –Zombi 2 (Zombie Flesh eaters/Zombie)

Italian director Lucio Fulci was one of the key directors in gore cinema. His movies make great use of physical affects (something you’ll see a lot of on this list) to convey the terrible deaths of his heroes. In this unofficial sequel to Dawn of the Dead, one of our female characters finds herself in her bedroom when suddenly she is attacked by a zombie, created by the local Voodoo rituals. The zombie proceeds to torture her before eating her. The scene works so well as it is so drawn out. It takes a long time for this woman’s eye to reach the splinter and she knows it’s coming. Eyes are very vulnerable, they are very sensitive and fragile parts of our bodies which we all feel a little squeamish about. The effect is truly gruesome and very realistic. Fulci seemed to have a thing for eyes, as we’ll see later.

08. Ryuji Takayama –Ringu

Ringu is a brilliant piece of atmospheric horror, best enjoyed in the dark, anonymity of a cinema. The film features a group of Japanese teenagers dying, apparently of fear. A journalist (Nanako Matsushima) then investigates the murders and discovers they all watched a videotape exactly one week before their deaths. After watching this videotape herself, the race is on to solve the mystery of the curse before the seven days are up. This scene involves her ex-husband Ryuji and is partly effective as we believe the mystery to be over. Sadako’s body is exhumed and everything seems to be back to normal. Then Reiko seems a little uneasy, and the date is revealed at the bottom of the screen in same sinister manner. Suddenly Ryu notices his television come on, revealing a familiar scene and we are forced to share with him what happens one week after you watch the tape. The scene plays upon a fear we didn’t know we had. Almost every bedroom in the country has a television in it, and it’s fair to expect that quite a few people who saw this movie slept with an eye on it afterwards. Making the mundane and common scary is a great way of entering the public consciousness. There is also subtexts of virus (played upon more in the original novels) and mistrust between partners. This film launched a wide interest in the west for J-horror, a fascination which dictated a great deal of cultural trends over the next ten years.

07. Frank- Hellraiser

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This film explores sexuality and more specifically sadomasochism. Essentially the film concerns the drawn out death of a man named Frank who was searching for the ultimate pleasure only to discover four malevolent demons known as Cenobytes who live only to experience and administer pain. After a few years of torture he is released and resumes an affair with his brothers wife, whom he enlists to help him recover his former self. Eventually the Cenobytes catch up with him and he experiences the ultimate sadomasochistic thrill; the destruction of his earthly form and a submission to eternal suffering. The film plays on suspicions and fears we all have that our sexual desires cause pain to ourselves and those around us. Frank is the ultimate manifestation of this, a selfish being who cares only for gratification. His death is the human tragedy. We are all essentially self-destructive.

06. Sarah –Inside/Anna –Martyrs 

It is impossible to pick between these two savage deaths, which share the common themes of isolation and despair in our final moments. Inside focuses on Sarah, a single mother living alone on Christmas eve. The film is essentially a house invasion movie with a slow build and then abrupt blood and gore for the rest of its run time. Deaths are brutal and sudden, all culminating in our beaten and bloodied hero having the last of her hope and family cut from her by a vicious psychopath. Martyrs deals with the survivor of a terrible torturing process put in place to manufacture martyrs in an attempt to discover if there is an afterlife. Anna is made the most recent patient of this treatment and is forced to suffer greatly, alone, for an unknown period of time before being flayed and left to bleed to death. She is taught to surrender hope and suffer more than anyone could imagine, to achieve martyrdom. Both films are French, and France is becoming a world leader in dealing with frightening and disturbing subject matters in it’s films.

05. City of the Living Dead (Gates of hell)

Making his second appearance on the list, Lucio Fulci here presents his vision of hell, or at least the opening to it. In this scene a woman is physically tortured by the resurrected priest. Her eyes bleed and her intestines slide out of her mouth. People may well say this isn’t the best death in a fulci movie, or even in this Fulci movie (a certain drill comes to mind), but I always found it the most disturbing. We’ve all been sick in our lives. We know what it’s like to feel vomit moving out of our mouths. Imagine the horror of vomiting our your guts, tasting them in your mouth, feeling the texture of them sliding past your lips, and the sheer pain of the experience. It’s a shocking image and a very nasty way to go.

04. Captain Rhodes –Day of the dead

Apologies for the clip. Someone has gone through youtube removing every clip of this guys death except for this one. Ignore the bollocks.

If ever a death was deserved, it’s this one. Rhodes represents the nadir of humanity, the pessimistic, selfish and sceptical element Romero feared would survive in this world. He spends the entire film sniping and others and their attempts to improve their situation. He cares only for their own men and their safety, and is very willing to sacrifice the scientific and intellectual aspects of the camp who defy his wishes and stand in the way of his ultimate control of the group. Here Rhodes meets his end. Some people may not have found Romero zombies that scary. Staggering around, easy to knock over, and pretty much useless. Well this clip should prove why you need to be afraid of Romero zombies, and just how much havoc they can inflict. The characterisation of Rhodes is also superb, his final words being “choke on ‘em!”

03. Kane –Alien

Alien is one of the most well regarded horror movies ever made. It plays beautifully on themes of isolation, fear of intimacy and fear of childbirth from both the perspective of both the mother who is forced to birth a large object from their bodies and the offspring who must face a cold and unfamiliar world outside the womb. The use of symbolism, subtext and deeper meaning give Alien a great deal of power. A lot of the emotional power of this film is focussed on a single iconic scene in which the alien births itself out through the chest of crew member, Kane (John Hurt). Kane is orally raped by the alien and a seed is placed in his oesophagus to hatch later. The scene is infamous for the behind the scenes gossip as well as the onscreen gore which ultimately taps into the fear everyone has of the natural process of birth.

02. Bob Mack -Se7en

People will say that the most memorable death in David Fincher’s superb horror movie se7en is Victor, the sloth victim, but are any of us going to know what it is like to lie in a bed for a whole year until our muscles waste away to nothing. It’s certainly a terrifying thought, but it doesn’t have the weight behind it of audience identification. However, we have all eaten too much. We’ve all felt full to the point of feeling sick. The idea of being forced to eat, and eat, and eat until we are kicked, which ruptures our stomach is a horrifying image and one that we can all begin to imagine. It is the first death in the movie and an effectively shocking way of opening the movie, which feeds off a morbid curiosity of how the next one will die.

01. Timothy Young/ Seth Baxter –Saw (3 and 5, respectively)

The saw movies are at the forefront, and are certainly the most successful, of the recent torture porn wave of horror movies. These movies force us to imagine being stuck in a situation in which the only way to escape a horrific death is to exert excruciating pain on ourselves. Humans are essentially animals, and animals must occasionally suffer or do painful things to ensure survival. Saw taps into this fear that the world is a harsh and painful place and does so with horrific gore (mostly practical effects) and wince enducing concepts. The most effective movie, in my opinion, is the third movie. Starting with a brutal scene of foot breaking the film survives on an interesting new villain in Amanda (Shawnee Smith) and a new take on the traps, in which the hero has the chance to forgive the victims and free them from their suffering. The worst trap is the final one. In this trap Timothy Young, the man who killed the protagonists wife in a hit and run, is nailed to a crucifix. However the crucifix is fitted with hinges and pneumatic wrenches which twist the man’s extremities until the bones snap. The sound and visuals work perfectly together to create this brutal death scene. Saw V (proving that only the odd numbered saw movies seem any good) opens with its most effective trap. Here we find a convicted murderer chained into an old Poe concept. In Poe’s story the pit and the pendulum a man finds himself caught between an ever lowering swinging blade and a  sheer drop to his side, and is forced to pick between the two. Clearly this inspired the sadistic makers of saw who chain Seth into this situation. The only hope of escaping the trap is to pulverise his hands. The effects of the pendulum slashing and hacking at the realistic stomach is very powerful and a very effective way of distinguishing a movie in a very long franchise.

That concludes my list of horrific horror movie deaths. I hope you’ve all enjoyed reading and have a happy Halloween!

P for Petrified!

The Truth about University

You may have just finished your A-levels and want to put off having to deal with the real world for another few years. Maybe you’ve been working a shitty monotonous job for the past twenty years and want to change track. Maybe you’re nineteen years old and just woke up in a bale of hay in holland with three other stoners and realise you need to catch the next tugboat back to blighty and try to do something to justify your existence to your parents who have been financing your drug filled, beer soaked gap year for the last three years. If so, welcome back to the internet. It has boobs you know!

So you look through some prospectuseseses and realise that only very attractive white people seem to go to university these days! All casually posing on a lawn, sometimes with their lecturer, all laughing, all the time, jokes that only work when said wearing a t-shirt and sporting a trendy t-shirt and sportier underwear and even sportier beliefs. You’ll see high tech equipment in a classical setting and delight in the contrast! “It’s like Iron man in the mont saint-michel!”, you’ll think, annoyingly. And finally you’ll see some diverse people wearing bright robes and throwing hats in the air and think “THAT COULD BE ME! I could improve my throwing skills in three years, easy”. You fill in your name, address, financial information, penis size, mothers maiden name, date of virginity loss (02/10/06) and how many pitchers you can take before loosing your underwear to a thirty year old business student named Asir.  Send it off, get asked to name two non-family members who can testify that you’re not a total wanker.

So you sign up…fail, and get into another place through clearing, always. You’ll go along and meet fellow escapists and learn fascinating things (assuming you didn’t study maths), wander around campus and think “I’m a part of this place, without me, it would just be another porn shack”. You’ll make friends, go to pubs, gigs and clubs. Maybe you’ll take drugs, fuck a lecturer, or discover what it takes to take on the girls hockey team. You’ll work really hard, put your back into it, pour your heart out and get given little numbers to justify your existence (over 60 means no self-harm tonight). All optional of course, that’s the joy of this place. It’s where you can be you in all your disgusting glory. The chav that used to laugh at you is fixing your car now, the teacher who told you off for wearing mascara to school is wearing fucking jeans! No one is left to stop you from being the you you always thought you should be. And like all opportunities, it’s yours to waste! At leisure. Do as little work as you find medically safe. Or throw yourself in. Sneak a tent into the public library and order in pizzas when the librarian has slipped into yet another coma of tedium. Everything and nothing are both options to consider.

You’ll meet the best friends you’ll ever meet, members for your band, players for your sports and writing partners who seem to bring the magic back to the whole process, to the extent that you start a crappy internet blog together. The companionship you find in these walls may last the rest of your life. But then you graduate. The work is done. You hand in your last essay to the old woman behind the big scary desk, which suddenly seems so small. You leave the last exam hall, throw your pen into the bin on the way out, what’s left to write? You may celebrate. Go to the pub where you see everyone you had met in the last three years, go to the cinema with your lecturer and his surprisingly hot girlfriend with the alarming laugh, and then round off the evening with one last drink before you walk away and realise you may never see everyone together again. You do graduate, you go along to the big ceremony covered from every angle imaginable by thousands of family members, each wi-fied directly to youtube and facebook, ready to upload the kind of thorough pictures you’d more immediately associate with a military reconnaissance mission. You wear the sexy robes, do sexy things like shake an old mans hand and hold a plastic certificate whilst the desperate photographer tries valiantly to make you look like you’ve gained something in the last three years, that you are in some way closer to the picture you saw on the prospectus three years earlier. Then you look around. You look around at this place that for three long years meant everything. And then you leave.

That’s the truth folks. University is like an immense fantasy camp in which you study fantastic things and tell yourself that they will in some way be useful down the line.  Because it doesn’t prepare you for the world. Far from it. The university life is very sweet but the price for this is even greater than the debt you’ve worked your way into over the past three little years. Because it’s an illusion. The vitally important things you learned that will never be used again. The dear and close friends you made live a hundred miles away. The sense of purpose and logic as you progressed from one year to the next, one subject to another, suddenly ends and leaves you to figure it out for yourself. And even remembering all of it whilst writing a crappy, poorly written blog article will pain you greatly filling your belly with tension and your eyes with tears. Because when you throw your hat into the air and it comes crashing down you realise how far you flew, and how far you must now fall.

But you have to take heart really. And there’s no reason not to. If life really does begin at forty then we get to be children for another twenty years. The friends you made are further afield but still closer than ever. The books you read are still on the shelves and reading them connects you to a world you’ve always loved. If you stop smoking, fucking and drinking then you have another sixty years ahead in which to fight, dance, read, watch and hell take up fucking again. Why must we wait until we’re on our last legs to make a bucket list? Make it now and get to it. You took a leap with university, do it again.  In this article I purge myself of every negative thought I might have felt towards the place of my higher education, because you can’t resent a lover for leaving you forever. Far better you remember the good times she gave you. And should anyone read this, considering making the leap and studying something, even something not particularly useful, I can only recommend that you make that leap and for three years make the most of being young, stupid and free. It may not be all down hill afterwards, but it certainly levels out somewhat.

From Nerds Get Bored, we say good luck to you. Boring little maths students, grubby little business folk, nerdy little scientists, awesome little historians. Geologists, linguists, designers and programmers and all the other fledgling human beings out there. The world isn’t good enough, but it’ll do.

P for personal.

(new lists coming soon)