It’s that time of the year again, when pop culture websites count down the best horror films to screen for Halloween. Us? We’ll do you one better, we’ve compiled the best horror film deaths to ever grace our screens, because being able to skip to the good parts is what makes this crazy ride called life pretty fun.
The films and scenes we’ve chosen range from campy classics to bone-chilling, forever-seared-in-your-brain stuff that even a cigarette and a glass of strong whiskey won’t help you shake off. A word of warning: you’re in for a ton of gore so make sure you’re watching on an empty stomach.
15. The Burning (1981)
A two-minute long scene that draws out the suspense to the point of ridiculousness, then hits you with some campy ‘80s gory goodness. It’s the scene that made this 1981 slasher flick an instant classic.
14. Species (1995)
If only all men who dared to sexually harass women would end up like this.
13. Sleepwalkers (1992)
Although the film flopped when it hit theatres, this Stephen King-written sleeper gave us the first vegetable-as-murder-weapon scene and a pun-tastic one-liner that will live on in the annals of cinematic greats.
12. Event Horizon (1997)
To say that this scene is graphic is a staggering understatement. The infamous blood orgy that’s left on the video log of the Event Horizon is a horrifying account of the brutal and barbaric acts the ship’s former crew inflicted upon each other. It isn’t really a terrifying death scene as much as it is a celebration of gore and the macabre. That being said, what you see in the film is already a toned down version of what Paul W. S. Anderson actually filmed; most of it, unfortunately, ended up on the cutting room floor.
11. Ghost Ship (2002)
Most fans of this early aughties creepfest agree that the film’s opening scene is the best thing about it. It’s a slow burn of a scene that culminates in the greatest mass death scene since Suicide Club.
10. Nightmare on Elm Street 4 (1988)
Narrowing down all the gruesome deaths the Nightmare franchise has given us is tough, the films are known for fantastically blending camp, psycho-sexual horror, and gore into one thoroughly fucked up milkshake, so we chose a death scene that encapsulated that.
9. Zombi 2 (1979)
This Lucio Fulci (aka the Grandfather of Gore) classic probably has one of the most frustrating death scenes ever, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t just as fun to watch.
8. City of the Living of the Dead (1980)
Another one from Lucio Fulci’s oeuvre, though considerably more spine-chilling than the last. This scene takes the saying “puking your guts out” to a whole new level of literal.
7. Phantasm (1979)
There’s a lot to love about this cult classic and its subsequent sequels, but this death scene particularly stuck out due to the seemingly playful spherical orb responsible for it, akin to Harry Potter’s Golden Snitch but decidedly more deadly.
6. Saw VI (2009)
When Shakespeare wrote The Merchant Of Venice, propelling the phrase “a pound of flesh” into our cultural lexicon, we don’t think this is quite what he had in mind.
5. Alien (1979)
Out of all the forty times John Hurt has died on screen, we’d like to think this one’s by far the most iconic.
4. High Tension (2003)
This French film is packed with stress-inducing scenes, but this particular one that involves a concrete saw had us breaking a sweat.
3. Hellbound: Hellraiser II (1988)
It’s hard to pinpoint the creepiest part of this scene. Is it seeing all the Cenobites gathered in one room? The hooks tearing into Frank’s, the true villain of Hellraiser II, flesh? Or is the two words that Frank says, while laughing, just before his face gets torn to smithereens? Yup, that’s definitely it.
2. 28 Weeks Later (2007)
Getting your eyes gouged out is definitely high up on the list as one of the worst ways to die. But getting your eyes gouged out by your own spouse is probably higher.
1. Bone Tomahawk (2015)
While this list’s most recently released film might not seem like a straightforward horror film to you, make no mistake, this Kurt Russell-helmed Western serves one of the most disturbing scenes ever to grace the silver screen and it got our pick for numero uno.
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