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Top Ten Shocking Horror Film Deaths

The horror genre is awash with memorable death scenes. In this top ten list we look at the most shocking deaths, the ones you didn't see coming, the ones that made you jump out of your seats or scream in horror. Watch out there be spoilers ahead.

10 - Final Destination

This slick thriller provided plenty of jumps but none were more effective than the death of Terry Chaney (played by Amanda Detmer). Her boyfriend Carter is arguing with central character Alex in the street outside a café and Terry is disgusted. She says "I'm moving on, Carter. And if you want to waste your life beating the shit out of Alex every time you see him then you can just drop fucking dead!" and then steps into the street to be immediately splattered by a high speed bus.

9 - Deep Blue Sea

Our heroes are trapped in an underwater complex with intelligent killer sharks roaming the waters around them, but fear not as super organised Russell Franklin (played by Samuel Jackson) steps up to the plate with a rousing speech about how he is going to lead them all to safety. As soon as he has finished talking a shark leaps out of the pool of water behind him and snatches him away in it's powerful jaws.

8 - The Descent

The central characters are in an underground tunnel system and realise they are being stalked by some nasty creatures. Juno (played by Natalie Mendoza) manages to kill one of them with her pick axe then she hears footsteps behind her and assuming it's another creature she swings with all her might piercing the throat of her friend Beth. Shocked at what she has done she simply slinks off into the darkness leaving the unfortunate Beth to die alone.

7 - Ringu

Our heroes have figured out the mystery and laid Sadako's spirit to rest, everything appears to be dealt with, we even get the typical horror movie ending with police lights flashing in the raining street. Afterwards Ryuji is in his apartment when the television suddenly flickers into life. He watches in horror as Sadako walks slowly towards the camera and then climbs through the screen into his living room in one of the greatest horror scenes of recent years.

6 - The Wicker Man

Sergeant Howie (played by Edward Woodward) thinks he has finally found his missing girl and sneaks up ready to expose the islanders as they prepare to sacrifice her. Sadly for him he has fallen perfectly into their trap and to his horror he is imprisoned within the wicker man and offered up as a sacrifice himself in one of the great horror endings.

5 - Psycho

Janet Leigh is stabbed up in the shower in possibly the most famous death scene of all time. Hitchcock shocked audiences by killing off his leading lady quite unexpectedly and what a way to go.

4 - Scream

Wes Craven took a leaf from Hitchcock's book here by casting big name actress Drew Barrymore. Audiences naturally assumed she was the star of the show so it came as something of a surprise when she was killed in the opening scene of the film. It's a beautifully tense death scene as well, as she puts up a good fight and comes agonisingly close to escaping only to be gutted and hung from a tree.

3 - The Shining

Dick Hallorann (played by Scatman Crothers) was the chef at the Outlook hotel and when the Torrance family first arrive he shows them round. We learn he also has psychic powers like young Danny. When things turn sour and Danny's father Jack turns homicidal Danny calls out psychically for Dick to help him. The kindly old chef leaves his beach resort holiday and treks halfway across the country in horrible weather conditions just so he can take an axe to the chest the second he walks through the door.

2 - Alien

Kane (played by John Hurt) returns from exploring an alien spaceship with an alien stuck to his face but when it drops off and he regains consciousness it seems as though he will be fine. He shows no adverse effects except for a powerful hunger but as the crew tuck into a meal Kane suddenly wretches and falls onto the table and an ugly alien critter bursts through his chest showering his crew mates with blood. Apparently even the cast were kept in the dark about this particular shock so director Ridley Scott could get a genuine sense of shock from their performances.

1 - Night of the Living Dead

Ben (played by Duane Jones) has a tough time keeping his inept companions alive through the night faced by a tidal wave of zombies but his survival instinct is strong and he proves to be a true hero. In the aftermath he emerges from the cellar only to be shot in the head by a trigger happy redneck clean up crew. This was a fantastic ending to one of the greatest horror films of all time, one of those scenes that just leaves you open mouthed gaping at the screen in shock as the credits roll.

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