The 25 best horror movie deaths: blood, guts, and gore galore

16. Hung up and left to swing on a hook. 

Movie: Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)

The worst part of being hung on a hook isn’t that it kills you straight away (that bit comes later) but that it leaves you alive long enough to think you have a chance. You haven’t, obviously, but those long excruciating moments as you hang on you ribs and you gasp for breath are full of ‘I can get out of this’ thoughts. It’s a just a hook. All you’ve got to do is lift yourself off and seek immediate medical attention. Except gravity won’t let you and, oh look, Leatherface has found his chainsaw. Definitely a death that’s more about the journey than the final destination. However, that’s another film entirely.

17. Impaled on a bicycle. 

Movie: Prince of Darkness (1988)

Don’t laugh. Death is still death and even if it comes at the hands of Alice Cooper wielding a bicycle frame under the control of Satan, you’re still dead. The only small comfort to be had from this is that far, far worse things could happen when eternal evil is involved. So really this is kind of a blessing. Just a few moments to look quizzically at a wheel as your blood drains out the hole in your chest and you’re done. Hey, it’s better than an eternity of soul rending damnation.

18. Arm bitten off by your friend’s toothy chest-cavity. 

Movie: The Thing (1982)

It’s you friend that that’s the bit that really hurts. Well, more than the arms. And the blood loss. And the death. Okay, it all hurts but it’s the fact it happens while you’re trying to save a buddy who’s been taken over by a shape shifting alien without telling anyone. The defibrillators were meant to restart his heart but then he doesn't have one any more - just a gaping maw full of yellowy, stone-like teeth that make your elbows the new ‘wrist’.

19. Alien blasting out of your stomach. 

Movie: Alien (1979)

If ever there was a public service announcement about not putting your face near newly discovered alien eggs, this is it. You’ll be fine for a while. After the throat-invading facehugger has withered and died but then the burps start, and the agonising writhing chest pains as a bubby little xenomorph minces your insides as it stretches and gets ready to be born. Through the ribcage, obviously, for a quick wash in your blood before slinking off to grow up to head biting size. 

20. Made into a human waxwork where your skin then falls off your face. 

Movie: House of Wax (2005)

It’s not exactly the stuff dreams are made of, is it? Whether you’re watching the 1953 original or the guilty pleasure that’s the Paris Hilton remake, the results are the same. Crazy wax modeller has decided to shortcut the human shape part and is just using actual humans under the wax. A highlight in the remake is Supernatural’s Jared Padalecki sitting at a piano before the wax starts to slip…  taking the skin on his face with it. 

21. Eaten by slugs. 

Movie: Slugs (1988)

Okay, so it actually requires quite a lot of effort on your part to be killed by carnivorous slugs but if you do, say swallow one, or fall into a pit of them and not be able to get out, then your end is assured. Just imagine as thousands of tiny teeth scrape away at your skin, the slime trails gumming up the one eye that hasn’t already popped under the gentle, rasping chewing. 

22. Pulled apart by zombies and forced to watch while they gorge themselves on your innards. (Day of the Dead)

Movie: Day of the Dead (1986)

Captain Rhodes is an asshole, and in George A. Romero films, assholes suffer terrible, humiliating deaths. Day of the Dead proves this with wonderful, subversive abandon. First, he’s shot by benevolent zombie Bub, and you end up cheering for the undead as Rhodes is torn in half by zombies, who feast on his livid guts while he watches helplessly. Fun fact: in the DVD commentary, Romero explains that the offal used for Rhodes’s entrails was rotten when they shot the scene. Look closely, and you can see actor Joseph Pilato gagging on the stench of mouldering innards. Filmmaking: glamourous. 

23. Impaled eye-first on a wooden spike. 

Movie: Zombie Flesh Eaters (1979)

Every Lucio Fulci film has to have a section with at least one eye being gratuitously destroyed. It doesn’t even matter that most of the time, the ocular trauma looks about as convincing as feta cheese impaled kebab stick - the mere thought of soft, oozing, vulnerable eyes by gouged out of living skulls is enough to turn even the strongest stomach. 

24. Shredded by razor blades while being chased by your own dogs. 

Movie: Tales From the Crypt (1972)

It’s hard to understand how much having your arm torn off or eyes gouged out would hurt, but being sliced by razor blades is a pain most people can relate to. That’s why the end of 1972’s Amicus horror anthology Tales from the Crypt is so effective. The incompetent Major Rogers is forced through a maze of narrowing corridors, the walls lined with razor blades, which is bad enough before his own ravenous dog starts chasing him. Despite it being (relatively) bloodless, this proximity of gleaming, sharp metal to eyes, cheeks and lips makes this an impossible death to watch. 

25. Suffocated by a plastic bag, eyes removed with thumbs and then dragged along like a bowling ball. 

Movie: Black Xmas (2006)

Ok, there’s very little going for the remake of Black Christmas but poor Michelle Tractenberg’s untimely end comes when the sorority member is crept up on, suffocated with a plastic bag and then has her eyes ripped out and then eaten. Watch in horror as they burst like cherry tomatoes in the mouth of the murderer and then in cackling dark delight as he drags her along the ground with his fingers in her eye sockets like he’s carrying a bowling ball. STRIKE.