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50 Most Shocking Movie Deaths Of All Time

Law Abiding Citizen (2009)

The Death Scene: Judge Burch takes what seems like an innocuous phone call, only for her mobile to blow up in her face. Messy stuff.

Most Shocking Element: The element of surprise is the key factor here. This one comes completely out of the blue, guaranteeing spilled popcorn aplenty.

The Hitcher (1986)

The Death Scene: The film comes to its gory climax as Rutger Hauer ties Jennifer Jason Leigh between two lorries, jumps into the cab of one and starts the engine. Oh dear…

Most Shocking Element: He rips her clean in two! The squelch-tastic sound effects don't exactly help matters...

Raiders Of The Lost Ark (1981)

The Death Scene: Suffering from a chronic bout of bellyache, Harrison Ford decides to bring a fight scene with an Arab swordsman to an abrupt close, reaching for his gun and blowing the poor sucker away. Killer bit of improv there…

Most Shocking Element: The audience is all geared up for an epic set-piece, only for Indy to whisk the rug away in style. Didn't see that coming, did you?

The Great Silence (1968)

The Death Scene: Having spent the entire duration of the film searching for the villainous Tigrero, mute gunslinger Silence has his prey cornered. That is he does until one of Tigrero's underlings shoots him dead. Rats.

Most Shocking Element: Western rules usually dictate that the hero comes out on top. He doesn't usually get shot in the back. To compound matters, Tigrero proceeds to murder an entire village full of innocents. Nice one.

Thunderbolt & Lightfoot (1974)

The Death Scene: Having been beaten to a pulp by George Kennedy, Jeff bridges slowly expires in the passenger seat of Clint's old convertible. Sniff!

Most Shocking Element:
This looked for all the world as if the two were going to drive off together into the sunset. Instead, Clint reaches over to check on his pal, and realises that he's dead. No happy ending here.

Zombieland (2009)

The Death Scene: Bill Murray dresses himself as a zombie in order to give Jesse Eisenberg the fright of his life. The plan backfires however, when a terrified Eisenberg pulls a gun…

Most Shocking Element: It's Bill Murray! They can't kill Bill Murray, can they? Oh.

Burn After Reading (2008)

The Death Scene: Brad Pitt is discovered hiding in a closet by George Clooney. Startled, Clooney accidentally fires his gun, blowing Brad's head to smithereens.

Most Shocking Element: It's quite a gory exit, but the main thing is that it's Clooney shooting Pitt. Nobody was expecting that!

Scream (1996)

The Death Scene: Ghostface claims his first victim in the shape of the lovely Drew Barrymore. After a bit of horror-based banter, he tires of the games and guts her like a fish. That cream sweater is completely ruined…

Most Shocking Element: The movie was marketed as starring Drew Barrymore, and yet she doesn't make it past the opening credits. That's how you blow an audience's expectations out of the water!

The Shining (1980)

The Death Scene: Dick Hallorann returns to the Overlook after receiving a telepathic distress signal from young Danny. However, as soon as he crosses the threshold, he takes an axe to the gut from Jack Torrance. Bet he wishes he hadn't bothered…

Most Shocking Element: Seeing as Hallorann survives in the book, it's a shock to see him so casually dispatched in Kubrick's version.

Friday The 13th (1980)

The Death Scene: As young Kevin Bacon lies on his bed, a hand reaches out from under him, grabbing his face as a spear comes up through the mattress, straight through his throat.

Most Shocking Element:
It's all about the misdirection. As Bacon looks up, we're expecting something to fall from the ceiling, but instead, death is lurking underneath him. Nice switcheroo.

George Wales
George is GR's resident movie news person, based out of London. He understands that all men must die, but he'd rather not think about it.