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The 5 Best Horror Movie Deaths

Updated on March 1, 2013

Don't be afraid, it's just a movie...

In honor of the advent of the Halloween season (and why isn't there a Halloween advent calendar!), I decided it might be time to take a look back at the best gruesome murderers schlocky horror films have to offer. There are some that are awful and amazing at the same time, some that are genuinely scary, and some that are just good for a laugh. There are so many memorable moments, it is hard to choose a list, but I think my list manages to cover the ones that make an impact.

Your mileage may vary.

Also in a topic like this, it probably goes without saying, BUT-

The videos in this article are NOT for the faint of heart

That said, let's take a look and at our first entry.

#5 - Jason vs. the ADA (Friday the 13th Part 2)

Jason Voorhees has never been one to discriminate. Over the years, he's killed everyone regardless of race, creed, or sexuality. So why should it come as any surprise that he slaughters the disabled just as easily as he does those without any physical defects?

In Friday the 13th Part 2, Jason makes his first appearance as the lovable killing machine we've come to know and fear. He had a cameo in the legitimately terrifying final moments of the first film, but it wasn't until the sequel where he became a star.

Here, late in the film, he preforms a coup-de-grace- on a monumentally annoying handicapable camper and shows why it is always important to follow federal guidelines and have a ramp installed.

Jason respects you, sitting or standing.

Meet #4 - Meet Freddy Krueger (A Nightmare on Elm Street)

The first of many, Wes Craven's A Nightmare on Elm Street was a terrifying film, all but free of camp, aiming to terrifying audiences not make them chuckle at Freddy's wacky antics. Here, the audience is introduced to Freddy for the very first time and there's nothing funny about what happens.

A pedophile and a serial killer, Krueger was burned alive by a vigilante mob of parents. Now, he stalks their children's dreams and continues having his way with the children of Elm Street. Entering the nightmares of his first victim, he chases and stalks her with supernatural glee, before killing her.

This scene builds the suspense, and once Freddy appears, he menaces his victim just long enough to savor her terror. Meanwhile, her baffled and horrified boyfriend watches as her body is torn apart while being flung across the room .

This scene defined a character, and gave some true chills. Here at number 4 is Freddy's entrance onto the world stage.

Freddy's Kills

#3 - Lifesavers, lifetakers (John Carpenters's The Thing)

When you'e being chased by a killer alien who can take the shape of any human it comes in contact with, it's best to be careful where you put your hands. There are a lot of words to say about the greatness of John Carpenter's The Thing, but I think this video can speak volumes so I don't have to.

A word to the wise, check out the original versionof this classic remake. While very different from the newer version, it remains a classic for a reason. It has some great camera work, and is worth a look if you're into some old school, 50s horrror.


#2 Master of Puppets (A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors)

Freddy makes a repeat engagement on our list! This time he gets a nod for his performance in A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors. During this period, the Nightmare franchise was in transition. No longer the straight-forward horror of the previous films, but not yet the jokey pun-master Freddy Krueger we would see later. Dream Warriors is one of the best of the series, rivalling even the original.

In the film, the dream master stalks the minds of the young patients of a mental hospital. Among the would-be victims is an eccentric lad who fancies puppets. With a creepy hobby like that, you know any horror movie monster is going to have a field day with him. And Freddy does not disappoint.

In fact, he goes above and beyond the call of duty. Rather than simply killing the boy with his own weirdo puppets, he turns the kid himself into a living puppet, responding to Freddy's every command, ultimately leadng to his death. Not scary enough? Freddy accomplishes this by slicing the boys arms and using the boy's own veins as marionette strings.

Gross. Gross gross gross. This is probably the single most disgusting event in any of the Nightmare on Elm Street films, but it is also incredibly inventive, and you can rest assured that it will stick with you years after you've seen it. That's why it earns a spot at number two.


#1- "CHOKE ON 'EM" (Day of the Dead)

Day of the Dead has never stood up to the two films that came before it (Night of the Living Dead and Dawn of the Dead). It just never had the scare factor OR the blistering social commentary of those that came before it. Still, George Romero's third film has maybe the greatest death scene in horror movie history.

After being chased down and shot by a zombie who has been trained by the post-apocalyptic government to think and perform rudimentary actions (really), this rough and tumble army man runs right into a mob of the living dead. The natural order of things progresses as one would expect.

Still, while the man is being literally ripped to pieces by scores of ghouls, he retains his fighting spirit and his hatred of the zombie hordes. His final words "CHOKE ON 'EM" as he watches the undead horde eating his own vital organs is how every true man should hope to die. This scene is referenced in the comedy-horror hit Shaun of the Dead, reinforcing the iconic nature of this scene from an otherwise mediocre film.

For inspiring both terror, revulsion, and a little bit of pride in the fighting men of our great nation, Day of the Dead comes in number one.

Also, once again, this clip is EXCEPTIONALLY GRAPHIC. TAKE HEED.


BONUS- Dance Fever (Friday the 13th: Part IV)

The final clip is easily the most terrifying moment in all of horror history. However, since no one is killed, it can't be on the list due to a technicality. Despite these petty rules getting the way, I would be remiss not to share this final video with you.

From Friday the 13th: Party IV, Crispin Glover dancing, Yes, THAT Crispin Glover. Marty's dad in Back to the Future. The creepy guy from Charlie's Angels. That creepy guy from well... everywhere. Dude is just weird. He got his start in the Jason series, and what a start it was. Get ready, because he's going to dance.

bleep bloop computer says...

It's all over now, you're safe

Well, there you have it. That raps up the list, but no list can ever be complete. There are always new movies coming out, and who can judge what is scariest, really? Everyone has their own phobias.

And besides, this is a very limited selection. Originally I had films like The Silence of the Lambs and Alien included, but I thought movies that win Academy Awards don't really follow the spirit. Schlock and dudes with masks and magic powers are more the reason for the season.

I wold love to hear what your list would include though. Leave a comment and let me know.


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    • morozov924 profile image

      John Weaver 

      8 years ago from Grove City, PA

      I love these picks. The F13 wheelchair death is so brutal and sudden, it certainly upstages most deaths in the series. And The Thing...what a classic scene.

      Voted up!

    • Anjo Bacarisas II profile image

      Anjo Bacarisas II 

      8 years ago from Cagayan de Oro, Philippines

      jezzz.. the top 5 lists above are true and certified the best horror movies, they are really amazing movies and sometimes a good pastime. :)) great hub you have!

    • self absorbed profile image

      self absorbed 

      9 years ago from Canada

      #2 gives me the chills just reading it, definitely one of those scenes that is painful to watch but you can't stop, not unlike the bonus video;)

    • Katharella profile image


      9 years ago from Lost in America

      I agree with that Sammy, 2 is my fav, can't wait to see if 5 is as good.

    • SammySammo profile image


      9 years ago from Boston, MA

      I haven't actually seen most of these but I like the way you looked at the deaths rather than the movies themselves. I personally think deaths in the Final Destination movies are the most creative. Even more so than Saw, which everyone raves over.

    • Katharella profile image


      10 years ago from Lost in America

      OWWWIE FatFreddysCat! :::chill::: "cinematic root canal" ya made my tooth hurt and I don't even have a cavity LOL!

      LC: While the above ones mentioned are great.. I have a toss up with Hard Candy and American Psycho 2. I think I'm partial to them both because they're females and people don't tend to think we could do such a thing.. I guess females have to be a bit crafty huh! :)


    • FatFreddysCat profile image

      Keith Abt 

      10 years ago from The Garden State

      My favorite kill scene ever is in the mostly-terrible "Jason X," when Jason dunks the blonde girl's face into a tank of frozen nitrogen then slams her against the table top, so her face shatters like a beer bottle. The movie is more or less a cinematic root canal but it's worth sitting through just for that one scene!

    • lorddraven2000 profile image

      Sam Little 

      10 years ago from Wheelwright KY

      You had my fav with the master of puppets. Any Freddy kill is classic.

    • Midasfx profile image


      10 years ago

      I think the scariest death in a horror film has to go to "Grotesque" or "Gurotesuku" ( japanese horror film )

      Its kinda like... Saw + Hostel x 10 = The nastiest, most unconceivable acts of scariness I can't even imagine. You need a strong stomach and mind for this one. Watch the youtube trailor just so you have an idea of the torture


    • philmaguire profile image


      10 years ago from Jersey, Iles de la Manche

      How about getting torn apart by hooks in Hellraiser?

      Or eaten from the inside out by cockroaches (I cannot recall the name of the movie but it involved a military experiment using cockroaches as killing machines)?

      My favourite was the shower death in Final Destination as lots of little inconsequential things add up to the person's death. Although close on it's tail would be the sunbed deaths in Final Destination 2 for the same reasons.

    • Gaz2k9 profile image


      11 years ago from United Kingdom

      Great list here. Have to say 80's horror movies were the best. Have you seen the remake of nightmare on elm street yet by Michael Bay. Gonna watch it later tonight at work (im a projectionist).

      Check out my fave 80's horror movies.

    • profile image


      11 years ago

      I did enjoy the movie dream warriors with freddy it was entertaining and yes I agree the first nightmare on elm street was a classic. How he manifested into a nightmare invading serial killer was a stroke of genious, I've enjoyed this hub, I found it amusing.

    • mr. daydream profile image

      mr. daydream 

      11 years ago

      Gotta luv em' old horror movies. A lot of people saying that movies from the 80's and 90's are cheesy. But these modernized pg-13 horror movies of today suck. Back then the actors may've been more b-movish, but the movie as a whole was quality entertainment. And there was really no need for a special effects show, the scares came from the suspense, the music build, and the shock effect of the kill.

    • jellydonut25 profile image


      11 years ago from Buffalo, NY

      American Werewolf in London - Although not a 'real' death, the zombie-werewolf-Nazi murders in the one dream sequence are just OFF THE WALL!

    • profile image


      11 years ago

      Ed Harris dancing in Creepshow was pretty scary too.

    • profile image


      11 years ago

      I love it. I love horror flicks, my favorite genre. Hey, that phrase about Jason being our lovable killing machine killed me. Lmao.

    • RetroBrothers profile image

      Martin Allan 

      12 years ago from Sunny Scotland

      Some cool deaths in there. An honorable mention must go to Scanners and the famous 'exploding head'. Nice hub.

    • Scott W profile image

      Scott W 

      12 years ago

      I got one for you, Masters of Horror: Pelts. A hunters adult son opens a bear trap and plants and sticks his face right in the middle of it. You actually see the guys face completely taken off. Check it out sometime.

    • christine almaraz profile image

      christine almaraz 

      12 years ago from colorado springs

      My pick is Paris Hilton's death in House of Wax. It was like a dream come to life.

    • profile image

      Adam B 

      12 years ago

      A cool kill scene that I really like is where the Valek from John Carpenter's Vampires inserts hit hand through a man's stomach and quickly lifts his hand cutting the man in half.  Nice! I also like in House of Wax (remake) where Paris Hilton has a pipe thrown through her head.

    • Len Cannon profile imageAUTHOR

      Len Cannon 

      12 years ago from Brooklyn, NY

      Halloween and Prom Night are definitely great choices

    • tristaprez profile image


      12 years ago from Portland OR

      Love this topic! My five would be:

      1. Halloween- the killing of Judith. This is the first film I ever saw where the murders were from the killer's POV. From the moment the tiny mask is put on through to the scary realization of who our killer is...TRULY terrifying.

      2. Trilogy of Terror- African Zuni doll. This is a great horror anthology with three stories starring Karen Black. The Zuni doll segment is terribly frightening and watching Karen at the end of the segment gave me nightmares.

      3. Children of the Corn- cafe massacre. All the patrons of the small town cafe are killed by the devil worshipping kids. Horrible!

      4. Fright Night- Evil Ed is dead. When "Evil" is chased by the vampire and ends up willingly going to his doom is both pitiable and scary.

      5. Prom Night- Disco Break. Had to add my own terrible dance scene! At the prom, we are treated to the most horrifying choreographed dance sequence ever committed to film between Jamie Lee Curtis and Casey Stevens. And that awful song!!

    • Princessa profile image

      Wendy Iturrizaga 

      12 years ago from France

      Plenty of material for nightmares.... I can see myself sleeping with the lights on tonight :-)

    • profile image


      12 years ago


    • Chef Jeff profile image

      Chef Jeff 

      12 years ago from Universe, Milky Way, Outer Arm, Sol, Earth, Western Hemisphere, North America, Illinois, Chicago.

      I'll try to find it again. Sometimes the names pop into my head a little while after I try to think of them.

    • Len Cannon profile imageAUTHOR

      Len Cannon 

      12 years ago from Brooklyn, NY

      Woah. I don't know what that movie is either, but I want to see it now.

    • Chef Jeff profile image

      Chef Jeff 

      12 years ago from Universe, Milky Way, Outer Arm, Sol, Earth, Western Hemisphere, North America, Illinois, Chicago.

      There was a British flick with a beautiful female alien who runs around naked and sucks the energy put of people, shriviling them into mummy-like corpses. I rather enjoyed that one, but I can't remember the name of it.

      Good hub! I first saw Night of the Living Dead in a drive in, on a night with lots of lightning on the horizon. My date clung to me like I was able to save her, and she forgot it was just a movie. I didn't, and the rest is history!


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