This article contains discussions/depictions of violence, gore, and death.
In the most recent seasons of Stranger Things and The Boys, major deaths show that no character is safe and that any death can be gruesome. Seeing these characters who are beloved die in such a tragic manner leaves the audience with reality that death is certain.
Redditors have listed films that they feel have the worst deaths. These deaths often rank as such due to their brutality, as well as the circumstances and context surrounding them. And while many others are not gory, that doesn’t make them any less gruesome.
Vesper Lynd: Casino Royale (2006)
What really made her death so tragic is that she accepted her fate and then the realization of death set in. She gasps for air as Bond tries to save her and then becomes completely lifeless when Bond finally reaches her. Her justified betrayal and resulting death affected Bond perhaps more than the audience. Once the life he hoped for drowned with Vesper, Bond realized that he had no choice but to return to the only life he knew.
Sam: I Am Legend (2007)
As soon as Sam was bitten trying to protect Robert, everyone knew what was to come. Robert holds Sam in his arms, trying to savor their last moment together. The camera holds on Robert and the audience hears Sam begin to turn into a mutant. Robert has to literally squeeze the life out of Sam to spare her the pain. Because of Will Smith’s brilliant performance in an otherwise disappointing movie, the viewer knows exactly why sometimes a dog’s death is more emotional than a human’s.
Toon Shoe: Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988)
It’s rare that an animated character has a gruesome death, but Who Framed Roger Rabbit wasn’t afraid to push the boundaries. In fact, Redditor jerrygergichsmith believes that the Toon Shoe death is “pure nightmare fuel.” Judge Doom despises toons and wants them to respect the law. A single red shoe brushes against his leg much like a cat (which squeaks instead of purrs). This cuteness automatically makes the viewer sympathize with the character.
Judge Doom takes the shoe and introduces it to a chemical known as “The Dip.” As it dies, the Toon Shoe shrieks and shakes. When Judge Doom removes his gloved hand from the mixture, the red coloring from the Toon Shoe falls off the glove, resembling blood. This death is so horrific because, in the movie, Toons interact with humans and are treated as such.
Hitman: Drive (2011)
Irene and Driver enter an elevator with a strange man. Driver deduces that this man is there to kill him and in an effort to protect Irene, Driver literally kicks the hitman’s head in by repeatedly stepping on it. This scene is beautiful yet disturbing. The slow-motion kiss between Driver and Irene sets the stage, then speeds up to real-time as the killing takes place. There is no music played over the killing, and the graphic audio is magnified with every second. Since Driver chooses to speak with his actions rather than his words, he makes a deadly statement here.
Kane: Alien (1979)
The chestburster scene from Alien really shook DecepticonLaptop, who said, “Now if that wasn’t disturbing, I don’t know what is.” A Xenomorph’s birth is painful for the host, as Kane found out. Not only did he experience the physical torment from a face hugger, but unknowingly had an alien embryo growing inside him.
All of this comes as a shock when he starts convulsing, blood starts spewing from under his shirt, and an alien bursts out from his chest. The crew of the Nostromo – and the audience – are left to watch helplessly in horror.
Private Mellish: Saving Private Ryan (1998)
War depicts the brutality of death and Saving Private Ryan has many hard-to-watch deaths. However, Private Mellish’s death by knife at the hands of a German soldier is perhaps the hardest to sit through.
Elton3stars insists that “it characterizes the true hell of war.” Steven Spielberg shoots the scene extremely close up, so the audience gets a real feel for the struggle between the two men. Not only is the death of Mellish hard to watch, but knowing the context of the situation is even worse. The German soldier that stabs Mellish is the same one whose life was spared earlier in the film. Mellish pleads for his life, hoping for it to be spared, but as the knife pierces his chest, his gasps for breath make one quiver.
Quint: Jaws (1975)
Quint’s death is one of the most gruesome in the Jaws franchise, and for good reason. Even Redditor evn2rzn notes that Quint’s demise “was pretty bad.”
When the shark begins to destroy the boat, Quint finds himself sliding toward its jaws. Once his legs are inside its mouth, all he can do is helplessly stab at it with a knife. Screaming in pain, blood spurts out of Quint’s mouth as the shark viciously bites down. The shark drags his lifeless body down to the depths below. Quint was able to survive the feeding frenzy after the sinking of the U.S.S. Indianapolis, which goes to show how deadly the 30-foot shark is.
Tracy: Se7en (1995)
Since Se7en is a movie about a serial killer, there are sure to be some gut-wrenching kills. Being that a lot of the deaths are implied, Redditor rolodex9 is a fan of the audiences’ interpretation, saying “The imagination is so much worse than anything they can show on screen.”
One such death comes at the climax of the film and involves the Deadly Sin of Envy. John Doe is jealous of the life that Mills has, especially Mills’ wife, Tracy. A box is delivered and Somerset opens it to look inside. The audience doesn’t see what Somerset sees, yet they are fully aware of what’s in the box – Tracy’s head. Even more unsettling is the fact that Tracy was pregnant.
Billy And The Other Survivors: The Mist (2007)
After escaping the supermarket, the car runs out of gas. Rather than be killed by the creatures, the group decides that suicide is a better option. With four bullets remaining, David kills the other passengers in the car, including his son, Billy. Hearing rumbling in the distance, David exits the car, ready for death to engulf him. He falls to his knees in agony when its the military that advances from the mist rather than a giant creature.
Eddie Carr: The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997)
A thread started by simboharding explains how uncomfortable the death of Eddie Carr is in The Lost World. The Redditor elaborates, saying, “He did nothing wrong and comes across as a decent and innocent guy, whom didn’t deserve to have his life end in such a horrifying scenario.”
Eddie Carr returns to rescue Ian, Sarah, and Nick after the T-Rex parents tried pushing the trailers off the cliff. While ultimately successful, Eddie is ripped in half by the parents. The atmosphere heightens the tension, as it’s dark and rainy. The music is triumphant then turns grim when the T-Rex’s footsteps are heard. Once that happens, even Eddie knew he wouldn’t make it off the island.