In honor of the bloody genre we all love so dearly, I present you with ten shocking deaths that I didn’t think were going to happen…
Michael – Dawn of the Dead
Michael has the best kind of hero’s journey in Zach Snyder’s ‘Dawn of the Dead’. He starts out as a wimpy electronics salesman and ends up a martyred MANLY man. I wouldn’t have expected him to go down before the end credits, but perhaps it’s for the best, because after the end credits are when the rest of the cast “bite” it.
Carolyn Fry – Pitch Black
‘Pitch Black’ was a surprise for a lot of reasons. Not only did it introduce the world to the fabulous Riddick, but it also brought us a deceptively flawed mercenary (played to perfection by Cole Hauser) and a spunky pilot who seemed destined to survive for a sequel. Like the best horror films though, ‘Pitch Black’ decides to tell a good story instead of playing it safe, and so, Radha Mitchell’s Carolyn Fry pays the ultimate price to give Riddick some much needed character baggage.
One – Resident Evil
Colin Salmon is a bad ass corporate mercenary. From the moment he appears with that deep voice and commanding presence, I was won over. This guy is awesome, and he will totally kick zombie ass… if he can get past the killer super computer. In one of my favorite scenes in movie history, Salmon’s mysterious soldier, One, gets his ass handed to him by a laser and a little girl.
Rachel Carruthers – Halloween 5
Sure, Rachel is a little shallow … and the melodrama of her life is a little clichéd. At first I’m not sure any of us cared for Rachel, but like any good character, we end up liking her. Of course I’m really talking about the Rachel Carruthers of ‘Halloween 4’, because Rachel barely has time to introduce her annoying, flighty, and A.D.D. addled friend, Tina Williams in ‘Halloween 5’ before she is unceremoniously dispatched by Michael Myers. Rachel’s dog, Max, is barking his head off and somehow she doesn’t sense something is wrong? How did she survive a Halloween movie in the first place? Fortunately, her replacement doesn’t do much better.
Christine Brown – Drag Me to Hell
Alison Lohman plays Christine Brown with just the right balance of humility and gusto. Christine seems like a real person with problems the audience can relate to. I wanted to see her win. So when she stands up for herself in the latter half of Sam Raimi’s winning return to horror, I was cheering. Unfortunately for Christine, the horror genre is built on the twist, and when she is ruthlessly damned to hell I am shocked, but I’m also grinning like a madman.
Sam Lawton – Final Destination 5
You would think by the fifth installment we’d know what to expect, but 2001’s ‘Final Destination 5’ flipped the script on everyone, literally. The film takes place before the original film, acting as a prequel, which is revealed in the closing seconds in the most grandiose, bloody, and satisfying way possible. Sam Lawton is a likeable, intelligent, and heroic lead, so the last thing you expect is for death to get the better of him. You expect that he will prosper beyond the final credits the way Devon Sawa’s Alex Browning did in the first ‘Destination’, but he ends up dying alongside Browning and THAT is a satisfying twist.
Liz Hunter – Wolf Creek
Looking back on it, I can’t believe we ever thought Liz had a chance, but in the first ‘Wolf Creek’ we were still new to the character of Mick Taylor. We thought he was just your average, maniacal serial killer who is more bluster than bloodbath. Boy, were we wrong. After managing a daring escape, Liz gets dispatched in a thoroughly gruesome scene that firmly establishes Mick as someone you don’t want to fuck with.
The Marines – Aliens
A lot of the first half of ‘Aliens’ is built to support this amazing series of deaths. I must admit that I was entirely sold on how awesome the marines were. I was expecting them to ride in and annihilate the xenomorphs, and that’s exactly what crafty James Cameron wanted me to think. Personally, my favorite character was the calm and collected Private Frost, but really, almost all of the marines are totally likable and fist-pump worthy. I was really bummed when Sergeant Apone bit it… Honestly, I’ve watched this movie so many times that I’m kinda numb to it at this point, but when I first saw it… BOOM blew my mind.
Ben – Night of the Living Dead
Ben has almost everything it takes to survive a zombie apocalypse, except good luck that is. He manages to outlast a house overrun by zombies, a crazy bigot and more, only to get accidentally dispatched in the eleventh hour by trigger happy yokels who were supposed to be his savior. If that isn’t irony, I don’t know what is.
Russel Franklin – Deep Blue Sea
Samuel L. Jackson is pretty much the poster child for the early demise bad ass. His ‘Merican, troop rallying, death speech in ‘Deep Blue Sea’ has inspired many a movie and even inspired parody (see Eric Dane’s Hero in ‘Feast’), but it has never been as well produced as it was here. Jackson is a legend for a reason, and career choices like this are the reason.