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The Year in Horror, 2015: Ken’s Top 10 Movie Death Scenes!

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While 2015 has been the host to many macabre moments, there’s little denying that this year certainly one-upped 2014 in terms of brutality in the cinema. Though Hollywood offered more bloodletting than the haunting-heavy year previous, independent scare fare raised the bar with amazing, head-spinning gore and guts. And with death on the brain (and spoiler warning on high alert), FANGORIA recounts the top ten most memorable death scenes of 2015!

Honorable Mention: “Adam’s Note,” UNFRIENDED

More fun than its reputation and gimmick might otherwise convey, UNFRIENDED ramped up the tension with a game of “Never Have I Ever” that payed off with a brutal punchline for the film’s “tough guy” character, Adam.

 

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10. “The Church Film,” SINISTER 2

One of the more hard-to-watch death scenes of the year, SINISTER 2’s final kill film gave way to the most literally barbaric death scene in the franchise’s history. Furthermore, it contextualized the appearance of disgusting-looking rats throughout the film’s abandoned church scenes…

 

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9. “Meeting in the Park,” CREEP

A sleeper surprise that lives up to its title, one of the strengths of the film is the perpetual question of whether or not the film’s antagonist is dangerous or just plain weird. However, when we find out the answer, the build-up and execution is shocking and satisfying in equal measure.

 

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8. “Death by Vibrator,” DEATHGASM

While New Zealand has been restoring its reputation for horror comedy glory with films like WYRMWOOD: ROAD OF THE DEAD and DEATHGASM in 2015, the latter truly went absolutely nuts when it came to its inventive, splattery kills. And yet none elicited gasps and laughs quite like when our protagonist saves his own life by finding a use for a sex toy that would put MacGyver to shame.

 

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7. “Caesar’s Punishment,” LET US PREY

While Irish actor Brian Vernel is currently sharing the screen with Han Solo and the stars of THE RAID in STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS, horror fans might better know him from receiving one of the most painful death scenes in LET US PREY. After the psychological torture and failure to find redemption, his character of Caesar gets a bloody coup-de-grace that impresses even among the general chaos of the film’s climax.

 

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6. “Moira Unleashed,” SOME KIND OF HATE

While SOME KIND OF HATE has plenty of memorable kills courtesy of its resident slasher, Moira, few land with as much impact as when the audience first gets a taste of the character’s supernatural power. It’s a brutal, goosebump-inducing moment where we see the range of SOME KIND OF HATE’s horror as Moira renders her own flesh to off the second victim worthy of her unique wrath.

 

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5. “Dagmar’s Revenge,” WE ARE STILL HERE

WE ARE STILL HERE earns its Fulci-esque comparisons throughout, but the film turns into a devilish, gory free-for-all just in time for its finale. And while the film could earn multiple spots on this list, Dagmar’s last act of revenge is a jaw-dropping gore moment that rouses applause and dry-heaves alike.

 

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4. “The Attack,” BACKCOUNTRY

BACKCOUNTRY plays its horror hand very cleverly from start to finish, but when the film’s true antagonist comes to play, the waiting game for the inevitable is nearly unbearable (no pun intended). And once it happens, it’s one of the most visceral and unforgiving death scenes of the year, and easily the best-directed animal attack in the genre’s recent memory.

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3. “The Tunnel,” ANGST

While produced back in the early ’80s, ANGST finally found U.S. distribution in 2015, courtesy of Cult Epics. Harrowing and deeply disturbing, Gerald Kargl’s serial killer story offers one of the most haunting murder scenes of all time in a sequence that’s hard to watch and yet too intense to turn away.

 

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2. “Mr. Cushing,” CRIMSON PEAK

Though Guillermo del Toro has been championing CRIMSON PEAK as a “Gothic romance” as opposed to a flat-out horror film, the film sets a terrifying benchmark in its first display of visceral violence. And while the ghosts might be the scary stars of Guillermo’s imagination, the death of Carter Cushing reminds us that there’s a damn good reason CRIMSON PEAK earned its R-rating.

 

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1. “Nick,” BONE TOMAHAWK

The single best death scene of 2015 is the year’s undisputed best FX scene as well. While the villains of BONE TOMAHAWK have shown their savage side previous to this scene, this unforgettable scene puts us in the character’s shoes as we’re forced to watch a character get butchered in a gruesome, vulgar act of inhumanity. It’s pure, unadulterated nightmare fuel, and it’s a moment that just cannot be shaken.

About the author
Ken W. Hanley
Ken W. Hanley is the Managing Web Editor for FANGORIA and STARLOG, as well as the former Web Editor for Diabolique Magazine and a contributing writer to YouWonCannes.com. He’s a graduate from Montclair State University, where he received an award for Excellence in Screenwriting. He’s currently working on screenplays, his debut novel "THE I IN EVIL", and various other projects, and can be followed on Twitter: @movieguyiguess.
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