If you watch a lot of horror films, you develop a taste for murder. But while ordinary thrillers and crime movies have straightforward stabbings and shootings, horror films tend to go a little more... fancy.
Here are some of my personal favourites from the slasher sub-genre. This is not a top thirteen; this is just a list of thirteen kill scenes I liked.
The previously mentioned stunt casting of Brad Dourif is what sells this one, as you completely buy that he may be a psychopath. By the time you realise that he’s the good guy, it’s too late and Michelle gets axed by the killer in the backseat. Should have listened to the overly portentous choice of music.
The raft massacre scene is a fan-favourite, and with good reason. It shows how versatile a set of shears can be as a weapon, and gets rid of a large percentage of the massive cast. I’m pretty sure it was this scene that led to the film be4ing labelled a Video Nasty here in the UK.
The entire opening sequence with Drew Barrymore. The whole thing, from the opening ringtone to the shot of her hanging from a tree could be a short film on its own. Brilliant as the rest of the film is, nothing comes close to this part. (Even in a crappy copy like this)
A school playground roundabout, a black-clad biker and a kukri blade – ingredients for the best scene in this film that doesn’t include Rachel Ward in the shower. The biker spins the roundabout round and round, faster and faster, and then the blade strikes! (Clip not found, sorry)
MY SUPER PSYCHO SWEET SIXTEEN
This one really has to be seen to be believed. A simple decapitation is improved a thousandfold by the addition of roller skates and a giant tiered cake of sushi. Yes.
MY BLOODY VALENTINE
This one’s more about the before than the actual killing – anyone who has seen this film will probably remember the scene where the mining outfits all drop down from the ceiling. It then continues with a very impressive impaling on a shower nozzle, but it’s the jump scare beforehand I really love. (So, of course, I can't find the clip anywhere...)
The Hatchet movies have a reputation for over-the-top splatter effects, and this is probably the best from the first movie. Victor Crowley puts his hand into a woman’s mouth, then proceeds to tear off the top of her head. All practical effects and great camerawork, no CG.
Narrowing this down to just one death was really difficult. Should I go for the guy getting his head chopped in half by a table? The two guys on the long chainsaw? Nope. I’m going for the scene where Reverend Zombie faces off against Crowley. He gets hit repeatedly with the hatchet, until he’s torn in two. Barely alive, he tries to drag himself away but Crowley stops him and proceeds to pull out his entire torso by the spine, effectively skinning him from the inside.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME
After those two, something a little more tame... kebab, anyone?
Again, more about the execution than the... execution itself. A young woman jogs through the woods wearing enormous headphones. We see someone with black leather gloves starting a stopwatch, they then catch up with her and slit her throat. (Couldn't find the clip...)
BRIDE OF CHUCKY
There’s a slight touch of the Final Destination series to this death- a couple of criminals are on a waterbed in the middle of a hotel suite. Tiffany throws a bottle of champagne in the air, smashing the ceiling mirror. This leads to a shower of mirror shards raining down on them, stabbing the couple and piercing the waterbed. The fact that this leads to a doll-on-doll sex scene is just the icing on the cake.
A sudden and shocking asphyxiation in plastic (probably a garment bag) is just the start of this scene; the killer also drags the body up to the attic and puts her in a rocking chair. The worst part? She’s never found.
BEHIND THE MASK: THE RISE OF LESLIE VERNON
This one’s kind of a cheat because it’s not just a single kill – it’s the entire final sequence of the film, where Leslie Vernon finally gets to show us what he’s spent the whole movie up to this point preparing for. Wonderful in so many ways, not least of which because he’s already told us so much of what is going to happen, yet hasn’t spoiled a thing. (No clip, it's about 20 minutes)