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7 Most unexpected film deaths

BY Ben Stanley

1st Jan 2015 Film & TV

7 Most unexpected film deaths

We love watching films that keep us on our toes but nothing's more shocking than our favourite characters getting killed off. Here are seven most unexpected deaths in film. 


Bambi is a sweet little deer that’s learning about the forest with his friends and Mother but in classic Disney fashion, there's an emotional catch.

Midway through this beautifully animated feature comes a scene that’s hauntingly unforgettable. Bambi’s Mother is shot dead as she helps the tiny fawn escape an unseen hunter, leaving the defenceless Bambi lost in the snow crying out for his Mother.

Disney seems to follow a theme of killing parents off but this may be the hardest to witness. Paul McCartney has mentioned that his interest in animal rights comes from seeing Bambi’s Mother die in the film.



Jaws is known for keeping audiences far away from the ocean after its release in the summer of 1975. A group of men with different ideals have to stop a man-eating shark from killing any more of Amity Islands beachgoers, but it comes with some unexpected causalities on the way.

Towards the end of this sea-based thriller, Quint, the brutally honest Captain of the ship, slides into the mouth of the beast as his boat begins to sink.

Quint doesn’t give up without a fight: the shark’s sharp teeth may have enthralled his legs but that doesn’t stop him from stabbing a machete into its head. Sadly, a knife to a shark does little damage and Quint is fully eaten alive.

Jaws was a phenomenon, becoming the highest grossing film of all time until it was beaten by Star Wars two years later.



Wes Craven was a true master of horror with 1996’s Scream being one of his best, working as both a parody of the genre but also a suspenseful slasher film in its own right, full of twists and turns throughout.

Sidney is your typical teen in a small town but her life is turned upside down when a mysterious killer, Ghostface, starts to hunt the girl. Even though Sidney is our protagonist, we begin the film with a different yet familiar face.

The opening of Scream features the recognisable Drew Barrymore as Casey, the first brutal victim of Ghostface. Casey’s introduction is a great pallet taster for what Scream is all about: humour, suspense and blood.

Barrymore had huge star power in the mid-1990s, making her sudden death an unexpected one. Scream currently has four films and spin-off TV series which all feature famous cameo deaths in the beginning.



David Fincher is known for making suspenseful crime cantered films but Seven with its allegories of the seven deadly sins in murders may be his best.

A young detective, Mills, partners up with seasoned detective Somerset to find the killer before the body counts rises to seven. Towards the end, the team find their killer, John Doe, but in order to prevent two further deaths they have to follow his lead.

Somerset is given a mysterious box and Mills demands to know what’s inside but the revelation is shocking. John Doe reveals that inside the box is the head of Mills’s wife, Tracy. A shocking off-screen death which is made worse when Doe reveals that she was also pregnant with Mill’s child.

Brad Pitt’s Mills screaming “What’s in the box?!” is an unforgettable moment in modern cinema.


Pulp fiction 

Pulp Fiction is Quentin Tarantino’s second film and one of the most iconic films of the 1990s with roles that created and revived many actors. The story follows several characters in LA in a non-chronological order, leaving the audience to piece the time and connection of each character and their events.

Possibly the most recognisable duo in this picture comes in the form of Vincent and Jules, played by John Travolta and Samuel L Jackson. The duo gets themselves into all kinds of high-risk situations but you couldn’t have seen one of their deaths coming.

Vincent casually leaves a machine gun on a table as he uses the bathroom of the apartment he's staking out. Butch, the apartment owner, arrives to find the gun and someone in his bathroom and, as Vincent leaves the toilet, Butch shoots him down.
Vincent is the only main character of the film to die and he dies in such a unique way that we couldn’t have predicted.



Marion Crane has stolen a huge amount of money and decided to ride away into the sunset with her boyfriend. All seems well until they have to stop for the night at the mysterious Bates Motel.

Marion has been our eye into this world since the opening, giving the audience the assumption that it would continue but we learn early on that isn’t the case.

During a relaxing shower, Marion, is stabbed to death by a mysterious assailant. This scene shocked audiences on its release and continues to be one of the most iconic deaths in film.

The “shower death” lasts around three minutes and comprises 77 astonishing camera angles combined with 50 cuts, making the whole experience incredibly exhilarating.



The majority of stories set during a zombie apocalypse are tense horrors without a trace of comedy but Zombieland mixes scares and laughs to create one of the most memorable releases of 2009.

The road trip adventure features a group of strangers travelling together to find a “zombie-free” destination—Each using place names as their own identity, such as Columbus, Wichita and Little Rock. 

During our heroes’ adventure, they come across a safe haven, Bill Murray’s Mansion. Bill Murray hilariously plays himself disguised as a zombie, to keep the decaying creatures at bay, but when one of our leads, Columbus, is unaware of this disguise, he shoots the star dead.

Murray appearing was a side-splitting addition to the cast but the true shock was watching such a big name get killed off only minutes later. A memorable cameo, nonetheless.


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