Sommerleigh Pollonais – Senior Writer
Most horror movies rely on two things to be called a horror movie: lots of blood and a high body count. The latter even has YouTube channels dedicated to it, with my personal favourite being Dead Meat.
But here’s the thing – when it comes to memorable horror flicks it’s not about how many bodies hit the floor, it’s about the fear and the atmosphere. And good horror directors and writers can take you there without a single person losing their life. Hell, some are so good at it you’ll watch the entire movie and only as the credits roll you realise, nobody died!
Here are my TOP 5 FAVOURITE HORROR MOVIES WHERE NO ONE DIES:
#5 April Fool’s Day (1986)
I fondly remember discovering this gem of a movie. It’s one of those slasher flicks that popped up after the success of films like Friday the 13th and My Bloody Valentine. It follows a group of friends who get together on a weekend trip and they decide to pull pranks on each other to celebrate April Fool’s.
I know there are a lot of people out there who haven’t seen this one (for the love of all things holy, SKIP THE REMAKE) so I won’t spoil it here. Well, other than the fact it’s on my list of favorite horror flicks where nobody bites the big one…and the title of the movie pretty much gives away the rest. Still, it’s worth a look if you’re as fond of 80s horror as I am.
#4 The Others
I saw this movie right after The Sixth Sense and while everyone was going nuts over the twist in that movie, The Others also had one of the best “holy crap” moments in genre history.
The Others managed to flip horror movie conventions by making you think you’re watching a family living in fear of ghosts, when the truth is way more interesting than that.
It’s also genuinely scary the first time you see it and you’re so caught up with the mystery of it all, you never realise no one actually dies in the movie itself. Now that’s what I call a memorable movie moment.
#3 The Babadook
There are story-driven movies and then there are character-driven ones. The Babadook is most definitely the latter, which makes it all the more terrifying when you put yourself in the shoes of a mother dealing with the loss of her husband while trying to manage a child who is, well calling him a “handful”, would be putting it mildly.
Like all the best horror movies out there, The Babadook’s monster is symbolic of real life traumatic experiences, so the movie can be enjoyed on many levels. And for those of us that have friends who can’t stand the site of blood and gore, aka giant babies, you can tell them both mother and son make it out alive in the end.
#2 The Conjuring 1&2
Once you’re not counting pets, birds or demons, The Conjuring Parts 1 and 2 has a zero body count. Pretty amazing when you take all the possessed people and haunted houses into consideration.
The irony is these two movies are the best of the franchise, while others like Annabelle, The Nun and La Llorona (it’s part of this universe even if the filmmakers didn’t want to admit it) all have deaths in them but are nowhere near as good as the ones that don’t.
Honourable Mention: Poltergeist
Horrific clown dolls, demonic trees, ancient burial grounds and a ghost that kidnaps kids. How this entire family managed to make it out of that house alive is beyond me.
#1 The Gate
They just don’t make it like this anymore. Growing up in the 80s meant your movies were on a WHOLE other level and The Gate was right up there with all the other kids’ movies that would probably cause this generation of pre-teens to need therapy.
A baby-faced Stephen Dorff (Blade) stars as Glenn, a kid whose parents leave town for the weekend, and so he and his BFF Terry decide to explore a hole left in the backyard after a tree was removed.
What happens next is the stuff of any kid’s nightmares, with demons, parents with melting faces and eyeballs growing in places that they definitely shouldn’t. But even with all that insanity, and a literal gateway to hell thrown in for good measure, every single person (sorry, pets don’t count) make it out alive.
Horror movies with blood, gore and body parts are all well and good – hell, they make up a huge chunk of what’s great about the genre – but when they manage to terrify us without a single on-screen death? That’s something truly impressive. Truly impressive indeed.
So what’s your favourite no-death horror movie? And for my Top 5 Movies of the Conjuring universe you can click here.
Sommerleigh of the House Pollonais. First of Her Name. Sushi Lover, Queen of Horror Movies, Comic Books and Binge Watching Netflix. Mother of two beautiful black cats named Vader and Kylo. I think eating Popcorn at the movies should be mandatory, PS4 makes the best games ever and I’ll be talking about movies until the zombie apoclaypse comes.
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