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07.11.2015by: Jake Dee

Top 10 Horror Movie Hangings!

So friends, THE GALLOWS. How many of you are pumped to see it this weekend? I must admit, despite the middling reviews, I sort of dig the idea of a new killer coming around with his own distinct form of murderous mayhem. Here it's the rope. The noose. The long knot. Which of course got us to thinking about all the creepy hanging scenes to be found in horror joints over the years. Not an overwhelming multitude, granted, as hangings are genuinely suicidal in nature. But don't sweat it folks, we got a double fistful of gnarly suspension jobs that'll make your skin crawl. Peep our Top 10 Favorite Horror Movie Hangings above!

#10. KILLER KLOWNS FROM OUTER SPACE (1988)

Let's kick this bash off with a tinge of levity, shall we. Besides, in the name of diversity, we can use all the different modes of horror hangings we can find. As such, the immortal cotton candy cocoon pods in KILLER KLOWNS FROM OUTER SPACE offer just enough of a change of pace to warrant a top spot. You know the deal. Our malefic clown invaders string up human captives in these odd, pink balloon-pouches that store human blood at a consumable temperature. The scene where that clown pulls out the crazy straw, stabs a captive and sucks the blood up like Coolaid on a hot day never fails to repel.

#9. HOUSE (1986)

Any HOUSE fans in the house? Where you at? Well, in this ever so cheesy but fun 1986 haunted house yarn, director Steve Miner put forth one of the most nonchalantly unsettling hanging scenes to open his film. Just as our young hero arrives at an ominous mansion he looks to inhabit as a workplace, he ambles up the stairs into a garish bedroom. The camera is in front of him as he moves forward into the room, then suddenly, randomly, an old woman's hanged body comes swinging into the frame out of f*cking nowhere. Hell of a way to open!

#8. SINISTER (2012)

Just because it's our most recent movie hanging doesn't mean it's any less unnerving than the rest. In fact, the opening sequence of SINISTER, in which we witness a ritualized family hanging of the eeriest degree, is one of the more indelible images of any horror joint to come out in recent years. Four dead bodies, relatively young, heads draped in burlap sacks so we cannot see their faces, swaying from a spooky elm in the front yard. Shite's brutal! That the action springboards the entire narrative makes it all the more powerful.

#7. FRIDAY THE 13TH 3D (1982)

Bet you didn't see this one coming, did ya? But yeah, one of our favorite hanging scenes in a horror flick comes when our villain, not a main character, gets hemmed up and dangled from above. Good old Voorhees is that dude, totally left for dead at the end of FRIDAY THE 13TH 3D. You remember, in the barn with a hay-bail rope and pulley that braces his neck and hangs his ass a few feet above ground. Remember the false alarm, where Voorhees feigns death and lifts the mask to reveal the repugnant deformity he calls a face? Too damn good!

#6. HANNIBAL (2001)

Well goddamn, here's a doozy! More in line with a scene from a SAW movie than a HANNIBAL joint, remember when ol' Dr. Lecter cheekily treats that police investigator with the same treatment he professes? No? Well, in one of the more violent and gruesome hanging scenes I can recall, Hannibal straps a noose around this guy's neck, wheels him in a dolly to the edge of a balcony, forcefully sails the dude of the ledge...where he flails about until the tension of the rope cuts his neck and dumps a clumpy puddle of pulp along the cobblestones. Eek!

#5. FINAL DESTINATION 5 (2011)

Now here's a noose of a different color! Remember in FINAL DESTINATION 5 when that not too bright construction worker gets spilled over the side of high railing, yet instead of splattering on the ground, is caught, suspended, impaled and choked to death by a large crane-hook? Yup, shite's harsh! To me though, even more disturbing, is the shot of his quaking feet, moribund, as they dangle directly above a row of large spikes that he leaks blood on to. Not for the faint of sight!

#4. SCREAM (1996)

Talk about gilding the motherf*cking lily! After being assaulted with an unremitting barrage of stabbings, poor Casey Becker gets gutted, strung up and hung out to dry in the showstopping inaugural death sequence in Wes Craven's SCREAM franchise. Hell of a way to kick things off! What makes this one so damn gnarly is how Casey's dopey parents are forced to find their child gorily eviscerated and suspended from their front-yard sycamore. Then the smash zoom into Casey's pretty little gore-sodden face. Ouch!

#3. THE OMEN (1976)

Oh dear. It really doesn't get much creepier than a soon-to-be hung victim of possession fueled suicide as oone in THE OMEN. Sheesh. Worse yet is how oddly eupeptic the maid appears just moments before little Damien mind-f*cks her into leaping out of a high-storied building with a noose gripped tightly around neck. What an odious monster! What makes the scene even more perturbing is the reaction shots of Peck, who witnesses the ostensible suicide in real time as it happens.

#2. THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE (1974)

Okay, so there's no ropes involved here, but I defy you to find me a more alarming and visceral bout of butchery than my man Leatherface savagely piercing that poor girl on a giant rusty meathook and hanging her out to bleed off in THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE. Can't be done. I won't hear of it. Shite's too intense, too incomprehensibly raw and realistic, too damn ruthless to bear. Of course, that the girl is conscious throughout, moaning and writhing in abject pain, makes it all the worse for wear.

#1. SUSPIRIA (1977)

ARGENTO!!! As far as homicidal hangings are concerned, none in the history of cinema have been both heart-startling horrific and visually gorgeous in the way the Italian splatter maestro composed the infamous death scene in SUSPIRIA. Shite's perfection. The lighting, the colors, the framing, the stylized gore, the camera angle...it's alchemical cruelty of the highest order. Even the aftermath shot of the girl's lifeless legs swinging above a lovely puddle of her own goopy blood could be framed and hung in a museum!

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