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08.12.2016by: Jake Dee

Top 10 Horror Movie Suicides!

Hey now, word on the street is SUICIDE SQUAD is so bad you may want to kill yourself after watching it. How ironic. Even more depressing is how such a universally pegged movie of mediocrity actually broke the box-office record for an all-time August opening. Oh the humanity. Who the hell needs a drink?!

Hey, hey, chin up now. I know that with SUICIDE SQUAD on the brain, not to mention SEA OF TREES coming up and THE FOREST blooming earlier this year (both about the Japanese forest that people visit to kill themselves), there's been a whole lot of unhealthy thoughts going around. That said, when framed within the context of a horror film, some suicides are not only justified, sometimes they're downright heroic. Even better, they tend to be far more flagrant and visually profligate than your dour run of the mill hanging or pathetic pill imbibement. It's an odd thing, suicide in a horror film, as it often undoes an entire moral code other genres can't quite reconcile. Not buying it? Consider our Top 10 Horror Movies Suicides above to see where we're coming from!

#10. SUICIDAL PLAGUE (THE HAPPENING)

So, the wind is stirring up some kind of suicidal pollen? Indeed, such laughable lunacy is the subject of M. Night's unintentional comedy of manners, THE HAPPENING, a movie we've so lovably lambasted for years now that we couldn't dare omit it from this here party. Granted, there's no one suicide that tends to stick out in the flick, but the overarching premise is so absurdly entertaining that we must posit that, between this and AFTER EARTH, M. Night may have been (however intentional) committing career suicide. THE VISIT proved a nice safety net, at least until the end, but it's THE HAPPENING that marks the fall!

#9. THE LONELY DEATH OF JORDY VERRILL (CREEPSHOW)

Oh, poor Jordy! Leave it to the great Stephen King to brilliantly bring to life one of his own authorial characters in CREEPSHOW, and do so in a way we can both understand and sympathize with when it comes to taking his own life. You know what we mean, when Jordy awakes to find his whole body subsumed by a nasty green vegetation, even in his simple mind, he knows the only way out is to cock the shotty and let the 12-gauge ring. That he does, and the top of his dome goes gorily flying in the night. Awkward, hilarious, no doubt shocking...it's the kind of light touch we'd rather see placed on a suicidal movie scene, as opposed to your typically dreary, bathtub slit-wrist scenario.

#8. DIVE & HANG (BATTLE ROYALE)

They done drank the Kool-Aid! Okay, so not really, but because the rules of BATTLE ROYALE were so violently stringent, this here gaggle of gals took the easy way out; two by way of lunging off a towering seaside cliff, two more by way of suspended strangulation. Note the circumstances. These aren't deeply depressed young gals so distraught that they feel the need to end their own lives, it's just that, given the hyper-grisly alternative - an all out fight to the death among countrymen - they'd rather opt out. Not saying it's the wisest move, but you can certainly understand their rationale.

#7. WHITEHURST'S GRENADE JUMP (CHILD'S PLAY 3)

Talk about taking one for the team! We've always been stuck by the heroic act private Whitehurst shows in CHILD'S PLAY 3, the way in which he saves his friends' lives by sacrificing his own. Andy's geeky underling - upon realizing that Chucky has loaded live rounds of ammunition into their unit's paint-ball game - dives headlong on top of a real grenade so that it won't detonate around Andy and his gal pal. Whitehurst decides he has nothing to live for, and ends his life so his friends can live a fruitful one. It's sad and admirable at once, and totally earned given all we'd seen of Whitehurst until then.

#6. MASS TRAIN LEAP (SUICIDE CLUB)

And you thought BATTLE ROYALE was gnarly? Ever see the opening scene of satirical J-horror joint SUICIDE CLUB? Holly hell! Much like the movie HEATHERS, teenage suicide has become a popular trend that all the cool kids in school are doing. So, in a massive pact of solidarity, the flick opens with scores of Japanese schoolgirls collectively leaping off a train platform to their instant, ultra-gory demise. F*cking insane, right? Indeed it is, but taken to such extremes in order to make a statement about peer pressure, conformity, individuality and the willingness, no matter how costly, to fit in among your surroundings.

#5. THE POSSESSED DEFENESTRATION OF FATHER KARRAS (THE EXORCIST)

I mean, can you blame the guy? Dude took a hot wad of thick green puke to the grill, and if that wasn't indignant enough, Father Karras was forced to watch a 12 year old demon-girl spew forth filthy obscenities while whacking off with a crucifix. If that doesn't drive a priest suicidal, what will? Really though, what's interesting about this one is how it's actually a heinous murder exacted under the guise of suicide, which somehow makes it even more sinister. Father Karras, under the malefic spell of Pazuzu, defenestrates himself until he splatters on the cobbles as a viscous red pulp. A manipulated suicide is evil indeed!

#4. T-800'S MOLTEN MELTING (T-2: JUDGMENT DAY)

To be deadly honest, we almost awarded the similarly-self-sacrificial-suicide Ripley displayed at the end of ALIEN 3. But since this one came first, and delivered by Fincher's ALIEN predecessor Jimmy Cameron, yup, we're going with Arnie's heartfelt goodbye at the end of T-2: JUDGMENT DAY. What a way to go out! One minute you're saving little John Connor and his momma, the next you're knowingly lowering your metallic frame down into a roiling vat of piping-hot liquid molten. And to do so with an optimistic thumbs-up? Cue the goddamn Kleenex!

#3. FRANK'S INCINERATION (RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD)

Full disclosure, our bronze medalist is likely my favorite on the list. The brilliant way in which director Dan O'Bannon scripts and shoots Frank's self-incineration with such a light touch, heart-breakingly heroic and massively macabre at once, perfectly echoes the tone, tenor and temperament of RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD. You know what's up. When Frank finally realizes he hasn't a shred of hope left, that he indeed is morphing to a brain-starved zombie, he does the only sensible thing he can think of. He takes off his wedding ring, says a prayer, pulls out the furnace-slab and locks himself into a 5,000 degree inferno. Wonderful intention, right? Little did Frank know his ashes would eventually rain back down into the soil!

#2. WOO-JIN LEE'S HEADSHOT (OLDBOY)

Few films end on the kind of life-altering bang that OLDBOY does, not just for the characters, but the audience alike. Remember how gnarly it was the first time you saw the flick, particularly the shock-bang finale, and how apoplectic the bold and brazen violence left you when it was all over? Hell, it's been over a decade and I'm still reeling. You know the deal, with nary a reason to go on living, the sadistic villain Woo-jin Lee does the unthinkable by capping a hot round of lead into his own dome piece, the steely sterile elevator doors coated in a sheeny blood-red.

#1. NANNY HANGING (THE OMEN)

Certainly the most infamous horror hanging of all, and quite possibly, given its release 40 years ago, the most controversially memorable of all cinematic suicides...ah yeah, it must the portents of THE OMEN calling! In only her fourth credit, actress Holly Palance (Jack Palance's daughter) will no doubt live in notoriety for playing the eerily blithe suicide victim violently cascaded through a pane of glass, under the odious influence of little devil Damien, as her legs quiver lifelessly and her moribund body twitches in utter agony. It's still a difficult scene to watch, primarily due to the way Dick Donner shot it from a far, low-angle and how stark a change in demeanor the Nanny's face quickly goes from joy to sheer terror.

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