Even though horror can take many forms, there is one commonality they share: people are going to die. Slashers, ghost stories, and creature features get our blood pumping because we know any member of the ensemble could be killed off any second.
When there's a masked maniac, a monstrous alien, or a killer doll on the prowl, there's a good chance at least one of the characters isn't going to make it out alive. What's worse is we have to watch them die slowly and painfully, as they're stabbed, eaten, or dismembered.
However, there are some movie deaths that left a huge impact on us, despite occurring off-screen. If the camera cuts away just before zombies tear our hero apart, our imagination devises an image far more graphic than anything put to screen. Finding the corpse of a character we didn't even know was dead is an effective way to spook the viewers. Sometimes, just hearing the scream of a person meeting their maker is enough to rattle us.
We may not have bared witness to these deaths, but they haunted us all the same.
10. Lieutenant Boyle - The Silence Of The Lambs
There are few characters in horror who curdle our blood more than Hannibal Lecter. Being a deranged cannibal, it's clear the chianti-loving doctor has an animalistic side.
However, Hannibal is scarier when he maintains his gentile demeanour. When he behaves politely to the correction officers in The Silence of the Lambs, we know this is the calm before the storm.
Sure enough, Lecter frees himself from his restraints and overpowers the two guards. After handcuffing Lieutenant Boyle, he maces Sergeant Pembry, leaving the pair completely helpless. Although it's horrible to watch Hannibal take a big bite out of Pembry's cheek, what he does to Boyle is more hard-hitting.
As the guard pleads for his life, the liver-guzzling psychiatrist beats him to death with his own nightstick. Rather than showing Boyle's face being pulverised to mush, the camera focuses on the good doctor's reaction. After being chastised by the officers, we assume Hannibal's face would be filled with an unquenchable ferocity.
Instead, he strikes the officer with harmonious and mechanical force. Ironically, this makes the scene more frightening, since it makes Hannibal come across as an unfeeling automaton, rather than a human being.