As hard as it may be to say goodbye to one or more of your favourite characters, it's a largely accepted rule that death is an inevitable part of the movies.
Dastardly villains, intrepid heroes, doomed-from-the-start supporting characters and fan favourite antiheroes you were sure weren't going to bite the dust are all susceptible to a sudden case of deadness, whether the audience wants to admit it or not.
But there's one kind of death that's known to hit audiences more than any other: the sudden, last-second demise of a character who was mere moments away from keeping themselves alive.
Whether they were about to be saved, thwart their killer's plans, or were the victims of a harrowingly cruel plot twist at the last second, the following characters - good guys, bad guys, and everyone in-between - were all seconds away from narrowly avoiding a grisly fate, but were caught off guard and killed anyway.
From superhero blockbusters to cult sci-fi classics, and award-winning dramas to thrilling slasher films, here are 10 characters who were just seconds away from surviving...but didn't. This article contains major spoilers. Obviously.
10. Rachel Dawes - The Dark Knight (2008)
The big turning point in Christopher Nolan's revelatory The Dark Knight comes around the halfway mark, where the Joker is thrown into police custody and reveals that Batman can only save one of his latest victims: peaceable district attorney Harvey Dent, or Dent's partner Rachel Dawes.
Joker gives Batman and the Gotham P.D the locations of the doomed pair, and the Caped Crusader races off to save Rachel. Only, when he gets to the address, he finds Dent, and Rachel is killed in an explosion just as the slower police arrive outside her location.
The reveal that Joker's switched the locations is a harrowing one on first viewing, hammering home the villain's uncaged insanity and twisted genius, but it's also the most important plot point in the entire trilogy, guiding Bruce Wayne's decision to give up the Batman mantle in the next film, and inadvertently turning Dent into Two-Face along the way.
For anyone who thought someone as innocent Rachel was going to make it out the film unscathed, her sudden and avoidable death hits like a ton of bricks.