It's a fact of life that movies really bloody love killing people. Because of all of our crushing fears of mortality and the fragile ties we have to this mortal coil, there's nothing we all like better than celebrating life by peering inquisitively beyond the veil. Nothing makes you want to live like the Grim Reaper's hand on your shoulder.
Perhaps that's why even the most unexpected of movies are sometimes punctuated by death, or why we're all so destroyed by certain examples from film history more than others.
Sometimes you can see deaths coming a mile off, because the victim has just spent an hour or so walking around with a Dead Meat sign on their back, but when they are not only unexpected but land with a huge emotional blow, they really knock you sideways. Obviously, most movie deaths that matter leave a mark, but when you're totally unprepared for them, they're just a little deeper...
10. Jack - Brokeback Mountain
For all of its perceived transgressiveness, Brokeback Mountain ends up heading towards fairly conventional sad romance territory as two souls entwined irreversibly are chewed up by their love and spat out. But there can be no-one who watched the tale of Jack and Ennis' forbidden love and expected to see the real tragic sting in the tale of Jack's untimely death.
Worse than how unexpected it is is how it's related. We find out barely third hand as Ennis receives a returned post-card stamped Deceased. So closeted was the true nature of their relationship that nobody even thought to let him know.
We don't even get to see the truth of his death. Was it a hate crime or merely an accident? And that unknowing adds salt visciously to the open wound where the story has already unexpectedly torn your heart out.