Deaths on screen are often very important tools for narratives. While not all stories require death being implemented, many writers have used death as a tool for emotional consequences, to fill the viewer with anger, catharsis or tears, and to shock and stun their audiences.
A lot of deaths on screen were inevitable going in, the villain meeting their fate before the credits roll or a family member dying early on to inspire the protagonist into action, but these deaths are not like that.
All of these characters either had major emotional connections to the narrative, long histories before appearing the film that they passed away in, or died in such a shocking manner that there was no ability to truly process what just happened to them. These are the deaths that in recent memory, showcased the wide potential for death as a tool to captivate and provoke audiences.
In both concept and execution, these on screen passings left audiences everywhere breathless, angry, heartbroken and desperate to see what came next. There will be major spoilers for the rest of this list, so be warned.
10. Mako Mori - Pacific Rim Uprising
For many fans of the first Pacific Rim, Mako Mori was the definitive reason why the movie succeeded for them, the emotional core of the movie that elevated it above just being a great mech action movie. Her breathtaking character arc, incredible performance by Rinko Kikuchi and intensely badass physicality established Mako as a potentially classic character who deserved several sequels to fully define her as legendary.
Her appearance in Pacific Rim Uprising seemed to set up brilliance by the climax, her and John Boyega’s protagonist potentially teaming together for the first time due to their personal connection, or something else that would utilise her character effectively.
Instead she was killed off suddenly at the end of the first act in a genuinely shocking moment, but one that didn’t have the emotional power or necessity that it really should have.
Pacific Rim Uprising is a fairly underrated and enjoyable blockbuster sequel on its own terms, but this fundamental misunderstanding of a character that was so crucial to fans’ love of Pacific Rim explains why Uprising has mostly faded from the cultural lexicon since its 2018 release. Mako’s death is the most memorable and infuriating thing about it.