10 Shocking Movie Deaths That Came Out Of Nowhere

Burn After Reading

In the right hands, an epic movie death can be one of the defining aspects of a given film, bringing finality to a situation, or on a more basic level, simply thrilling the Hell out of us. In other instances, the mere shock value of the death, either through its speed, unexpected arrival or bizarre nature, can lodge a film far deeper in our consciousness than it otherwise would be. What these 10 deaths have in common is that in some way or another they defied expectations, and therefore shifted that we would come to expect from the film thereafter. If nothing else, these 10 films made it clear that all bets were off...

10. Steven Seagal - Executive Decision

It's a long, distant memory now, but once upon a time, Steven Seagal was a bankable action star, and in this goofy 1996 thriller, the actor was billed second only to Kurt Russell. Given the man's reputation as an action hero (at the time), it was assumed that he'd probably help save the day in an assistant capacity, and likely make it all the way to the end, or perhaps die in a sacrificial way at crunch time. Instead, Seagal's character doesn't even make it out of act one, being slung into mid-air when attempting to board the doomed plane. Needless to say, it's a profoundly shocking moment for action fans the first time they see it, and though Seagal wasn't pleased about being bumped off so early, there's little doubting that it added to the unpredictability factor ten-fold. Also, the lack of maudlin sentiment surrounding his demise is pleasantly refreshing.

Frequently sleep-deprived film addict and video game obsessive who spends more time than is healthy in darkened London screening rooms. Follow his twitter on @ShaunMunroFilm or e-mail him at shaneo632 [at] gmail.com.