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8 Movie Deaths So Gruesome They Had To Happen Off-Screen

Sometimes NOT seeing is far more effective...

Off-screen deaths can be the most potent way to go in the movies: their mystery embeds them into our minds, in a way that visible, on-screen deaths don't. On-screen deaths seem (perhaps perversely) more tame in comparison €“ if it's on-screen, it's generally assumed safe enough for us to see, and often not so extreme that it had to be cut out.

To gauge how acceptable violence at the cinema is when it comes to on-screen deaths, let's not forget that Steven Spielberg gave us the traumatising sight of melting Nazis and exploding French archaeologists at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark, and the world's ratings boards barely batted a collective eye. Spielberg wanted us to see those Nazis melt, and by jingo did we get it. But some movie deaths are just too gruesome for audiences to witness. They are so grim that the only evidence we get comes artfully concealed, or entirely absent: we are either protected by something (and not just the camera turning away to watch blood splatter, but no actual injuries) or all we see is the aftermath, so morbid that its implied cause is far more shocking than it would ever have been on screen. Liquefied Third Reichers and combustible Frenchmen are nothing compared to what has happened, or is happening off-screen to the unfortunate souls in this list. Coming up are ten movie deaths so gruesome that their director creators didn't think that our human eyes could have taken it, or that the impact would have been far greater for us NOT to have seen, which is more to the point.
Contributor
Contributor

Lover of film, writer of words, pretentious beyond belief. Thinks Scorsese and Kubrick are the kings of cinema, but PT Anderson and David Fincher are the dashing young princes. Follow Brogan on twitter if you can take shameless self-promotion: @BroganMorris1