Top 10 fictional deaths I’ll never get over
Guest Post by Corrie Jackson,
author of THE PERFECT VICTIM
Haunting, disturbing or downright tragic – these scenes burrowed under my skin and stayed there. Warning: SPOILER ALERT
Bambi’s mum getting shot by hunters is one of my earliest memories. I watched in horror as a forlorn Bambi yelps ‘mother, mother’ in the midst of a bitter snowstorm. And don’t get me started on Bambi’s expression as his father tells him, “your mother can't be with you anymore". Thanks for nothing, Walt.
Ellie in ‘Up’
In the wordless opening montage, Pixar created the greatest love story ever told in eight minutes. We see the birth of Carl and Ellie’s relationship, every high, every low until Ellie’s sudden death. And if you can make it through that montage without shedding a tear, you’re no friend of mine.
John Coffey in ‘The Green Mile’
Shock twist: the gentle giant imprisoned on Death Row for the rape and murder of two sisters isn’t guilty. But he chooses to die anyway because he’s ‘tired of all the pain I feel and hear in the world today’. In the electric chair, he asks the prison guard not to put the hood over his head because he’s afraid of the dark. I’m not ashamed to say I ugly-cried in the cinema.
Yes, yes, it was sad when Albus Dumbledore, Fred Weasley and Sirius Black kicked the bucket, I grant you. But the death of JK Rowling’s misunderstood villain, Severus Snape, plumbed new depths for me. The memory we see in his dying moments reveals the man behind the darkness – only it’s too late. Talking about taking a sledgehammer to the heart!
Beth March in Little Women
Goddamit, Alcott, Beth never hurt a fly! Why oh why give Scarlet Fever to the sweet March sister? Worse, Beth actually revives and you think she’s going to live. ‘I never saw myself as anything much,’ she whimpers from her deathbed. Excuse me, I’ve got something in my eye.
Brokeback Mountain: Jack Twist
Jack and Ellis are cowboys in love (I paraphrase), but they agree to lead separate lives to avoid homophobic persecution. When Ellis discovers Jack is dead (via a postcard, for Christ’s sake!), Jack’s wife spins the story into an accidental death. As she’s talking, we see the truth flash across the screen: Jack being beaten to death by three men.
Rich Lady from A Clockwork Orange
Stanley Kubrick’s film based on Anthony Burgess’s dystopian novel still shocks. The most famous scene where Alex and his gang of Droogs physically and emotionally torture a wealthy couple just for fun gave me nightmares. I still can’t listen to ‘Singing in the Rain’.
Quint in “Jaws”
Quint’s death is responsible for my hate affair with the sea. I watched the grand finale of Jaws between my fingers, willing the grizzled shark expert to escape his fate. Spoiler: he doesn’t. But he goes down fighting. He repeatedly stabs the Great White teeing up a gory death that flashes in front of my eyes every time I dip my toe in the sea. Du dum, du dum, du du–MAKE IT STOP.
Artax the horse in Neverending Story
Another movie that ruined my childhood. Atreyu’s loyal horse dies in the Swamps of Sadness. I mean, he literally drowns in sadness. Which is how I felt when I watched it.
Brad Pitt’s wife in Seven
Four words: head in a box.
Corrie Jackson has been a journalist for fifteen years and has worked at Harpers Bazaar, The Daily Mail, Grazia and Glamour. She has lived in London and Los Angeles, and now resides just outside New York with her husband and two children.