8 horror movies and thrillers where no one actually dies
When it comes to movies belonging to the horror/thriller genres, it’s common to see life or death stakes. This is especially the case with horror films, which aim to instill fear in viewers by showing them characters who find themselves in terrifying and often deadly situations. And when it comes to thrillers, few things are as suspenseful as wondering if people stuck in a tense and thrilling situation will make it out alive.
It makes it interesting when a movie in one (or both) of these genres features no actual on-screen deaths, or at least limits the deaths to people who aren’t main characters. These films can all be categorized as horror or thriller films with little or no death, and in particular no deaths of significant characters. They do this while having life and death stakes and therefore expecting things to be deadlier than they ultimately are.
The following list contains some spoilers.
Fighting spirit is an iconic 1980s horror film that spawned sequels and a more recent 2010s remake. It’s a simple premise about a fairly ordinary family plagued by extraordinary, supernatural forces inside their home. and the lengths they go to try to get rid of the ghosts that haunt them.
This is probably the director’s best-known film. Tobe Hooper this is not the original Chainsaw Massacreand it’s holding up well today. Fighting spirit pushes the boundaries when it comes to what a PG movie can show and is probably one of the scariest horror movies to ever feature any human deaths (the only character that dies – as long as you don’t count either already dead ghosts – is a pet bird named Tweety).
“The Man Inside” (2006)
Inside the man stands out among Spike LeeLee’s filmography is a crime thriller, contrasting with the types of comedy-drama (or straight drama) Lee is best known for. It’s a heist film at its core, with a great cast and a few twists on the formula that transform the film and take it in unexpected directions.
To give the movie an unexpected twist: it has exactly zero body counts, which is surprising for a crime thriller/heist movie. There’s a lot of tension, lots of people seem to be held hostage, lots of weapons being brandished, and a feeling that things could get deadly at any moment, but no one dies for the duration of the run. The same can’t be said for most comparable thrillers that feature bank robberies.
Creation largely takes place in people’s dreams, or at least that’s where the action scenes are. There’s a lot of shootouts, fistfights, chases, and explosions that take place inside these dreamscapes, but since the characters and their enemies aren’t physically there, no one really dies. for real (as in the outside conscious world) if they die in a dream.
There is a threat of being thrown into limbo, but that is not the same as dying. Essentially, it’s an action/thriller movie (and even a sort of heist movie) where the threat of death isn’t really there, but the suspense comes from the idea of avoiding being thrown into a state of limbo or failing the mission at hand. It is a testimony of Christopher Nolan‘s as a filmmaker that he can keep things exciting in an action movie like this without the regular threat of death.
“The Dark Old House” (1932)
A horror film with a good dose of comedy that sheds light, to contrast, this “dark” of its title, The dark old house is a classic horror film from Universal that still holds up, just like the company’s original Frankenstein and Dracula movies from that era still work.
It’s a simple but fun premise involving a group of people who take shelter from a storm in a mysterious mansion. Unsurprisingly to viewers, the house ends up being weird, weird, and dangerous, but considering there weren’t as many horror movies in the early 1930s, we can leave some slack for the characters when it’s about not knowing how stupid it was. to enter it. But luckily for them, they all manage to survive the film without dying, unlike many horror movie characters of later decades, who often seem to die due to their stupidity or naivety.
“The Martian” (2015)
The Martian is a sci-fi film about a stranded man’s survival on Mars and the risky mission undertaken by those on Earth to save him. For a premise like this, with perilous space travel and a story about staying alive, you might expect someone to die, but everyone makes it to the end alive.
Survivors include the character played by Sean Bean, too, who is known to be one of the most frequently killed actors of all time (although in reality he doesn’t quite make the top ten). At least the threat of death or injury is still there, and at the end of the day, this isn’t a movie that needs anyone to die to keep this space survival story gripping.
‘The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2’ (2012)
Well, ok. None of Dusk the films are technically horror films, but they are fantasy films that strongly feature characters and ideas typically associated with the horror genre. However, the emphasis is on romance rather than action, which means horror/violent elements are kept to a minimum, at least until The breaking dawn – Part 2the fifth and final film in the series…
…or so it seems, initially. There’s a huge and surprisingly violent battle scene near the end of the movie where tons of people seem to die, only for the movie to get away with showing that no, it was actually just a vision given to the main villain for the persuade not to escalate a situation. This makes it an extreme example of a movie without death, given that it goes so far as to convince its audience that it saw a bloodbath before reversing everything just for that; it deserves to be counted among the films that are surprisingly free from death.
It’s another film that needs a warning before it can be considered “free from death.” In this comic take on the zombie genre – one of the best zombie films in recent memory – many undead enemies get slaughtered, as do a few minor characters (including, unfortunately, Bill Murraywho plays himself).
But the zombie genre is one of the bloodiest and deadliest, and so for that reason, it’s pretty amazing that none of the four main characters have bitten the bullet during zombieland. There are very few – if any – zombie movies that could say every main survivor in the movie makes it to the end in one piece (i.e. without dying or becoming a zombie), that’s so one of the things that makes zombieland unique.
‘The Babadook’ (2014)
The Babadook is one of the best horror movies released in the last decade. It’s a fantastical and genuinely disturbing film that follows a mother struggling to raise her child and the terrifying monster he believes to be in their home, hunting and intent on killing them both.
With a relatively small number of characters, The Babadook doesn’t feel like some sort of traditional horror movie where there’s a large group of people who are picked on one by one by the movie’s villain. Instead, it’s a smaller-scale horror movie that’s much more intimate, and a lot of the movie’s discomfort and jittery energy comes from the fact that it’s so psychological and so direct when describing things like grief, anxiety and depression. With plenty of horror and sadness already present in the film, chances are that throwing a little death into it would have been too much, and the act of killing someone was ultimately unnecessary.
KEEP READING: From ‘The Exorcist’ to ‘Saint Maud’: The Best Religious Horror Movies