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Author Topic: Who Dies First in a Horror Movie?  (Read 9221 times)
InformationGeek
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« on: May 20, 2010, 09:08:21 PM »

I've seen this brought up before in shows I've watched.  A lot of people say the black guy dies first (Great joke from Evolution by the way), I've notice the dumb blonde seems to kick the bucket pretty quickly as well in a bunch of movies, and I've also heard that the funny guy goes first as well.  Since you guys seem more slasher, horror, and similiar movies in the past then me, what do you think?  What character type seems to die first in these movies?
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« Reply #1 on: May 20, 2010, 09:22:25 PM »

Funny guy usually survives for awhile.  First person to die is usually someone not important to the main cast.  Or a sibiling that brings in the main character.
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« Reply #2 on: May 20, 2010, 11:08:39 PM »

I agree with the above statements about who seems to die first.  The people the directors make you hate (b*tch or a**hole of the group) seem to last awhile, so you can savor their death when it finally comes.
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« Reply #3 on: May 21, 2010, 07:05:39 AM »

Usually a couple of people in the prologue get it first.  Quite often they give us a quick nudie scene and then it's off with their heads!  As far as the main cast, all too often it's the hot babe, which was the only reason I was watching the crappy thing in the first place.  Comic relief character, obnoxious camcorder guy, anyone who I want to personally kill - they always seem to last a long time.  If you look at who's got the smallest number of lines in the beginning of the movie, they're pretty likely to be an early victim.
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« Reply #4 on: May 21, 2010, 08:54:21 AM »

Usually a couple of people in the prologue get it first.  Quite often they give us a quick nudie scene and then it's off with their heads!  As far as the main cast, all too often it's the hot babe, which was the only reason I was watching the crappy thing in the first place.  Comic relief character, obnoxious camcorder guy, anyone who I want to personally kill - they always seem to last a long time.  If you look at who's got the smallest number of lines in the beginning of the movie, they're pretty likely to be an early victim.

Yeah, the comic relief sticks around a while. And the norm in horror movies since at least the early 80s is to make the black guy a badass with lots of personality and a colorful way of putting things - The Keith David model. I suppose that's a direct influence of the Blaxploitation heroes of the 70s. So the black guy often gets saved up either for a really big death, comes to an uncertain fate only to show up later at just the right time, or occasionally makes it all the way through. Off the top of my head, I can think of Keith David in The Thing, Ernie Hudson in Leviathan, Bill Duke in Predator, Richard Jones in Event Horizon, the sergeant in Jason X and maybe a couple of others.

I agree, the first to die is usually somebody even more expendable than the rest of the cast. Someone who is not likeable or colorful enough to keep around, that they really didn't feel the need to flesh out, given the short screen time.

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« Reply #5 on: May 21, 2010, 07:41:38 PM »

The crazy old man!
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« Reply #6 on: May 21, 2010, 10:27:02 PM »

The crazy old man!

True enough. Once he's told everybody they're doomed, he's pretty much performed his function. TeddyR
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« Reply #7 on: May 22, 2010, 04:56:28 AM »

The fat lady sitting near the street eating a banana
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« Reply #8 on: May 22, 2010, 05:33:54 AM »

I've seen this brought up before in shows I've watched.  A lot of people say the black guy dies first (Great joke from Evolution by the way), I've notice the dumb blonde seems to kick the bucket pretty quickly as well in a bunch of movies, and I've also heard that the funny guy goes first as well.  Since you guys seem more slasher, horror, and similiar movies in the past then me, what do you think?  What character type seems to die first in these movies?

In a slasher film, usually it's the guy in the "prologue" couple.  That is, we see a couple in the beginning of the film who start making out and, in order to set the mood (and give us some early gratuitous nudity) the guy is killed, girl screams tries to run away, and then she gets killed.

Now, if it's a sci-fi film involving some kind of laboratory monsters, I'm guessing it's usually the scientist that created it who dies while the creature escapes whatever confinement it's in.
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« Reply #9 on: May 24, 2010, 12:28:37 AM »

For slashers, it really depends on the particular time period it was made in. In earlier ones, the black guy really did die first. Nowadays it's much more common to have early throwaway characters die first just to demonstrate how brutal the villain is. How do you know they're a throwaway? Well, do they have a name? Do they have at least two personality traits? Are they developed in any way at all? No? Then they're probably going to die. "Probably" is the key word, of course. Many horror movie creators are horror movie fans, so they know all the horror tropes and may decide to subvert them (building up your expectations for something, like a cat scare, and doing something else at the last minute, like having a cat scare and then having a mutilated corpse or the villain pop out somewhere else in the frame right after).
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« Reply #10 on: May 24, 2010, 12:53:20 PM »

The crazy old man!

True enough. Once he's told everybody they're doomed, he's pretty much performed his function. TeddyR
Yeah, but usually nobody finds out the guy is dead until much later.  They'll stumble onto where the killer placed it to frighting them, even if the killer is something that has no reason or way to plant bodies like that.

As for who dies first, I'd put money on the only big name celebrity in the movie that they couldn't afford to cast for more than a few quick scenes. 
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« Reply #11 on: May 24, 2010, 07:17:47 PM »

Usually the nerdy guy.
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« Reply #12 on: May 27, 2010, 03:18:07 PM »

As far as I know, the least developped/cannon fodder character(s) in a horror movie is always the first one to die. Take  the first deaths in Friday the 13th as an example: we are barely introduced to the two lovers in the flashback scene and after about two minutes, they get slashed. There's no back story on these characters, they just almost have sex and then die.

While it's an annoying cliche in many horror films (mainly in slashers), it's possible that the film needs these throw away "props" to reveal the deadly nature and potential power of the monster. 
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« Reply #13 on: May 27, 2010, 03:28:08 PM »

As far as I know, the least developped/cannon fodder character(s) in a horror movie is always the first one to die. Take  the first deaths in Friday the 13th as an example: we are barely introduced to the two lovers in the flashback scene and after about two minutes, they get slashed. There's no back story on these characters, they just almost have sex and then die.

While it's an annoying cliche in many horror films (mainly in slashers), it's possible that the film needs these throw away "props" to reveal the deadly nature and potential power of the monster. 

Like the redshirts in Star Trek. I never thought about it that way.
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« Reply #14 on: May 27, 2010, 03:36:55 PM »

Usually a couple of people in the prologue get it first.  Quite often they give us a quick nudie scene and then it's off with their heads!  As far as the main cast, all too often it's the hot babe, which was the only reason I was watching the crappy thing in the first place.  Comic relief character, obnoxious camcorder guy, anyone who I want to personally kill - they always seem to last a long time.  If you look at who's got the smallest number of lines in the beginning of the movie, they're pretty likely to be an early victim.

Not sure if the was mentioned but in the Dusk Till Dawn II movie with Robert Patrick.  The killed off Bruce Campbell and Tiffany Theisen real quick and can't remember why.  So what I am trying to say is that they kill off important (or people who think that they are important) people quickly too.

Later,

John
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