Has a movie ever killed someone in the audience? Several films have been accused of this, but has it ever really happened? As a skeptical contemporary audience, we immediately think everything we hear about a movie is a marketing gimmick. Our distrust of any news that might play into the hands of filmmakers, such as an audience member dying, isn't new to our generation either. Sure, we've been fooled before. We believed that The Human Centipede was causing a great many people to be ill in theaters. Is it true? Probably not to the extent that the filmmakers would have us believe. We also believed that The Blair Witch Project was real, but that didn't last too long. So what about theater deaths? Are they urban legends? Are there other explanations or are these just plain truths?
There's a reason why we believe everything is a gimmick, and, whether you know it or not, it all pretty much goes back to director and producer William Castle. Castle was the guy who popularized marketing gimmicks to generate buzz for his horror films. One of the most interesting gimmicks related to this list was used for The Tingler (1959). For this film's release, Castle installed vibrating motors in seats, staged "screamers" and "fainters" in the theater, and set up nurses in the lobby and an ambulance out front. The "fainters" would be stretchered out of the theater in front of everyone in the theater. This ultimately led to rumors of people's death, which can only help the box-office numbers. Still to this day, the ambulance gimmick is used for some movies. Plenty of reports have come out about people dying in theaters. We heard it with The Exorcist. Even though there was someone who fainted and broke their jaw, they never died, so we don't care that much about it. Which reports were real and which were hoaxes? Who has actually died because of a movie? Laughing to death, scared to death, it doesn’t matter to us; we just want death. We also want to send our condolences to the families of those who actually did die. Here are 15 movies that literally killed their viewers.
15 Star Wars: The Force Awakens
14 A Fish Called Wanda
13 Raju Gari Gadi
11 Harry Potter
10 Grand Masti
7 The Passion of the Christ
6 A Two-Headed Man
4 Get Em' Young
3 The Conjuring 2
1 The Creeping Unknown
If you were to ask the Guinness Book of Records, there has only ever been one death as the result of watching a horror film. While people will doubt this claim, we will treat it as one of the most truthful reports. The film, The Creeping Unknown, was originally called The Quatermass Xperiment. It was a 1955 British film that was based on the BBC serial The Quatermass Experiment. Since the film received an X-rating, the title was changed to focus on that. When the film came to U.S. in 1956, not many people were familiar with The Quatermass Experiment, so they changed the title to The Creeping Unknown. Then on the 6th of November, 1956, a nine-year-old boy died while watching the restricted film. It was said he died of a ruptured artery and the film's scares were partially blamed. Whether the cause was the film or not, the reports showed the world that people can die from fright.
Sources: Telegraph; IMDB; Looper
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