Exclusive: ‘ABCs of Death 2’ Director Larry Fessenden’s Favorite Movie Deaths

Greatest Movie Deaths of All Time from Drafthouse Films on Vimeo.


The horror anthology The ABCs of Death 2 is a movie about death, just like many other movies. The film tasks 26 directors to each direct a short film about the end of a person’s existence, and relate it to a word starting with a specific letter of the alphabet. Watching what horror filmmakers like Jen & Sylvia Soska (American Mary), Vincenzo Natali (Splice) and Larry Fessenden (Wendigo) can come up with is the real pleasure of the ABCs of Death film franchise, but what about all the deaths that came before?

Drafthouse Films asked all the ABCs of Death 2 directors to contribute their favorite death in movie history for this bloody supercut you see above you. SPOILER WARNING: This supercut contains major plot points for films like The Dark Knight RisesThe Deer Hunter and more.

Drafthouse Films also asked all the directors to explain their choices, and today CraveOnline debuts a short editorial from Larry Fessenden (N is for Nexus) about why he chose a scene from the 1987 horror classic The Stepfather as his favorite movie death of all time. He also provides several runners up (spoiler warnings for The Hitcher and The Mist have been issued.)


Related: Larry Fessenden on His Monster Agenda (Exclusive Interview)


Ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Larry Fessenden…


Abcs of Death 2 Larry Fessenden The Stepfather Terry O'Quinn


When I got this assignment, I thought of the scene in (the original) THE STEPFATHER where the daughter’s shrink is killed by the Stepfather by a 2×4. It struck me because the shrink is in over his head, he doesn’t understand the insanity he’s going up against. He thought he was helping a troubled girl. Because his death has that tragic dimension, it is more poignant.

There is the death in SAVING PRIVATE RYAN where the Nazi slowly kills Private Mellish with a knife to the chest while Mellish says “don’t, don’t.” Very intimate and scary. It’s the same Nazi that the Americans had freed earlier, in a sanctimonious move to “do the right thing”. And so the horrific death mocks the generosity and kindness of their earlier actions.
How about Jennifer Jason Leigh pulled apart between two trucks by Rutger Hauer in THE HITCHER? She is an innocent swept up in the mad rivalry between  the Hitcher and the kid. She’s nothing but collateral damage.
How about everyone in the car at the end of THE MIST? I know some people hate that ending, but I loved it  because it is so futile.
All death is tragic, but when kindness, idealism, innocence or heroism dies too, it is even more resonant.
    – Larry Fessenden (“N is for Nexus”)