10 Horror Movies That Had Actors Die on Set
Bad juju or bad luck? There are so many horror movies that had actors die on set, it's hard to tell.
Do you believe in the Law of Attraction?
The Law of Attraction suggests that you can attract bad luck by just thinking about it. This means thinking about evil will attract evil to your door. The same has been said for committing sacrilegious acts or keeping a negative mindset about life.
Most people have, at one point or another, seen some anecdotal evidence that suggests this superstition to be true. Self-fulfilling prophecies can be seen in just about every corner of society, so it's reasonable to expect to see an example of this "law" once in a while.
It's often said that certain movies are cursed, and the vast majority of hexed films out there seem to have ties to horror. Considering the dark and often morbid topics horror films have, it'd make sense that some films might have bad vibes connected to them.
Some films, such as the Poltergeist film franchise or Rosemary's Baby, are known for carrying bad luck to people connected with the film, including actors like Heather O'Rourke.
Even so, no one in those flicks died during filming. That doesn't mean on-set deaths don't happen, though!
There have been plenty of horror movies that had actors die on set, or had staff members perish shortly after the film was released. These films below, for example, could definitely be used as an argument for horror genre being filled with bad juju.
The Crow had all the things a great horror film should have. It had a morose storyline involving a dead rockstar coming back to life to avenge those who did him wrong. It also featured an incredibly sexy Brandon Lee in his debut role.
Though it eventually became a cult favorite, The Crow also became famous for being one of the most notorious horror movies that had actors die on set. Brandon Lee, son of Bruce Lee himself, was killed on set by a prop gun that malfunctioned.
The scene in question had an actor shoot Lee. When the gun went off, they thought Lee didn't actually die. Soon though, people realized he wasn't just fooling around.Some people surmise that Brandon Lee's death was part of the Lee family curse. Even so, it's a must-see film that truly shows how talented Lee was—which somehow makes his loss even more tragic.
Not all horror movies that had actors die on set involved big names. In the case of Resident Evil, the people who usually paid the ultimate price for their jobs were stunt doubles. The Resident Evil movie franchise had a string of terrible accidents happen that would raise anyone's eyebrows.
Of all the movies under the Resident Evil umbrella, Resident Evil: The Final Chapter had the worst run-ins. Many of those instances caused serious injury, and even death, to the stuntmen involved in the film.
A freak motorcycle accident left veteran stunt double Olivia James in a coma. The accident involved a collision into a camera arm, and left her with a broken arm, a shattered clavicle, the skin ripped off her face, and more nerve damage than you'd ever imagine.
As a result of her crash, James was placed in a medically-induced coma and had to have an arm amputated in 2016. She was not actually the worst off among crew members on set.
Ricardo Cornelius, a crew member who also assisted stunt doubles, was crushed to death by a Hummer that slid off a platform during a shoot. That being said, there are rumors that the film is cursed. So, watch it if you dare.
It's really hard to imagine a movie starring Eddie Murphy to be macabre in any sense of the word, but here we are! Back in the mid-90s, Eddie Murphy could be found in just about every movie out there. One of the movies he starred in had someone die during taping.
The death in question happened to a stunt actress named Sonja Davis. The full details of her death did not make it to light, but that didn't stop the $50 million wrongful death lawsuit from being filed.
Admittedly, this isn't one of the better movies on this list. However, the campiness that you can enjoy really makes it worthwhile for people who want to see something cheesy in a badly-good way.
Nowadays, we have a lighter look at vampires in media. There are a lot of vampire series that could have been successful, and this movie could have been one of them if it was a series. The ideas are there, but the execution just isn't.
Many of the horror movies that had actors die on set are fairly modern, but The Twilight Zone is an exception to the rule. This horror and sci-fi film was considered to be one of the best of its kind, and a true homage to Rod Serling's writing.
The entire movie tells the story of a cruel, bitter man similar to Ebenezer Scrooge as he has a radical change of heart thanks to time travel. For fans of the classic television show, it's an excellent Saturday night movie pick.
Unfortunately for Vic Morrow, who was the main star of the film, it wasn't such a good role pick. During the filming of a scene where Morrow's character rescues two Vietnamese children from a helicopter fire, tragedy struck in the worst way possible.
The helicopter involved in the filming got tangled with overhead pyrotechnics. The chopper lit on fire and the blaze blinded the pilot. The helicopter tumbled to the ground, crushing six-year-old Renee Shin-Yi Chen.
In a sudden collapse of machinery, the blades of the helicopter decapitated both Morrow and a seven-year-old costar. To date, it's considered to be one of the grisliest deaths ever to happen on set in movie history.
Bad as the tragedy was, it shone light on the risks movie makers take when filming. The deaths of the young children and the famous actor quickly led to the passage of several laws protecting child actors, crew members, and filmmakers from faulty sets.
If there was ever such a thing as a cursed movie, The Exorcist would definitely be it. This film had such a huge string of accidents and unexplained problems, it's hard to argue that it was any old film.
People often forget this while watching the award-winning film, but there were serious injuries and deaths associated with this movie. A set fire ripped through much of the area, scorching everything except the room that belonged to Regan.
Multiple stuntmen and actors got back injuries during the filming. Then, Jack McGowran, who played the character of Burke Dennings, died a week after the filming started its finalization process.
Even when the film was screened throughout the states, reports came in of heart attacks, feelings of malaise, and bouts of bad luck. If you're superstitious, I wouldn't recommend watching this.
Still a celebrated movie, you need a filmmaker's guide to the horror techniques used in The Exorcist to understand all the subtlety of this movie's terror. It may be an older film now, but it's still widely appreciated and respected.
Most people remember Aaliyah as a pop and hip hop star who had a soft, silky voice and killer dance moves. What they don't remember is that she also was a pretty darned talented actress.
She's was the victim in Queen of the Damned that had actors die on set. Okay, so she wasn't exactly on the set, but she was in the middle of filming.
Aaliyah's single-engine plane crashed while she was en route to a film shoot. The plane went down and she died. As a result, the movie had to be wrapped up early, and was released under pretty tragic circumstances.
When it comes to sci-fi and horror genre blends, very few films are as notorious as Plan 9 From Outer Space. Unlike Poltergeist or The Omen, this film isn't notorious because of a lingering curse.
Instead of having a string of horrible deaths on set like others on this list, what makes Plan 9 so awful is the fact that the movie is so bad, it's actually good. Like, hilariously, knee-slappingly funny bad.
The box office flop now has a strong cult following as a comedy movie, rather than for being the terrifying movie about zombie-vampire-aliens(?) it was supposed to be.
Most people would never, ever guess that this is one of the few sci-fi horror films that had actors die on set. In fact, it wasn't just an actor who died; it was a legendary horror actor that is still celebrated today.
Actor Bela Lugosi, known for his horror roles as a vampire, had a heart attack while on set—presumably because he probably realized how low his career had sunk to end up there.
Ed Wood, being the idiot he was, hired another actor who looked nothing like him, and would occasionally use cardboard cutouts of Lugosi to fill in parts that didn't make sense anyway.
This is another strange case where a major actor for a horror flick saw an untimely end that is just a little bit more eerie when considering her role. While Brittany Murphy didn't die on set, she did die right in the middle of filming because of pneumonia and anemia.
Something Wicked is pretty spooky considering the circumstances, and even if she didn't die during it, it's said to be a fairly chilling film to watch. In it, Murphy's character seems just a bit too realistically broody. Could it be that she somehow knew something horrible was going to befall her?
The Omen might be the only film to rival Poltergeist and The Exorcist when it comes to its notorious curse. Weird how many horror movies that had actors die on set involved satanic themes, isn't it?
With this movie, there was one legitimate death, as well as one very close call. In the scene where that little Satan kid ends up calling dogs to attack the main character, the dogs were supposed to do a little fake attack.
The attack ended up being very real—and almost led to a stuntman being mauled to death by dogs. A similar scene called for tigers to menace the main characters, and you can guess what that means.
During the taping, two tigers that were trained as actors ended up going ballistic. In their blind rage, the big cats mauled their trainer to death in front of everyone that was working the set.
Eerily enough, this is just one of multiple deaths associated with the film. Movie designer John Richard's girlfriend was decapitated in a car accident following the movie's making. Eerily enough, the accident mimicked a brutal scene in the film and occurred near the town of Ommen.
Much like The Exorcist, people who viewed this in movie theaters often claimed that they had trouble in the form of bad luck or sudden illness follow them home. Whether or not it was a work of the devil has yet to be seen.
Faces of Death is the original horror movie that doubled as a documentary about how people die. It launched a massive series and franchise based on the OG film. To a point, this is also the closest thing to legal snuff you'll probably find.
Saying that this is one of the horror movies that had actors die on set might be a bit of a cop-out, but there's no denying that there's legit footage of people dying as part of the series. Most notably, the original Faces of Death featured the suicide of politician Bud Dwyer.
This movie is terrifying and grotesque in its own right. Even if you are a veteran of splatter films, it's worth pointing out that this is not for the faint of heart. It's even creepier than creatures, cryptids, and legends, since all of these things really did happen.