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Gory Discretion Shot / Live-Action Films

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Gory Discretion Shots in live-action movies.

  • The 51st State: the characters are in a guest box at Anfield Stadium, and a chemical reaction makes Meat Loaf explode. From outside, the box's window suddenly fills with blood.
  • Used subtly to make a point in 8mm. When the protagonist watches the Snuff Film found in the safe at the film's opening, the camera cuts to his reaction when the snuff film reaches its kill shot. Later on, however, the camera doesn't move from the kill when he watches snuff films purchased from an underground porn shop. This hints that while the films from the porn shop are fake (they both use the same "starlet"), the one in the safe was real.
  • The Alien series uses this to substantial effect in each film. With one exception (Parker), the only two people killed by the eponymous Aliens on screen in the first two movies were both killed by chestbursters, while everyone else killed were done so via use of this trope. It fits very well with the extensive use of Take Our Word for It.
    • In Alien, the creature advances towards Lambert and sticks its tail between her legs. As Ripley runs toward Parker and Lambert's location, she can hear strange noises mixed with Lambert's final, piercing scream. The end result of that encounter is (mercifully) never shown on-screen.
    • In Aliens, a xenomorph attacks Ferro as she's piloting the dropship towards the Marine's location. Ferro doesn't have time to act, and we see her bloodsoaked hand hit the windshield.
    • In Alien³, a maintenance worker finds the newborn xenomorph in a air duct. He is hit with acid spit from the creature and tumbles downward into a fan, where the camera shifts the focus to a perspective behind the fan. Blood and gore spray everywhere. The fate of Supervisor Andrews (blood pouring down from a shaft) and other prisoners also follow this trope.
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    • In Alien: Resurrection, most noticeably when the alien gets inside the escape pod and the occupants' blood and viscera splatters on the window amid screams.
  • The end of American Beauty, when Lester is killed. Though that wasn't entirely for discretion - it kept the identity of the killer a mystery until The Reveal.
  • The most recent (non-musical) adaptation of Anna and the King uses this for Tuptim's execution scene. At the moment where her head is chopped off, the camera cuts to a shot of her hands holding a plant in between them. There is a spray of blood, and her hands drop apart, letting the plant fall.
  • In April Showers, fourteen people (including the shooter) are killed during the school massacre, but only one of them is shot onscreen.
  • In Ariel, we don't get to see the aftermath of Taisto's father's suicide, only Taisto's reaction to it.
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  • Subverted in Audition. The trope is played straight occasionally at first, for a burn injury and a decapitation. However, any one who thinks that implied violence is stronger than graphic violence should try sitting through the final 20 minutes of the film.
  • Avatar has no fewer than three of these in its final battle. The first is a marine who in a mid-air collision with another helicopter is clearly about to be torn apart by its rotors before the camera switches to an exterior shot of both helicopters exploding. The second is an AMP driver being crushed inside his suit by a Pandoran rhino, only hearing a scream before an exterior shot shows the rhino crushing the driver canopy. The third is a marine being crushed between two bomb pallets, but avoiding a closeup or showing blood and again only hearing the marine scream before his apparent gory death.
  • In Backstreet Dreams, a car rushes towards three-year-old Shane as he stands spacing out in the middle of a crosswalk. The movie cuts right before the car hits, and the Sickening "Crunch!" is played over an Establishing Shot of a hospital.
  • In The Bad Seed, little Rhoda takes care of caretaker Leroy, who knows what she is, by starting a fire in the locked cellar where he's sleeping. As he burns to death we only hear his agonized shrieks - probably as done in the original stage play where such an approach would be expedient.
  • In classic noir film The Big Sleep, when Eddie Mars is forced to walk out of Geiger's house by Philip Marlowe, into the street where Mars' goons are waiting for Marlowe to step out so they can shoot him. Mars leaves the house screaming "Don't shoot!", but it doesn't stop his goons as the door closes behind him.
  • Used throughout Braveheart, including Wallace's drawing-and-quartering execution at the end.
  • Cunningly used in The Cabin in the Woods to hide the fact that one of the characters hasn't been killed. He's Ankle Dragged off by a monster, then we hear and see blood flying and him screaming. Turns out he hacked up the monster, returning to save the not-so-Final Girl in a Big Damn Heroes moment.
  • In the original version of Cape Fear, a half-closed door is used to make Cady's beating of Diane Taylor much more disturbing.
  • The 2008 film The Children both plays this straight and avoids it. Only one of the adults get a death scene, otherwise they're all Gory Discretion Shots. The children's deaths are all shown fully.
  • Cloverfield makes use of the silhouette variant, when Marlena explodes from her infected bite.
    "Hud? I don't feel so good..."
  • Con Air has a horribly well done scene which starts with the rapist con in the foreground, with only his head and arm handcuffed to the ceiling in shot. Two paramedics approach with the comment "well, he's dead." they grab the body, pulling it out of shot. But the arm stays hanging by the handcuff.
  • In Creepshow 2 there is a literal shot of blood splattering against a wall accompanying a silhouetted murder.
  • Hilariously lampshaded in Deadpool (2016), when Deadpool tracks down the recruiter.
    Deadpool: Oh, you'll tell me. But first... [angles camera away] you might want to look away for this. Now, this little piggy went to...
    [loud scream from offscreen, with bystanders recoiling in horror]
  • In Die Hard with a Vengeance, we get one of these when one of the Mooks is sliced in half by a snapping cable. We see the cable whip towards him, we see him catapulted backwards by the hit, but cuts away before we see him bisected. Then McClane and Zeus come across his body. "I'll get his arms, you get his legs." They start out carrying the body normally, until Zeus turns until he's side-by-side with McClane.
  • Doomsday plays with this a bit: A character is about to commit suicide, and as he puts the gun in his mouth, the camera pans up. When the gun goes off, however, a colossal amount of blood and sizable chunks of flesh splatter into frame.
  • Parodied in the Mel Brooks spoof Dracula: Dead and Loving It. At one point the protagonist has to drive a stake into a vampire whose body is obscured by a coffin, but in doing so he gets sprayed with a ridiculous amount of blood.
    • "You never told me there'd be this much blood!" "Of course there is! She just ate recently! Why do you think I'm behind the wall!?"
  • We only see blood splattered on the wall when the "heart plug" scene climaxes in Dune (1984).
  • In Evil Dead 2 when Ash puts the chainsaw to his recently reanimated dead girlfriend's head (which is in a vice, by the way), all that we see of the carnage is, surprisingly red, blood on the lightbulb.
    • Evil Dead 2 uses a lot more of these shots than the first one (for example, compare the axe dismemberment in the first with the similar scene in the second), presumably to try to get an R rating instead of an X. (It didn't work).
  • The Final Destination movies use a rather creative bunch of gory discretion shot scenes and cutaways combined. The x-ray vision deaths at the beginning and end of Final Destination 4 are particularly noteworthy.
  • One of the more memorable Friday the 13th deaths is from the sixth film, involving the camp councillor/Decoy Protagonist Paula. Jason finds her in the cabin alone, shuts the door and then a blood splatter covers the window. When the cabin is found later, the entire room is saturated in blood. However she went out of the world, it probably wasn't pretty.
  • Funny Games is fairly bloodless. When the child is killed, it happens in another room, and we only hear the sounds and reaction, then cut to a blood-spattered television.
  • Gangs of New York uses a door frame to block out the crushing of Monk McGinn's head by the Butcher when he kills him with his own weapon. Strange, given the brutality and gore that fills the movie.
  • Also in the beginning of Glory, Matthew Broderick watches on as a Union soldier's wounded leg is hacked off while said soldier is still conscious. The actual hacking is covered by a sheet but we see blood splatter on the sheet as the soldier screams in agony.
  • Gone with the Wind The amputation of the gangrened leg scene. The surgeons and the patient are only seen in shadow, but we can hear the soldier screaming for them not to cut...
  • Invoked in Grand Canyon. Director Davis (Steve Martin) is upset that while he wanted a Money Shot of a bus driver's Boom, Headshot!, a discretion shot was used.
    Davis: Where's the shot?
    Editor: What shot?
    Davis: You took out the shot.
    Editor: Which shot is that?
    Davis: The Money Shot. The bus driver's head. The brains-on-the-window shot. The viscera-on-the-visor shot.
    Editor: We thought we'd show it to you without...
    Davis: Put it back. Don't show me anything.
    Editor: You don't need it. You're not even giving it a chance.
    Davis: How's the rear-view-mirror gag supposed to work without it? Am I the only one here who respects the writing?!
  • The teahouse shootout in John Woo's Hard Boiled ends with one of these, as a flour-covered Tequila finishes off his Uzi-wielding opponent with a single shot to the head at point blank range that splatters his blood all over Tequila's face.
  • Used in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2 with Severus Snape's death scene by being attacked by a giant snake. The trio (and therefore, the camera) just stare at his shadow behind a white glass.
  • When JD from ‘’Heathers’’ blows himself up with his dynamite vest after Veronica thwarts his plan to blow up the school, the explosion is partially seen and Veronica reacts to it, his corpse isn’t seen afterwards.
  • The Hellraiser series:
    • While we get to see a lot of the deaths that occur in the nightclub massacre in Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth, the scene ends with the survivors running to the exit doors as they are sealed shut. The camera then pans backward from the other side of the door showing an series of puddles of blood expanding from underneath the door while the audience hears horrible sounds coming from within. Even more terrifying, as the blood slowly spreads, we hear fewer and fewer screams coming from inside—not because the people are calming down, but because there are fewer people left to scream.
    • Hellraiser: Inferno did something similar in the scene where Joseph's parents get killed.
  • High Tension: While Alex's parents are shown to be brutally killed on screen, the audience only sees a glimpse of gunfire when the killer shoots Alex's kid brother in a corn field.
  • In The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey when Gollum is preparing to eat a wounded goblin on his rocky outcropping, he is shown smashing the goblin's head with a rock before the camera switches to Bilbo who is watching the fading of Sting's glow (a sign that live goblins are near). When Bilbo looks up at the outcropping next, the rock is bare.
  • The American International Pictures horror film How to Make a Monster has this for the death of the weapons designer. As the robot monster thingy begins to slaughter him, the other characters see him slam into the door window and leave a bloody handprint. After he falls, all that's visible in the window is the robot's hand ready a sword, then it swings down and blood sprays everywhere.
  • Used to its full advantage in The Hunger Games. Whenever a character suffers a particularly gruesome death, the cameraman starts up the Jitter Cam to show violence without the audience being able to see it clearly. This is mainly due to the director’s attempts to try and slip by with a PG-13 rating to keep the movie appropriate for younger viewers.
  • The first time Ichi the Killer is seen in action, he charges screaming into an apartment, with blood-splatters and death shrieks coming out of the door he entered. Two men are watching from a closed-circuit television from another apartment, but we only see their expressions and a blurred figure of Ichi. Disturbing at first, but the explicit Gorn levels the film follows with later severely overshadow this scene.
  • In I Know What You Did Last Summer, Barry's death is in a dark shadowy area, and all we see is a little bit of blood, and Helen is killed from behind a tire-stack, in extremely low-light conditions, with occasional flashes from fireworks. Also, Elsa has her throat slashed, but all we see is a little bit of blood splatter on a glass pane behind her.
  • Appears several times in the Indiana Jones films:
    • Raiders of the Lost Ark: The Giant Mook German mechanic winds up in the spinning propeller of an airplane, but we just see blood sprayed onto the plane's rudder.
    • Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom: The Giant Mook taskmaster in the mines is crushed by roller, but the camera cuts to ReactionShots and a streak of blood.
      • It should be noted the aformentioned giant mooks were both played by the same stunt man. A similar scene was set up and filmed with the same stunt man for The Last Crusade, but, unfortunately, the scene was ultimately cut.
    • Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade: Near the beginning is a classic example with a hat, except the hat floats by on the water while Indy clings to a lifebuoy.
  • In Into the Woods, when Cinderella's stepmother decides to mutilate her daughters' feet to make them fit the golden slipper, the camera zooms in on their faces and the audience never sees their feet being mutilated or the end result.
  • In Iron Man 2, there's this part where Justin Hammer leaves Ivan Vanko in a room with several guards watching him. We cut to somewhere else, then when we get back to Vanko, we see the guards hanging from the ceiling.
  • Used, with comic effect, in Terry Gilliam's Jabberwocky: King Bruno, his daughter and Passelewe sit watching the tournament that is held to decide which knight will go and slay Jabberwocky. They get increasingly more covered in splattered blood, up to there being very little un-red surface left.
    • Also, at the start of the movie, a hapless poacher falls prey to Jabberwocky. From the moment the man spots his doom, contorting his face in fear, we only see his face centered in the shot with the background rapidly moving every which way. Then, after a few seconds, the man ends up on the ground and the shot pulls back to reveal, well, quite a bit less of him than just shortly before.
  • Jack the Giant Slayer: The film always cuts away whenever the giants devour the humans, only allowing the viewer to hear the sounds. Averted in the case of Fallon.
  • James Bond:
    • Used in the Bond film Moonraker. Incensed when he discovers that his assistant Corrinne has been helping Bond, the villain Drax sets his dogs on her. Pursued by them, she hysterically flees into the woods. Despite running as fast as she can, the dogs keep gaining on her. She lets out one final desperate scream as they leap on her and knock her to the ground … and the camera pans upward to the beautiful, sunlit sky, leaving the rest to our imagination.
    • In Tomorrow Never Dies a Mook is thrown by James Bond into a printing press; all that's seen is the baddie falling through the paper and the ensuing copies coming out stained red.
  • This is the Jurassic Park films' favorite way to kill off characters, especially when it involves smaller dinos which would generally be messier to show. They generally have the characters be yanked (or trip) offscreen, or pan away from the attack, and then have said doomed character give out a horrifying scream to show they've been killed. Specifically:
    • Jurassic Park:
      • The first film opens with a Dead-Hand Shot of Jophrey the worker being dragged away by the Velociraptor.
      • Nedry's death is conveyed by the Jeep he's in shaking wildly, and a shot of the phony shaving cream can containing the stolen embryos being buried in the mud running down the hillside. This directly contrasts with his death in the novel, which is described in excruciating detail.
      • Although Muldoon's death is mostly obscured through the bushes, there's a Freeze-Frame Bonus wherein you can see that the raptor has his head in her mouth.
    • The Lost World: Jurassic Park:
      • Dieter Stark falls behind a log, which obscures the view of the pack of Compsognathus killing him. We hear him scream as the water in the stream turns red. Later on, Roland Tembo comments that all they found of him were "just the parts they didn't like."
      • Robert Burke panics when a snake slithers down his shirt and runs right into the jaws of the mother Tyrannosaur that had been chasing him. He screams in terror as it lifts him out of view and bites down, making the waterfall he was hiding behind run red for a moment.
      • We're told that the crew of the Venture are "all over the place" in the ship's wheelhouse, but all we see is the helmsman's severed hand.
      • Peter Ludlow foolishly tries to recover the baby tyrannosaur himself, following its cries into the hold of the Venture and trying to corner it for a minute, unaware that its father is walking into the hold right behind him until the baby runs past him and he sees it. The adult snaps his leg with its teeth as he tries to escape and uses him as live prey to teach its baby how to hunt, and the baby pounces on and kills him just out of frame as the adult proudly looks on the scene and Ludlow screams in agony.
    • Jurassic Park 3: Nash, the mercenary pilot, is pulled out of the plane by the spinosaurus and it waves him around a bit before dropping him to the ground. He tries scrambling away but the spinosaur pins him down with one foot and reaches down to bite his head off, with its other foot coming into frame, out of focus, just in time to hide the actual bite. When it rises up again a moment later to roar at the other characters, Nash's blood is on its snout.
    • Jurassic World:
      • The first death is of one of the Paddock 11 workers, whose demise is mostly shown by him being grabbed by Indominus rex and lifted up offscreen, with his screams and crunching noises being heard over the radio. When Nick (the supervisor) looks back after opening the door to escape, we see I. rex with the worker partially in her mouth, and although the view is brief and mostly blocked by trees, we see her pulling the man's legs off.
      • One of the ACU troopers killed during the jungle battle gets eaten by the I. rex. Although him being killed is obscured through tree branches and by the glare of sunlight coming down through the canopy, his blood rains down through the leaves.
      • Although Zara technically dies entirely onscreen, the shot of her in the Mosasaurus' mouth is obscured by the Pteranodon who gets eaten with her.
      • Vic Hoskins' death. When Delta the Velociraptor suddenly shows up, he tries to get her to back down by holding up a hand. After a moment where it seems like she just might leave him alone, she chomps down on his hand. He screams. The next shot shows Hoskins being mauled by Delta, obscured by the corner of a wall, followed by a spatter of blood on a window next to them.
  • It's very difficult to see in Peter Jackson's King Kong, but during the fight with the final V-rex, Kong bites the T. rex's tongue off, then spits it out and resumes fighting. The film covers it up by cutting from a close-up view to an outside so fast it's nigh difficult to spot. Look closely in this clip.
  • Kingsman: The Secret Service: When the Kingsmen watch footage of Professor Arnold's head exploding (captured by Harry's spy glasses), the scene cuts away to show Eggsy's reaction instead.
  • Brilliantly used in Kung Fu Hustle: The Musical Assassin that kills with slicing sound waves fires his "weapon" at someone as that person is walking down an alley. We see the things he just walked past get cut in two as shadows. Quite threatening....until you see a cat getting sliced in mid-air
  • Law Abiding Citizen thankfully doesn't show the horrid torture and dismemberment of the murderer, but it is described to him beforehand in detail, and the pieces are shown when the police arrive.
  • Lawrence of Arabia employs this when Lawrence is captured in Dera'a. While T.E. Lawrence's autobiography describes the attempted rape and the beating in great detail, including the shocking (for the 1920s) admission that Lawrence enjoyed it, the movie manages to be more creepy with the Turkish official coughing as he watches, the look on Lawrence's face as he braces for the first blow, and Lawrence's friend seeing him get tossed outside afterwards.
  • In the Stanley Kubrick adaptation of Lolita, a wounded Claire Quilty crawls behind a painting of Lolita, whereupon Humbert kills him by emptying the gun through the painting with much Rule of Symbolism.
  • M doesn't bother with a cut when the Thieves' Guild prepares to torture a watchman—instead, a crowd of beggars rushes to watch, obscuring the view.
  • Mad Max: Fury Road has a massive body count of mooks, but almost all of the kills that aren't noticeably clean use this trope.
    • Max blocking a chainsaw attack with a human shield doesn't show much more than the unfortunate mook thrashing around with blood on the blade, and the camera quickly pans away before we can actually see the mess it made of his torso. Similarly, Keeper getting her neck sliced with a belt sander just shows a split-second spray of blood and her clutching her neck afterwards, without showing us the actual wound.
    • We don't get to see the actual damage when Angharad and Valkyrie are run over by the bad guys' vehicles.
    • Furiosa getting stabbed is depicted by a cut to her screaming in agony, without the actual shot of the knife going in. Considering this one was considerably less gruesome than most of the other examples, it's presumably just for dramatic effect.
    • Strongly averted with the deaths of People Eater and Immortan Joe, but they're both bad guys anyway. Mostly, the rule seems to be that good guys who die get Discretion Shots, the most loathsome bad guys do not.
  • Master and Commander uses this several times.
    • Early in the film, Dr. Stephen Maturin amputates Midshipman Blakeney's arm. The viewer doesn't see the actual operation, but seeing one of the other midshipmen looking away as he holds down his friend, then later a shot of Blakeney nearly crying in pain is enough to illustrate the point.
    • Later, Dr. Maturin himself gets shot in the gut. He has to operate on himself, with no anesthesia. The best the viewer sees of this operation is a blurred view through Dr. Maturin's mirror, and the surgeon's own grimaces.
  • In the film version of Miami Vice, an informant (who has just learned from Sonny and Crockett that his wife was murdered by Cuban drug-runners) steps out onto a freeway into the path of an oncoming truck. The camera cuts away just before the vehicle hits him, and (as the sound cuts out and the duo look on in shock), the truck brakes to stop - in a split-second shot, you can see a streak of blood dragging out behind the truck.
  • In The Mist, the final scene where David shoots his son and the three other passengers, the camera pans away to the outside of the vehicle. Later all but one of the corpses can be seen. Guess which one.
    • Also earlier, when the biker goes out into the mist. Even if you don't see what happens to the unfortunate biker, you probably don't WANT to know what happened to him after his TORSO is dragged back in from the fog. Same thing when the fog rapidly rolls in, one man panics and runs out to his car, and the mist swallows him, where we hear horrifying screams.
  • The Mummy uses this several times, though it usually shows the aftermath, which is downright creepy. This mostly amounts to Imhotep sucking the life force out of several people and therefore leaving them as shriveled corpses. Special mention goes to the death of Anck-su-namun, Imhotep's recently-resurrected lover from Ancient Egypt—who Jonathan sics some mummified soldiers on and her death is shown only as shadows while they hack her to pieces—and Beni, who becomes trapped in a tomb at the end and is surrounded by thousands of flesh-eating scarabs in dwindling torchlight, which goes out just before they get to him, and the scene cuts to outside as he starts screaming.
  • In the 1946 Roy Rogers classic My Pal Trigger, a gory discretion shot is used when the cougar attacks Trigger's mother, and later when Roy surveys how badly she's been hurt. Of course the extent of the injury couldn't have been shown on screen back in '46, but Roy's reaction to it creates a Nothing Is Scarier moment because you can't see the gruesome injury, freeing your mind up to conjure horrible things.
  • Mystery Team does this to prevent the audience for seeing the effects of a cherry bomb hitting a man square in the face.
  • Napoleon Dynamite: While waiting for the school bus one morning, across the road Napoleon sees a farmer preparing to shoot a cow. Just before he does, the bus drives into the scene and Napoleon doesn't see the shot. The kids on the bus, however, do, and scream.
  • In The New Daughter, the camera cuts to the other side of the door just before the mound-walkers reach Mrs. Amsworth. The viewer (and Sam) hear her screaming, but don't see what's happening.
  • With the exception of Kelvin, most of the deaths in Next of Kin (1982) occur off-screen or only just.
  • The Orphanage subverts this to a great effect, as it keeps holding a car crash victim just out of frame for most of the scene, only to show her horribly dislocated jaw in its full glory at the end, after another character tried to give her CPR.
  • Used twice in Osmosis Jones first when Thrax slashes the throat of a mafia germ we see his fluids splash like blood as his finger slashes him offscreen, and second when Thrax kills a white blood cell technician we see him leap down from the ceiling and extend his finger and we see the technician's fluids splatter on the window.
  • In Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, there is a scene in which Will is on the Flying Dutchman, and when he and his father see each other, in their shock they lose hold of a rope, resulting in serious damage to one of the sails. Will is to be whipped as a punishment, with his father doing the whipping, rather than another member of the crew who prides himself on cleaving flesh from bone with every swing. During the actual whipping, the camera is on Will's upper body from the front, showing his face contorting in pain as we see his father wielding the whip behind him and hearing the snapping, but we don't actually see the wounds until Will is untied and pushed down a set of stairs, his back clearly shown, with the lashes sliced into it.
  • Predator
    • Predator 2. When Danny is killed off-screen by the Predator in the apartment, we hear him pleading and firing his gun, and blood drips down and puddles on the ground.
    • Alien vs. Predator uses a few of these to maintain both a PG-13 rating and the trademark brutality of the Alien and Predator franchises, such as a scene where a Predator murders a man off-screen with a wrist blade and all we see is a pint of his blood spattering in the snow the moment the blade goes through his flesh.
    • Then there's Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem, where an Alien pulls Nick through the window, after which his blood is shown splattering on the window. Although the Alien is later shown dragging his corpse into the previous room with the stab wound on his chest.
  • Played straight in The Professional/Leon when the title character "cleans" the first of the fat man's mooks. Most of the rest are disposed of in a gunfight behind window blinds. Later killings, particularly those of Mathilda's family, but not her brother, are shown in all their gory... er glory.
  • Perhaps the definitive version on screen has to be the famous shower sequence from Psycho. Only two times is the knife ever seen touching the victim (and in both cases, never penetrates flesh), and otherwise, at no point does the knife, killer, or victim ever appear in the same frame. All violence is implied by the moving knife, the victim's screams, and the final shot of blood circling down the drain.
  • The camera cuts away just before Lefty stabs a bandit with his shovel in Purgatory.
  • The film Red Dragon has the camera cut to the blind woman's face being spattered with blood after the villain shoots himself with a shotgun. The cut away is important because he didn't really shoot himself, he just blew the face off of someone he had killed earlier, but he wanted to spare her without letting her or anyone else think he was still around. This also happens in the book.
  • Downplayed in the film adaptation of Requiem for a Dream; we do see a shot of Harry Goldfarb getting his arm amputated, but the shot is mercifully brief.
  • Revenge (2017): Although the film pulls no punches elsewhere in terms of graphic violence, Stan taking a shotgun blast to the face through his car's windshield isn't directly shown, and even the aftermath is shot in a way that makes it difficult to make out any details.
  • Reservoir Dogs has possibly the best uses of the gory discretion shot in modern cinema, including the scene in which Mr. Blonde lops off the cop's ear — the camera pulls away to show a corner of the room while the cop's screams are heard over "Stuck In The Middle With You" playing on the radio.
    • Bonus points for panning over to a sign labeled "WATCH YOUR HEAD". 'Tis a funny gory discretion shot!
    • When Vincent Shoots Marvin In The Face in Pulp Fiction, the camera cuts to behind the car just in time to show the rear window getting splattered with the poor guy's skull. The rest of the scene avoids showing Marvin's corpse in favor of the angry front seat passengers, now covered in blood and brains.
    • Played with when Butch is about to shoot Marsellus, and the camera angle changes as if we're about to see some gore splattered on Butch's face.
  • In The Ring, you never quite see what Samara does to her victims to leave them looking like that.
    • Also, during the ferry scene, we see the black horse fall down the side of the boat and into the water - our only clue that it was chopped up by the propellers is the red water that flows out from under the ship.
  • Road to Perdition: Subverted. Michael shoots Connor in his bath; we see Michael through the bathroom doorway, but his victim is off-camera. Then the bathroom door swings shut, and we see—reflected in the mirror on the bathroom door—the victim slumped in the bathtub, with his brains blown over the bathroom wall.
  • Near the start of Robocop 2014, a bunch of insurgents try to attack the OmniCorp robots in Tehran. After their attack is repelled, the son of one of them takes a knife and rushes down from his apartment to try to charge an ED-209. The camera cuts from the ED-209's Robo Cam POV shot of the boy to outside, where we only see it blasting away.
  • Occurs in The Rocky Horror Picture Show when Frank kills Eddie. We hear Eddie's horrified screams, and we hear Frank hacking him to pieces with a pick-axe. But, instead of seeing the murder itself, we see Columbia's horrified reaction.
  • The Saw films don't usually use this trope, but the camera did zoom in on Dr. Gordon's face in the first movie as he cut through his foot with a rusty hacksaw
    • Zepp's death near the end of the same movie. All you see is the toilet seat cover getting bloodier and bloodier as Adam bashes him with it, but not much else. Both this and the above shot are directly related to the first film having a markedly lower effects budget.
  • Although Scarface (1983) doesn't shy from bloodshed most of the time, the death by chainsaw of Angel is shown by blood spattering onto Angel's own face and then the walls of the bathroom.
  • Serenity has a scene with a holographic recording of a scientist. She begins to panic as she describes a Reaver attack. The sounds of Reavers at her door can be heard untill one breaks in, overpowers her and knocks her to the ground and out of the audiences view. Her screams continue, and even Jayne doesn't want to see what's happeneing to her. Since Reavers are known for raping, dismembering, flaying and devouring their victims, it's probably pretty bad.
  • In Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, there is a scene where the leader of the anarchists kills himself in front of Holmes and Watson; when he pulls the trigger, rather than show him blowing off part of his head, the scene immediately cuts to patrons in the tavern upstairs reacting to the shot and going to investigate. The only idea of how gory the death was is the horrified look on Simza's face.
  • As gory and nasty as Silence of the Lambs is, the movie focuses on Lecter as he beats Officer Boyle's head apart with the baton. It also refrains from showing Pembry without his face.
    • And as gruesome as Buffalo Bill's crimes are we never see him skin anybody (or even kill anybody, for that matter). All we see are his preparations for the crime (kidnapping and starving) and the aftermath (rotting corpses and the skin suit.
  • Notable in Sinister, because most of the death scenes up until that point had not been shied away from. The deaths were recorded on a series of home videos with seemingly innocent titles. For instance, Pool Party '66 was a group of people being drowned alive. When Ellison, the main character, watches the video entitled Lawn Work '86, the camera cuts to him looking away in shock and horror. Brad Jones felt that it was actually one of the most effective death scenes in the film.
  • Used in Tim Burton's Sleepy Hollow (1999) when the horseman beheads a woman, we see him slash at her with an axe. Then her severed head hits the floor. As he comes back to kill her young son, we see him yank the boy from beneath the floorboards and hear the child scream; then cut to the Horseman putting a small severed head in a bag. It's otherwise averted, aside from the opening scene (where we get to see the coach driver's headless body, but not the actual murder) the only other time we get to see someone's body but not the actual decapitation is with Lady Van Tassel, to disguise the fact that it's not actually her body.
  • In Smiles of a Summer Night, this is subverted. Fredrik loses the game of Russian Roulette offscreen. As it turns out, the Count had loaded the gun with soot.
  • Shown in the movie Snatch., when Turkish says that "The Gun shot himself." We see him pointing a gun to his head, and then the camera pans to the right, showing the white bathroom wall. Next thing we know, there is a gunshot and a splatter of red blood on the wall.
  • In Star Trek Into Darkness, the camera cuts away just as Harrison crushes Admiral Marcus' skull.
    • Averted in some split seconds during Khan's slaughtering of Klingons in which we see one get blown in half and another's leg landing near a character, though they're almost out of focus and are shown very quickly.
    • And played straight as Harrison coldly snaps Carol's leg by stepping on her. We get the bone crunch sound effect and her scream only.
  • The Terminator series has this sometimes, such as the death of Scott, Katherine's fiancé, in the third one (the camera cuts to a photograph on his apartment, a buzzing sound is heard and blood splats on the photo).
  • In Tess, there is a bit of blood dripping through a crack in the upstairs floor, just after Nastassia Kinski's character has left the inn where she, it turns out, killed Alec d'Urberville.
  • The Usual Suspects was quite artful, with a scene with three men in an elevator. It goes dark and when the lights come back on there's two bloody smudges on the glass behind the remaining man.
  • The scene in the Tom Cruise version of War of the Worlds where the hero's daughter sees lots of empty clothing floating down the river. Presumably with people dust still on it.
    • A tripod drops a man out of sight behind a tractor, then we hear him screaming as a tube sucks all the blood out of him.
  • Almost played straight in the remake of The Wolfman (2010) at the beginning, when Ben Talbot is killed by the werewolf. When the werewolf makes its first strike, you get a closeup of Ben's pained and shocked expression (which was all that was shown in the trailers), until the camera pans down to show his intestines beginning to leak out. Played partially straight when the werewolf slaughters the members of the hunting party who get trapped in the pit (the shots are too close and dark to see much beyond blood and flesh flying). In the same scene, one of the hunters fires his shotgun, and in the muzzle flash you see the werewolf standing behind him before the scene cuts.
  • The Wolverine:
    • The Japanese officers in the beginning of the film performing Seppuku as American bombers approach their city.
    • Logan's attempt at self-surgery. He even warns Yukio to look away when he's doing it to remove a bug that Viper implanted in him to reduce his Healing Factor effectiveness.
  • Wonder Woman (2017): To keep the PG-13 rating, the film uses clothing and camera work to conceal blood and the horrifying blistering effects of mustard gas. Google the effects if you dare.


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