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Necro Cam

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Once the detective has done The Summation and revealed the guilty party, we will get a Flashback of the crime being committed with the perpetrator completely visible, showing how they did it. This is particularly helpful if the murder method is fairly complicated, as a picture is, of course, worth a thousand words.

Sometimes there will be more than one flashback during the investigation as the detectives think out a theory; in this case, the theories and therefore the flashback may not even turn out to be correct. Sometimes it will be blurred with distorted sound and washed-out colors.

It's been commonly used in crime dramas but many first-person shooters implemented it under the moniker "Kill Cam"- The first-person P.O.V. makes the experience all the more personal and gory.

Compare Once More, with Clarity which repeats an earlier scene but adds new information which changes our perception of what went on in that moment, and Flashback-Montage Realization which shows a series of flashbacks that may include new footage.

Nothing to do with Necromancy, when you use magic to raise a middle finger to the laws of life and death. Not to be confused with First-Person Dying Perspective, character dies and the last moments of their demise are seen from their POV.

As this is a Death Trope, unmarked spoilers abound. Beware.


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     Anime & Manga 
  • Haruhi Suzumiya: Subverted. When Haruhi and Kyon are trying to solve a murder, their suppositions are Art Shifted. Haruhi's is in low-res red-filtered live-action (possibly a Cultural Cross-Reference to CSI). Meanwhile, Kyon's is simple crayon sketches. We don't get to see how the actual murder happened.

     Films — Live-Action 
  • Blood Night: The Legend of Mary Hatchet: Alissa killing Tyler, Jessica, Tim, and Corey.
  • The Blue Gardenia: Harry's murder is shown at the end in typical dramatic flashback style.
  • The Boondock Saints: Willem Dafoe's character not only does this, but he also walks around in the scene Dead Zone style.
  • The Case of the Curious Bride: The murderer explains how victim Gregory Moxley really died. It's notable for being the American film debut of Errol Flynn. Flynn's onscreen for about 2 minutes as Moxley and has no dialogue.
  • Clue: When Wadsworth explains the solutions in the various endings, most of the murderers are seen in action, mostly in the comedic style of the film, especially Yvette murdering the cook in the first ending, by sneaking up behind her and stabbing her in the back.
  • Agatha Christie: Most of her work's film/television adaptations include at least one 'true' (and usually several 'false') version of this as the detective crosses off potential theories in the finale.
  • Fog Over Frisco: Possibly the Trope Maker, being from 1934. After being freed from imprisonment on Burchard's yacht, Val relates what she learned about Arlene's murder, with her narration being shown on-screen.
  • Hero (2002): Most of this Wuxia film is an extended Necro Cam, with the main difference being that it's repeated several times. Each iteration is one version of the events leading up to the conversation between the Emperor and Nameless and recounted in said conversation. Also, each version of events gets its own dominant colour via the characters' clothes and much of the set. For example, in the "Red" sequence, the characters wear red, hang round in a building full of red drapes, and have an enormous fight in an Autumn forest).
  • The Kennel Murder Case: The murder is illustrated as Vance explained how it happened. This is an unusual example because the face of the murderer isn't shown and we don't find out who it is until the next scene.
  • Knives Out: The Summation has flashbacks of how Ransom did the crime.
  • The Last of Sheila: Phillip explains the extremely complicated murder solution to Tom. The killer may have dropped the cigarette they found burned in the priest's box so Clinton would lean forward and they could stab him in the back of the neck with the ice pick, and see that transpire on screen.
  • My Bloody Valentine 3D: Used when Tom is revealed to be the killer.

  • The Devil Dances Trilogy: When Roberta Morgenstern pieces back the first murder in decades, she describes it to her partner and we get to finally know how it happened.

     Live-Action TV 
  • Criminal Minds occasionally does this when the FBI experts try to explain the unsub's behavior in terms the local police (and also the audience) can understand. Usually done via greenscreen, with the agent speaking either physically watching the unsub, or taking his/her place in the crime. The show is also notable for its gory body dives, in which the camera flies around inside somebody's body (often tracing the path of a murder weapon), accompanied by all sorts of icky Foley noises.
  • Crossing Jordan was notable for frequently superimposing lead characters reenacting a crime over Necro Cam footage of the crime actually occurring. There was even an entire episode told largely from the corpse's perspective, with running commentary, even. Turns out he wasn't dead, just poisoned, paralyzed, and aware.
  • CSI
    • The series and its spinoffs do this multiple times in every episode. CSI is also notable for its gory body dives, in which the camera flies around inside somebody's body (often tracing the path of a murder weapon), accompanied by all sorts of icky Foley noises.
    • "Deep Fried and Minty Fresh" features a guy getting killed by having his head dunked in a deep-fat fryer. It's shown about three times. One sequence details the hot grease entering his trachea, burning it up and causing him to asphyxiate.
    • "Wild Life": A couple is mysteriously killed in their home. The culprits turn out actually to be their pet parrot and cat. A necro cam is mandatory to explain how such a preposterous thing came to happen. Brass's expressions are priceless.
  • Hannibal: It's an Once an Episode routine in season 1 when the show is more episodic, and less often later.
  • House: While not in the traditional sense, the show uses a form of the Necro Cam by often zooming inside the patient's body and showing what was going on inside that caused their illness in the first place. One of the grossest cases is when we explore a patient's fungi-infected lungs.
  • Inside No. 9: In "Misdirection", Neville reviews Gabriel's trick via swift flashbacks announced with a woosh sound and an overexposure effect.
  • Jonathan Creek: Ver necessary because the show is a howdunnit more than it is a whodunnit and the complex solutions would be tricky to get across in words alone. Subverted in the original pilot The Wrestler's Tomb, in which we get this to accompany Creek describing a mere hypothetical of how the crime could have been permitted by one suspect, which turns out not to be the actual solution.
  • Justice: Its main gimmick is that, at the beginning of each episode, you'd see what the jury believed had happened, with what really happened at the end. In at least one case, it was shown that the wrong person went to jail.
  • Monk:
    • In "Mr. Monk and the Garbage Strike", it gets subverted by showing a fake flashback implicating Alice Cooper as the murderer, while a sleep-deprived, hallucinating Monk explained the rock star's intricate plot to secure the victim's antique chair.
    • In an episode, Adrian Monk develops aphasia as a result of the shock of seeing his formerly-immaculate apartment wrecked by an earthquake. It leads to a gag at the end, where Monk delivers the episode's summation in that same gibberish. Thank god for the flashbacks.
  • Murdoch Mysteries: Happens whenever Murdoch figures out how the Victim of the Week was killed. Murdoch frequently inserts himself into these flashbacks (implied to be his mental image of what happened) as a bystander to the event, and he often simultaneously narrates his explanation of the murder to someone else (and for the convenience of the audience).
  • New Tricks: Whilst it does sometimes appear, it's surprisingly absent from the series, especially when considering that most of the cases that the squad investigates occurred over twenty years ago. Then in season 11, it suddenly became an Once per Episode routine.
  • NUMB3RS: When Charlie (or in later seasons, Larry or Amita) delivers a Phlebotinum Analogy, often several times an episode, their surroundings fade out and the discussion is overlaid with chalkboard-drawn equations and visual effect sequences representative of the analogy.
  • Psych: In earlier episodes, this is done with fuzzy, washed-out, oversaturated shots of how the victims die. This changes in later seasons: instead of showing original footage, often it would repeat key lines that would give a clue to what happened.
  • Star Trek: Inverted with the Borg repairing itself after taking a half-dozen torpedoes to the face. It's very detailed, as the ship knits itself back together circuit by circuit.
  • Stargate Atlantis: Parodied in "Vegas", the penultimate episode, as a Shout-Out to CSI. Is set entirely in an Alternate Universe, with Sheppard as a Las Vegas homicide detective. The lighting, filter, and camera effects that CSI uses are copied almost perfectly—except it's someone being murdered by a life-sucking alien via heart desiccation.
  • Stranger:
    • In episode 1-2 Si-mok, a prosecutor, gets back into murder victim Moo-sung's house. The murder is shown onscreen in various different necro cam scenarios as Si-mok runs through how it might have gone down. Disturbingly, he pictures himself as the killer each time. This is lampshaded when Yeo-jin, the detective accompanying Si-mok, comes into the room and stares wide-eyed as Si-mok, knife in hand, mimes stabbing someone.
    • This is played more straight in episode 1-15 when Yoon describes the murder after he confesses.
  • Trace: At the end of one episode, during the perp interrogation, the answers of how the crime was committed are both narrated and depicted in a flashback.
  • Veronica Mars: At the end of season one, where she finally pieces together what actually happened. She presumably explains her theory to Duncan while the audience sees the footage of her idea being performed.
  • Wire in the Blood: Sometimes, when Tony is doing The Summation and has revealed the guilty party, we will get a flashback of the crime being committed, this time with the perpetrator in a shot, showing how they did it.

     Video Games 
  • Many, many times in the Ace Attorney series.
  • Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare: When you get killed while playing multiplayer, you get an instant replay of your death from your killer's point of view (with an Arrow Cam thrown in if they killed you with a grenade or other slow-moving projectile) so you can see how you died and perhaps do better next time — and also see if your opponent was cheating. Kill cams became popular in many online multiplayer games afterwards, for the reasons outlined.
  • Deadly Premonition: This is the "premonition" part. It starts off full of static and then gets gradually filled in as you find clues around the areas you investigate.
  • Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas, with the latter using the slow-mo kill cam for enemies as well as the player.
  • Max Payne 3 shows the kill shot on Max from three angles.
  • The Quake and Unreal Tournament series shows your character in third-person view suffering whatever horrible fate befell them, and any late hits.
  • Team Fortress 2: When you die, the camera shows you a still of whoever dealt the fatal blow (or his corpse/gibs), his health, and the weapon he currently has on hand. If your ragdoll appears in the shot, it may be labeled 'You!'. If you were gibbed, your body parts are marked with humorous labels such as 'Your head!', 'A bit of you!', 'More bits!', and so on.
  • Trauma Team: The Forensics segments have some of this, although it's also somewhat of a straight recap.
  • Wolfenstein 3-D: Perhaps the oldest example, which had this for the bosses.

     Web Original 
  • Achievement Hunter: Discussed. In the second match of "Let's Play - Titanfall Frontier Defense", Ryan attempts to hijack an Arc Titan, a Titan surrounded by an electrical field, only to comedically die. When another player attempts the same thing, with the same results, he comments that "[he] was just watching [himself] do it".
  • Television Without Pity: Conversed. This phenomenon is referred to as the Magic Schoolbus Cam.

     Western Animation 
  • The Spectacular Spider-Man:
    • The camera dives into Peter's bloodstream after the spider bites him in the opening theme.
    • Also when we see Dr. Octopus' harness merge with his spine.


Video Example(s):


Innocent bear

The zookeeper was not killed by the polar bear; his body was dumped in the bear's enclosure post-mortem.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (4 votes)

Example of:

Main / ThisBearWasFramed

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