If You're One of These 5 People, Then Your Chances of Making It Through a Horror Movie Are Zilch
November 21, 2017 By Cait Russell
First on Screen During a Horror Flick? The Odds Are Not in Your Favor, Friend.
Photo by: Bailey Weaver, via Flickr. (CC BY 2.0)
If you're a horror movie aficionado, then you're probably already familiar with many of horror's biggest tropes - including the iconic Horror Movie Characters that we all know are gonna die the second they're on screen. You know who I'm talking about - there's a select few character archetypes that are bound to meet their maker if they grace the silver screen in a horror movie.
Here are Five of Our Favorite Sure-to-Die Horror Movie Characters:
- The Arrogant Jerk - Often seen shoving past "the nerds", and running toward whatever danger is currently on screen (an evil book, an unknown slime ball, some dark magic possessed item, whatever), the Arrogant Jerk is generally one of the first to go. Often, he's also a "tough guy", who is trying to impress a girl, and thinks that somehow, shoving aside a group of people to get "a better look" at whatever evil is lurking, will do that.
The Arrogant Jerk also is known to handle ancient cursed items in a cavalier manner, which results in death, demonic possession, or some other sort of otherworldly punishment for being such a jerk. If this character lasts longer than expected? Well, then the audience is typically cheering by the time The Arrogant Jerk finally bites the dust.
- The First Person to Appear in the Opening Credits - Sometimes it's a scared teenage babysitter, sometimes it's a child being chased through the woods, sometimes it's an unsuspecting person in the shower (who is minding their own business...ruthless), sometimes it's a couple parked on a secluded "lover's lane", but whoever it is - you can rest assured knowing that if you're the first person (or often couple, for that matter), to appear on screen, there's a pretty good chance you're going to die, if you're not the title character.
The "first killed" in a horror movie often sets the tone for the whole film, and what better way to do that then to pluck someone off before the audience has had a chance to become invested in the character? It's a low-risk way to get the gore going in a movie, and when done right, it can really pay off.
- The Eye Roller, AKA The Non-Believer - In horror flicks that focus on the supernatural, you best believe in what's happening, if you don't want to be axed. Whether it's an ancient curse, or an incantation in an unknown language that unleashes demons, aliens, ghosts, or some other supernatural force, if you don't believe, then you better believe you're gonna be next.
The Eye Roller pops up in a variety of ways - sometimes they use logic such as "there's no proof that there are ghosts" to prove that ghosts aren't real. They read off the evil incantation with all the ominous warnings, because, guess what? There's "no way anything bad could really happen" - spoiler, it can. If you refuse to believe in the unknown in a horror movie, then you best believe you're going to be on the chopping block.
One notable exception to this is of course Dana Scully, who never believed in anything otherworldly for like 10 seasons, despite Mulder's evidence, and her own eye-witness accounts. But, that said, I'm pretty sure that Fox Mulder did enough believing to keep the two of them afloat throughout the series.
- The Tough Guy That Insists on Leading the Group - Cousin of "The Arrogant Jerk", the "Tough Guy Group Leader" tries to make up for what he lacks in common sense with machismo. Typically male, Mr. Tough Guy often insists on leading the group, and generally, given the choice between "very easy escape route" and "obvious danger", he always picks the latter out of some sort of tough guy pride.
Typically once he's picked the surefire path toward death, the group grows concerned with his leadership skills, and this just lights an even bigger fire for the Tough Guy Leader, who will often forge ahead despite protests from the rest of the group.
Typically, when he does this, he will then turn around to make a snarky "I Told You So" comment to the group, and that's when his head is cut off, a boulder drops on him, or he dies in some other over-the-top, ridiculous way. This is generally another crowd cheering moment, since nobody likes a bossy know-it-all.
- The Bad-Guy-Gone-Good - This one can be a real tear jerker, depending on the movie. In many horror flicks, there's a "bad guy" - this could mean ex-criminal, a deadbeat dad, a burglar thrown into the mix somehow, a general jerk, or someone else who has done something awful, that's still seen as redeemable. During some point in the movie, he decides he's going to change his ways, and be a good person, and unfortunately, that vow to be a good guy basically seals his fate.
Usually, the Bad Guy Gone Good has some sort of sob story back story which makes his "crimes" less heinous (i.e. he was only robbing that bank to get money to pay for his child's cancer treatment, or he only stole that priceless artifact to save some orphans...whatever - you get the gist), and he grows on you throughout the film. He's rarely the first to go - no, he makes it usually about 3/4 of the way through the movie, and it's when he decides to be a good guy, and help the hero in some way, that he meets his awful fate.
Often times, the "Bad Guy Gone Good" ends up sacrificing himself to save "the group", or to ensure that "the hero" can complete his mission. There's usually a teary-eyed goodbye where the Bad Guy Gone Good urges the hero(es) to keep going, and that his life ain't worth nothin' so he's gonna hang back to fight off the zombies/hold off the murderer/face certain death so that they can succeed in getting away.
On rare occasions, the Bad Guy Gone Good is believed to be dead, and is being mourned by his comrades only to make a shocking comeback in the closing sequence of the movie. So while he usually dies, if the filmmakers think he'll make good fodder for their sequel, he might have a slim shot of a comeback. He's also been known to "make a comeback" in the opening sequence of sequels as well.
What's Your favorite "Sure to Die" Horror Flick Archetype? Let Us Know in the Comments Below!