When we think of the horror genre, we think of the incredible villains behind each movie, not always the ones that survive. Villains are more compelling, more interesting, have more depth, and this list is the reason why. There have been some amazing main characters in horror movies out there, but there have also been those that have survived against all odds.
Here are 20 horror movie survivors that, for one reason or the other, shouldn't have. Whether they were written in a way that made it impossible to believe they'd make it to the end, or they simply didn't deserve to survive, these 20 characters are the reason why horror movies are so entertaining to watch, yet so frustrating sometimes.
20 Sydney Prescott (Scream)
Listen, Scream is an amazing movie and it set the tone for many movies to come, especially being the biggest inspiration behind Scary Movie. It even joked about cliche horror movie plots, only to introduce us to Sydney Prescott, a strong main character that ends up making so many mistakes. With a violent boyfriend, several attacks by a man dressed with a mask, and quite a smart friend to help her, she ends up trusting too much, crying a lot, and not thinking of about what makes sense most of the time.
19 Laine Morris (Ouija)
When your best friend starts playing around with the Ouija board and ends up passing away in a mysterious, brutal way after telling you that they've been sensing and seeing weird things, what would you do? Well, throwing the Ouija board away would be number one on our list, but not for Laine. Instead, she starts playing with it to try and contact her friend, completely disregarding weird things happening to her as well, and then inviting her friends for a seance to put them all in danger as well. When an evil entity decides to communicate, she believes it's her best friend, disregarding all the signs, and puts everyone's lives in danger. Unfairly enough, she makes it out alive, despite all her stupid decisions.
18 Dani (Midsommar)
Midsommar is an incredible movie following college student Dani and her boyfriend & friends, who are invited to midsummer celebration at an ancestral commune in Sweden. However, this midsummer celebration turns out to be a cult meeting and, as expected, her friends start to perish in brutal ways.
In the end, nine sacrifices are needed and Dani decides to sacrifice her own boyfriend to save herself. Agony is seen in her face at first, but she slowly begins to smile. Who thought the traumatized Dani would make it out alive? We're not sure if she deserves it either, after sacrificing her boyfriend to a cult.
17 Billy (Gremlins)
To put it nicely, this kid is missing a few neurons. If he had followed the rules, no one would have perished. He is easily tricked into feeding them after midnight, ensuing chaos all over town. After they have come in contact with water by Billy's friend, Pete, they also multiply, and it causes even more chaos in Billy's life. How he survives, in the end, is still one of life's greatest mysteries.
16 Paxton (Hostel)
We all know Paxton deserved a different outcome than the one he got. Out of the three tourists seeking an adventure in Europe, he's definitely not the nicest. When one thinks with any other organ other than the head, things go south really fast, and that's exactly what happens to the three boys. We are begging and waiting for that sweet moment of his demise... and it never arrives. He makes it out alive, at least until the second movie.
15 Maddie Young (Hush)
This one is extremely annoying because the premise of the movie was quite good. A deaf woman who lost the ability to speak and hear at 13, lives alone in the middle of nowhere, where a killer appears to stalk his prey and induce fear until the final moment of glory. That moment never arrives, of course, because although Maddie makes so many mistakes during the entire movie that would inevitably lead to her demise, apparently everything goes right for her. The movie turned out to be bland and boring, even when it was supposed to leave us tense every second.
14 Ash (Evil Dead)
The only reason Ash survived until the end of the movie is probably due to his charm, because otherwise, there is none. He's a nice guy amidst all the other characters, but why would someone mess with books bound in human skin and expect nothing to happen? Come on, be smarter, Ash! In the end, Ash's soul is supposed to be stolen by the deadites, but wouldn't you know it, he's back again for Evil Dead II and Army of Darkness.
13 Dr. Frankenstein (The Curse Of Frankenstein)
In this reboot of the Frankenstein classic, Dr. Frankenstein actually makes it out alive, and it's worse than you think. He creates a poor creature that didn't ask to be alive, only to end up getting into town and causing chaos for everyone living there. Although Peter Cushing played an icy doctor with a compelling personality, the truth is he shouldn't have made it out alive, much less when the movie plays with the idea of his demise via guillotine. What a shame.
12 Dr. Markway (The Haunting)
He's an arrogant scientist that puts people in danger by placing them in a haunted house under false pretenses, just for his own benefit. If that's a character who doesn't deserve to make it until the end, we don't know who is. He saves his own skin by sacrificing others to the spirits of Hill House, and, somehow, still makes it out alive.
11 Chris (Get Out)
If you've seen Get Out, you know the entire premise of the movie is pretty great. Gabe is ready to meet his girlfriend's all-too-white family, who end up being extremely weird with people his race. So weird that our first thought when watching the movie is "run, Gabe, run." However, he doesn't. He knows many things are wrong with his girlfriend and her family, yet he continues to stay in their house, only wanting to leave after he discovers pictures of his girlfriend with many other African-American ex-boyfriends, piecing everything together. It's out of pure luck that he's alive, no more, no less.
10 Eleanor (Truth Or Die)
The final girl of Truth Or Die is a spoiled character who only ends up getting less and less likable as time goes by. At the end, it's revealed she assaulted her boyfriend and used it as blackmail for cash. The man ends up taking his life, but she's in no way remorseful. Even when the antagonist starts hurting her friends, she points fingers at them and her boyfriend to save her own skin. In the end, she ends up gloating about how awesome she is, and we're still wondering in the last seconds why she stayed alive in the first place.
9 Kaitlin (Some Kind Of Hate)
The premise of this movie is to call attention to bullying with a horror twist because that's what teenagers are into, right? Kaitlin is one of the worst characters of an already bad movie. She used to be a bully herself, to the point where the girl even took her own life, but apparently she ends up feeling bad and tries to pass herself as a good person.
But when one of the other teens ends up releasing a vengeful ghost and fixes it after it destroys a few lives, she knowingly brings back the ghost again and she's even happy about it. How did she make it to the end alive? Unfair.
8 Peter (Dawn Of The Dead)
Dawn Of The Dead follows four survivors that make the most to stay alive during the zombie apocalypse by locking themselves in a shopping mall. By the end of it, as expected, only Fran and Peter are alive, at which point Peter decides to play the hero and stay behind to hold off the zombies so Fran can escape in a helicopter. We thought that was the end for Peter, but heroic music ensues and he is suddenly able to get past all the zombies and escape in time to join Fran in the helicopter. It's a pleasant surprise, but definitely one we never thought would actually happen. Ultimately, if it wasn't for sudden heroic adrenaline coursing through his body, he'd be long gone by now.
7 Tennessee Faris (Alien: Covenant)
You know Tennessee Fairs is not going to make it because he's wearing a cowboy hat in a spaceship and that's enough. During a mission to take colonists to a new life on a distant world, they get sidetracked when Tennessee recognizes someone singing “Country Roads” on a stray transmission, and they end up following the signal to a planet with hideous monsters. We believed Tennessee and his weird sense of humor would perish in the end, but he doesn't!
6 Gabe (Us)
If there was anyone we thought wouldn't survive Us, it was Gabe— the man who decided it was a good idea to walk out of the house to face four strangers standing motionless outside, staring back in, leaving his family behind in the house. Good way to protect your family, Gabe. Of course, despite his constant mistakes, he really is just trying to protect his family.
5 Randy (Scream)
Randy is probably one of the most self-aware character in any horror movie ever made. He knows all the rules of survival, and he even teaches everyone at the party how to survive when a killer is out there. He knows all too well everything that is happening and how to make it out alive in the end, and that's probably why we thought he wouldn't make it to the final seconds (as he thought as well).
The movie, however, turns out to be extremely refreshing, and allows Randy to live, even though it plays with the thought of his demise. This one actually made us happy, even though he clearly shouldn't have made it out alive if Scream followed all the typical horror movie rules.
4 Justin (Event Horizon)
Event Horizon is a horror sci-fi movie that follows a crew of astronauts sent on a rescue mission after a missing spaceship. As you would expect, that missing spaceship is actually haunted... like, super haunted. The malevolent entity possessing the spaceship causes chaos to fall over the crew of astronauts. Justin is one of the characters that we genuinely thought wouldn't survive. He steps into a Hell portal, goes catatonic and walks naked out into space. But he survives, and that's probably one of the biggest twists in the movie.
3 Melissa McBride (The Mist)
When a mysterious mist washes over town, people take refuge in a supermarket while gigantic monsters patrol the city. One woman played by Melissa McBride, who remains nameless in the movie, goes against all warnings and leaves the safety of the supermarket to go find her kids. We expect nothing other than to not see her again until the end of the movie because her demise is more than assured, right? Wrong. When the military shows up to destroy the monsters, she is seen riding safely in the back of the truck with her kids. It's nothing short of a cruel twist in a horror movie where those that chose to stay safe ended up meeting an unfair demise.
2 Madison (Zombieland: Double Tap)
Zombieland: Double Tap has recently hit theaters and it has introduced some new characters as well as stronger, faster, and deadlier zombies. When we're first introduced to Madison, we immediately know she's not going to make it out alive. She survives in the freezer at the mall, walks around the zombie apocalypse with high heels and perfectly styled hair, and uses a can of pepper spray as her weapon. At one point, we actually believe she's turned into a zombie, but turns out it's just a nut allergy.
1 Wendy (The Shining)
Yes, we know, Jack is an abusive husband who ends up going on a manic spree, but his wife, Wendy ends up surviving his attacks. However, not only does she spend the entire movie screaming (it gets so annoying), she's incredibly dumb. Her husband is an alcoholic with a temper that hurts their child and she ends up agreeing to go live in a remote hotel in the middle of nowhere, built on an ancient Indian burial ground that was the site of a disturbing act only a few years prior? She's even confirmed to be an avid horror movie addict, so how did she think this was okay? Unbelievable.