Without bad decisions, most horror movies would be over in about ten minutes. You can shout at the television all you want, but the act of characters making unsound choices in horror is here to stay.
By now, fans of the genre know the basic tropes of horror. For instance, people always have a habit of running upstairs rather than out the door. Or, they throw themselves directly into harm's way by investigating a strange sound. Oh, we can't forget when characters don't finish the killers off. With all this in mind, let's check out ten times people made the worst decisions ever in horror movies. And yes, please note there are spoilers ahead.
10 Jeepers Creepers (2001): Derek Goes Into the Pipe
Jeepers Creepers starts off with siblings Trish and Darry driving home from college. They later spot a truck driver, who passed them earlier, dumping what looks like bodies down a large pipe. Rather than getting help, the siblings investigate the pipe once the trucker drives off.
Trish and Darry are being good Samaritans. We get that. But please know the truck's license plate read "BEATNGU." No matter how you decipher that personalized plate, it's a red flag. So, what happens next? Darry crawls down the pipe. That's right. Probably could have saved themselves a heap of trouble had they just contacted the police first.
9 Paranormal Activity (2007): Micah Taunts the Demon
A suburban couple in Paranormal Activity believes there is something very wrong with their new house. Could it be haunted? The boyfriend, Micah, then decides he should take care of this himself.
While we know someone in this position in real life would be wary of asking for outside help because they might appear unstable, what Micah does is particularly stupid. Especially if you think you are being haunted. Micah only adds to the problem, which in this case, is a demon. In the end, his curiosity gets the best of him.
8 Saw (2004): Lawrence Misuses the Saw
In Saw, Cary Elwes' character, Lawrence, and a photographer named Adam both wake up in a strange room with no recollection of how they each got there. They're separately chained down so they can't roam. It's eventually revealed a serial killer named Jigsaw is behind this. He has sinister plans for Lawrence and Adam, but we don't know what those are until later.
In the end, Lawrence chooses to saw off his foot so he can grab the random cellphone nearby and call his family. Here's the problem with this, though. The cellphone was within reach if only he had a tool to grab it... Oh, wait, he did! He literally had a saw long enough to pull the phone towards him.
7 The Descent (2005): Juno lied
The Descent is hands down one of the best horror movies from the 2000s. But it also boasts one of the stupidest decisions ever made on film. The story starts with Sarah visiting some caves with her friends after Sarah suffered a traumatizing event a year earlier. They go spelunking in the cave system, which Juno says has been previously explored. And someone would look for them there if trouble arose.
Well, trouble arises in the worst way possible. The cave is full of subterranean, bloodthirsty monsters. Furthermore, Juno lied. They weren't in an explored cave; they were in an unexplored system. So even if someone did come looking for them, they would be at the wrong cave.
6 ATM (2012): They parked so far away
Some of the tensest horror movies to watch are the ones where the characters are trapped in a remote location. These are often called "bottle thrillers," which include the likes of Cube. In the 2012 movie ATM, two best friends and their office co-workers escape their job's annual Christmas party. They first go to an ATM booth in the middle of the night. It seems innocuous enough, at least, until they are confronted by a menacing figure in a hooded parka outside the booth.
ATM has the right elements for a top-notch thriller. Yet, it ultimately comes undone for various reasons. One point of interest is how the victims cannot reach their car. You know why? Because they parked it far away in an empty parking lot. Why not just pull up, grab the money, and go?
5 The Ring (2002): People watch the tape knowing the rules beforehand
People cite The Ring as being one of the scariest modern horror movies. It is suspenseful and eerie in every way. In the film, a reporter stumbles upon an urban legend about a videotape that curses anyone who watches it. Can you guess what the reporter does? She watches it. Can you guess what so many other people in the whole franchise do? They watch the tape.
Why on Earth would you do that? Especially when someone gives it to you, and probably tells you what would happen. The idea of there being a cursed VHS lying around sounds fake, but have some shred of self-preservation, people.
4 I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997): Helen Looks Back
Taking off the rose-tinted glasses, we can admit I Know What You Did Last Summer is not a great slasher movie. It's an iconic one, though, that rises from Scream's looming shadow. Nevertheless, there are some fun memories attached to this movie.
One moment that leaves a sour taste in our mouths is Helen's death. First off, Sarah Michelle Gellar gives the best performance in the whole film. She depicts the sad, former beauty queen with dashed dreams oh so perfectly. What hurts the most is when Helen is a few feet away from safety. She can make it to the parade going on outside the alleyway. Instead, she turns around, and she is taken by the hook-handed killer.
3 Stage Fright (1987): Corrine Hides the Key
Michele Soavi's Stage Fright (also known as Deliria) is one hidden gem that's slowly getting its dues after three decades. Because it is Italian, people confuse the film for a Giallo. There may be shared stylistic traits, but Stage Fright is generally regarded as a straight-up slasher.
The movie follows a theatre troupe being stalked by a killer wearing a giant owl head. Prior to all of this, a co-star was murdered outside the studio. Rather than excusing all the actors, the director urges everyone to continue rehearsing. A character named Corinne even locks them in by hiding the key. Not a smart movie seeing as Corinne bites it before she can tell everyone where the key is. Now, the cast is stuck inside the building with the killer.
2 Black Christmas (1974): The cops leave Jess sedated and unattended
As seminal as Black Christmas is for the horror genre, we as viewers could not help but holler at the screen during the last act. Not only does the central character Jess go upstairs after finding out the killer is in the house, but she also calls out to her sorority sister. She then goes upstairs!
We know Jess is just trying to be a good friend, so we forgive her. What we can't forgive is the cops leaving Jess unattended at the end while she's heavily sedated. They think the threat is over, but that's not the case at all.
1 Scream 2 (1997): Sidney Goes Back to Unmask Ghostface
Sidney Prescott is considered one of the best "final girls" in horror history. But she's not the smartest cookie in Scream 2. The sequel has Sidney attending college after the notorious Woodsboro murders. As fate would have it, Ghostface returns to wreak havoc on campus.
Sidney is downright foolish in Scream 2 when she and her friend Hallie escape Ghostface's attack. They were being escorted by two bodyguards before the masked killer murdered the officers. However, Ghostface has been knocked out during this whole ordeal. Sidney and Hallie sneak past him and are on their way before Sidney gets a bad idea. She circles back to unmask Ghostface despite Hallie understandably warning her not to. It's a poor decision on Sidney's part because Hallie is, of course, stabbed to death.