Just In Time For Halloween! Let’s List 9 Horror Movies Where The Characters Aren’t Complete Morons

Look, I’m not sure what I would do if I were faced with a masked killer running around, but I can tell you that more than half the shit some of these people do in horror movies is quite possibly the most ineffective way to handle such a situation…

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WHY, SARAH MICHELLE GELLAR? WHO WOULD YOU TURN AROUND WHEN SAFETY IS LITERALLY FOOT STEPS AWAY?

We are all familiar with those horror movie tropes that make us roll our eyes and scream at the top of our lungs, “Why would you choose to do that?!”

With Halloween creeping its way forward, I thought it would be nice to list some examples of horror movies where the characters’ decisions don’t make you want to rip your hair apart.


1. The Thing (1982)

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Plot Synopsis

Set in a remote Antarctic research station, a group of research scientists are faced with the headache of a parasitic entity that manages to assimilate into other organisms thus imitating them. Shit is fucked, essentially.

Why The Recommendation?

I am certain you have probably heard of The Thing at least once in your life and if you still haven’t seen this glorious John Carpenter-directed flick, make sure to add it to your Halloween movie marathon this year. The characters in The Thing are honest-to-God scientists and they act like it, damn it! It’s honestly worth watching for scenes being set to Ennio Morricone‘s original score alone.

See The Trailer Below!

2. You’re Next (2013)

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Plot Synopsis

An estranged wealthy family on a weekend getaway are faced with the headache of having masked assailants terrorize them.

Why The Recommendation?

You’re Next was one of the biggest surprises of 2013 and is a fantastic take on the horror genre. It is currently sitting fresh at 75 percent on Rotten Tomatoes and if you find yourself chuckling at certain parts, no shame. You’re probably just insane.

3. Misery (1990)

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Dirty liar, you are

Plot Synopsis

Based on the Stephen King novel of the same name, Misery places you in the shoes of James Caan‘s Paul Sheldon and makes you genuinely disdain Kathy Bates‘ Annie Wilkes… When revered novelist Paul Sheldon suffers a serious car accident, former nurse and psychotic Annie Wilkes promises to take good care of him until she finds out he will be killing off her favorite character from his novels… You don’t fuss with Annie Wilkes’ novel characters.

Why The Recommendation?

With every moment that passes in the film, you are attempting to find any way out of this room. Sheldon does his absolute best in devising quick schemes to get away from Annie’s war path and you do not blame him for any decisions that go terribly wrong at all. This is why I am not a famed author, guys. What if I encounter a Misery situation?

4. 10 Cloverfield Lane (2016)

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Plot Synopsis

The sequel yet not really sequel to 2008’s Cloverfield, 10 Cloverfield Lane finds Michelle, played wonderfully by Mary Elizabeth Winstead, waking up in an underground bunker with two men. John Goodman‘s Howard claims this bunker is the safest place to be due to the massive chemical attack that has rendered the outside completely unsafe.

Why The Recommendation?

I went into 10 Cloverfield completely blind and it is honestly the best way to go. John Goodman gives one of the best performances of the year and throughout the film you are constantly wondering what his intentions are. The plans and revelations keep you on the edge of your seat and although the final few scenes are a bit controversial, it is certainly an entertaining thriller that I highly recommend.

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5. The Conjuring (2013)

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Plot Synopsis

Set in 1970, Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga play married paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren who reluctantly decide to help Carolyn and Roger Perron, played by Lili Taylor and Ron Livingston respectively. The family of seven recently move into a secluded farmhouse, where a supernatural presence has made itself known and shit truly goes down.

Why The Recommendation?

The Conjuring is one of best horror films of the last few years. Ed and Lorraine Warren are fantastically portrayed and the audience will find themselves growing more attached to the characters because of how well they are written. The film gives reason for why certain things are the way they are and by the end of it, I had no nails left because they were all chewed off.

6. The Evil Dead (1981)

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Plot Synopsis

A group of five college buddies retreat to a cabin in the woods for Spring Break when they encounter a book entitled “the Necronomicon,” whose text reawakens the dead when it’s read aloud. The friends inadvertently release a flood of evil and must fight for their lives or become one of the evil dead.

Why The Recommendation?

Granted, they shouldn’t have listened to the audiotapes in the first place. Everything following it however, is a thrilling gore-ride and makes me think twice before listening to any haunted cassette tapes. The Evil Dead makes the audience wonder how they would handle their best friends being possessed by spirits and the answer is not always the best.

7. Lights Out (2016)

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Plot Synopsis

Based on the 2013 short film of the same name, Lights Out tells the story of a supernatural entity that preys upon a family and only appears in the darkness. The estranged daughter of the family, played by Teresa Palmer, must fight to protect herself, save her little half-brother, and uncover a mystery about her family’s past.

Why The Recommendation?

Lights Out did phenomenally at the box office, earning almost $68 million on a next-to-nothing budget of $4.9 million and is another example of a fantastically made horror film of recent memory. Characters make decisions you will most likely agree with and what I love most about the film is its ability to subvert those dumb horror movie character traits we have grown accustomed to, especially when it comes to the idiotic horror boyfriend. Alexander DiPersia‘s (a.k.a. Daario Naharis 2.0) character, Bret, is actually not dead weight in the film and has a few entertaining scenes himself (mostly involving quick thinking and a car).

8. It Follows (2015)

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Plot Synopsis

It Follows follows (heh) teenager Jay, portrayed by Maika Monroe, as she is pursued by a supernatural entity following her first ever sexual encounter. Coach Carr warned us about this in Mean Girls but we just didn’t listen.

Why The Recommendation?

The characters in the film are faced with the incredibly unnerving idea that if you decide to have sex, you are astronomically fucked by this entity. It Follows causes the audience to wonder if there are any loopholes to being stuck with It, however as the writer-director of the film, David Robert Mitchell states in this Buzzfeed article,

“I don’t think there’s a place on the planet or in our known universe that a person could get to that this [entity] couldn’t find a way to reach. If people want to live in a submarine or hang out in space, they can try, but I have a feeling that it’s going to get them there.”

9. Green Room (2015)

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Plot Synopsis

The late Anton Yelchin and Alia Shawkat‘s characters are members of a punk-rock band and they, along with Imogen Poots‘ Amber, are forced to fight for survival after witnessing a murder at a neo-Nazi skinhead bar… The leader of the skinheads, by the way? Patrick effing Stewart.

Why The Recommendation?

Green Room makes the audience think “OK, what would I do if I were stuck in a club with a group of neo-Nazis who have the urge to murder everyone?” I honestly have no idea what I would do, which makes this an even more entertaining and thrilling prospect, especially as the characters are faced with the unimaginable.


What Other Films Would You Add To The List?

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Lights Out (2016) Movie Review

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The Babadook & Insidious had a baby and that lovely baby’s name is Lights Out.

I remember watching & loving director David F. Sandberg‘s short film of the same name a couple years ago and when I first heard it was going to receive the Hollywood full-length adaptation, hesitation immediately washed over me… I am ecstatic to say that hesitation was proven wrong because Lights Out is an incredible movie.

Lights Out tells the story of a dysfunctional family who faces an entity that only appears when the lights go out, as the title would suggest. I don’t wish to delve any deeper than that because I believe horror movies are best to go into relatively blind but I will say, the concept of Lights Out is incredibly intriguing and I was honestly captivated throughout the film. Teresa Palmer and Gabriel Bateman portray siblings and oh man, their acting and chemistry were amazing. Palmer specifically had the most to work with and I thought she did brilliantly: ranging from being a melancholic, cool cat to nailing those severely intense emotional moments that pulled at my heart strings a bit. The relationship between her & her boyfriend Bret (Brad?) played by Alexander DiPersia aka I-Swear-That-Is-Daario-Naharis was refreshing to see because he was not just a dumb dumb boyfriend that is placed there solely for pseudo-conflict for the main character and her family.

When it comes to the actual story & progression of events, I loved every single moment of this movie. Since the runtime is essentially an hour and a half, there is virtually no wasted dialogue which translates to every scene having some level of importance to them, there is incredible development to the characters throughout the movie AND, what is arguably the greatest aspect to it, you genuinely care for these characters and their well being. Why I appreciated this movie so much is because the filmmakers made an effort to flesh out the characters and have themes the audience can potentially relate to, like mental illness and an overwhelming need to protect the innocent. The psychological aspects to it enhanced the movie immensely and I loved the various explanations sprinkled throughout of how the mother’s illness affected her family. There was a history to this family that you felt immediately and wanted to see their story & relationship progress more and more! I wish they expanded a bit more on the mythos of the entity, however I was satisfied with its backstory and how it tied into the relationship with the family.

Now the horror aspect to it… There were a few moments that had the toes curling & hair on the back of the neck stand up. Now I’ve mentioned this before in past reviews that I’m not a huge fan of boomWHUPPAH-type jump scares unless they are done well. There are many instances of such scares in this movie however for me personally, they really worked to enhance the horror aspect to it. It is also a gorgeous looking movie, probably one of the best looking horror films I’ve seen, rivaling that of The Conjuring (2013). This movie is honestly worth watching for the beautiful looking scenes alone, credit due to cinematographer Marc Spicer… There is also a sequence during the final act involving the boyfriend and his brilliant utilization of light that caused me and the audience I was watching with to simply be in awe.

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If you’re a fan of horror done with a story and characters you actually care about and want to feel invested in their world, check out Lights Out.


Lights Out receives 4.5/5 Matt Damon heads.

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