Warning: This article contains spoilers!
One of my favourite film genres is horror. I’m not sure why I love this genre, but I do. However, the majority of them seem to share the same thing: They’ll have at least one stupid character. These characters will usually make a decision that will affect the storyline, affect themselves or another character, or set the overall film into motion. Their decisions are either unrealistic, ridiculous or just plain stupid. Therefore, I’ve decided to put together a little list of the five worst decisions made in horror films. This is not a top five list; merely a collection of awful, awful choices.
Jeepers Creepers (2001): Going Back to the Pipeline
In this 2001 monster movie, Darry and Trisha, a brother and a sister, have just passed a cathedral where they see a stranger throwing white, blood-stained sheets down a pipe. What would you do in this situation? You’d probably get as far away as possible, or report the incident to the police, right? Well, the siblings don’t do either of these things but, instead, decide to return to the scene of the crime on the suggestion (or guilt-tripping) of the brother. I understand that this decision sets the whole film into motion, but come on. What makes this even more ridiculous is that Trisha even tells Darry that we, the audience, will hate him for making this decision.
Saw 2 (2005): Addison and the Box Trap
I love the Saw franchise (it’s actually my favourite horror franchise), but even I can admit that the film is filled with stupid decisions and brainless characters. However, out of all of the dumb decisions I had to place this well-known one, from Saw 2, on my list because her slow death could’ve easily been avoided.
In the red-circled area, you can just make out the key to open the box and get the antidote out. If Addison had stopped and actually looked at the whole trap then she would’ve seen this. Alas, this is not the case and she ends up putting both hands into the box and getting herself stuck.
Drag Me to Hell (2009): Wrong Envelope!
In this Sam Raimi film, the main character (Christine Brown) is cursed; in three days, she will literally be dragged to Hell. The cursed item, a button, is placed in an envelope, which she drops in the car after it breaks. A pile of other papers and envelopes also drop on the car floor as well. In a situation like this, where you’d be dragged to Hell in less than twelve hours time, any normal person would double, even triple-check that the envelope you picked up is the right one. However, Christine does not do this. It’s a stupid and unrealistic decision, but it leads to a sucker punch of an ending, so I can’t completely complain.
Blair Witch Project (1999): Mike Throws the Map in the River
So, I have a confession to make: I hate this film. None of the characters make a single sensible decision throughout the entire movie, and it was difficult to pick just one bad decision. However, I have to give this one to Mike who, for no apparent reason, decides to get rid of the trio’s map that’ll help them get out of the forest they’re lost in. Why anyone would do this is beyond me and he doesn’t seem to have a good reason for doing it, either. Instead, he laughs at his actions. Not cool, Mike, not cool.
(The reveal and reactions start at the 1:30 mark)
Jaws (1973): Mayor Vaughn keeps Amity Beach open
I know what you might be thinking: Is Jaws a horror film? I would say yes: it has the tension of a horror film (mainly thanks to the fantastic score). As well as this, it has the scares and, at times, gore that would be included in a horror film (e.g.: Quint’s death scene). And the idea of a man-eating great white shark is a pretty scary idea!
The decision I’ve chosen from this film is Mayor Vaughn’s decision to keep Amity Beach open throughout the film, despite warnings about the shark eating people. The reason for it is because the film is set near Independence Day, and the Mayor didn’t want the celebrations dampened by something as insignificant as a man-eating shark. It could be argued that, because Vaughn hasn’t seen any evidence of the shark, he would have no reason to believe them. However, by this point in the film, he’s aware of people dying at the beach and, if a policeman and a shark expert were giving him warnings, then surely precautions would be put in place, just in case they were telling the truth?
Even main characters, Chief Brody and Matt Hooper, disrespect him and dislike him as he sticks to his decision; Hooper even says “I’m not going to waste my time arguing with a man who’s lining up to be a hot lunch!”