Why Are Horror Movie Characters So Unlikeable? (4 Points Explained)

Today I’ll be answering why are horror movie characters so unlikeable.

I share with you on my personal about page on the site.

About Me

Let’s move on.

Why Are Horror Movie Characters So Unlikeable?

The reason for this is because it makes their deaths easier to accept when it happens. Also it subconsciously communicates to the viewers what happens if you make the bad choices the did in the film to get them to that point. It also makes things easier for the audience to want to see the heroes win in the end. And lastly, they’re just plain dumb.

Make The Deaths Easy To Handle

Watching the end of some of these icons due to whatever their obvious issue was makes seeing them die much easier.

We’re taught to develop an appreciation for characters in movies and when dealing with a villain the dynamic’s different.

Usually when people die in movies that we learn about them and who they are it usually hits different.

But when it’s a baddie that’s been terrorizing another person or even a community then we want justice to be served.

Either way if we deal with a genre that’s typically built around killing then we’ll usually be okay when it’s done to the villain.

If you’re dealing with an established franchise with the likes of a Child’s Play, Scream, Halloween or Jason it’s a pattern.

That’s expecting an ending where we’re left to believe that it’s the end of that character but they will return.

I actually mention this briefly in the How Does Chucky Keep Coming Back post.

Check it out.

Communicate What Traits Lead To Their Demise

The luxury that we’re given with these horror icons is being able to have a roadmap that shows where they went wrong.

Now that might be a stretch as far as what you’re supposed to be getting from these films but it’s fun to fantasize about.

I’ve mentioned mental illnesses before on the site but if you break things down it’s mainly the cause of their issues.

Granted those type of problems can be a chemical imbalance but sometimes having the problem in your face helps prevent.

Think about the fanatics of true crime podcasts and things alike.

Most of those watchers indulge for the opportunity to get in the head of the criminally insane.

The same can be applied to the horror flicks as well.

It’s usually from the perspective of an exaggerated nature but it’s still interesting because anything is possible.

Makes It Easy To Want To See The Heroes Win

We all like to see a heroic protagonist triumph over a sadistic adversary.

With a good story that’s written we’re given a person that we cheer for in unison when it finally comes to the closing act.

You’ll hear plenty of mentions on how dependent it is on writing the story that allows the right person to win.

An example that I like to use with this is the Halloween franchise.

It’s shown pretty well in Halloween Kills.

A double theatrical and direct to peacock release.

Halloween Kills (Extended Cut)

Now the hero in that story is actually the entire town that was terrorized by a more respected villain in Michael Myers.

And after following along for numerous movies we finally get the ending that we’re looking for as an audience.

The point is that there’s some level of vulnerability that the writer has to make for the villain so the right person wins.

It’s an unspoken rule that’s repeated whenever you watch a popular horror movie but a point that had to be made.

They’re Just Dumb

Horror icons that tend to have multiple franchises built around their name seem to have a reputation of being a joke.

Whether it’s for having cheesy one liners, the way they go about killing their victims or their motivations in general.

One example that I hear thrown is about a particularly popular killer in Ghostface.

He appears to be really clumsy when chasing his prey.

I actually did an article on why Ghostface is so clumsy.

Check it out when you get the chance but there’s definitely other icons that have a fan’s perspective of being corny.

It’s a shame that some great characters in these fantasy filled films earned that name for themselves but that’s the feedback I hear.

With that said though I personally think there’s a healthy balance between the laughable icons and well respected ones.

Points To Consider

  • Care less about their deaths
  • Makes it easy to map out where they go wrong
  • Allows viewers to have a reason to want the heroes to win
  • They’re stupid

For more information on related topics see below.

Why Are Horror Movie Characters So Dumb?

Also return to the horror page for more topics that I discuss relating to the topic.

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