One thing that either amuses or frustrates horror fans is watching characters make the dumbest decisions that cause either their own demise or the demise of others. I thought it would be fun to do a series that points out the mistakes that characters made throughout the horror genre. For those of you thinking I’m being mean here, don’t worry! I’m also planning a series of the smartest decisions in horror! Although Juno from The Descent is the queen of horrible decisions, I’ve written about her plenty of times (which you can check out here and here!), so she will not be in this series. I hope you enjoy and let me know what decisions horror characters made that you think are the dumbest!
(WARNING!!! MAJOR SPOILERS BELOW!!!)
When Jim Kept His Gun In His Pocket – The Stepfather (1987)
After his sister was butchered by her husband, all Jim Ogilvie (Stephen Shellen) wanted to do was avenge her. He was a pretty darn good at tracking her murderer, Jerry Blake (Terry O’Quinn) down, too. His investigation skills were highly impressive. This man was no idiot, and YET, he still wasn’t smart enough to stay alive. When he finally found Jerry’s house, he decided to ring the doorbell and wait long enough for Jerry to hide behind the door – this was mistake number 1. What really did Jim in was when he decided to walk into the house with his gun in his jacket pocket! If you’re going to walk into a killer’s home, you better make sure you have your weapon easily accessible! He did have his hand in his pocket with the gun, but he actually pulled his hand out to point at the blood on Jerry’s face. The split second where Jim tried to grab his gun again was all the advantage Jerry needed to lunge forward and plunge his knife into Jim’s stomach. What could’ve been a heroic moment was sadly turned into an effort-for-nothing disappointment, all because of a jacket pocket.
When No One Protected Daniels – The Mummy (1999)
The Mummy’s curse in this movie is one of the most horrific in film history. Whoever opened the sacred chest got their lives and souls sucked out of them by Imhotep (Arnold Vosloo), a mummy who would become invincible after killing them all. Opening the chest after hearing that warning was stupid itself, but the fact that Rick (Brendan Fraser) and the rest of the gang were informed about all of this and didn’t do everything in their power to protect the last man standing, Daniels (Corey Johnson), is very frustrating. The Medjai certainly could’ve done more to protect the cursed ones, instead of just sending one man to help. They knew what was at stake more than anyone! When the group’s car was getting attacked by Imhotep’s slaves, there should’ve been at least two people surrounding Daniels and making sure none of the slaves reached him. They could’ve at least put Daniels in a bunker full of cats, that would’ve at least shown a little more effort.
When Nancy Just Assumed Matthew Was Still Human – Invasion Of The Body Snatchers (1978)
As people on earth began to be replaced by dull, emotionless, and creepy aliens, figuring out who was still human was becoming more and more difficult. Nancy (Veronica Cartwright) was the one who figured out that in order to walk among the aliens, all she had to do was act like them. After getting separated from her friends, Matthew (Donald Sutherland) and Elizabeth (Brooke Adams) for a while, they reunited and Nancy stayed emotionless until she was absolutely sure they were alright. This was a very smart decision, so my question is: after everyone split up again, why did she just assume Matthew was still human when she saw him again? She was smart enough to blend in for that long while, I don’t know why she didn’t even consider that Matthew was changed in that time. Yeah, she believed that Matthew was blending in, too, but why take that risk before you’re absolutely sure?
When Lori Tranquilized Herself – Freddy vs. Jason
When Lori (Monica Keena) and her friends found themselves in the middle of a battle between two of the most notorious killers, Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund) and Jason Voorhees (Ken Kirzinger), they had to figure out how to get rid of them both. With Jason trapped in Freddy’s nightmare world, Lori came up with the idea to go into the dream world herself and not only save Jason, but drag Freddy into the real world so Jason can fight him on his turf. Seemed like a fool-proof plan, except for one thing. Lori decided to use a tranquilizer to go to sleep. Why would she drug herself and make it more difficult to pull Freddy into the real world? I can maybe understand her using a tranquilizer as a last resort, if she had difficulty falling asleep. However, she’s fallen asleep multiple times from stress and exhaustion throughout the movie. I have no doubt she wouldn’t have trouble going to sleep this time. That tranquilizer prevented her from waking up on time and left her trapped in Freddy’s world to be tortured.
When Frances Kept The Heads – The Gravedancers
After a drunken night in a cemetery that led to an ancient incantation and grave desecration, old friends Harris (Dominic Purcell), Kira (Josie Maran), and Sid (Marcus Thomas) became haunted by the spirits whose graves they danced on. They had to survive or break their curse by the end of the month before the vengeful spirits killed them all. To figure out how to break the curse, they enlisted the help of paranormal investigator Vincent (Tcéky Karyo) and his assistant, Frances (Meagahn Perry). While recording and documenting the paranormal phenomena, they learn that to break the curse, the bodies must be reburied, which they did successfully… or so they thought. Frances, completely unsatisfied with all of the evidence she already had and wanting more, decided to remove the corpses’ heads so the hauntings would continue. That little act of hers led to a body count that included her own. Here’s a little tip for you, Frances: if the problem is solved, don’t bring the problem back!