10 horror movie survivors who were so stupid they really deserved to die instead

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Life isn't fair. People who act really dumb can often succeed over the hard-working, whether it's getting promoted, winning an award or getting elected to a high office in the U.S. government.

This is another reason we love horror films: As a rule, people who act stupid get iced. But it's the exceptions to the rule, idiots failing to die despite trying their hardest to get killed, that leave us screaming at the screen.

Here, for the 20th of  our 31 Days of Halloween posts, are 10 characters who survived horror films despite doing the dumbest things possible:


Billy Peltzer from Gremlins 

Avoiding disaster couldn't have been any easier: Don't get them wet, don't feed them after midnight. Two simple rules for caring for an extremely exotic Mogwai pet. But Billy couldn't make it one dang night without spilling water on a Gremlin and feeding them after midnight. Yet, somehow, Billy isn't the first victim at Ground Zero of the Gremlin invasion. To exacerbate our anger: Billy gets compliments from the shop owner at the end that he might someday be ready to own a Mogwai? Really?! This is why we need a 7-day waiting period before someone can buy a Mogwai. 


Officer Dewey from Scream

Two teenagers kill a bunch of their friends, and Dewey can't figure it out just because there are multiple murderers? FUN FACT: Dewey was actually supposed to get stabbed to death in the first Scream, but Wes Craven liked the character so much he kept him alive. This allowed Officer Dewey to bungle his way through three more films.


Wendy from the Shining

So, you say your husband has an alcohol problem and beats your son? Why not lock him in a house with just his son and a bar full of alcohol? For the entire winter, with no escape except snowmobile? Even the most zoned-out-on-pills mom would question this, and would keep her son away (and probably in school where he belongs).


Mayor Larry Vaughn from Jaws

He can't shut down the beach because it's tourist season? But... no one will want to visit a beach where people are getting eaten! That political bungle we can forgive, but then the Mayor won't let the shark hunter look in a captured shark's stomach to see if it is the killer. We thought for sure this bumbling idiot was going to end up a shark snack, but he lives and gets to rule over a shark-free town. How is that fair?


Sally from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

First of all, if you ever stop at a gas station that's open, but has no gas, that's really weird. As writers, we've had to work in a lot of gas stations, so believe us. Don't trust the gas station that they will get more gas, someday soon. 

We can forgive Sally for this mental slip. What we can't fathom is why, after escaping the evil house of Leatherface and family, she decided to go back unarmed to help her friends. Want to help your friends? Call the police. 

Then she decides to go back to ultra-suspicious gas station. Somehow, even after being captured, bound and hit with a hammer by Grandpa, Sally manages to escape. She then flags down the nearest car, not even assuming it could be driven by someone in the murderous family, even though EVERY SINGLE CHARACTER we've seen in the area is from Leatherface blood. When that car picks her up and drives to safety, it was a nasty and unexpected non-twist for us. 

Paxton from Hostel

Paxton is lured to a hotel in Slovakia when a stranger tells him it has hot women. Guess what, Paxton? Every stranger tells tourists their business has hot women. At the least they want you to stay at their crummy hotel, at the worst they want to kidnap or rob you. How dumb can you be?

But Paxton continues to push the boundaries of dumb the next day. One of his friends is missing, and another hotel guest has also disappeared mysteriously. Paxton decides to stick around, and is drugged until he passes out at a disco. Still not getting the hint, Paxton returns to the hostel when he wakes up. There, he attempts to find his friends. When he is told they are at an "art exhibit," which is a ridiculously implausible excuse for a guy whose been missing overnight, Paxton decides to ride with some suspicious women to get to his friends. When this guy finally ends up strapped in a torture chair, we were certain he would get his. But he doesn't, Paxton lives and his buddy dies, even though his buddy was the one who wanted to bail from the murder zone. 

Donna Trenton in Cujo

In Cujo, Donna Trenton gets trapped in her inoperable car by a rabid dog. She then proceeds to deal with the situation in the dumbest ways possible. First, she tries to leave the car without checking under it, "not checking under the bed for monsters" kills a lot of horror movie characters. But Donna survives. Does she go for the revolver in the nearby dead sheriff? No, she tries to run inside a nearby house.

Never does it occur to Donna to open the window or door a crack, wait for Cujo to stick his head in, then roll the window up/slam the door. She also makes the usually-fatal movie mistake of not shooting the bad guy in the head once he is down. Yet she somehow is allowed to survive to the end of the film. But Cujo, the true hero for killing all these stupid people, dies in the end.

Julie from I Know What You Did Last Summer

So, your boyfriend drives into a guy on accident. There are three witnesses, all of them completely on your side. Should you tell the cops? Yes! Should you call an ambulance? Yes! What you should not do is take the body hide and it, while failing to notice that it's still breathing.

Somehow, Julie decides that hiding the body is the best course of action, setting in motion the events of the entire film series. Yet this moron of a lady manages to survive numerous attacks throughout the film (usually by running around and screaming). This is supposed to be set around a college, but we're confused as to how Julie managed to get through the whole film without dying from, say, forgetting to inhale.

Ronald Tyler from Child Play 3

It's often a horror movie gimmick to have all the dumb moves be made by a child. After all, children are way more likely to do the wrong thing in a panic.

But there's a difference between "childlike stupidity," and "utter inability to see that the lifelike doll you play with is evil." Ronald Tyler steals Chucky and plays with him, almost getting tricked into accepting Chucky's soul mutliple times. 

Worst of all, after Chucky's original owner figures out what's going on and even gives Ronald a knife, the boy still ditches military duty to play with the doll. Eventually the doll knocks out Ronald, but because the star kid has to live in every Child's Play, Ronald is rescued. Come to think of it, maybe that was Ronald's strategy all along: Act so dumb that Chucky will think you're an easy possession target, and will keep you alive. 

Freddie from Halloween: Resurrection

Busta Rhymes provides "acting" to this character in the Halloween sequel. He sure doesn't provide any intelligence, as Freddie fails to recognize Michael Myers even when Freddie is making a show about Myers and dressed in a Myers costume.

Perhaps the dumbest act in the history of horror comes when Freddie confronts Michael Myers. Rather than run or use a weapon, Freddie tries hand-to-hand combat with the super-powered serial killer. We expected a good laugh as Myers eviscerates Freddie, but no: Freddie defeats Myers! So, all these years, it turns out Michael Myers' weakness is getting punched by a moron. This explains why Myers never took on any MMA fighters.

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