Top 10 EPIC Final Showdowns In Horror Movies

Trevor Fonvergne

Finales of horror films in which we see one last battle between characters. WatchMojo presents the top 10 final showdowns in horror movies, but what will take the top spot on our list? Will it be the mayhem at the end of The Cabin in the Woods, Martin Brody vs Jaws, or Ellen Ripley taking on the Alien Queen in Aliens? Watch to find out!

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This is where things get bloody. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Epic Final Showdowns in Horror Movies.

For this list, we’ve selected the most memorable and well-executed climactic sequences of the horror genre. Since these scenes all take place near the end of the film, we should warn you that some key moments in these movies will be spoiled.

#10: Sidney Prescott vs. Billy Loomis & Stu Macher
“Scream” (1996)

Double-teaming is never fair, but when there are a couple of psychopaths in the mix, fair is not how the game is played. Billy and Stu are a little too into scary movies, as they try to re-enact one in order to get revenge on Sidney for the sins of her mother. After Billy takes Sidney’s virginity, she is no longer a virgin, which means that she cannot survive... at least according to their rules. However, Sidney is smarter than they think, and deftly uses her intelligence to outsmart them, culminating in a reversal of identity, when Sidney dispatches her ex in the very costume he terrorized Woodsboro with. Don’t expect him to go down without one final scare, though.

#9: Laurie Strode vs. Michael Myers
“Halloween H20: 20 Years Later” (1998)

It took twenty years for these two horror icons to have a proper showdown, but it was certainly worth the wait. Deciding that it’s time to end her brother’s reign of terror, Laurie exudes the bravery and intelligence we remember her and uses these to bring him down. Despite a few close calls, she remains one step ahead of the stalker, ultimately subduing him. Smart enough to know that he’s still not out, she hijacks a coroner’s van, crashes it, and decapitates him as the classic “Halloween” theme plays. The pacing and choreography echo back to what made the original great, and this would have served as the perfect series finale… if only the powers that be didn’t make more damn sequels after it.

#8: Jay, Paul, Kelly & Yara vs. the Entity
“It Follows” (2014)

Battling a mysterious and almost entirely invisible entity would undoubtedly make for an unforgettable climax. Case in point: the antagonist of “It Follows” is never fully explained. We know that it’s an entity that’s passed along and can appear as anybody, and… well, it follows its victim. When Jay is targeted, she and her friends attempt to corner it in a pool and electrocute it. Admittedly, it’s not the smartest plan on this list, and at first it backfires… pretty badly, in fact. But once Paul is able to locate the entity, he manages to fire two bullets into its head, effectively ending the curse… right? Oh god, we’re gonna be looking over our shoulders for weeks now.

#7: R.J. MacReady vs. the Thing
“The Thing” (1982)

Kurt Russell was one of the major badasses of the 1980s, so it’s no surprise that one of his most horrific outings found its way onto this list. After a shape-shifting Antarctic creature claims the lives of most of his research crew, R.J. is forced to go to-to-toe with the titular beast. A formidable foe, it reveals its grotesque true self, complete with astounding practical effects topped off by the directing of the legendary John Carpenter. Having recently discovered its weakness to fire, MacReady delivers one stalwart line before sending the entire base up in an explosion. It’s brief, but meticulously shot, and the dark implications of the loss of the base speak for themselves.

#6: Father Damien Karras S.J. vs. Pazuzu
“The Exorcist” (1973)

Few cinematic experiences are more disturbing than seeing the young girl Regan possessed by the demon Pazuzu. The infamous moments are too numerable to list here, but all of the taunting finally leads to this climactic exorcism. Deeming Damien too weak, his partner, the older Father Merrin tries to take on the demon by himself. But he dies in the process, leaving the younger, more naïve priest to finish the job. Damien utilizes more brutal methods than the elder priest does and in the process, manages to trick Pazuzu into possessing him instead. He is successful and saves the little girl, throwing himself out the window to put an end to the MacNeil family’s horrors.

#5: Freddy Krueger vs. Jason Voorhees
“Freddy vs. Jason” (2003)

As far as horror showdowns go, you really can’t beat two slasher icons duking it out. Though both franchises had solid showdowns in their fourth entries, this one certainly takes the cake. Though it’s rather difficult to root for either of these villains, the sheer spectacle of the battle delivers on the promise of the title. Freddy’s speed, intelligence, and creepy kookiness are showcased, as are Jason’s strength and invulnerability. Neither really keeps the upper hand for long, keeping the audience guessing which one will win. In the end, they both end up at the bottom of Crystal Lake... at least until that shock ending, that is.

#4: Mia Allen vs. the Abomination
“Evil Dead” (2013)

Ash is easily one of horror’s most badass characters, and his showdown with his evil counterpart was legendary. However, the series reboot delivered a showdown that encapsulates all of the franchise’s best elements while also giving us a little something new. After the audience assumes Mia is doomed, her brother David saves her. It seems David is poised to be the next Ash, but he dies soon after, leaving Mia to overcome the powerful demon on her own in a literally blood-drenched battle. When flight isn’t an option, she chooses to fight, which requires the removal of her own hand. This scene made Jane Levy a true scream queen, and you really can’t say she doesn’t deserve the title.

#3: Chief Martin Brody vs. Jaws
“Jaws” (1975)

The summer of 1975 had strangely low turnouts at beaches. This was for the most part because that was when “Jaws” became the first bona-fide blockbuster. Three men head into the water to battle the enormous beast, but in the end, Chief Brody is left on a boat sinking right into the shark’s clutches. With his options growing ever fewer, he climbs to the barely above water mast to desperately continue fending it off. Luckily, Brody didn’t become chief for nothing; he had earlier managed to lodge a scuba tank into the shark’s mouth, and after shooting it, it bursts into a bloody and watery explosion that turns the aquatic villain into chum and saving Amity Island.

#2: Everything vs. Everyone
“The Cabin in the Woods” (2012)

This may be stretching the definition of “showdown,” since it’s really more of a slaughterfest, but we can’t ignore the finale of the Joss Whedon-produced satirical horror masterpiece. The Facility has been releasing a wide array of horror villains on unsuspecting teenagers in an attempt to please the Ancient Ones. When Dana and Marty let these villains loose on the Facility, there’s something for every horror fan as we watch them tear everything to shreds... literally. You would have to rewind this scene multiple times to catch all the allusions to both modern and classic horror cinema, and it’s really worth it. Perfectly encapsulating the movie’s scary/funny tone, the scene has quickly become a fun Easter egg hunt for fans of the genre.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.

Lorraine & Ed Warren vs. Bathsheba
“The Conjuring” (2013)

Samuel Vanek vs. Amelia Vanek / The Babadook
“The Babadook” (2014)

Sweeney Todd vs. Judge Turpin
“Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street” (2007)

#1: Ellen Ripley vs. the Alien Queen
“Aliens” (1986)

When the Xenomorph Queen tries to attack the little girl you’ve been protecting, there’s only one thing to say. James Cameron’s arguably superior sequel to the sci-fi/horror epic manages to up the ante by introducing more formidable villains for our tough heroine. Though it seems Newt is about to be lost, Ellen storms in with a cargo-loader and gives the evil queen her comeuppance, knocking her out into space. The movie - particularly this scene - is considered to be a huge step forward for women in the action genre, and Sigourney Weaver even nabbed an Oscar nomination. For these reasons, and the obvious merit of the epic scene itself, it was an easy pick for our number one spot.
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