Top 10 Horror Movie Victim Types
VOICE OVER: Rebecca Brayton
Written by George Pacheco
Clichés are used for a reason, and these character tropes have definitely made an appearance in your favourite horror movie! WatchMojo presents the Top 10 Types of Victims in Horror Movies! But what will take our top spot? The Promiscuous Girl, the Final Girl, or the unfortunate minority character who too often dies first? Watch to find out!
Watch on WatchMojo: http://www.WatchMojo.com
Big thanks to Aaron Alderden for suggesting this idea, and to see how WatchMojo users voted, check out the suggest page here: http://www.WatchMojo.comsuggest/Top+10+Horror+Movie+Victim+Types
Pardon me, but is that a giant bull’s eye on your back? Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Horror Movie Victim Types.
For this list, we’re ranking the most popular and prevalent character archetypes found within the horror movie genre. These characters don’t ALWAYS have to die, but they often suffer the wrath of each film’s main villain as intended victims or targets. Oh, and given the fact that we’ll definitely be revealing some major death scenes along the way, a spoiler alert is now in order!
#10: The Non-Believers
We start our list with what’s perhaps the most frustrating victim type of all: The Non-Believers. These are the characters that simply refuse to acknowledge any of the creepy, suspicious, or downright terrifying things that happen to be going on around them in the film. The Non-Believers often arrive armed with an explanation for just about everything… until it’s too late. These characters are usually separated from the main group, or otherwise refuse to do anything about the killer – and they end up becoming mincemeat for their troubles. Hey guys, you were warned!
#9: The Redneck
Not every horror film has a Redneck-like character in it, but when they do, they’re often in cahoots with the killers, rather than victims. They do sometimes appear on the other end of things, though, like the tragically doomed Jake and Bobby Joe from Sam Raimi’s "Evil Dead 2." In this sense, The Redneck is usually hardheaded and stubborn, and it’s these qualities that often prevent this victim type from surviving to the end. Do you find it impossible to compromise or collaborate with others in even the direst of situations? Then you just might be The Redneck in a horror film.
#8: The Fat One
Okay, we know it may not be PC to use this term, but political correctness was never exactly the calling card of 1980s’ slasher movies. This was where the character archetype of The Fat One was often found, usually as the butt of a joke or as some sort of comic relief. Then again, there are also examples like Shelly from "Friday the 13th Part III," a lovable but socially awkward sort who uses cheap scares and masks to hide his self-consciousness. Shelly was one of this franchise’s most memorable and beloved characters, yet even that fact didn’t save him from dying at the hands of Jason Voorhees.
#7: The Love Interest / The Best Friend
Every horror hero needs some backup, right? Well, this is where The Love Interest or Best Friend characters come in: as moral support to the film’s primary protagonist. These peripheral characters could be romantically involved with or in a platonic relationship with the main character, and sometimes they even serve as one of the few survivors of a maniacal killer’s attack. Unfortunately, The Love Interest or Best Friend is also just as likely to end up a victim, usually as a result of some courageous and heroic final stand, so that the hero can attain the upper hand over the killer. Rest in peace, guys... they couldn’t have done it without you!
#6: The Stoner
Many of us might be able to identify with The Stoner. After all, isn’t there a small part of us that would just want to say, "screw it! I’m getting as high as possible before I have to deal with this maniac stalking me." Okay, maybe that isn’t the best of ideas now that we say it out loud, but that hasn’t stopped The Stoner from puffing away in countless horror movies. Sadly, this is usually the last thing they do before falling under the killer’s blade; one last bit of escapism before it all fades to black. Much like the usually none-too-bright Stoner, The Idiot is another victim type that’s dead meat right from the start.
#5: The Authority Figure
Existing alongside The Non-Believers as some of the horror world’s most infuriating characters, The Authority Figure does all they can to impede the progress of the heroes. They could align themselves with another victim type, The Useless Cop, and temporarily imprison the heroes while the rest of the town gets cut up. Or, The Authority Figure could find other ways to abuse their power to get in the other characters’ way. Although this victim type often sees the error of their ways before the film’s end, this usually isn’t enough to save them from death - although The Authority Figure occasionally receives a nice scene of redemption before biting the dust.
#4: The Jock / The Jerk
You love to hate ‘em, these jocks and jerks of the horror movie universe. This character type is usually attached to one of the film’s main characters as some sort of dysfunctional love interest, but this situation rarely lasts the entire film. This is because The Jock or Jerk is such an insufferable character, picking on almost everyone around them, and alienating themselves from the rest of the group. This usually leads to their demise by the film’s killer: scared, alone, and without any friends to save them from their deadly, but just, desserts.
#3: The Promiscuous Girl
It might actually be unfair to label this as one gender over another, because, let’s face it: sex equals death in many classic horror films. Still, The Promiscuous Girl serves a twofold purpose: not only is she there to die after her prerequisite sex scene; she’s also there to provide slasher and exploitation films with their expected amount of nudity. Unfortunately, The Promiscuous Girl rarely, if ever, makes it to the end, further emphasizing the connection between conservative, ‘80s-era values and old school horror flicks. Still, there are worse ways to go out, though, right?
#2: The Black Guy (Who Always Dies First)
This one’s simultaneously something of a misnomer, while at the same time remaining a statistic to this day. Although films like 2017’s "Get Out," thankfully modernized some of the racial roles in horror films, minorities in the genre suffered for decades as victims, with very few making it to the end credits alive. Indeed, for every black protagonist, like Peter from George Romero’s original "Dawn of the Dead," we’ve had a slew of token African-American characters that are simply there to diversify the cast and increase the body count. They may not always die FIRST, but for The Black Guy, death is almost certain in the world of old school horror.
Before we reveal our top horror movie victim type, here are a few, dead to rights, honorable mentions!
- The Nerd
- The Goth
- The Loud Mouth
#1: The Final Girl
The Final Girl is one of the most defining tropes of classic horror, especially within the slasher boom of the 1980s. The term is used to represent the pure, virginal, or otherwise wholesome main character that faces off with the killer in a climactic battle. The Final Girl is often aided by The Love Interest or Best Friend in this goal, and is usually successful... barring, of course, any last second sequel teases by the filmmakers. The Final Girl is also a character that often returns for those sequels, although history has shown us that even these brave, resourceful women end up falling to the Freddys and Jasons of the world eventually.