In horror movies, there are typically common themes such as the hot girlfriend, scenes of a sexual nature, the Jock and protagonists of heroes and heroines killed by making intelligent choices, dumb choices or even no choice at all.
Horror movies are infamous for their characters making stupid and reckless choices. For instance, they get themselves and their friends killed in the 2019 movie Child’s Play, a reboot of the Chucky horror movies that started in 1988 and the final instalment in 2017.
In the rebooted version halfway through Child’s Play, Andy’s mother, Karen, realises Chucky is evil and could avoid all the deaths if she just destroyed the possessed doll.
In what cultures list latest piece, we will see protagonists making the wise decisions of not treading around in dark attics or having raunchy activities in the middle of the woods, like Chris Hemsworth having sex in The Cabin in the Woods horror movie released in 2011.
Protagonists are not just those who survived and got lucky; heroes and heroines who succeeded were jocks and psychopaths like Amanda Young from The Saw movies. So, the question is, what did these characters do to warrant survival?
1 Blair Witch (2016)
Blair Witch is a demonic being that uses an energy field to kill its victims; to survive, victims must not look at the Blair Witch for her powers to work; the Blair Witch kills by using telekinesis powers by moving objects that can kill the protagonists.
To survive, the protagonists, James Donahue, Lisa Arlington, Peter, Ashley Bennett, Talia and Lane, use mirrors and the video of the camera recording device to manoeuvre and try to escape death by the Blair Witch.
They did this by focusing on corners and the reflections and recordings from their devices. Survivors, instead of directly using their eyes to see, they just looked into the camera recorder to move around their location.
Unfortunately, everybody is killed, but this is an excellent example of how the protagonists use imaginative thinking to survive Blair Witch for several hours before succumbing to their deaths.
2 The Invisible Man (2020)
In this movie, Elizabeth Moss, who plays Cecilia Kass, is stalked and gaslighted by her seemingly deceased ex-boyfriend, who is being played by Oliver Jackson-Cohen, who portrays the character Adrian Griffin after he acquires the ability to become invisible.
To survive, Cecily stabs herself with a pen to draw blood. She pretends she has committed suicide to lure the invisible man into a trap where she uses water to make the invisible man temporarily visible.
The Invisible Man is only invisible when he’s not exposed to any liquids or matter like paints and rain that would show his appearance.
The invisible man is not translucent and can be made visible in rainy weather, so Cecily made it possible to briefly see him so she could detect him and then inflict him with an injury with a pen and then she was finally able to kill him by inflicting four gunshots.
It’s a great example of a protagonist making intelligent decisions and not just enabling them to survive longer but finally killing their enemy
3 A Quiet Place (2018)
In the horror universe of A Quiet Place, at the beginning of the movie, it makes it clear that the world has been infested with monsters, and the only way for people to survive is to remain quiet to avoid any detection.
The lead characters in this movie are a married couple and their children. John Krasinski plays the father, Lee Abbott, and the mother is portrayed by Emilia Blunt, who plays the mother, Evelyn Abbott.
Beginning of the plot of the movie, their young four years old child Beau Abbot is killed due to the noise created by a toy rocket; throughout the film, after this event, the mother, Evelyn Abbott, finds out she’s pregnant.
To survive the pregnancy’s noise, the protagonists use fireworks law away all the monsters during the birth.
Successfully everybody managed to survive, and so did the baby due to successfully outthinking the alien monsters that tried to kill them; the ending has Evelyn picking up a shotgun protector of her family.
4 The Invitation (2022)
The more profound message within the movie The Invitation is about the transfer of wealth and that old money must come from an element of pain; this is shown in this movie by Dracula, who uses his wealth to control families that provide him women to be his vampire brides.
The protagonist and hero of our movie Evia played by Nathalie Emmanuel, survives, becoming a servant of Dracula during the movie’s climax by drinking the blood of Dracula and copying his powers; during this moment, she stabs Dracula in the chest, weakening him.
In this movie universe, Dracula grants his wives his powers by having them willingly drink his blood. Evia does this but refuses to allow him to drink her blood after she turns into a vampire because it would give Dracula more powers.
Evia proved to have made a smart decision because it enabled Evia to destroy the brides of Dracula and finally kill Dracula by kicking him into the flames.
5 Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003)
In this remake of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, originally released in 1974, our protagonist Erin Hardesty is a 17-year-old girl, the main protagonist and sole survivor of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Jessica Biel portrays her.
To outsmart Leatherface, Erin Hardesty ran into a slaughterhouse, and after fighting Leatherface off, she hid between two split-open pig carcases. After this, Leatherface moves pigs and finds her; she then goes to the freezer and hides inside one of the meat lockers.
As Leatherface searched the area, he managed to locate where Erin was. Still, he was distracted by a pig’s squeal in a nearby locker which allowed Erin to get the upper hand, hacking at him wildly with a meat cleaver until she succeeded in cutting off his right arm, disarming him and allowing her to escape him.
She had a panic attack and flailed about frantically in the street until she was rescued by a nearby trucker named Big Rig Bob. When the man began driving towards the Cele Community Canter, Erin began to freak out, realising the truck’s direction, and then grabbed the wheel, forcing him off the side of the road.
6 Little Monsters (2019)
To outsmart the zombies, the main protagonists are a slacker and musician, Dave, played by Alexander England, and a schoolteacher, Caroline, played by Lupita Nyong’o.
The main characters have taken children on a school trip to ensure that all the children survive throughout the apocalypse and return to their parents safely.
What both of our heroes do to survive and stop the children from becoming Scooby snacks for zombies is, throughout the movie, pretend that it is all just an elaborate game for the children’s entertainment.
Caroline and Dave tell the children that it is just an elaborate game of tag and that to survive the game, in this case, so zombies do not kill the children; they must try to avoid being touched when playing the game.
Throughout the movie, Miss Caroline keeps up this façade, and the children never catch on to the zombie apocalypse. This is smart because the kids never panic or discover what is happening.
7 #Alive (2020)
At the start of the zombie apocalypse, our main protagonist Oh Joon-woo played Yoo Ah-in, would not have survived if he did not make two critical choices to survive the zombie apocalypse.
They used his social media to post their location, address and other information so that they could be rescued at the end of the movie by their nation’s military.
The second great decision Oh Joon-woo made was that rather than buying a new Xbox or PlayStation, he instead spent money on purchasing a remote-control aerial drone.
This helps them to survive, and help another survivor Kim Yoo-bin played by Park Shin-Hye, also survives due to the drone due to Joon-woo connecting a wire to each other’s buildings to transfer food.
The drone also prevents Kim Yoo-bin from being eaten by a zombie trying to climb the building when she is unconscious. Unfortunately, the drone did not survive the movie; the main protagonist’s quick thinking helped them survive the apocalypse and be rescued by the South Korean military.
8 Planet Terror (2007)
Planet Terror is a horror and zombie movie that is outlandish in how its protagonist Cherry Darling played by Rose McGowan, makes the wisest decision, so she survives after suffering an injury.
She survives after having her leg eaten by the infected, and the character uses their skills as a dancer and modifications to her leg to kill the infected enemies.
After having surgery which removes infected flesh, leaving her with a stump, she replaces the missing limb with a chair leg which she uses significantly to kill enemies.
Towards the movie’s end, her missing limb is again replaced with a heavy machine gun, which she uses to damage and mow down multiple enemies with extreme prejudice.
She also uses her experiences as a pole dancer and stripper to perform various moves that are used to fantastic effect on-screen to kill the infected hordes.
In an over-the-top scene, Cherry Darling uses her leg rifle to set off an explosion that propels her in the hair like Batman when gliding.
9 Pray (2022)
In the newest instalment in the Predator franchise movies, we are introduced in this action and horror movie to our main protagonist Naru played by actress Amber Midthunder; she is a Comanche woman, and the film takes place in the year 1710 CE in North America.
Throughout the movie, her tribe is being hunted by an enemy that is an alien called the Predator, which she kills and survives by making innovative choices and tactical decisions to kill a stronger enemy.
This movie is similar to the Revenant release in 2015, which stars Leonardo DiCaprio, with the protagonists trying to survive the enemy and the hospital environment.
Naru innovates by using her Tomahawk as a grappling hook hawk to survive being sucked into a mud pit; the weapon is used multiple times because when she throws the weapon, she can pull on a rope that returns the Tomahawk to herself, which she can use again.
Another great way the protagonist makes the smartest decisions when facing the Predator is to take a tribal drug called Tutsia; it renders her invisible to the Predator’s detection because somehow the drug makes it so you cannot see her body heat making her effectively invisible.
10 It Follows (2014)
After having sexual intercourse, the protagonist, Jay Height, played by Maika Monroe, is pursued by a supernatural being with the power to kill; to survive, she must have sex with other individuals so that this demonic being will not continue to pursue her.
What Jay Heigh had to do to get rid of this poltergeist she has sex with other people, which in this case, sends the paranormal being after somebody else to torment.
Finally, Jay has sex with another protagonist Paul who is played by Keir Gilchrist, who then goes on to have sex with a street worker.
This is an intelligent decision to survive against the supernatural horror by bypassing the curse onto a prostitute; she will then sleep with multiple people, and if the other person is killed, she will keep passing the curse on to others.
If the person, the street worker, passes the curse on to is killed, the curse will then return to the prostitute, and in turn, she will keep passing this phenomenon on to her paying customers.
What Jay and Paul did was wrong, but it was smart to escape the supernatural being at the end of the movie by letting other people die.