Villains, particularly in horror the horror genre, are intended to appear indestructible. They're unstoppable killing machines, walking, unstoppable monoliths that will not be deterred from their ultimate goal: gorily dismembering you.
But it would be a fairly short film, or at least a boring one, if all it featured was the protagonists running in fear for 90 minutes with no hope of survival. There has to be a final girl, a hero worth rooting for, that can finally go toe-to-toe with the evil that's manifested and either win-out or meet an untimely end.
Smart horror films find ways for such climactic showdowns are built up to a level of intensity that keeps audiences guessing, nearly pleaded for an out. The best have a kernel of thematic relevance, bringing the story to a close while resonating with the subconscious ideas the film presents.
When Michael Meyers is finally shot by nemesis Dr. Loomis at the end of Halloween, only to vanish moments later, it's not a cliffhanger. The film ends with shots of areas of the sleepy suburb of Halloween where the evil may reside, driving home the point that evil is everywhere, no matter how we try to defeat it. This coincided with the end of the Vietnam War and the Nixon administration.
But horror films can get lazy, treating their killers like big bads of video games. All you have to do is hit the right spot on the monster's body, and you're the victor.
Here are the most embarassing.