Horror movie characters aren't know for their lateral thinking, street smarts or even plain old common sense.
No, as most blood and gore fest aficionados know, this is a genre that attracts the cognitively challenged far more than any other. Final girls and chainsaw-swinging heroes aside, we go into most horror flicks expecting to see the majority of the cast meet their doom before the credits roll (or, occasionally, after).
But sometimes a character really goes out of their way to be an extra special kind of dumb, channelling the malevolent gods of sheer stupidity to ensure the grisly and untimely deaths of themselves and their unfortunate compatriots. These characters make our blood boil with the many ways in which they will go off-script, do the dangerous thing and lead everyone into unnecessary peril; people so stupid it's a coin's toss whether they actually even deserve to live.
You know the type.
Whether they unwittingly awoke demonic spirits, failed to obey the unwritten rules of the slasher or simply couldn't wait those crucial few seconds longer, here are ten of the dumbest mistakes ever to kill horror movie characters.
10. Cruz Gets Her Head Spun - Army Of The Dead
Zack Snyder returned to our screens last year with straight-to-Netflix zombie horror Army Of The Dead, a spiritual sequel to his original zombie smash Dawn Of The Dead (2004).
Las Vegas is besieged by the walking dead, a perimeter has been built around the city to prevent national infection, and soon the city is to be bombed out of existence. Enter a rag-tag team of zombie-hunting mechanics, safecrackers and pilots to break in and recover $200 million from a casino vault before it's too late.
Among these fresh faces is supposed badass and first-wave apocalypse survivor Maria Cruz (Ana de la Reguera). Pitched front and centre for the majority of the film, she acts as a counterpart and love interest to Dave Bautista's Scott Ward, but her utter inaction in the face of the undead leads to her untimely demise.
In a truly shocking mid-film sequence, while the gang are trapped in the lower levels of the casino, the lift pings open and out come a swarm of zombies. Rather than jumping into action and drawing her weapon, however, Maria stands and stares dumbfounded at the new arrivals, allowing one to grab her by the neck. And, in one sharp twist, she's wearing her head backwards.
If only she had done something, anything!