Ah, the humble horror movie. Has any other genre ever been as cruel to its characters?
Whether it’s a relatively subtle ghost story, a haunting possession, or a gory slasher movie, the horror genre has an understandable reputation for putting its protagonists through the grinder.
Some emerge alive, usually the more virginal and upstanding of the bunch, and as bruised and battered as they may be, these final girls are iconic enough to go down in horror history. They’re the heroines (and occasional heroes) who have seen their mates torn to shreds, braved the darkness and defeated evil, and they deserve their cinematic fame.
This list isn’t about those characters.
No, this list is about the horror movie characters who went through hell, survived all manner of hardship—and then ended up just dying anyway. Whether they were heroes with drawn out deaths or villains who refused to die, this list is here to honour the horror movie characters who were dragged through gruesome, horrific fates, but managed to survive despite it all…
And then just died anyway.
10. The Poughkeepsie Tapes
For anyone who hasn't seen 2007’s intense (if imperfect) found footage horror The Poughkeepsie Tapes, you may want to stop reading here.
This one packs more of a punch than one might reasonably expect from the future director of 2010’s corny "the Prince of Darkness is in this elevator" horror Devil.
Those who have seen this low budget indie horror can agree then: Poor Cheryl.
As if being kidnapped and tortured both physically and psychologically by a serial killer for much of the film’s runtime weren’t enough of an ordeal, this unfortunate victim also ends up being forced to harm the killer’s other victims. It’s all part of his twisted mind games, and of course this being an uber-bleak psychological horror, he gets away with everything scot-free.
Cheryl is less lucky. Yes, she is finally discovered and rescued late in this film’s action…
But she also ends up offing herself after the fact, thanks to the immeasurable damage done by the killer’s mental torture.
Not one to watch with the whole family, then.