When it comes to horror cinema, it's in the genre name what one should expect for the characters on hand.
Horrible deaths, setbacks, mutilations, and all manner of suffering find their way onto the often increasingly blood-soaked screen. While the final girl trope typically found in slasher flicks has left many expecting at least one survivor in horror flick ordeals, it's very common for no one to make it out, or worse still, some enduring a fate arguably worse than death.
For viewers, there's often an odd sort of thrill to be enjoyed when watching such carnage unfold. Unless a protagonist is especially likeable, it can be all too easy to quietly hope the horror on hands sweeps them up before the end credits.
There are, however, times when the fate creators hand their main character is just so harsh, so bleak, and so sadistically cruel that the viewer can't help but need to take a step back. These are often masterful bits of storytelling, brought to their crescendo at the right moment to pack as much pain as possible.
10. Paxton Rodriguez - Hostel: Part II
Bar the unfortunate, chainsaw-related loss of two fingers, Paxton Rodriguez got off pretty light in comparison to his travel companions in Hostel. Escaping the torture house and even getting some revenge on a few members of Elite Hunting, the film ended on a somewhat hopeful note for Jay Hernandez's brutalised protagonist.
In the noticeably more ridiculous Hostel: Part II, however, director Eli Roth hands fans of the original an early-on gut punch when poor Paxton's discovered one morning missing his head. We've just been introduced to his home life where he has a longtime girlfriend (which really paints his sleazy shenanigans abroad in an even more unsavoury light) and is struggling with severe PTSD.
Despite the introduction of a new set of lead characters, it seems like Paxton's in for another gory misadventure when he's assassinated by the Elite Hunting top brass for daring to escape their clutches. So, between having his friends butchered, his hand mutilated, his mind traumatised and, finally, getting killed by the very scumbags he fought so hard to escape, Paxton's final days are just plain horrible.
If there's one thing Jay Hernandez can take comfort in here, it's that he got a quick paycheque before the film (and franchise as a whole) completely jumped the shark.