In horror movies, these are the perfect ways to die. Welcome to WatchMojo, today we’ll be counting down our picks for the "Top 10 Dumbest Decisions in Horror Movies."
For this list, we’re focusing on legitimately boneheaded moves that either lead to imminent death or general chaos. We’re also excluding joke scenes à la Bill Murray’s demise in Zombieland.
Subscribe to WatchMojo—Ranking Pop Culture Since 2006!
#10: Heroin or Demons? 'Evil Dead' (2013)
Naturom Demonto. The Book of the Dead. Such words may not seem appropriate for someone battling a heroin addiction in the woods. But in Fede Alvarez’s supposedly “fresh” installment of the classic series, Eric makes the conscious decision to study a flesh-bound book, which also happens to be written in blood. Spoiler Alert: Mia soon has more to worry about than smack, all thanks to Eric and his dim-witted curiosity. The next time you have to choose between “Naturom Demonto” and heroin, you should probably just choose the latter; at least in the movies.
#9: All That Work… 'The Cabin in the Woods' (2012)
Despite the brilliance of the narrative itself, this cinematic collaboration from Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard has one major flaw that can’t be ignored. As the orchestrators of a plan to appease the Gods watch a contrived narrative unfold, Marty and Dana manage to survive the ritualistic mayhem and find themselves in a secret elevator. While it may seem like a tough predicament, they manage to pick the lock, so to speak—thus unleashing the monsters all over the surprised staff. Hmmm... all that work, but still a flawed security system. Of course, you also have Curt’s questionable motorcycle jump. But in a way, that one makes a bit more sense.
#8: Totally Not an Unexplored Cave 'The Descent' (2005)
Considering what happens to Sarah’s family in the opening events of The Descent, you’d think that Juno might’ve learned a lesson when it comes to future outdoor excursions: safety first. But these are the movies, and if you’re going to take your loved ones spelunking, you go big or go home. Of course, Juno didn’t exactly tell anybody the truth regarding the unexplored cave system. So naturally, they were all kinds of screwed and left to battle some deeply annoying creatures known as “The Crawlers.” And you know what happens next.
#7: Run, Helen, Run! 'I Know What You Did Last Summer' (1997)
When you’re being chased by a dark figure with a massive hook—and they appear to be quite efficient in their ways—the best course of action is always to keep moving. You know, running AWAY from certain death. However, in I Know What You Did Last Summer, the beautiful Helen Shivers finds herself distracted by a marching band and obvious safety. She inexplicably stops, and not to check her phone. Instead, she stops because that how’s dumb blondes get killed in horror movies. And that’s why people scream at inanimate objects in public.
#6: Hands in a Box 'Saw II' (2005)
For round 2 of Jigsaw’s devious game of murder, he threatens slow and nasty deaths. But like a true gentleman, he informs the victims that antidotes can be found around the pad. Well, once Addison reaches a glass box, she’s not quite as composed as she’d like to be. If she would’ve just processed the situation properly—rather than sticking not one, but BOTH hands in the box—she might’ve noticed the key lying just a few inches away. Not a sharp move, Addy—kind of like Lawrence cutting off his damn foot in the original Saw rather than using his shirt to get the phone.
#5: Rage Against the Machine '28 Days Later' (2002)
Kind of like global warming, some people just refuse to believe scientists. Despite warnings from one in the opening minutes of the zombie flick 28 Days Later, a group of activists make a supremely idiotic decision—and they’re liberals, not die-hard conservatives! The chimps essentially rage against the machine, and they rage hard, giving the film its title and making viewers hate those animal activists—as if PETA wasn't already having a hard enough time as it is. They really ruined it for everybody and even managed to infect us with anger.
#4: A Few Apples Short 'Scream' (1996)
By now, we can look back at this scene and laugh, considering we know the franchise as a whole. Still, it’s a perfect example of how poor decision-making can make any mild-mannered viewer foam from the mouth, whether inside the movie theatre or at home. As Wes Craven’s iconic film starts, Casey Becker gets a naughty phone call. But no matter what the audio perv says, she can’t manage to hang up the damn phone and call the cops. You gotta hand it to Drew Barrymore for such an honest performance, even if her character is a few apples short of a bushel.
#3: Torture Porn 'The Ring' (2002)
If Scream made people laugh and cry, this American remake of a classic Japanese horror film made viewers melt down in public and dribble a little bit of pee down their leg. At the heart of The Ring is “the tape,” a disturbing recording that characters have been warned NOT to watch because it will KILL them. And just like how nobody can turn away from a trainwreck, the characters of the film naturally just have to know what the F is going on with the tape—as if they actually knew that a creepy girl would crawl out of the TV and drag them to hell. But alas, that’s what happened. The moral of this story: maybe don’t push play and just go to the gym or something.
2: Did I Do That? 'The Mist' (2007)
In perhaps one of the most agonizing moments in modern cinema, a man comes to the proverbial crossroads after The Mist wreaks havoc, yet this path of escapism involves death for his entire crew. Being the upstanding citizen that he is, David Drayton executes a mass mercy killing, sparing himself only because he ran out of bullets. But surprise! The war is over, as the U.S. Army rolls up and inadvertently delivers the knockout punch to ol’ Davey’s very soul. Now that’s what you call some bad timing and certainly a blow to the senses.
Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.
- What Map? The Blair Witch Project (1999)
- Electronics It Follows (2015)
- Corpse Hoarder Return of the Living Dead (1985)
- Let’s Investigate Piranha 3D (2010)
#1: Municipal Mismanagement 'Jaws' (1975)
When the remains of a dead body are found on shore, Mayor Larry Vaughn doesn’t buckle under pressure from local authorities. Rather, he stands tall in the name of the almighty dollar, even if people later describe ginormous teeth in the wrecked hulls of boats. And so the smug politician DOESN’T close the beach—after all, they caught the culprit in question, right? Well, no, they didn’t. Some people in horror movies screw only themselves with dumbass decisions, but in Jaws, one prideful man just couldn’t pay attention to the obvious facts and made everybody feel the wrath of a great white shark.
Do you agree with our list? What’s your favorite movie you shouldn’t watch alone? For more mind-blowing Top 10s published daily, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.