Warning: This article contains spoilers for Barbarian.
Horror films scratch a special itch for fans who enjoy them. One of the reasons people enjoy watching them is seeing the often disreputable characters get their way. In the recent Barbaricthe film’s horror is made more bearable by the fact that a despicable character ends up getting his just desserts at the end of the film.
Watching bloody violence and mayhem is more acceptable when it happens to someone inappreciable. There are plenty of terrible characters in horror movies who behave terribly throughout the film, only to be killed off so satisfyingly that it’s hard not to stand up and cheer.
Any character who uses a terrible situation for their own benefit should be despised. Mrs. Carmody, in Mist, is generally considered strange but harmless. But once the mist traps people in the grocery store, she begins to turn her knowledge of “other worlds” into religious fervor.
She brainwashes people in the store by playing on their fear with rhetoric of fire and brimstone. And she forces her congregation to kill an innocent soldier and then would have murdered David and his child if she hadn’t been shot in the head by Ollie. It’s a satisfying and disappointing ending for the witch-like woman who thought she was bigger than the situation.
buzz and rick
Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2
The first one Texas Chainsaw The film is considered one of the scariest and darkest films of all time, but the second one has a much more comedic tone. The comedy begins right away with the first two characters introduced, Buzz and Rick.
These two yuppies are the worst kind of privileged and arrogant frat-boys, and they speed through Texas, driving other cars off the road and firing guns at street signs, laughing the whole time. So when a victim of their speeding comes back to chase them, viewers are happy to see Leatherface for once, which means both of these men are screwed. Their deaths are violent and chilling, but one can’t help but feel a little glad they were the first to go.
Barbaric is an excellent and unique film partly because halfway through the film there is a change in tone and character that completely changes the film, and it starts with AJ Gilbride, played by Justin Long. AJ is a famous actor accused of sexual assault, and although at first it seems like he’s innocent, it turns out he’s completely toxic.
He’s weak and self-pity, and just when the audience thinks he might turn over a new leaf, he tries to sacrifice a friend to the monster so he can escape. The plan backfires, and it is he who ends up being torn to pieces by the monster, a fitting ending for a fearsome and self-righteous character.
The Devil’s Backbone
Guillermo del Toro’s third film, Devil’s backbone, is a spooky, atmospheric movie with an evil janitor who makes things worse for everyone. Jacinto works at the orphanage but secretly plans to steal the gold hidden there which is supposed to be for the Spanish revolutionaries.
He presents himself as nice but, in reality, will do anything to get rich. He kills children with adults and also destroys the orphanage. He very nearly succeeds in his plans but is defeated by the children, who band together to defeat him. As a satisfying ending, Jacinto is dragged into a watery grave, weighed down by the gold he stole and the ghost of the first child he killed.
Major Henry West
28 days later
Major Henry West, played by Christopher Eccleston in 28 days laterone of best zombie movies of all time, is an example of the horrible kind of people who use their positions of power in a bad situation to rule like a dictator. So when the protagonists arrive at the fortress, they believe they are safe – it is the army, after all.
But West has created his own kingdom and rules it with an iron fist, even forcing women to be used to create the next generation of humans. It’s all the more satisfying when his death is inflicted by one of the girls he originally intended to use for sinister purposes when she puts him in the way of a rampaging zombie.
Attack the block
Attack the block is a relatively unknown 2011 British sci-fi horror film. It’s a fantastic mix of humor, scary and action that’s somewhat overshadowed by its lead role, John Boyega, in his first film role. Boyega is a low-level thug who is more interested in hanging out with his friends than obeying the rogue drug dealer, Hi-Hatz.
Hi-Hatz is a huge pain for everyone in the movie, murderous aliens attack the apartment complex, but Hi-Hatz only cares about getting revenge on Boyega for damaging his car. He’s so unable to see the big picture and let his pride go that when he’s surrounded by aliens ripping his face off, it’s a relief for the audience.
In aliens, Ellen Ripley found herself in a movie once again embroiled in a mission that pits her against xenomorphs. This time, however, she’s a bit wiser and far less trusting of those around her. But the one person she doesn’t suspect of having bad intentions ends up being the worst character in the movie.
Carter Burke is a slimy ladder-climbing businessman, and he becomes a villain in his own right when he hugs Ripley and Newt in order to bring the monsters back to earth. Luckily, he has a fitting loose ending when he locks up all the Space Marines with the aliens, only to find out too late that he’s accidentally trapped one in the closet with him.
Tales from the Hood
Tales from the Hood is an anthology horror film featuring both real life monsters and human kind. In the series’ first short, three white police officers murder a black man at a traffic stop, and his spirit takes revenge on them. Newton Houser is the type of officer who defends police brutality not by being outright racist, but by saying that the police fraternity must protect and cover for each other.
Newton’s death is rightly macabre. The spirit impales the officer with used needles, then melts the man into a wall, and he reappears as graffiti, a warning to other bad cops.
The invisible Man
The titular character in the 2020s The invisible ManAdrian Griffin, is a manipulative, abusive, gaslighting man who essentially held Moss captive for years before she finally had the strength to leave the relationship.
Not only does he physically hurt Moss’ character, but he also kills his sister and tricks his friends into thinking she’s a violent psychopath. He goes out of his way to ruin her life and bring her back with him, which he apparently does. Seeing him tricked by Moss at the end of the movie into thinking he won and then killed by her in some untraceable way is hugely satisfying.
All Armitages of get out are evil and frustrating examples of people who pretend to be tolerant and modern, but are secretly selfish and hateful. The son, Jeremy, is perhaps the worst of the lot. He is a send off from the bully of the upper class.
Jeremy mocks Chris the moment he meets him, even trying to fight him off in the middle of dinner. His nervous demeanor and smug attitude make him instantly detestable. Luckily, Chris dispatches it with a gnarly leg kick followed by a brutal series of headbutts that aren’t gruesome enough to keep the audience from cheering.