It takes a special kind of stupidity to be a horror character, the kind that if you compared it to regular stupidity would make regular stupidity look like Commander Data playing 3-D space chess with Stephen Hawking. This week, I’ve decided to review the horror genre’s ten most spectacular blunders. I’ve given each one a rating based on how dumb I think the character acted.
Kid ignores swinging sign, assumes it goes away. Stupidity: 5/10
I know horror movies exist in a universe where everyone has the peripheral vision of ketamine addicts, so I won’t fault this kid for not seeing the sign coming back. But the fact that he couldn’t at least anticipate it coming back reflects a complete ignorance of how pendulums work. Maybe horror movie schools had to remove physics from their curriculum to fit in more classes on partying and not taking your friends to investigate a noise in the woods.
Kid performs duck-and-cover in front of steamroller. Stupidity: 6/10
There’s a misconception that if you’re a kid in a horror movie, as long as you go through the motions of acting terrified, you’re basically invincible, because every adult in a 5-mile radius will trip over themselves coming to rescue you. Never mind that kids are actually the adult world’s least valuable resource when they aren’t spending their parents money on 3OH!3 cds. And if you’re dumb enough to do stuff like lie in front of a steamroller – because, I don’t know, maybe you’ve seen Jurassic Park and assume that all large, deadly things’ vision is based on movement – the adult world could care less what your death will do to the adult world.
Taunting a flesh-eating oil spill when it’s very close. Stupidity: 7/10
I know beating a killer blob in a swimming contest is a pretty emotional moment, especially after the blob just wasted your friends, but I would’ve saved the victory speech until I was several yards away from the shore and holding a flamethrower. Then again, I might’ve missed a subplot where the kid says he has a terminal illness and winning the human-blob swim-a-thon is his dying wish.
Guy rides Jet Ski into shark’s mouth. Stupidity: 7/10
Unless this guy’s plan was to ride into the shark’s mouth all along, maybe because he thought it was a tunnel to a secret bonus round where he could get turbo engines for his Jet Ski, this was pretty dumb. He could’ve easily steered around the shark, jumped off, or best of all, not given his “I just escaped a giant shark” laugh. In movies, laughing when you think you’ve escaped certain death is the karmic equivalent of peeing on a blind kid.
Woman narrowly avoids world’s stupidest death, falls victim to world’s second stupidest. Stupidity: 7/10
The universe is out to get this woman, which is why an evil leaf blower drowns out her cries for help. But my question is what sort of help you’d need dodging a van. Does she need someone to push her out of the way because she’s going through menopause and her body is producing anti-adrenaline? Or does she just need the instructions of dodging a van shouted at her because she forgets the crucial first and only step of moving your legs? Somehow she cheats death by remembering how her muscles work after all. Time for Round 2: She’s lying on the ground when a metal bird – which she must notice because it’s making every creaking sound ever invented – decides to fall on her. She has subjectively the time it takes to make Pop Tarts to get out of the way. Instead she tries to upstage the Troll 2 kid for best movie scream ever. (note: pause at 1:25 for crotch grab.)