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10 horror movie characters who are simply the worst

Horror movies have been known to present the very worst in humanity, but there are certain characters in the genre who audiences love to hate. But this ire isn’t simply directed toward the knife-wielding killers of horror cinema.

There have been many characters who act purely out of self-interest with a callous disregard for those around them. Even if some of them are the protagonists, these characters are so insufferable that they made audiences want to see them bite the dust.

Chris (1976’s Carrie)

Chris Hargensen in "Carrie" (1976).
United Artists

While Carrie may end up becoming a villain in this film, Chris is arguably the true devil of this tale. After bullying Carrie in the school shower, she refuses to acknowledge she did anything wrong and chooses to get kicked out of prom instead of accepting her punishment.

And yet she still has the nerve to get back at Carrie with the infamous pig’s blood prank, which is what drove the latter to murder everyone at the prom in the first place. All in all, Chris is an irresponsible and unsympathetic person who reaps what she sows when Carrie kills her for trying to run her over.

Carter Burke (Aliens)

Carter Burke in "Aliens."
Image used with permission by copyright holder

After tricking Ripley into revealing the location of the ship holding the Xenomorphs, Burke makes the colonists of LV-426 investigate it so he may retrieve and weaponize the aliens on behalf of the Weyland-Yutani Corporation. However, he does so without warning the colonists about the aliens inside. As a result, the Xenomorphs invade the colony and murder countless innocents, making Burke responsible for their deaths.

Burke is a loathsome person who has no problem sacrificing innocent lives for personal gain. He even attempts to have two facehuggers impregnate Ripley and Newt so he can smuggle the alien embryos off-world. Ripley and the Marines understandably wanted to kill Burke where he sat, but as he cowardly left them to die fighting the Xenomorphs, one of the aliens got to him first. This is a punishment more than fitting for this greedy fiend.

Mark (Midsommar)

Mark sitting at a dining table in "Midsommar."
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Most of the characters in this A24 horror film can be described as certifiably selfish, but Will Poulter’s Mark stands out as the biggest jerk of them all. He encourages Christian to break up with Dani so that they don’t have to deal with her mental health issues. He spends much of his screen time making fun of the Hårga villagers and drooling over their women.

But his biggest folly came when he urinated on the commune’s sacred tree without even apologizing. This results in a villager killing Mark and wearing his face like Hannibal Lecter, which easily makes him the fool of this film.

Micah (Paranormal Activity)

Micah in "Paranormal Activity."
Image used with permission by copyright holder

When a demon haunts his wife, Katie, Micah decides to film any paranormal activity in an attempt to stop it. But despite receiving countless warnings about the demon, Micah spends the entire film doing exactly what everyone warns him not to do. He refuses to seek help from a demonologist in dealing with the evil entity, and he uses an Ouija board to speak to it, even after Katie says it frightens her.

Micah only makes things worse for himself and Katie, and he does it in a misguided attempt to prove he is the man of the house instead of putting his wife’s best interests at heart. As a result, when a possessed Katie murders Micah at the end of the film, one can’t help but think he brought it all on himself.

AJ Gilbride (Barbarian)

AJ in "Barbarian."
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Justin Long’s character AJ first appears in Barbarian as a charming and likable actor, but that image is quickly shattered when it is revealed that AJ is accused of sexually assaulting a co-star. Though he begins to show remorse for his actions and tries to redeem himself, he later throws Tess off a water tower in an attempt to save himself from the Mother.

Even after Tess rescued him from the Mother’s lair, he still puts himself above everyone else, proving he is just as thoughtless and inconsiderate as he was before. And so, he gets his head ripped in half by the Mother in a gruesome bit of karma.

Tyler (The Menu)

A man and a woman look at each other outside in The Menu.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Nicholas Hoult’s character in The Menu portrays himself as an intelligent foodie and a loyal admirer of Chef Slowik’s work when he is invited to his private restaurant. But not only does he not care that Slowik is murdering people throughout the night, but he reveals he knew that the guests would be killed ahead of time and had chosen to bring Margot anyway so that he could be guaranteed a table.

But when he gets to fulfill his dream and cook in Slowik’s kitchen, he prepares a terrible meal that reveals he doesn’t even know how to cook, exposing himself as a spineless phony.

Almost everyone (Unfriended)

Blaire, Mitch, Adam, Ken, and Jess on Skype in "Unfriended."
Image used with permission by copyright holder

The underrated found footage film Unfriended follows a group of teens haunted by a girl named Laura who committed suicide after an embarrassing video of her circulated online. As the vengeful spirit torments the cast, many terrible secrets about them come to life. Blaire cheated on her boyfriend Mitch, who kissed Laura, Jess spread a rumor that Blaire had an eating disorder, Val goaded Laura into killing herself, and Mitch posted the video of Laura. Adam even roofied and sexually assaulted a classmate and then forced her to have an abortion.

Though Laura is the villain of this film, the people she haunts are shown to be very awful people, which makes the killer specter even more sympathetic. In the end, Laura’s best friend, Blaire, is revealed as the one who took the video of Laura. The fact that she withheld the truth and let her four friends get killed is especially heinous. She thus got what she deserved when Laura shared the truth online and exposed her wrongdoings, and having to live with that is even worse than any of the deaths her friends suffered.

The Armitage family (Get Out)

Get Out
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Though the Armitages come across as awkward but welcoming at first, it becomes clear that Chris never should’ve gone to their house. This family kidnaps and hypnotizes unsuspecting Black people so they can implant their rich clients’ brains into them, taking control of their bodies. Though the Armitages don’t kill their victims, they still rob them of their lives by sending their minds to the Sunken Place, forever silenced as they scream for help.

Each member of the family has their own vices, with Jeremy being a spoiled drinker and Rose being an unfeeling seductress. But in the end, they are all left without any redeeming qualities, as they all abuse Chris’s trust and sadistically exploit his childhood trauma just to make him another body to sell off.

Larry Vaughn (Jaws)

Mayor Larry Vaughn in "Jaws."
Image used with permission by copyright holder

To every politician reading this article: do NOT be the mayor from Jaws! After a girl is found dead from a shark attack, he tries to brush it off as a freak accident and makes Chief Brody keep the beach open, leading to a boy getting eaten by the same shark. Even after numerous warnings about the shark, Vaughn still tries to keep the beaches open for the 4th of July so the town can make money. He even encouraged people to go in the water when they are clearly frightened of the shark. He didn’t even have the guts to go in himself.

However, he only starts taking the shark seriously when his son is nearly killed by it. Though he says to himself that he was doing what was best for the town, it’s clear he was blinded by his self-centered ego and that he only really cares about the danger of the shark when someone he loves is at risk. Mayor Vaughn embodies just about everything people hate about politicians today and it’s a travesty that he still had his job after his mistakes in this film.

Ms. Carmondy (The Mist)

Ms. Carmondy in "The Mist" (2007).
Image used with permission by copyright holder

In this harrowing Stephen King film, a group of people finds themselves trapped in a supermarket after a mist consumes their town, filling it with monsters. One of the townspeople, Ms. Carmondy, believes the mist to be a sign of the Apocalypse, and she forms a religious cult out of the survivors in the market, and she makes them sacrifice people to the monsters in the hopes that they will be spared.

There’s absolutely nothing to like about Ms. Carmondy, as the way she turns the once-peaceful townsfolk into her vicious servants makes her even worse than the monsters outside. She even went as far as demanding that her followers sacrifice David’s eight-year-old son. It’s hard to imagine no one cheering in the theaters when Ollie finally shot her dead. Good riddance.

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Anthony Orlando
Anthony Orlando is a writer/director from Oradell, NJ. He spent four years at Lafayette College, graduating CUM LAUDE with a…
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