It’s pretty common to see someone survive in a horror movie since the general feeling is that a heroic character or a true weasel is going to get out of the tight spot and survive where no one else can. There a lot of horror movies out there just like this and people like them, but every now and again there are those where NO ONE gets out alive. This kind of a treat really since it eliminates the predictability and the chance that someone will get out and live with the mental trauma of being the final survivor at the end of it all. It’s a bit morbid to say, but not allowing everyone to survive somehow makes the story a little better since it speaks to the finality of the overall thought behind the movie, that hopelessness isn’t always going to be overcome by the human spirit no matter how hard wants to believe it. Of course, that doesn’t stop people from trying and it never should, but seeing a bit of realism in the movies now and again when it comes to avoiding the idea that someone ‘just happens’ to get out alive is nice. It reaffirms the idea that at one point or another, everyone has to pay the price in the end. In a horror movie, it’s usually a rather poor and painful end that a person has to meet, but it’s still interesting to see how the cancellation of hope is orchestrated.
Here are a few horror movies where no one got out alive.
5. The Cabin in the Woods
This movie had to come about when someone wondered what might happen if there was a big box store of monsters to pick from and a host of different tricks and traps they could use to seduce and control the right types of people. The manipulative madness that goes on in this movie might not feel entirely real, but the fact is that by the time the right people have died and only the fool and the virgin remain, the entire world is on the brink since the checks and balances used to appease the old gods aren’t being kept and the American end of things is the only hope left. When the old gods come to wreak vengeance though, it’s all over, for everyone.
4. Cabin Fever
This is where I have split hairs a bit since the main cast members and the supporting cast die in this one, save for the old man at the store, but I’m not counting him whether you like it or not. The main campers, those that end up contracting the deadly virus that none of them know about, end up dying one way or another. The cowardly bugger that goes into seclusion once he realizes that everyone around him is infected doesn’t even survive since instead of bugging out and getting out of the woods, he goes back to the cabin and is shot dead upon exiting. Yeah, people do some stupid things in horror movies, but we enjoy watching, don’t we?
3. The Blair Witch Project
The ‘found footage’ movies really took off after this one since a lot of people thought that this was a real documentary and that the students in it were good and lost. But the point of it is that they go looking for a local legend and end up getting lost in the woods and eventually start to lose their minds and their nerve. By the time they find their way to the abandoned home they were looking for it’s pretty much the end since there’s no hope left and there’s no way they’re getting out. The sad part of this is that the movie spawned a sequel and a reboot, and neither of them was that great.
2. Final Destination 3
Remember the first Final Destination movies? There’s no ‘skipping’ one person or another this time around. It might take a while, but Death comes around again at the end of the movie to remind the survivors that nobody gets out alive and that Death will always take it’s due when one least expects it. The only difference is that the second time the survivors are given a chance to survive, it’s already too late, almost as though Death is gloating by showing the young woman its designs at the last second before she can pull out to safety. Of course, that’s attributing a very human trait to an enigmatic force, but it’s more comfortable that way.
1. Dawn of the Dead
I picked the remake largely because, well, no one gets out alive, even when there’s a sliver of hope that it might happen. At the end of the movie it’s made clear that the survivors don’t have enough provisions, they’re headed towards an island that’s supposedly uninfected, and there’s not a lot of hope otherwise. But when we see them being chased by a band of fast-moving zombies it’s pretty certain that it’s game over and they end up going down as zombie chow. Morbid as that is, there was nowhere else to go since the boat was no longer that much use, and without food and water they wouldn’t last.
Like it or not, nobody gets out alive sometimes.