Horror films often feature a clear-cut battle between good and evil, with the virtuous protagonist ultimately emerging victorious. However, there are some horror movies where the bad guy wins in the end. These movies are made to stun; to subvert our expectations and leave a lasting impression.
If you’re looking for some bone-chilling horror films where the antagonist reigns supreme, we’ve got you covered. Here are 10 horror movies where the ‘bad guy’ wins in the end.
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Hereditaryis a horror film that revolves around a family’s legacy of tragedy and the supernatural forces that haunt them. When the matriarch of the family, Ellen , passes away, her daughter Annie (Toni Collette) begins to unravel the dark secrets that have plagued their family for generations. As Annie delves deeper into her family’s history, she discovers that her mother was involved in a cult that worshipped a demon named Paimon. The more Annie learns about Ellen’s involvement with the cult, the more she realizes that her family is in grave danger.
Despite the family’s efforts to protect themselves, the demon Paimon eventually possesses Annie’s son, Peter (Alex Wolff), turning him into his vessel. The climax of the film sees Peter becoming fully possessed by Paimon, and the cult members crowning him as their new leader. The film ends with Peter being transformed into Paimon’s true form, with the cult members bowing before him in worship. In the end, the ‘bad guy’ wins, and the family’s attempt to break the curse fails. Hereditary is a chilling horror film with a storyline that’s both gripping and disturbing.
Jeepers Creepers is a horror movie about a brother (Justin Long) and sister (Gina Philips) who are on a road trip when they encounter a mysterious and terrifying creature known as The Creeper. The creature is a winged, bat-like entity that preys on humans every 23 years for 23 days. The siblings are relentlessly pursued by The Creeper, who is determined to consume them both. The plot takes a dark turn when the siblings discover that The Creeper is not only just after them, but has been terrorizing the town for decades. As the story unfolds, the siblings are forced to confront The Creeper, and the ultimate battle ensues.
One of the unique aspects of Jeepers Creepers is that the villain ultimately prevails. The Creeper is not killed or defeated, and the movie ends with a chilling scene that hints at the terror to come in the future. This unconventional ending sets Jeepers Creepers apart from other horror movies and makes it a must-see for horror fans.
The Omen (1976)
The Omen is a 1976 horror film about a couple who discover that their son, Damien (Harvey Stephens), is the Antichrist. Despite their efforts to protect him from harm, Damien’s true nature is revealed through a series of terrifying events. The film’s plot revolves around the couple’s attempts to prevent Damien from fulfilling his destiny as the Son of Satan while trying to uncover the truth behind his identity.
What makes The Omen stand out is its unique perspective on the horror genre. Unlike typical horror films, the “bad guy” in this story ultimately triumphs. Damien’s true nature is revealed, and he is able to continue his reign of terror. This twist ending is both shocking and effective, leaving audiences with a sense of unease long after the credits have rolled. The Omen is a classic horror film that remains relevant today, thanks to its strong performances, compelling storyline, and unforgettable ending.
Rosemary’s Baby (1968)
Rosemary’s Babyis a classic horror film directed by Roman Polanski that follows the story of a young couple, Rosemary (Mia Farrow) and Guy (John Cassavetes), who move into a new apartment in New York City. While Guy is an ambitious actor looking to make it big in Hollywood, Rosemary is a homemaker who dreams of starting a family. However, their dreams soon turn into a nightmare when Rosemary becomes pregnant and starts experiencing strange occurrences that lead her to believe that the baby growing inside of her might be something sinister.
As the story unfolds, Rosemary discovers that her husband is involved in a satanic cult that has been using her body to bring about the birth of the Antichrist. Despite her efforts to resist, she is ultimately subdued by the cult and gives birth to a demonic baby. In the end, the bad guys– in this case, the satanic cult, win as they successfully bring the Antichrist into the world through Rosemary.
Rosemary’s Babyis a thrilling and darkly disturbing film that is as relevant today as it was when it was first released in 1968. While the film’s ending may be controversial, it is a bold move that leaves a lasting impression on the viewer and makes Rosemary’s Babya must-watch for any horror fan.
The Strangers (2008)
The Strangers is a thrilling horror movie that follows the story of a couple, James (Scott Speedman) and Kristen (Liv Tyler), who are staying in a secluded summer home after a friend’s wedding. Their already complicated romantic evening takes a terrifying turn when they are visited by three masked strangers who begin to harass and terrorize them. The couple’s efforts to survive the night are met with unexpected and gruesome violence from the Strangers who appear to have no motive for their actions. As the night progresses, it becomes apparent that James and Kristen’s chances of survival are slim, and the film ends with a chillingly dark twist.
Although many horror movies have predictable endings with the hero(s) ultimately defeating the villain(s), The Strangers takes a bold and unexpected approach by forcing its viewers to confront the reality that sometimes, there is no happy ending. The Strangers is a must-see for horror enthusiasts who seek a fresh and thrilling experience.
In the Mouth of Madness (1994)
In the Mouth of Madness is a horror film directed by John Carpenter that follows the story of John Trent (Sam Neill), an insurance investigator who is hired by a publishing company to locate their missing best-selling author, Sutter Cane. The search leads Trent to a small town in New Hampshire called Hobb’s End, a fictional town created by Cane in his books. Trent soon discovers that the town and its inhabitants are real and that Cane’s books have the power to drive people insane. As he delves deeper into the mystery, Trent realizes he has become a character in Cane’s final book, and the only way out is to accept the insanity and embrace the madness.
One of the unique aspects of In the Mouth of Madness is that the ‘bad guy’ wins in the end, a rare occurrence in horror films. The film keeps viewers on the edge of their seats as they witness the gradual descent of Trent into madness, culminating in a shocking conclusion that leaves them questioning reality. Whatever the viewer concludes to be true, either way, it’s not a great spot for Trent.
Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978)
Invasion of the Body Snatchersis a 1978 sciencefiction horror film that follows the story of a group of people who discover that their city is being invaded by extraterrestrial beings that replace human beings with duplicates. As the duplicates start to take over the city, the group of people tries to escape and warn the rest of the world about the invasion. However, they soon realize that it may be too late as the invasion spreads and they are the only ones left.
In most sci-fi films, the protagonist saves the day and the world is saved from the alien invasion. However, in Invasion of the Body Snatchers, the alien invasion is successful, and the last remaining human, played by Donald Sutherland, is transformed into a duplicate. The film ends with the camera zooming in on his face as he lets out a chilling scream, indicating that the human race has been completely overtaken. This ending is a stark contrast to the typical Hollywood ending, making it a memorable film that leaves a lasting impression on viewers.
The Wicker Man (1973)
The Wicker Man is a classic horror film that tells the story of Sergeant Howie (Edward Woodward), a devoutly religious police officer who is sent to a remote Scottish island to investigate the disappearance of a young girl. Upon arriving on the island, Howie discovers a community of pagan worshippers (led by horror legend Christopher Lee I might add) who live according to their own strict customs and beliefs. As he delves deeper into the case, Howie becomes increasingly disturbed by the rituals and practices of the islanders, and he begins to suspect that they may be responsible for the girl’s disappearance. However, as the investigation progresses, it becomes clear that there is more to the island and its inhabitants than meets the eye, and Howie finds himself facing a shocking and terrifying fate at the hands of his captors.
One of the most striking aspects of The Wicker Man is the way in which it subverts traditional horror tropes by allowing the ‘bad guys’ to win in the end. The film is also notable for its eerie and unsettling atmosphere, which is created through a combination of haunting music, stunning cinematography, and powerful performances from the cast.
The Thing (1982)
The Thingfollows a group of American scientists who are conducting research in Antarctica when they come across a shape-shifting alien that has the ability to assume the identical form of any human it consumes. The creature is intelligent and aggressive, and it quickly becomes clear that it is trying to infect and take over the entire group. As the characters struggle to identify and eliminate the alien before it destroys them all, they must also deal with the paranoia and mistrust that arises as they realize that anyone could be the Thing in disguise.
Despite their efforts, the scientists fail to fully eliminate the creature, and the film ends on a bleak note as the audience realizes that the surviving characters have almost certainly been infected. Even in the most optimistic interpretation, our heroes die. The Thing is a classic horror movie that is well worth watching for its suspense, creativity, and excellent practical effects. It’s a must-watch movie for anyone who loves horror or science fiction, and it remains a timeless classic in the genre.
Night of the Living Dead (1968)
Night of the Living Dead follows a group of people who are trying to survive the night in a small farmhouse. The night is plagued by the undead (or more modernly- zombies), who have risen from the dead and crave human flesh. The group consists of diverse and complex characters who are forced to work together to fight off the zombies. The main character, Ben (Duane Jones), takes charge and tries to keep the group alive by barricading the doors/windows and coming up with a plan to escape. However, as the night progresses, tensions rise, and the characters begin to turn on each other. In the end, as the sun rises, the only survivor is Ben, who is then shot and killed by a group of men who are clearing the area of zombies. The film’s ending is a shock, as the “bad guy” wins, and the supposed-to-be triumphant hero, Ben, is killed.
Night of the Living Dead’s gritty and realistic style adds to the horror and suspense, making the viewer feel as if they are in the farmhouse with the characters. The film’s ending is unexpected and unsettling, as it goes against the typical Hollywood trope of the hero winning in the end. Instead, it shows the harsh reality of survival and the fact that sometimes, even the most heroic efforts can end in failure. Overall, Night of the Living Deadis a haunting and unforgettable film that should not be missed.
From the unsettling cult classic The Wicker Man to John Carpenter’s sci-fi thriller The Thing, these horror movies showcase the triumph of evil over good in the most unexpected ways. These films will leave you shaken and questioning your assumptions about the balance of good and evil.
So, grab some popcorn and a comfy blanket, and settle in for a terrifying ride. Just remember, in these movies, the bad guy always wins.