Don’t Be a Scream Queen: 10 Smartest Decisions in Horror Movies

Outsmarting the Monsters (and Avoiding Dumb Choices)

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This list celebrates the brilliant minds (or maybe just the not-so-dumb ones) who defied horror movie clichés Smartest Decisions in Horror Movies that actually helped them survive… or at least extend their screentime. 

Let’s face it, horror movies are notorious for questionable choices by characters. We’ve all yelled at the screen, “Don’t go in the creepy basement!” or “Seriously, splitting up is never a good idea!” But fear not, horror fans! There’s a glimmer of hope.  

Lights Out – Turning Up the Watts

Don't Be a Scream Queen: 10 Smartest Decisions in Horror Movies

We’ve all heard the saying “there’s nothing to fear but fear itself,” but in “Lights Out,” darkness is a literal monster. Enter Rebecca, a young woman who discovers the terrifying truth: a creature named Diana feeds on fear and thrives in the dark.

So, what does Rebecca do? She embraces the power of a light switch.  By strategically placing lamps, flashlights, and even car headlights, Rebecca disrupts Diana’s hunting ground, proving that sometimes the simplest solutions are the most effective. Plus, who wouldn’t want to see a horror movie villain defeated by a well-lit room? 

Get Out – Running Man, Not Running Mate

Don't Be a Scream Queen: 10 Smartest Decisions in Horror Movies

Chris Washington, the protagonist of “Get Out,” is a Black man visiting his white girlfriend’s family for the weekend. When things get progressively unsettling, Chris doesn’t ignore the red flags. He

notices the strange behavior of the Armitage family, their unsettling obsession with “physical fitness,” and the vacant stares of the Black guests.  Most importantly, Chris listens to his intuition. He actively tries to escape the situation, even resorting to violence when necessary.   

The Witch – Knowledge is Power (Especially When Dealing with Demonic Goats)

Don't Be a Scream Queen: 10 Smartest Decisions in Horror Movies

Life in 17th-century New England is already harsh, but for the family in “The Witch,” things get downright demonic.  As their crops fail and paranoia sets in, accusations of witchcraft fly.

But it’s the teenage daughter, Thomasin, who demonstrates surprising resourcefulness.  She discovers a book on herbalism, using its knowledge to gather plants that could potentially cure her sick brother. 

While the outcome is ambiguous, Thomasin’s attempt to find a rational solution in a world fueled by superstition is a unique act of defiance. 

Hereditary  – Facing the Darkness

Don't Be a Scream Queen: 10 Smartest Decisions in Horror Movies

Horror movies often love a good jump scare, plunging characters (and viewers) into sudden darkness. But in “Hereditary,”  Annie, a grieving mother, uses light to confront the demonic entity plaguing her family.

When the lights flicker, she doesn’t cower. Instead, she grabs a lighter and faces the source of the darkness. This act of defiance may not banish the demon, but it demonstrates a refusal to be cowed by fear. 

A Quiet Place –  Shhh… Soundproofing Your Survival

Don't Be a Scream Queen: 10 Smartest Decisions in Horror Movies

The Abbott family in “A Quiet Place” lives in a world overrun by noise-sensitive creatures.  Their survival hinges on absolute silence.  Instead of hiding and hoping for the best, the family takes proactive measures. 

They soundproof their home, wear noise-cancelling boots, and even use sign language to communicate.  This commitment to adaptation, even in the face of immense fear, is a testament to their resilience. 

Ready or Not –  The Art of the Decoy

Don't Be a Scream Queen: 10 Smartest Decisions in Horror Movies

Grace, the ill-fated bride in “Ready or Not,” finds herself hunted by her new in-laws during a twisted game of hide-and-seek.  While the film is full of dark humor, Grace displays surprising resourcefulness.

  She uses her wedding dress not just as a symbol of tradition, but as a clever tool for distraction and camouflage.  By utilizing a seemingly innocent object to her advantage, Grace demonstrates a cunning survival instinct. 

The Invisible Man  –  Thinking Outside the Box

Don't Be a Scream Queen: 10 Smartest Decisions in Horror Movies

Cecilia, the protagonist of “The Invisible Man,” is stalked by her abusive ex-boyfriend who becomes invincible.  The film brilliantly explores the psychological torment of gaslighting. But Cecilia doesn’t succumb to despair.  She recognizes the

limitations of conventional weapons against an invisible foe.  In a bold move, she injures herself …to make it appear like a suicide attempt. This not only throws her ex off guard but also garners sympathy and (hopefully) protection from the authorities.  

Saint Maud –  Unholy Intervention (But for a Good Cause)

Don't Be a Scream Queen: 10 Smartest Decisions in Horror Movies

Maud, a devout hospice nurse in “Saint Maud,” becomes fixated on saving the soul of her terminally ill patient, Amanda.  While Maud’s methods are certainly unorthodox (think self-flagellation and forced religious conversion), her conviction is undeniable.

She researches ancient rituals, believing they are the key to Amanda’s salvation.  This misguided zeal makes for a fascinating character study.  While her methods are extreme, her underlying desire to help, even if twisted by religious fervor, showcases a unique form of determination. 

X – Turning the Tables on the Slasher

Don't Be a Scream Queen: 10 Smartest Decisions in Horror Movies

A group of filmmakers in “X” heads to a secluded cabin to shoot a porno.  Predictably, a deranged killer stalks them one by one. It’s here that Maxine, the young starlet, defies expectations.  Unlike the helpless victims of many slashers, Maxine fights back. 

She uses her knowledge of horror tropes to anticipate the killer’s moves, even going so far as to fake her own death.   Maxine’s resourcefulness and ability to manipulate the genre’s conventions make her a standout final girl for the modern horror era. 

Barbarian –  There’s No Place Like… Another Basement?

Don't Be a Scream Queen: 10 Smartest Decisions in Horror Movies

Keith, a stranger renting an Airbnb in “Barbarian,” arrives to find a young woman, Tess, already occupying the space.  Despite the awkwardness, they agree to share.  Things get progressively

weirder as they discover a hidden basement beneath the house.  Instead of fleeing the situation, Keith and Tess decide to work together. They explore the basement cautiously, uncovering horrifying secrets but also forging a bond of trust.   

So there you have it! These are just a few examples of heroes who made Smartest Decisions in Horror Movies and (hopefully) extended their lifespan, or at least provided some truly entertaining moments. 

The next time you’re watching a horror movie, keep an eye out for the characters who make decisions that scream “survival instinct” instead of “popcorn-worthy blunder.” You might be surprised by who makes it out alive. 

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Wills Alexander
Welcome to my professional canvas! I'm Wills Alexander, a dedicated writer with a fervor for crafting compelling stories that captivate, inform, and inspire. I am the architect of words, an alchemist who transforms ideas into narratives that resonate. With a passion for storytelling, I embark on a journey with every piece, blending creativity with precision to deliver content that leaves a lasting impression.

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