Yesterday we cackled with pre-Halloween glee over watching the most annoying actors and reality stars bite the dust in creative and gory sequences. But the horror pendulum swings both ways, and today we have to get a little more serious. It’s time to pay tribute to the famous faces who bravely fought the good fight against psychotic killers, conjured demons, and Death itself. We wish we’d had more time to cheer them on as they run from their fates, but, well, it’s a horror movie.
Johnny Depp, A Nightmare on Elm Street
The O.G. of unnecessary horror-movie deaths. Of course, no one knew who Johnny Depp was when Elm Street came out in 1984, but I’m gonna guess that most of Crushable’s readers have watched this movie after, say, Pirates of the Caribbean. That dramatic irony is part of the tragedy: His is one of the movie’s most famous deaths when Freddie pulls him into the bed and regurgitates him as a geyser of blood. And yet, you keep watching hoping that somehow things will turn out differently.
Amber Tamblyn, The Ring
Yes, it’s the beginning of the movie, so of course the first people we meet have to die. But it’s Amber Tamblyn! It’s Joan of Arcadia! It’s Tibby from The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants! It’s… one of the most disturbing images from a horror movie, when they find her decomposing in the closet, her face twisted into a grimace of terror after her seven days are up. It’s Samara’s first victim.
Scott Patterson, Saw V
Maybe this is a sign that Luke from Gilmore Girls was never meant for anything but a quirky WB dramedy. After the show ended, he appeared in the fifth installment of the Saw franchise as Special Agent Strahm, investigating the Jigsaw killings. But what he didn’t count on was that his colleague Detective Hoffman is Jigsaw’s protege… and then later when he’s told to save himself by climbing into a glass coffin, he shoves Hoffman there instead. Only for poor Strahm to watch the coffin that would’ve saved him descend into the floor while the room slowly closes in on him. I wanted so badly for Strahm to make it, but to ignore Jigsaw’s orders is pretty monumentally stupid.
Chris Hemsworth, Cabin in the Woods
Looking back, we should’ve seen all the signs. This emotional, inspirational scene comes a little over halfway through the movie, after our characters have been through some literal horror-movie shit. Chris Hemsworth gives a beautiful speech about his dead girlfriend and how he’s gonna make things right again “with big fucking guns.” There’s stirring music. So of course Curt’s fate is already spelled out for us, since this is a Joss Whedon/Drew Goddard jam.
Sarah Michelle Gellar, I Know What You Did Last Summer
This movie came out in 1997, not even a year after we’d first met SMG on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. But even playing a spoiled beauty queen, she was Buffy to us. Which is why we mourned her death at the hands — er, hook — of the mysterious killer. She gave such a good run! But then she hesitated. Let this be a lesson to all young stars of horror movies: Keep running until you’re safe.