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5 Horror Heroes That Survived Against All Odds!!!

No one takes a beating like the characters in an Evil Dead movie, so I figured that one of the ways I’d celebrate Evil Dead Month would be to take a look at 5 Horror Heroes That Survived Against All Odds!

Something that the horror genre has more than any other genre is franchises. And something that comes along with these franchises are recurring heroes, many of whom become just as important and integral to the story as the villain, whom we so enjoy watching. These are characters that we cheer for, that we quote nonstop, that we put on t-shirts and wear proudly. And some of these heroes just so happen to go through ungodly amounts of hell only to make it out the other side (relatively) unscathed.

Head inside to see who they are!

Kirsty Cotton – The Hellraiser series
This girl will do anything to keep Pinhead off her back, including going to hell (and back) AND sacrificing five people, including her husband (well, now EX-husband).

Dewey Riley – The Scream series
Let’s run through this, shall we? He gets stabbed in the back in Scream. He gets stabbed several times in Scream 2. He was nearly blown up in Scream 3. Finally, he got hit in the head with a bedpan in Scream 4. How much crap does this guy have to through before he gets a break??

Nancy Thompson – The Nightmare On Elm St. series
She made it against Freddy in the first film and then died quite the honorable death in the third. But that wasn’t enough, was it? In Wes Craven’s New Nightmare Heather Langenkamp herself faced Freddy and then chose to reprise her role as Nancy all to save her son, played by Miko Hughes. After seeing Pet Sematary, I say let the kid burn.

Ellen Ripley – The Alien series

Ash Williams – The Evil Dead series/Army Of Darkness
Oh, so going through two different nights from hell wasn’t enough? Okay, fine. In that case, let’s just send our hero back through time to face an army of the undead AND force him to have a ton of trouble coming back home. That good enough for ya?

Alright readers, let me know, what are some of your favorite heroes that have made it through a horror film/series even though all signs said they’d bite the big one?

Got any thoughts/questions/concerns for Jonathan Barkan? Shoot him a message on Twitter or on Bloody-Disgusting!



  • viking1983

    good list, although i do prefer when the bad guy wins like in candy man

    • DeadInHell

      Many of my favorite films (Candyman NOT among them) have downbeat endings, but I find it strange when people make blanket statements like this about the genre. Whether or not the ending of a film works is determined by the execution of the film as a whole.

      I prefer a horror film with strong characters. I have a soft spot for slasher films so I’m not completely averse to dumb teen bloodbaths, but I much prefer films like Hellraiser (1+2), the Evil Dead Trilogy, Phantasm, and so on, because they combined the utmost horror with characters that weren’t just canon fodder. A villain isn’t really that special if the protagonist doesn’t give them a damn good fight. It’s a give and take, protagonist and antagonist must each be tested. What makes Michael Meyers so scary in Halloween isn’t only the fact that he can’t be stopped, or even that he escapes at the end. The key to his potency is seeing how hard they try to stop him, culminating in Loomis eventually putting six shots into him…and even that isn’t enough. It’s not terrifying because they are incompetent. It’s terrifying because they actually do what they should do, and it isn’t enough. But it’s all in the details. The same ending (i.e. haha, the killer escaped!) has been played out a thousand times onscreen with lesser results. It all comes down to the execution.

  • djblack1313

    pretty great list!

  • doomas10

    Very interesting list but I would say Sindey in the Scream series! OR even Gale Weathers! Oh screw it! This trio always survives a lot of maniac psycho killers, car crashes, house explosions, knife attacks, many kicks, punches and more! Scream for the win!

  • Darkness69

    I loved the fact you included Kirsty from Hellraiser! Great list!

    • dr.lamb

      Yeah. She and Heather survived by using their wit, I like that. But when did she sacrifice her husband ? Did I miss something ?

      • JonathanBarkan

        It’s the plot of Hellraiser: Hellseeker. Not really any good but still worth it if you like Ashley Laurence.

        • dr.lamb

          Thanks ! I skipped some of the sequel because they infuriated me as a fan of the original and the 1st sequel, but I think I am above that now and can enjoy them as what they are. The Cyberspace one looks rather amusing.

          • Scorpionsy

            I stopped after attempting to watch Hellraiser 4. To me the series is over after Hellraiser 3: Hell on Earth. The first 3 are just the best ..and the rest don’t cut it for me. Hellbound: Hellraiser 2 is the best of the bunch…followed by Hellraiser …followed by Hellraiser 3, IMO.

  • ThunderDragoon

    Great list. I also love that you included Kirsty. She, and the Hellraiser franchise in general, tend to get overlooked a lot of the time.

    • dr.lamb

      Hellraiser is maybe THE all-time favourite horror franchise of mine. And Kirsty has some real guts to mess with outerworldly demons and risk eternal damnation.

    • DeadInHell

      Hellraiser doesn’t always get the credit it should. The first two films in the series are all-time horror classics. The third film I don’t care for as much, but it is superior to all the following sequels. Similarly, the fourth film is highly flawed and super cheesy, but still better than parts 5 through 9 (i.e. the direct-to-video sequels).

      I think Hellraiser has the distinction of being the farthest fallen franchise in horror (which is somehow fitting, given the themes). Many big horror franchises are notorious for bad/weird sequels, Halloween and Texas Chainsaw Massacre spawned some truly wretched and confused followups and the later Friday the 13th sequels are a joke even to fans of the franchise. But even the Halloween and Friday sequels managed to tear off the smallest piece of the original in order to be effective in some way. The Hellraiser sequels just don’t. Starting with part 5, they largely become standalone (AWFUL) horror flicks with a brief final act Pinhead reveal artlessly crammed in at the end. None of them manages, or even really tries, to match the originals. They just…don’t get it.

      On an unrelated note, I have to also say that the first two Hellraiser films have possibly my favorite horror scores of all time. The soundtracks to these films (by Christopher Young) are just immense, and stunning. I still listen to them regularly.

  • DarrelDreadful

    I love this list and what it stands for, but I would say switch Dewey for Sidney in the Scream Franchise. Dewey, even though I love him, wasnt that much of a hero. I think Sidney went through much more than anyone and still was left standing after 4 films. Sidney is my favorite “Final girl”.

  • bozodeathgod

    Those burglar guys from Home alone?

    • JonathanBarkan


    • Scorpionsy

      You mean the “Wet Water Bandits”! 🙂

  • GreigShelob

    Love that you’ve put Kirsty there. She’s got some balls to go against Hellraiser.

    [sidenote: somewhere in Xbox’s Avatar Marketplace there’s a few Hellraiser things, I just bought the Pinhead costume for myself! I was really surprised when I saw them there.]

  • Scorpionsy

    Technically…Ashley Williams only went through ONE night of hell (since all they retold the events of part one in part 2) and Army of Darkness is a continuation of part 2…then that was a whole lot of Hell he had to go through before he could get back home….and even then he ended up (in the original cut ending) in a post-apocalyptic world…MORE hell for Ash…nobody was put through the wringer more than Ash in a horror movie is such a short period of movie-time.

    My list has 2 other people:

    1- Jennifer Love Hewitt in the 2 I Know What You Did Last Summer…sort of was put through hell…just like Neve Campbell in Scream.

    2- Naomi Watts…in the 2 Ring movies…trying to get rid of Samara’s curse and keep her away from her son.

    If I think of anything else..I will add it later. 🙂

    • Scorpionsy

      Also, the kid (can’t remember his name) from Child’s Play…Chucky kept pursuing him in the first 3 Child’s play movies…well into the kids later teen years. That has got to have a heavy psychological trauma for the poor kid.

  • DeadInHell

    Lauri Strode, because I still don’t accept Halloween: Resurrection as part of the franchise. Her character in the original sequel is really diminished, but in H20 she does an almost Ash-worthy transformation and becomes the heroine the series deserved. It wasn’t a perfect film and I’m sure plenty of people hate it for one reason or another, but for me it’s the only Halloween sequel after part II that was actually worthy of being part of the series.

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