There’s an old axiom that a horror movie is only as good as its villain. I’m not sure how true this is, since there are many films with so-so antagonists that I end up enjoying because the rest of their components are so strong. But having a great villain certainly can’t hurt, if anything it gives you an iconic signpost you can brand the film with for years to come.
But the movies I’m talking about today don’t have good villains. A few of them might have iconic masks that were once worn by a more worthy psychopath (see ghostface), but the person donning the disguise is now a total drip. Others never had a chance to start with.
Head inside for 5 Incredibly Dumb Horror Villains!!!
SCREAM 2 – Debbie Salt and Mickey
A pair of villains so dumb that their reveal marks the last moment we could take the Scream franchise seriously (that moment would be before Debbie enters the room with the gun). It’s bad enough that Laurie Metcalf looks so goofy with that gun, but then she dives into a hilarious monologue that includes meeting Timothy Olyphant’s Mickey in a “serial killer chat room.” Oh and she’s also the mother of Billy Loomis, a choice that steers Scream 2 from a continuing meta-commentary into the standard sequel ditch.
FRIDAY THE 13th: A NEW BEGINNING – Roy
I actually love this movie, it’s the sleaziest entry in the F13 franchise and I adore it for that. I can’t wait until the Blu-ray comes out next week. It’s got some great kills. But Roy, having seen his (seemingly abandoned son) murdered, just decides to become a Jason copycat killer? How does he inherit all of the standard Jason traits? The stalk and slash ability? The seeming invincibility? Not only is the leap of logic behind his motivation a leap over the abyss, it’s a decision that’s impossible for him to pull off.
PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 4 – Katie
This is tough. I really like a few of the Paranormal Activity movies (especially PA3) and I think Katie Featherston is sort of the charming heart of the franchise. But you know what’s not scary? Seeing her run around snapping people’s necks. I hope the next 2 PA movies take a hard look at what worked in the 3rd installment and what failed in the 4th. I’d even go so far as to suggest that they treat this one as non-canon. An aside. A dream, even. Just don’t keep going down this path.
JAWS 4 – The Shark
We’re asked to believe that sharks continue to single out the Brody family. Then we’re asked to believe that a shark would follow Ellen Brody to Jamaica (implying that it’s conscious of her movements and is willing to go into uncharacteristically warm water to pursue her). Then we’re asked to believe that the shark can pretty much stand up in the water. And that it roars. And that it explodes when touched by a boat.