We all love monsters, vampires, zombies, and so on and they’re fun (if you like to laugh at the improbable) but the truly memorable characters from horror movies, the ones that send a shiver down every viewer’s spines are the humans.
Throughout the history of film we have had many unforgettable performances, so I’m going to limit myself to a more recent incarnation. Over the last few years with Hostel, Saw and an onslaught haphazard remakes, we have only been blessed by a few exceptional men and women, peppered over the monotonous nonsense we call modern horror. The most recent edition to the hall of fame is Woody Harrelson’s baseball bat wielding ‘Tallahassee’ in Zombieland. This foulmouthed, full-hearted Texan captured the mood of an irreverent modern Zombie movie which didn’t play to the conventions; smashing up Zombies left and right in an increasingly creative and hilarious fashion.
Women made the transition from damsel in distress to kick-ass heroines in ‘The Descent’; the frightened teenagers of ‘The Blair Witch Project’ were anything but heroic (although they did make the most hardened of horror fans squeal with their realistic portrayal of shit-scared idiots). The ultimate modern humans in horror however are undoubtedly ‘ZomRomCom’ heroes ‘Shaun’ (Simon Pegg) and ‘Ed’ (Nick Frost) in ‘Shaun of The Dead’. Any horror protagonists who defend themselves by hurling old records at zombies (after firstly mistaking her for a pissed-up bird) are exponentially the modern horror idols.
These are the good guys, the ones that fight for the human race, so don’t even get me started on the baddies. Hannibal Lecter, Jason Voorhees, Michael Myers; these guys are happy to slice you and dice you in all manner of interesting ways. Slasher films (think Saw) have reality on their side, somehow it’s much scarier knowing that the deranged psycho killer that stalked that group of teens (not unlike you and your flatmates) wasn’t a supernatural abomination but a regular Joe-gone-crazy.