Horror movies are often described as a "guilty pleasure" and rarely make a splash when award season comes around, which is really unfair. There are plenty of horror movies that are absolute critical darlings, changing the way we think about fear and the world. There's a big "but" coming, though: Even the best horror films sometimes rely on a kind of dream logic, rather than, y'know, logic logic.
Classic horror films really shouldn't be put under the microscope for too long, or else you might start noticing some cracks in the facade. Plot holes, bad logic, and downright absurdity can be found in even the best films. Is your favorite horror movie immune to these plot holes, or is there something important that got left on the cutting room floor?
It Follows tells the story of Jay, a teenager who is stalked by a malicious, invisible entity, after having intimate relations with a guy who had previously been followed by the creature. The monster works almost like an STD, and it can be "passed" to a new victim via intercourse. Once the monster starts following you, it will continue to do so until it ends you or you have intercourse with someone else.
The entity is extremely slow, however, and most people would be able to avoid it with a light jog. Its speed remains consistent, which makes you wonder how hard it would be to actually get rid of this thing. Theoretically, you could just hop on a flight to the other side of the world and find (or pay) someone to sleep with you. After that, the entity will have to slowly walk across the planet to get to its next target. Once it gets there and destroys that person, it'll have to walk all the way back across the bottom of the ocean to find you again. If the person you transmit it to sleeps with a lot of people, it could take even longer—unless, that is, it knows how to get on a plane.
Actors: Maika Monroe, Keir Gilchrist, Linda Boston, Jake Weary, Lili Sepe, + more
Directed by: David Robert Mitchell
Spoiler alert! Bruce Willis is a ghost the whole time, but you probably already knew that. Still, the ending of The Sixth Sense is one of the most memorable twists in history. Willis plays Malcolm Crowe, a child psychologist working with a kid named Cole (Haley Joel Osment) who claims to "see dead people." Malcolm works with the kid for a while and starts to believe that he might be right. In the end, Malcolm makes the horrifying discovery that he's been a ghost the whole time and has been interacting with this creepy boy from the afterlife.
The only problem is: Malcolm has been gone for years. How did he not know he was deceased? When talking to the kid, he seems completely lucid and logical. You would expect that he might have been able to figure it out on his own without the kid's help. Didn't he notice that no one had spoken to him in years? Including his wife? Did he never have to eat? Or go to the bathroom?
Actors: Bruce Willis, Mischa Barton, Haley Joel Osment, Toni Collette, M. Night Shyamalan, + more
Directed by: M. Night Shyamalan
Us is Jordan Peele's sophomore horror effort after the Oscar-winning Get Out, and it's a pretty good horror movie in its own right. But it's best not to dig too deeply into the mechanics of the Tethered. By the end of the film, we learn that there is a secret society of doppelgängers living only meters beneath our feet. Revealing themselves, they achieve a kind of world domination, armed with nothing but scissors.
But the fact that a Tethered family is held off for so long by a normal family (including two children) should cast serious doubt on their ability to attain global domination. Also, the whole point of the Tethered is that they are tied to real humans. The actions of people on the surface control what the people below ground do. So, how did they break this bond? Throughout the film, we see a main character manipulate their Tethered doppelgänger into a terrible fate. It's also never explained why the Tethered must mimic people at some times, yet seem to have their own free will at others.
Actors: Lupita Nyong'o, Winston Duke, Elisabeth Moss, Tim Heidecker, Shahadi Wright Joseph, + more
Directed by: Jordan Peele
A Nightmare on Elm Street introduced the world to Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund), a deceased serial slayer who's able to haunt people's dreams. If Freddy gets you in your dreams, your real life ends. The film follows Nancy, a teenage girl who becomes one of Freddy's targets. She eventually learns that she can bring objects from her dreams into the real world. She uses this knowledge to pull Freddy into the real world and defeat him. The film ends on a positive note, until it's revealed that Freddy has not been defeated after all. Nancy watches helplessly as Freddy brutally dispatches her mother, and then she's driven off in a car painted exactly like Freddy's infamous striped sweater.
The ending of the movie is really strange when you first see it, as it's not entirely clear what's happening. The idea seems to be that Nancy is still dreaming at the end, but that calls into question the reality of the entire movie. Was the whole thing a nightmare, or just the last few scenes? Are any of Nancy's friends actually gone? Who knows?
Actors: Johnny Depp, Robert Englund, Heather Langenkamp, John Saxon, Lin Shaye, + more
Directed by: Wes Craven