Graveyard Shift

Acclaimed Horror Movies That Got Away With Not Explaining Major Things  

Eric Luis
653 votes 198 voters 8.2k views 13 items

List Rules Vote up the plot holes that make the least sense.

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?

Us is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Acclaimed Horror Movies That Got Away With Not Explaining Major Things
Photo: Universal Pictures

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

Released: 2019

Directed by: Jordan Peele

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It Follows is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Acclaimed Horror Movies That Got Away With Not Explaining Major Things
Photo:  RADiUS-TWC

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

Released: 2014

Directed by: David Robert Mitchell

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The Sixth Sense is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Acclaimed Horror Movies That Got Away With Not Explaining Major Things
Photo: Buena Vista Pictures Distribution

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

Released: 1999

Directed by: M. Night Shyamalan

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The Terminator is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Acclaimed Horror Movies That Got Away With Not Explaining Major Things
Photo: Orion Pictures

The Terminator is a classic of the sci-fi horror genre, and it pretty much launched Arnold's career as a movie star. The film was pretty revolutionary at the time for its special effects and high-concept storytelling, but there's one plot point that doesn't hold up to scrutiny. In the film, Kyle Reese explains that it's impossible to bring futuristic side arms to the past because only organic material can time travel. That's why he and the Terminator show up unclothed when they first appear. 

There's one problem, though: The Terminator is literally made of mostly inorganic material. He's covered in a thin layer of organic tissue, but everything beneath that is metal and circuitry. How then was he able to travel back in time? If all you need is a light organic coating to time travel, then couldn't Kyle Reese and his commanders have come up with a creative way to bring some side arms to the past? Heck, they could have hollowed out a pumpkin and stuck a Glock (or its futuristic equivalent) in there. If there was enough time (the film is ambiguous about precisely how rushed Kyle's entry into the time machine was), he could stitch up a "phased plasma rifle in the 40-watt range" into a deer carcass and bring that along for the ride. 

Actors: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bill Paxton, Linda Hamilton, David Hyde Pierce, Michael Biehn, + more

Released: 1984

Directed by: James Cameron

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