Acclaimed Horror Movies That Got Away With Not Explaining Major Things

Voting 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, you 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?

Photo: The Sixth Sense/Buena Vista Pictures Distribution

  • 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, Yahya Abdul-Mateen
    • Released: 2019
    • Directed by: Jordan Peele
    716 votes

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  • The 1998 film spinoff of the popular TV series The X-Files was a pretty satisfying movie, especially for fans of the show. After getting involved in an investigation into alien phenomena, Scully is attacked by a genetically modified bee and slips into a coma. She is then mysteriously abducted and taken to a facility in Antarctica, forcing Mulder to track her down. He rides a snowmobile through the frigid continent, eventually finding an alien base just as he runs out of gas. He rescues Scully, while the alien base, revealing itself to be a buried spacecraft, blasts off. Cut to Scully in the United States, with Mulder showing up safe and sound soon afterward.

    So how did they get back home? Their only transportation, a snowmobile, is out of gas. They're far from any base or facility, in the middle of the most hostile continent on Earth. Realistically, they both would have probably frozen solid before they made it anywhere close to civilization. 

    • Actors: David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson, Martin Landau, Armin Mueller-Stahl, Blythe Danner
    • Released: 1998
    • Directed by: Rob Bowman
    359 votes

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  • In 'It Follows,' Could You Just Go Hook Up With Someone On Another Continent And Be Done With It?
    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, Daniel Zovatto, Jake Weary, Olivia Luccardi
    • Released: 2014
    • Directed by: David Robert Mitchell
    646 votes

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  • The original Halloween is a slasher classic, thanks in no small part to Michael Myers. Myers is a terrifying masked slayer who breaks out of an insane asylum to wreak havoc on the town where he took is first life, and he seems almost superhuman in his capabilities.

    That's not an exaggeration: Michael Meyers genuinely seems like a supernatural being. However, it's plainly stated that Myers is a young man who simply happens to be a psychopath. This doesn't stop him from absorbing incredible amounts of punishment with little ill effect. He even takes multiple bullets to the chest at the end of the film, gets up, and simply walks away. His seemingly supernatural abilities are consistent throughout the Halloween series, but they're never really explained. 

    • Actors: Donald Pleasence, Jamie Lee Curtis, Nancy Kyes, P.J. Soles, Charles Cyphers
    • Released: 1978
    • Directed by: John Carpenter
    596 votes

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  • The Conjuring follows fictionalized versions of real-life demon hunters Ed and Lorraine Warren (Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga) as they investigate the haunting of the Perron family in rural Rhode Island. During the film, we learn that they had previously wrapped up a case involving a possessed doll named Annabelle. The Warrens discover that the house is being haunted by the spirit of Bathsheba, a witch who cursed the land after slaying her child and taking her own life. 

    At one point in the film, the Warrens' daughter Judy (Sterling Jerins) is attacked in her home by the spirit of Bathsheba, who seems to travel through a locket given to Judy by her mother. Bathsheba then sits with Annabelle in a rocking chair for a creepy tableaux. There is never any evidence outside of this scene that Annabelle and Bathsheba are connected, and it's never explained why Bathsheba's spirit could channel itself through the locket. It's implied that her curse is localized to the house in Rhode Island, so how is it that she manages to attack Judy, who is nowhere near the house? If she has such powers, why does she choose to keep haunting the same old cursed house when she could be branching out? If it's somehow Annabelle that is responsible for this incident, then how is the Warren home ever safe at all? You'd think she would be causing constant terror, but this visitation seems to be an inexplicable one-off. 

    • Actors: Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, Lili Taylor, Ron Livingston, Shanley Caswell
    • Released: 2013
    • Directed by: James Wan
    339 votes

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  • 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, Linda Hamilton, Michael Biehn, Paul Winfield, Lance Henriksen
    • Released: 1984
    • Directed by: James Cameron
    497 votes

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