Graveyard Shift

Pretty Good Horror Movies Where The Villain ISN'T REALLY DEAD!  

Eric Vega
168 votes 31 voters 14 items

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There's something special about a horror movie with a twist ending. The villain has been dispatched and the survivor takes a sigh of relief knowing they are finally safe, only to find out they are terribly wrong. The classic horror villains who don't stay dead take their time waiting for the best moment to strike again. 

There are countless horror films where the villain comes back at the last second. In fact, this move is so popular it's become something of a trope. More often than not, horror fans can see this twist coming from a mile away. That doesn't mean it's any less satisfying than the first time we watched it happen with Michael Myers, Jason Voorhees, Freddy Krueger, or someone else; it just means there is more to come.

Be careful when it seems like all is well at the end of a horror movie - you never know when the villain will pop up again. 

1 17 VOTES
Friday the 13th is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Pretty Good Horror Movies Where The Villain ISN'T REALLY DEAD!
Photo:  Paramount Pictures

The original Friday the 13th is a horror classic, largely because of the shocking twist at the end. The film follows a group of camp counselors as they are brutally dismantled by a masked slayer. We learn that the slayer is none other than Mrs. Voorhees, the mother of a young boy who drowned at the camp years earlier.

The sole surviving camp counselor manages to remove Mrs. Voorhees' head and flees the camp in a canoe. Thinking she has escaped, the audience is shocked when a decomposing Jason Voorhees erupts from the water to attack her. 

Actors: Kevin Bacon, Tom Savini, Betsy Palmer, Irwin Keyes, Laurie Bartram, + more

Released: 1980

Directed by: Sean S. Cunningham

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2 20 VOTES
Halloween is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Pretty Good Horror Movies Where The Villain ISN'T REALLY DEAD!
Photo: Compass International Pictures

Halloween (1978) follows Michael Myers as he slashes his way through the teenagers of Haddonfield, Illinois. At the end of the film, Michael is shot multiple times in the chest and falls off a second-story balcony, presumably to meet his demise. When Michael's psychiatrist, Dr. Samuel Loomis, attempts to confirm that his patient has perished, he discovers that Michael is nowhere to be found.

He survives and flees to slay another day. 

Actors: Jamie Lee Curtis, Kyle Richards, Donald Pleasence, Sandy Johnson, Charles Cyphers, + more

Released: 1978

Directed by: John Carpenter

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3 15 VOTES
Dead Silence is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Pretty Good Horror Movies Where The Villain ISN'T REALLY DEAD!
Photo:  Universal Pictures

Dead Silence is the story of a demented puppeteer and ventriloquist, Mary Shaw, whose spirit comes back to terrorize the family that publicly humiliated her. Jamie Ashen, descendant of the family that caused Shaw's demise, becomes the target of a villain who will only attack you if you scream.

Shaw uses her skills as a puppeteer to transform her victims into puppets, but Jamie is able to eliminate her before she can get to him. As he heads home to meet his father, Jamie is horrified to learn that both his father and stepmother have been turned into puppets and are possessed by Shaw's spirit. 

Actors: Ryan Kwanten, Judith Roberts, Donnie Wahlberg, Amber Valletta

Released: 2007

Directed by: James Wan

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4 16 VOTES
Carrie is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Pretty Good Horror Movies Where The Villain ISN'T REALLY DEAD!
Photo:  United Artists

Stephen King's Carrie tells the story of Carrie White, a telekinetic teenager struggling to fit in. Her religious mother Margaret makes things a lot harder, as she views Carrie's first period as a sign that she is a deviant sinner.

When Carrie attends her high school prom, she is embarrassed in front of the whole school and uses her powers against the majority of her classmates in a fit of rage. She returns home, where her mother tries to put Carrie down. Carrie burns down the house with the two of them still inside, supposedly perishing in the process.

One surviving student has a dream where she visits the remains of Carrie's home. As she sits at her grave, Carrie's arm juts out from the rubble. 

Actors: John Travolta, Sissy Spacek, Piper Laurie, Nancy Allen, Amy Irving, + more

Released: 1976

Directed by: Brian De Palma

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