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

List RulesVote up the resurrections that caught you by surprise.

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. 

  • 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
    • Released: 1980
    • Directed by: Sean S. Cunningham
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    29 VOTES

    The Howling follows Karen White, a woman who recently helped police capture serial slayer Eddie Quist, who had been stalking her. Due to the lingering trauma of the event, her therapist suggests she join a wellness commune in the desert referred to as the Colony.

    Once she arrives, it's revealed that the Colony is actual a community of werewolves led by none other than Quist himself alongside his partner Marsha. Karen is able to dismantle the Colony and finish off Quist and the majority of the remaining werewolves in the process. Karen then attempts to reveal the truth about werewolves to the world on live TV, but nobody believes her.

    The final shot lands on Marsha, who is revealed to have survived the fire and is watching the incident play out on TV.

    • Actors: Dee Wallace, John Sayles, Slim Pickens, Patrick Macnee, John Carradine
    • Released: 1981
    • Directed by: Joe Dante
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    77 VOTES
    Photo: Lionsgate

    The first in a widely successful franchise, Saw is indie-horror with a simple yet terrifying concept. Two men, Adam and Lawrence, awaken in a strange bathroom with a lifeless man on the floor between them. Both men are chained, and a recording informs them that they are participating in a game. Lawrence is instructed to end Adam, or his entire family will perish instead.

    The men work together and eventually identify the slayer as a man named Zep, and Lawrence takes off his own foot in order to escape the room. Zep enters and Lawrence manages to sedate him before dragging himself from the room. Adam is left behind, and it is revealed that Zep wasn't the slayer after all - he was just another pawn in the game. The real villain reveals himself to be the supposedly deceased man laying in the middle of the room.

    • Actors: Cary Elwes, Danny Glover, Monica Potter, Michael Emerson, Tobin Bell
    • Released: 2004
    • Directed by: James Wan
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    71 VOTES

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