Final girls, final boys, and horror movie survivors tend to have one thing in common - they’re lucky. When you think about it, the best horror movies don’t have super capable main characters who are able to go toe-to-toe with characters like Jason Voorhees or a bunch of creatures from another dimension. These survivors tend to be lucky more than anything; they’re either saved by something as natural as the sunrise or the dreaded deus ex machina.
Just because these characters aren’t extremely capable doesn’t mean that they’re not good, it’s just that they never expected to be in a situation where they had to deal with a sleep demon or a bunch of aliens that want to take over their high school. The odds are stacked against every character in a horror movie, but these survivors are seriously out of their element.
Wendy Torrance has a tough run of things in The Shining. Not only is her husband an abusive alcoholic, but her son is suffering from seizures, and she's in a haunted hotel in the middle of winter - that's not a recipe for surviving a horror movie. As she's chased through the Overlook by her husband, who's powered by ghosts, the best she can do is run as fast as she can and scream her head off.
The most she does to warrant her survival is scream for Jack Torrance to stop, which of course, he doesn't. The only way she manages to get away is Scatman Cruthers showing up and catching an ax in the back.
Played By: Shelley Duvall
It's clear from the moment that Paxton and his friends set foot in Europe that they're woefully unprepared for being in a foreign country, and if these guys can't handle making their way through clubs in Eastern Europe, then there's no way that Paxton can deal with a super wealthy cabal of psychos.
After he's captured by the group that brutally does away with tourists, Paxton is restrained and some of his fingers are removed. Paxton is locked in a torture chamber, bleeding out, and he lucks out when his manacles are accidentally released. He somehow makes his way through a basement filled with guards and people who are super excited to commit evil deeds, and he ends up making it home.
Played By: Jay Hernandez
As far as characters in horror movies go, Sally isn't particularly skilled. You don't have to know how to work a chainsaw or be a skilled safecracker to survive in the genre, but it doesn't hurt. Sally is just a teenager who's on a road trip with her friends when she runs into Leatherface and his vicious, backwoods family.
Every one of her friends are dispatched by various means, but Sally escapes the family and lives to tell the tale. She's manhandled, hit in the head with a meat tenderizer, and cut up after jumping through a glass window thanks to what can either be considered gumption or just pure chance.
Played By: Marilyn Burns
Jason Voorhess, the unstoppable, beefy, hockey-mask-wearing undead psychopath has mowed through scores of teens throughout the Friday the 13th series, but he never managed to take down Tommy Jarvis. Is it because Jarvis was so canny and ruthless that he could match Jason move for move, or was he just really lucky?
Jarvis first manages to avoid the slice of Jason's machete in Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter by shaving his head and apparently appealing to the straight-up undead monster's sense of self. Jarvis basically confuses Jason long enough for his sister to deal a "final" blow to the monster. That's not even the luckiest move from Jarvis. In Jason Lives, Jarvis manages to wrap a chain attached to a large rock to Jason while the two fight on a boat. Jason throttles Jarvis so hard that they both fall in the water and Jarvis' plan to stick Jason to the bottom of Crystal Lake technically works out.
Jason drags Jarvis under the water with him so Jarvis has to play possum until Jason lets him go. To make it worse, Jarvis's love interest Megan actually deals a striking blow to Jason when she jumps in the boat, turns on its engine, and uses the propellers to slice into the monster's face.
Played By: Corey Feldman