You’ve seen it countless times ― the ditzy blonde girl in a horror movie goes wandering around in the dark wearing something skanky, then meets a gruesome end. Such scenes are half the reason most people even watch horror movies, which is why they often cast unappealing celebrities in such roles ― does anybody mourn Paris Hilton in House of Wax? Tara Reid in Urban Legend? Jenny McCarthy in Scream 3?
But what about those poor blondes who didn’t have it coming? The ones whose survival we were actually rooting for? Here are eight horror blondes we wish had made it to the sequel.
(Note: This list obviously contains massive spoilers for these movies!)
8. Carrie White (Sissy Spacek) from Carrie
She might be more of a strawberry blonde, but no matter. Granted, Carrie is basically the villain in Brian DePalma’s 1976 horror classic ― but not on purpose! After the amount of torture this poor girl faces from her peers, including getting a bucket of pig's blood dumped on her at the prom, you can’t exactly blame her telekinesis for going haywire and killing just about everybody in her graduating class (including a young John Travolta). Sure, we'd be super uncomfortable hanging out with her, but between that super-religious nutcase of a mother and the mean girls at her school, Carrie White sure got a raw deal.
7. Jules (Anna Hutchison) from The Cabin In The Woods
Dying your hair blonde right before a trip to an isolated cabin in the woods? Fatal mistake. Jules and her boyfriend Curt (Chris Hemsworth) do engage in some hanky-panky in the woods just before a zombie attack, but it’s not their fault ― they’re being sacrificed by a team of scientists who use mild-altering drugs to get the teens to behave as horror clichés. Prior to giving in to her skanky bimbo side, Jules is a pre-med student who only recently went platinum. She also has one of the most entertaining scenes in the movie ― a sexy fireside dance that culminates in her making out with a stuffed wolf. Gone too soon!
6. Carol Anne Freeling (Heather O’Rourke) from Poltergeist
Technically, Carol Anne doesn’t die in any of the three Poltergeist films, though she is taken to a ghostly other dimension (via TV set) in the first one. The reason she makes this list is because Heather O’Rourke, the young actress who played her, died tragically just before the third film was released, thanks to a misdiagnosis by her doctors. If only she had stepped away from the light...
5. Newt (Carrie Henn) from Aliens
Ripley goes to a lot of trouble to save young Newt from the Alien Queen in James Cameron’s Aliens, prompting that classic line, “Get away from her, you bitch!” Happily, Newt survives. But then, in David Fincher’s sequel, the poor child is randomly killed off-screen in a spaceship crash. It pretty much invalidates everything Ripley did to save her in Aliens, and is one of several reasons we like to pretend Alien 3 never happened.
4. Kirby (Hayden Panettiere) from Scream 4
Every Scream film has that classic scene where the victim is quizzed about horror trivia while on the phone with the killer, and in last year’s Scream 4, the honor belongs to Hayden Panettiere’s horror buff Kirby. After ostensibly “winning” the round, she goes outside to free her crush (Rory Culkin), only to be stabbed in the belly by him for her efforts. Ouch! It's too bad, because Kirby is the spunkiest and most memorable new character in the franchise, a savvy, sexy blonde who just so happens to be a major film geek to boot. And since we never get 100% solid proof that she expired, we're still holding out hope that she could pop back up in Scream 5.
3. Helen Shivers (Sarah Michelle Gellar) from I Know What You Did Last Summer
Helen is the town beauty queen, heading off to find fame and fortune in New York when her boyfriend Barry’s drunk driving kills an innocent pedestrian (or so we think). She’s the one who ends up pushing the body off the dock, hoping to hide their shameful secret forever. One year later, she’s stuck working behind the makeup counter at her dad’s store, constantly picked on by her bitchy older sister, and out of touch with her BFF. As if that weren’t bad enough, she also gets her hair chopped off by an evil fisherman in her sleep, then has to run through town barefoot in a formal gown to escape his deadly hook. Helen almost gets away, but then she's distracted by some 4th of July fireworks and the fisherman attacks her against a big pile of tires. Next we see her, her corpse is frozen in ice. What a waste! We're sure this newly-humbled Helen would have found her way eventually, and killing off Sarah Michelle Gellar and Ryan Phillippe leaves only the far more boring Jennifer Love Hewitt and Freddie Prinze Jr. around for the sequel. No wonder it sucked.
2. Marion Crane (Janet Leigh) in Psycho
The granddaddy of all slasher films, which also contains one of the most surprising screen deaths of all time. Marion isn’t exactly an innocent, seeing as she’s run off with a stolen $40,000 when she meets her untimely end at the hand of Norman Bates. But just before her iconic shower, she’s decided to give it all back. Too little, too late. Instead, she’s dispatched by a crazy motel owner with serious mother issues. The rest of Alfred Hitchcock’s thriller is still great, but none of it quite matches that shower scene.
1. Casey Becker (Drew Barrymore) in Scream
Casey, we hardly knew ye. Thanks to clever advertising, many in the audience thought Drew Barrymore played the main character in Scream, making it a huge Psycho-like shocker when the film’s biggest star was killed off in the opening sequence. The Scream franchise has a history of killing off awesome blondes ― Rose McGowan getting crushed in a garage doggy door also qualifies, but with her sarcastic cynicism, she was kind of asking for it. Poor Casey, on the other hand, is just making popcorn in anticipation of a night on the couch with some horror movies. Then a stranger calls, she has to answer horror trivia, and her boyfriend gets killed before she, too, meets her maker as she's stabbed and hung by a tree. It’s a gory, chilling sequence but also a sad one, because Casey seems like a nice, relatable girl who doesn't make the same mistakes as all the typical blonde horror victims. Once she dies, we know no one in this movie is safe. It's what allows Scream to get away with so much meta comedy and yet still be believable and totally terrifying.
Which horror movie blonde are you still mourning? Let us know in the comments!