Seriously. Spoilers ahead, if you're a horror fan who hasn't seen a lot of the classics, don't even scroll down. Unless you don't care about spoilers. Personally, I've always been of the opinion that knowing something isn't the same as seeing or experiencing it. Eh, to each their own though, don't say I didn't warn you.
The greatest fear people have, is fear of the unknown. In lots of genre's and media, this translates to the fear of death. Death being that great unanswered... Ah, forget all the psycho-babble for now. What this all basically translates to is this. If you're in a horror movie and you survive, you got DAMN lucky. If you come out at the end stronger or better for the experience, you're a true survivor. That's what this list is. These are the people who faced real horrors, hid, battled, and ran their asses off to make it to the end, were still breathing and were (more or less) whole when the credits rolled.
Note, none of these are really in any particular order.
10. Billy Peltzer - Gremlins, Gremlins 2
Billy starts out as your typical college kid, a bit clumsy and irresponsible, he tries to do the right things in life, but always seems to get the short end of the stick. Enter the cute, fuzzy little pet nobody actually deserves to have. In no time, the whole town is overrun with monsters, driving snowplows through people's living rooms and shooting little old ladies out the second story window. There really aren't any deaths on-screen, but there are several implied, as well as more than a couple vicious attacks. Still, Billy makes the list because he accepts responsibility and faces the mass of angry little beasts. He manages to survive an assault of circular saw blades used as throwing stars and with a little help, saves the day. In the second movie, despite the passage of time, and that it seems like life still beats him with the short stick, he doesn't hesitate for a second to stand up to the menace that he faced before. He came out of the first movie more responsible and courageous, even if he still can't face up to his bosses.
9. Danny Torrence - The Shining
This kid is a survivor. At his age, in order to survive, he has to escape from not only the ghosts and demons of the Overlook Hotel itself, but his from his father who's been driven insane by those same spirits. While he may be scared out of his wits the whole time, and makes a few mistakes along the way that almost cost him dearly, he doesn't stop thinking and manages to get away by outsmarting his father in the hedge maze. He may not be doing so well by the opening of the sequel Doctor Sleep, but for his first brush with terror he learns about his ability, and himself, and uses what he learns to survive a situation that, let's face it, most of us wouldn't.
8. Graham Hess - Signs
While I have a few issues with the movie, only one of which being the "Everything is part of God's plan" bit, you can't deny that for a disillusioned priest, Graham Hess has some skills. A perfect example is the scene in his neighbor's house, where an alien is trapped in the pantry. Almost without hesitation, Hess grabs a knife and uses the metal blade as a mirror to try and see under the door. Then it quickly flips around in his hand, taking off the fingers that reach out for him. Top that off with the way he keeps a perfectly cool head in the final showdown after a night trapped in his own basement enduring an assault from all sides, and you have someone who could stare down almost anything. End it all with reassuring himself of his faith, even in light of aliens from another world, yeah, he's a survivor.
7. Dr. Lawrence Gordon - Saw
Well, okay, so the whole series is about trying to survive the traps. Dr. Gordon was one of the first, and his crime wasn't even all that bad compared to the others who found themselves in similar situations. He is also one of the few who beat Jigsaw at his own game, by not killing his opponent or consigning himself to death. He took the third option and he survived. In a series where people are commonly being frozen solid, having their chests torn out, or having their heads split open like pac-man, surviving under your own terms is a hell of an achievement. He also did learn the lesson that Jigsaw was trying to impress upon people about how precious life really is. So cheers to you Dr. Gordon.
6. Shaun - Shaun of the Dead
Really, you had to see this one coming. I mean, just look at the title of the blog. Let's be honest though, in the face of the zombie apocalypse, how many people would risk everything to protect the ex that JUST dumped them? In the beginning, Shaun is a slacker, low-level job, always sitting around playing video games. Bumming around and having a laugh. Which is why said ex dumps him. Throughout the rest of the movie though, he's pushed to be pro-active and take charge, even if he screws up a few times. Sure, he ends the movie pretty much the same was as he started, but by then he's earned it. He's proven that when it comes down to it, he has what it takes, and the end of the world is not going to find him curled up in a ball under his bed.
Sooo...I had originally planned to just do all ten in one blog post, but this is getting a bit long now, so I'm going to just break it in half. Check back next Tuesday to see who my top 5 horror survivors are. I'm sure you can guess who if you're fans of the genre, but hey, this is my blog and I'm going to go over them anyway. True, this means two weeks in a row some people might have to skip due to spoilers, but if that irritates you that much, hit up the Biography link above and send me a nasty email about it.
Of course, if you think I'm leaving someone out (keep in mind the top 5 are still coming), or you disagree with some of my choices, feel free to say so in the comments. :-) Always nice to keep the conversation going.
Edit: You can skip along to the top 5 now by clicking here. Enjoy.
Catch ya later.
Oh, and if you missed my extra post for the week, check it out, the announcement for the release of a trio of my short stories you can get on Kindle.