Gruesome Gratification: 10 Horror Movie Characters Who Absolutely Deserved It

Justin Long as Cale in 20th Century Studios' BARBARIAN, exclusively on Hulu. Photo courtesy of 20th Century Studios. © 2022 20th Century Studios. All Rights Reserved.

Horror is therapy. There’s a part of us that watches because we yearn to see our greatest fears conquered. To root for heroes that inspire us by beating the worst the world has to offer into a bloody pulp. To gain power from a villain’s defeat like Mortal Kombat’s Shang Tsung slurping up souls.

There’s also just something so goddamn satisfying about seeing awful people get what’s coming to them.

You know the characters I’m talking about. Bullies. Racists. Greedy corporate scum. As Nicole Kidman would say—if I paid her enough—“It feels good to watch assholes get their comeuppance in a place like this.” Amen, Nicole. Amen.

So, in the spirit of honoring the timeless tradition of cheering on the death of the most despicable characters in horror, here are ten that absolutely deserved their fate. They are some of the meanest, slimiest, most obnoxious people the genre has to offer. Horror has thousands of characters that fit the “just die already” mold though, so if you don’t see one listed here that you think deserves to make the list, let us know in the comments below!

Mrs. Carmody, The Mist

No list featuring characters so despicable we can’t wait to see them offed would be complete without a mention of The Mist’s Mrs. Carmody (Marcia Gay Harden). Frank Darabont’s adaptation of Stephen King’s story revolves around cosmic horrors which live in a mist that emerges from another dimension, yet they are not the most terrifying aspect of this tale. That dishonor belongs to religious fearmonger Mrs. Carmody and her makeshift band of zealots. Honestly, who doesn’t hate this character? Fearing that God is angry or whatever (are they ever not?), it doesn’t take long for Mrs. Carmody to convince others to try sacrificing people to appease the creatures. So after two hours of her screeching and judging and killing in the name of her sky daddy, of course we cheer when Ollie (Toby Jones) puts a bullet in her head. Shut her up good.

Bubba, Evilspeak

Before he became widely known as dumb neighbor Bob on That 70s Show, Don Stark played a mean bastard in Evilspeak. A film in which a young Clint Howard is relentlessly bullied by Bubba (Stark) and others at a military academy before acquiring satanic powers from a computer (don’t ask me to explain it, I can’t), Evilspeak’s bullies do more than just pick on poor Clint/Stanley Coopersmith. During a horribly uncomfortable and tragic moment, Bubba and Co. discover a puppy Stanley has been nurturing and mercilessly kill it. It’s one thing to call someone names, but killing their puppy? Uh-uh. No way. We have rules about dogs in horror movies, and there’s a special place in hell for those that break them.

Burke, Aliens

Burke (Paul Reiser) might be the first character I remember truly hating as a kid. A corporate weasel serving sinister conglomerate Weyland Yutani, he’s a sniveling example of everything that’s wrong with capitalism. Greed is what drives this snot-nosed turd, and he’s willing to do anything to get paid. The moment he decides to sacrifice the bodies of Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) and Newt (Carrie Henn) to face-huggers, he might as well be signing his death warrant. Back-stabbery runs rampant in the real world, but in horror, that sort of tom-foolery demands justice. “You don’t see them fucking each other over for a paycheck,” says Ripley to a red-handed Burke. Well, fuck them over he does, not once, but twice when he leaves everyone behind and locks off their escape route. Falling into the hands of a hungry alien is what we call intergalactic justice.

Trent, Friday the 13th (2009)

This fucking guy. The Friday the 13th franchise has its fair share of loathsome characters, but Travis Van Winkle as Trent in the 2009 remake takes the machete-sliced cake. A trust fund man-baby who probably showers with a whole can of Axe body spray, he reeks of dickhead. He’s the kind of bro you’d see flipping out at grocery stores over “woke” beer labels.

From the moment he steps on screen, he’s an aggressive, buzz-killing creep with a serious superiority complex. Being a jerk isn’t necessarily enough to get ole’ Jason smashing through your door, but cheating on your girlfriend when she’s in the next room and can hear you? You better believe that’s deserving of a visit from our favorite hockey-masked killer! The only thing louder than the screams in the theater are the cheers when Jason spears this Chad of Chads onto the back of a truck and out of the picture for good.

Duke, Tales from the Hood

If you find yourself at the center of an anthology horror movie segment, chances are, you’ve earned whatever’s coming to you. Duke (Corbin Bernsen) in Tales from the Hood is no exception. A racist senator running for governor who decides to set his office up in an old plantation where his ancestor kept slaves, Duke earns his fate without even opening his mouth. And that’s before he starts spouting off racial slurs. A bigoted jerk meeting his end at the hands of dolls possessed by those his ancestor massacred? Now that’s a campaign I can get behind.

AJ, Barbarian

Justin Long has perfected the art of playing an asshole. In 2022, he played not one but two creeps in horror movies, one an underseen slow-burn entitled House of Darkness, the other a surprise flick that had everyone talking, Barbarian. In the latter, Long slides into the slimy role of AJ, an actor who finds his career falling apart after an actress claims he raped her (something he can’t even admit to despite knowing he did).

During this wild tale in which AJ and another woman, Tess (Georgina Campbell) find themselves held captive by a creature in the basement of one of AJ’s properties, the cowardly rat can’t help but throw others under the bus every chance he gets. Even after raping someone, accidentally shooting Tess when she returns to rescue him, or throwing her off a damn roof as bait, he still can’t admit he did anything wrong! Men will get their skulls crushed by an inbred mutant before going to therapy, and in AJ’s case, I’m okay with that.

Mrs. Deagle, Gremlins

If you think your neighbor stinks, Mrs. Deagle is here to show you it could be worse. A greedy capitalist without an empathetic bone in her body, our introduction to the old bat has her denying a poor woman an advancement of her paycheck in front of her sick kids, despite Christmas being just around the corner. Strike one. She then storms into star Billy’s (Zach Galligan) place of work and threatens to kill his dog if the pup wanders into her yard again. Strike two.

We also learn she’s enough of a wealth-hoarding dragon to have the money to buy expensive porcelain snowmen. Strike three, you’re out, lady! There’s a bit of a rebellious theme within the chaotic creatures which populate Joe Dante’s film, so it only makes sense when they converge on Mrs. Deagle’s home and send her soaring out the second-story window like the Wicked Witch of the West. Down with capitalism. Eat the rich. You get the picture.

Alex, Ready or Not

Listen. If there’s a 1/10 chance that your family is going to attempt to murder the person you just married because of some ritualistic pact your ancestor made with the Monopoly guy, maybe give them a heads-up. But warn his bride-to-be, Grace (Samara Weaving), Alex (Mark O’Brien) does not. He’s one of those men with a hero complex, the ones who pretend they’re saving someone by taking advantage of their desperation and then act as if they’re owed, whether that price be love, forgiveness, or both.

When Alex puts the blame on Grace for being “the one who wanted to get married,” he might as well get down on one knee and propose a lifetime of gaslighting. Yeah, no thanks. Even if he had helped Grace all the way through to the end instead of turning on her and joining his cult family, he still would’ve deserved a kick to the groin. As it stands, Alex exploding like a popped pimple as Grace laughs her ass off has to be one of the most satisfying divorces in film history.

Packard, The Wraith

Even this guy’s name screams jerk. A leather-clad car thief who looks like a Grease reject, Packard (Nick Cassavetes) speeds up his trip to the grave after he steals a guy’s car, said guy’s girl, Keri (Sherilyn Fenn), and leaves him for dead in the Arizona desert. Too bad for Packard, he didn’t count on the guy returning as the ghost of Charlie Sheen in a souped-up car.

The Fast and the Furious for horror hounds, Packard and his “family” of slimeballs (which includes Clint Howard) aren’t nearly as likable as Vin Diesel and his crew. Every scene with the tall drink of oil is another in which he’s acting like he owns Keri and beating up any guy that so much as looks at her. Packard eventually makes the mistake of taking on Sheen in a race to the death like the moron he is in a thrilling chase that always has me cheering once the bully gets turned into burnt rubber.

Stan, Revenge

The whole trio of sexist men in Coralie Fargeat’s rape revenge flick Revenge deserve every ounce of brutality that comes their way. But it’s slimy rapist Stan (Vincent Colombe) whose death makes me lean back in satisfaction like that Antonio Banderas GIF. A disgusting pig of a man who believes he has the right to Jen’s (Matilda Lutz) body simply because she danced with him, Stan will remind viewers of countless creeps so pathetic that they can’t take no for an answer. There’s a great deal of power in Fargeat’s film that emanates from Jen as she rises from near death like a pissed-off phoenix and rains furious Hell on Stan and his buddies. No, she says as she hunts them down like animals. No, she says as she turns Stan into a blubbering mess. Yes, I say, as she shuts him down for good.


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