The Best White Tank Tops In Horror History

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There are a lot of staples found within 00s Horror. Whether we talk about grimy filters, nu-metal soundtracks, or even actors that seemed to be in most of them, we have a lot of nostalgia triggers from those movies made during our misspent youth. However, the one thing that sticks out to me all these years later is the sweat-stained white tank top trend. It became almost mandatory in that decade. It was a silent beacon for strength, survival skills, and, most importantly, longevity in the horror space. 

Do not get me wrong. The white tank top made appearances long before, and long after, the beloved aughts. The earliest sighting that comes to my mind is Ripley in 1979’s Alien. The most recent is Sam Carpenter in Scream (2022) and Scream VI. While we see it a lot, I don’t think there was a decade more dedicated to this fashion trend. That’s why I’m here with 5 tank top-toting baddies we should talk about a little more often.

Dawn Of The Dead (2004)

Where You Can Watch: Starz

A small band of survivors takes refuge from a zombie outbreak in a mall in this remake of the George A Romero classic. Ana (Sarah Polley) is a nurse in a double tank top because she didn’t come to play. Her past self knew that she would need to prove she was the final girl, so she put her white tank behind a camisole before taking her last peaceful slumber. She literally woke up like this when she awoke to find herself in a zombie apocalypse that claimed her family. Caked in the blood of her loved ones, she follows her survival instincts for a good chunk of the movie. While we don’t know what happens to her group of survivors at the end, we can assume she made it because she started the journey in the final girl uniform. 

House Of Wax (2005)

Where You Can Watch: VOD

A group of friends stumble across a wax museum that uses real people in its exhibits. While we can argue that this is actually a remake of Tourist Trap, I’ll leave that manifesto for a different article. I’m focusing on how Carly (Elisha Cuthbert) was gifted the white tank top that confirmed she would be the one to make it out of this hot mess alive. Her brother, Nick (Chad Michael Murray), gives her the tank off his back after she slides through some dead deer carcasses in the woods. Nick basically knighted Carly at that moment. We watched her swim in her overly large survival fashion statement piece as she joined the ranks of other final girls in the aughts. We all knew they wouldn’t make Paris Hilton a survivor, but this validation early in the movie helped us all relax a little.

Paranormal Activity (2007)

Where You Can Watch: Netflix and Paramount+

A young couple begins to suspect that their new home may have demonic squatters. Katie (Katie Featherstone) shows off her arms the whole movie and usually has a white tank top nearby. However, when things go bump in the night, it’s usually in the bedroom where she sleeps in the final girl uniform. Because if you stay ready, you don’t have to get ready. By sleeping in the top, you don’t have to waste valuable time looking for it when evil comes a-knocking. Granted, the evil was with her all along. However, she’s still standing at the end even if she is possessed by Toby and friends. While some of you may want to fight about the technicality of this final girl, I would like to quote the poet Beyoncé Knowles-Carter. “You know you that bitch when you cause all this conversation,” and every movie in the franchise goes back to Chaotic Katie and the White Tank Top Of Destiny.

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003)

Where You Can Watch:  VOD

A road trip gets interrupted by Leatherface and his family of cannibals. Erin (Jessica Biel) rolls into this dirty town with a cowboy hat and the required tank top. Her armor is knotted at the waist to let the other final girls of this era know it’s over. It’s given Brittany, Christina, Shakira, and the belly-forward fashion of our youth. We have our star, and she’s been briefed enough to know how to dress for this cannibal occasion. After all, if you’re going to be running around in the Texas sun swimming in the blood of your friends’ corpses, you should be comfortable. 

Wrong Turn (2003)

Where You Can Watch: VOD

A group of friends finds themselves stranded in the woods after a car wreck and must fight against a sinister group of savages. The movie doesn’t really start until Jessie (Eliza Dushku) enters wearing her tank top, immediately solving problems and making plans. She is thee final girl. Her graphic tank with a black bra makes her seem like the sporty spice of this group. This makes sense because Dushku was still kicking that sweet demon butt over on Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel at the time this movie was made. These cannibals thought she would be dessert, but they bit off more than they could chew. This is why their spot got blown up, and no one felt bad for them.

Did your favorite 00s tank top terror moment make the final cut? Let me know either way at @misssharai.



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