Movies

10 Slasher Movies Where Villains Appear Above

10 Slasher Movies Where Villains Appear Above

Slasher movies tend to be unique among horror, and even cinema in general, as they usually have us rooting for the opposite player most of the time. Sure, we have our final girls (or boys) and a colorful cast of characters to populate the film with, but we are almost always here for the kills first and foremost.

While most slasher movies tend to end with the final possible victim winning out over our deadly villain, there are some films where the villain triumphs and leaves the audience with a grim sense of satisfaction or even fear. These are rare ones that leave a much bigger and lasting impact and can change your perspective on a film in its final moments.

‘A Nightmare on Elm Street’ (1984)
Freddy Kruger (Robert Englund) isn’t unique among slasher villains in that he can’t ever be truly defeated – most of them always come back – but he is unique in that he’s notably difficult TO defeat once he does show up. After all, how do you deal with a villain who attacks you in your dreams?

The original A Nightmare on Elm Street seemingly ends on a downer note compared to later installments, providing an ambiguous answer to that question. Nancy (Heather Langenkamp) appears to have defeated Freddy, and all is well and good, but when she goes to sleep again, she ends up having a nightmare with Freddy, seemingly killing her mom in the process. It’s a dark finale that indicates Freddy’s lingering trauma will forever haunt her and that he will go on killing.

‘Black Christmas’ (1974)
While Black Christmas isn’t one of the most popular slasher movies in the mainstream, it’s one of the more well-regarded ones for a reason. Taking the slasher formula and turning it into a whodunit mystery makes for a compelling and thrilling movie far grimmer than the standard slasher, as you never know what might be lurking around the corner.

The film keeps this grim tone even by the end of the film when the killer is seemingly dead and the final girl, unconscious, is discovered. But then a call comes in, and the killer is potentially still alive, and thus he gets away to continue his massacre once again. It’s a chilling final sequence for one of the slasher genre’s most chilling movies.

‘Creep’ (2014)
Depending on what you like in a slasher movie, you may find yourself rooting for the villain: Creep takes it a step further and takes a realistic approach to the material. A found-footage, psychological version of a slasher movie, it follows a videographer assigned to record an eccentric man. What happens from there is best left to the viewer’s surprise, but it’s a scary and thrilling take on slasher tropes.

Like many more realistic takes on the material, Creep ends in such a way that leaves your skin crawling. It’s one of the most effective endings in horror for how obvious the outcome is and yet still how unexpected it turns out to be.

‘Final Destination 5’ (2011)
While some will argue about the placement of a Final Destination movie as a slasher, there is a genuine argument that it is one. After all, Death is picking off our cast one by one, there are final survivors, and the appeal of the movies is the increasingly complicated death traps that work almost like a deadly Rube Goldberg machine.

The fifth and most recent installment of the series is its darkest yet, and the one that most explicitly ends on the entire cast biting it at the end. You can run from it all you want, but you can’t escape death no matter how hard you try – and he’ll make it look as clever as possible.

‘Freddy vs. Jason’ (2003)
A fun romp of a film, Freddy vs. Jason, would end with at least one of them walking away unscathed. While the film is more of a Freddy film, in the long run, Jason does get plenty of kills to his name here, including Freddy himself, as he comes away the victor at the end of the film… or does he?

As fans know, the film ends with Freddy’s now decapitated head winking at the camera, hinting that he may still live after all. This version of Freddy and Jason has not been seen since, and as these franchises have been rebooted, it’s unlikely we’ll ever get an answer, but knowing Freddy, it’s likely he got the last laugh after all.

‘Halloween’ (1978)
Even before he became an immortal being worshiped by a cult (don’t ask), Michael Myers was a force to be reckoned with. In his first appearance alone, Myers powers through and kills three unsuspecting individuals before being shot and seemingly killed by Dr. Loomis (Donald Pleasance), saving Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) in the process. But when he looks back out of the window… Michael is gone. Nowhere to be found.

Is he immortal? Pure evil and the devil, like Loomis suspected? Did he just limp away? Was he wearing body armor of some kind? While various sequels have answered the question to varying degrees, the uncertainty at the film’s end makes it so scary and effective.

‘Psycho’ (1960)
While not technically a traditional slasher, Psycho is widely seen as the first of its kind and has influenced every major slasher movie that has come since. Much of that has to do with its focus on the twist villain of Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins), who is revealed to have a split personality stemming from killing his mother out of jealousy.

While Norman is arrested at the end of the film, Norman ostensibly wins out: there is an ambiguity in the film that implies he will likely murder again. If the sequels are any indication, that implication is actually a clear sign that he’ll do so again.

‘Saw’ (2004)
A mix of slasher and torture porn, the Saw movies are rather unique in the horror genre as they take the standard “masked killer” approach and give him a very specific modus operandi. This time around, Jigsaw genuinely believes he is doing good in his twisted way, testing his victims and seeing if they deserve to live by overcoming what he perceives to be their fatal flaws.

As early as the first film, Jigsaw, or John Kramer(Tobin Bell), is already showcasing his belief system. After revealing himself to be the “corpse” in the bathroom, he shocks our protagonist and leaves him to die while he escapes. It’s one of the best twist endings in horror and also an excellent showcase for Kramer’s twisted beliefs.

‘The Cabin in the Woods’ (2011)
A twisted and meta take on the slasher genre, The Cabin in the Woods’ commentary on horror films, and particularly slasher films, are biting and witty while never letting up on the gore and thrills you would expect from a film like it. By the film’s end, Dana (Kristen Connolly) and Marty (Fran Kranz), our two survivors, find themselves in the Facility and confronting the people behind the operation.

The question of who comes out on top here is a bit muddied. Dana and Marty’s decision not to sacrifice themselves for humanity’s safety is seen as the ultimate rejection of the status quo. But still, the Ancient Ones are not easily amused, and the world ending is likely the ultimate win for our antagonists.

‘The Texas Chainsaw Massacre’ (1974)
The prototypical slasher film, it’s interesting how different The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is compared to the other movies it inspired. It’s a found footage movie before found footage was a thing: it’s grimy and nasty in a way that makes you curl up and nearly vomit.

While the final girl, Sally(Marilyn Burns), escapes with her life at the end of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, it’s just barely. The fact of the matter is that the villains of the film are the real winners here as they got off most scot-free is the opening text was any indication to continue their deeds, and Sally has been traumatized for life.

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