The 10 Most Satisfying Deaths of Unlikeable Horror Characters

Sorry, not sorry. These 10 loathsome horror movie characters deserved their gruesome demise. Their death scenes are some of the most gratifying moments in the genre.

Billy (John Travolta) deserved to die in Carrie (1976).

Since its inception, horror has featured its fair share of unlikeable characters—the type that make you cheer on as the villain snuffs the life out of them and sends them to meet their maker. Sometimes it’s another character who finally gives them what they deserve, like when Ben (Duane Jones) shoots the combative and racist Harry (Karl Hardman) in Night of the Living Dead (1968). Soon after, we get the pleasure of watching Harry’s reanimated daughter feast on his corpse. He left Ben out to die after all he did to help his family and the rest of the group, so good riddance. 

Some of these despicable characters are rude and bigoted like Harry. Others are simply annoying. Some are greedy, narcissists, or corporate scum. There are many who are toxic men. Then there are bullies, like Mrs. White (Piper Laurie) in Carrie (1976), who terrorized and isolated her daughter her entire life. Their deaths are never anything to mourn. In fact, these characters have audiences anticipating and looking forward to the moment they’re killed. It sounds harsh, but their appalling actions do much to ease the guilt of the excitement we feel when they take their last breath. 

On this list, are 10 of the most satisfying deaths of unlikeable horror characters that prove karma is alive and well in the genre. 

Chris and Billy in Carrie (1976)

If you need to see more of Chris Hargensen getting street justice, we’ve got a clip for that.

Chris Hargensen (Nancy Allen) is the worst of the worst of teenage girls. She is more than just a “mean girl.” The way she constantly mocks and terrorizes Carrie (Sissy Spacek) is abusive—emotionally and mentally. It even gets physical when she riles up all the girls in the locker room to throw tampons and pads at a terrified Carrie in the infamous “plug it up” scene. As the popular girl of her school, the rest of the schoolgirls were always going to follow her lead. Instead of using that power to help Carrie in a vulnerable moment, she uses it to further scare and ostracize her. Her hate for Carrie has no rhyme or reason. Chris is just a rotten person to her core.

The same can be said for her boyfriend Billy Nolan (John Travolta), who treats her like crap and thinks he’s God’s gift to the world. He goes beyond being a stereotypical jerk. He’s a sadist willing to sneak into a slaughterhouse to kill a pig, and who enjoys helping a cruel Chris carry out the appalling pig blood scheme at prom. Watching Carrie send this garbage couple to their fiery demise is not only understandable, but enjoyable. The deaths of their counterparts in the 2002 and 2013 renditions are also gratifying to watch. 

Chris Hooker in The Craft (1996)

Skeet Ulrich portrays a toxic high school misogynist who fortunately gets his karma served to him in The Craft (1996).

Watching Chris (Skeet Ulrich) die in The Craft was one of the most pleasing moments for feminist fans of the genre. He’s a straight up misogynist who feeds his ego by hurting and degrading women. He used Nancy (Fairuza Balk) and treated her as disposable before the events of the film, going as far as spreading rumors about her.

When Sarah (Robin Turney) transfers to their prep school, he puts up a sweet facade and manipulates her into trusting him. After she rejects his sexual advances, he also spreads lies about her and slutshames her throughout the school, further humiliating her when she tries to confront him. Later on, he tries to rape her—this isn’t to be blamed on the spell he’s under, but rather on his inherent nature. Nancy wasn’t the villain when she sent him to his death out the window. She was honestly mad for her friend and trying to protect her from someone truly dangerous. Her murdering Chris was understandable. The bewilderment lies with Sarah’s reaction. Chris’ demise was frankly too merciful compared to what men like his kind deserve. 

Jacinto in The Devil’s Backbone (2001)

Jacinto was asking for it.

Jacinto (Eduardo Noriega) is soulless. His greed transformed him into a homicidal, inhuman animal. Throughout the film, he terrorizes the children at the orphanage. In one scene, he cuts Carlos (Fernando Tielve) across the cheek to threaten him. Only someone so ruthless would stoop down so low as to hurt a child. Jacinto has actually been capable of much worse—he was the one who murdered Santi (Junio Valverde) that fateful day. His bloodlust and avarice know no bounds. He causes a fatal explosion, killing a teacher and several orphans. He gruelly guts his fiancée Conchita (Irene Visedo) to death. He plans to burn the place to the ground after finding the gold, but is thankfully stopped by the boys, who attack him and throw him into the cistern where he dumped Santi’s body. Watching him be weighed down by his gold and dragged into the watery depths by the ghost of the first child he killed was worth all the heartache Guillermo del Toro put us through.

Jessica in Sorority Row (2009)

Jessica (left) is a toxic sorority girl.

The remake of the classic horror movie House on Sorority Row (1982) features one of the meanest girls in the genre. Leah Pipes portrays Jessica Pierson magnificently, inspiring the audience’s distaste for her character. She’s selfish, ruthless, and unapologetically vicious. The girl is unable to see beyond her best interests and desires. She manipulates the group into dumping Megan’s body (Audrina Patridge) into the well and never speaking of it again, preying on their fears and waxing poetic about sisterhood. To get Cassidy (Briana Evigan) on board, she wraps her jacket around Megan and essentially blackmails her.

Throughout the slasher, Jessica bullies and mocks her sorority sisters. Once people begin getting picked off one by one, she shows no concern beyond their secret getting out. She runs over Garrett (Matt O’Leary) without any proof he’s the killer—one less witness in her mind. When Andy (Julian Morris) shoves the tire iron through her mouth, one can’t help but cheer. He may be a homicidal maniac but we can all agree with him when he says, “that girl really needs to learn to keep her mouth shut.”

Trent Sutton in Friday the 13th (2009)

We admit, Trent does have good hair.

Trent (Travis Van Winkle) is a white privileged man-child who has absolutely nothing going for him but his hair and trust fund. From the moment he enters the screen, Trent’s rude and entitled. His superiority complex knows no bounds.

Trent enjoys flaunting his wealth to his friends. He invites them to his lake house just to show off, and kills everyone’s buzz when they let loose, flipping out at the smallest of things, because god forbid they touch anything at his precious abode. Like the sleaze he is, his main goal for the trip is having sex with Jenna (Danielle Panabaker), but he ends up cheating on her with her best friend. In the face of danger, he tries to get Jenna to abandon Clay (Jared Padalecki), willing to leave him behind to die. It was wildly entertaining watching the genre’s Jason (Derek Mears) stab this broest of bros through the chest with his machete and impale him to the back of the pick-up truck.

Mrs. Carmody in The Mist (2007)

Mrs. Carmody is the original Karen.

Hyper-religious zealots have their own very special place in hell—Mrs. Carmody (Marcia Gay Harden) is there right now making eternity even more unbearable for those tortured souls. She was the true monster of the film—one with a very special talent for bringing out the worst in people. She terrorized both children and adults alike, until she gained a good number of followers who bought her apocalypse nonsense. The lady had people believing that the mist was God’s revenge for “sinners and pride” and “people who refuse to bend to the will of God.”

Like a maniacal dictator, she got high off her power, whipping up a mob of believers into a homicidal frenzy. Jessup (Sam Witwer) lost his life because of her mad prophecy. Soon after, she declared that the predators in the mist needed a blood sacrifice to appease them and God. Little innocent Billy (Nathan Gamble) and Amanda (Laurie Holden) were her next targets, but thankfully they were saved by Ollie (Toby Jones) and his gun. Watching the realization of her demise flash across her face when she’s shot in the stomach is utterly enjoyable. Seeing the second bullet hit her between the eyes, well, there’s never been a greater feeling in a Stephen King adaptation.

Crispian Davison in You’re Next (2011)

Crispian wants to end his whole family for money.

Before the audience finds out the truth about Crispian (A.J. Bowen), the man gives off serious slimy vibes. He’s dating his former student and teaching assistant, who dropped his class once they began a relationship. Clearly, he abused his power. To top it all off, he endangers Erin (Sharni Vinson) by bringing her along to his family’s estate where he and his brother Felix (Nicholas Tucci) have plotted to have three masked assailants murder their parents and the rest of their siblings for the inheritance. Arguably, it’s a lie that it was integral to their plan that Erin stay alive and corroborate their story—they had Zee (Wendy Glenn) for that. He never cared about protecting her. In fact, he left her alone to fend for herself as he faked going to get help and hid to wait it out like the coward he was. When she discovers the truth, he shames her for her survivalist skills and victim-blames her for not having “reacted normally.” In true white privileged male fashion, he tries to bribe her in exchange for her silence. She stabs him in the neck while he’s in the middle of manipulating her, and it’s so satisfying to watch the blood gush out of him. “Why?” he asks. “Why the f*ck not?” replies our final girl before stabbing him in the eye and permanently silencing him. 

Christian Hughes in Midsommar (2019)

Earlier in the film, someone asks “We’re just going to ignore the bear then?”

If you didn’t find pleasure in watching Christian (Jack Reynor) be burned alive in the carcass of a bear, then your toxicity probably mirrors his own—seek help. Christian is the type of man who does the “right thing” in order to feel good about himself and come off as the nice guy. Stringing Dani (Florence Pugh) along for as long as he has and continuing to after the death of her family isn’t benevolent, but cruel. He’s robbing her of the chance to get the support she needs from people who actually care. Because of their relationship, she’s actually experiencing more stress and heartache in her life, making her grief all that more heavy. Not only is he emotionally uninvested, but he treats her like a burden. She’s constantly apologizing when he’s the one with the shortcomings.

The man is so selfish that all he can think about after her family dies is how it’s going to affect him—that he should have ended things sooner. He minimizes her emotions in the relationship and makes her feel guilty for having them. He lets his friends badmouth her.  He constantly gaslights her—a dynamic further explored in a couple of deleted scenes included in the director’s cut. He’s aimless in life. He’s a fraud who steals his friend’s thesis idea, exploiting the intellectual labor of a Black man. Smiling along with Dani as Christian goes up in flames is passing a litmus test for decency.

Adrian Griffin in The Invisible Man (2020)

A tech billionaire fakes his death and terrorizes his wife in The Invisible Man.

It’s rare for an abuser to receive their comeuppance in the real world, so watching it happen on screen was a huge victory to many. The sadistic Adrian Griffin (Oliver Jackson-Cohen) is an even more terrifying villain than his nefarious predecessor in the original 1933 Universal monster movie. The domestic abuse Cecilia (Elisabeth Moss) suffers before the events of the movie continues to haunt her present life. He caused her unspeakable trauma, through years of emotionally, psychologically, and physically abusing her. Cecilia lived in an isolated world in which she was constantly gaslit and confined. Adrian controlled every aspect of her life—from what she ate to what she wore to who she saw. She finally makes her escape, but he can’t let her go. He’s incapable of viewing her as a person—to him she is his possession. He continues to gaslight and terrorize her using an invisible suit. Adrian ruins her job prospects, damages her relationships with her loved ones, and even murders her sister. To witness Cecilia in all her newfound strength face her abuser was inspiring. Watching as her invisible hand slits his throat was one of the greatest “good for her” moments in horror. 

AJ Gilbride in Barbarian (2022)

Justin Long is a disgraced actor/AirBnb slumlord in Barbarian.

AJ (Justin Long) is someone whose windpipe most women would like to crush with their bare hands. Like many real life cases inside and outside of Hollywood, he vehemently pleads his innocence. It’s deny, deny, deny and point fingers at the victim. It’s never men’s reputations who get tarnished, but the women who they hurt and villainize. This slimy, heaping pile of garbage raped his co-star, and has the audacity to call her and try to manipulate her into backing out of the case: “people can have different versions of the same thing…and I’m actually not even mad at you about it.” Bring back the guillotine! As the viewer, one wants to jump through the screen and tell Tess (Georgina Campbell) to run and not look back—that his life is truly not worth saving. She learns this when he throws her off the water tower to use her as bait. He gaslights Tess and blames her for her fall, just like he did to his rape victim. He’s incapable of remorse and accountability. Mother (Matthew Patrick Davis) deserves a standing ovation for gouging his eyes out.

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Meet The Author

Natalia is a writer, poet, and collage artist living in Houston, Texas. Her favorite scary movies include Pearl, Midsommar, and Jennifer’s Body. In her spare time, she enjoys writing “good for her” horror fiction.