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When watching a horror movie, the viewer's first impulse is usually to point out all of the hilariously bad decisions that the various characters make in their struggle to avoid getting their skulls ripped out of their assholes by whatever howling death banshee or slobbering mutant psychopath happens to be pursuing them.

However, the killer monsters make just as many ridiculous errors in judgment that, in my opinion, are way more unforgiveable. "Why?" it would help if you asked right now. Simple: Because the monsters are generally the only recurring characters in their respective franchises. By the second or third sequel, they've had plenty of time to work all of the kinks out of their murder strategy.

So how come stuff like this keeps happening?

4
Not Guarding Their Magic Weaknesses

Dimension Films

Almost every movie monster has some magic weakness that they either willingly divulge to their potential victims in entirely too much detail or leave sitting out like a magazine for anyone to discover (they occasionally do both).

Take a look at Hellraiser. Pinhead is only able to travel to Earth from his parallel dimension of bondage hooks and terrifying erections if someone in our plane of existence opens the puzzle box. He and his gang of baffling leather outfit enthusiasts show up to take the unfortunate person back with them for an eternity of extreme torture porn, but leave the box behind.

Dimension Films
If it wasn't for the fact that one of them is a woman, I'd say the whole thing was a statement on the sexual selfishness of men.

Pinhead should just take the damn puzzle box -- that should immediately be his goal every time he shows up in our dimension. Why spend years waiting for some hapless bastard to solve the thing and then only take that person? It's not like Pinhead only wants to kill folks who can figure out his puzzle box -- he wants to murder the entire damn universe. If he secured the puzzle box, he'd be able to open the door in and out of his unspeakable gore-boner realm whenever he felt like it. He should write that on his hand or something.

Dimension Films
"I should put this thing on a key chaaaaaaain!"

In the Nightmare on Elm Street movies, Freddy likes to creep people out with a few preliminary nightmares before he actually moves in for the kill. Invariably, he uses some little girls jumping rope and singing a nursery rhyme that details the precise nature of his supernatural crime spree:

One, two, Freddy's coming for you.
Three, four, better lock your door.
Five, six, get a crucifix.
Seven, eight, gonna stay up late.
Nine, ten, never sleep again.

Beyond being a terrible strategy (more on that later), Freddy reveals the biggest ace he has up his sleeve by deliberately telling his victims that A) he is powered by unholy magic and B) they have to fall asleep in order for him to kill them. He'd have a 100 percent success rate if he just kept that information to himself.

i-mockery.com
And maybe didn't put his face on every goddamned thing imaginable.

Meanwhile, Jason Voorhees is gullible enough to be convinced that any female wearing his dead mother's sweater is, in fact, his dead mother. And he just leaves the sweater out next to his mother's mummified head in a shrine in his backwoods meth shanty. He doesn't fold the sweater up in a drawer or put locks on his doors or anything. Sure, Jason probably doesn't have the level of awareness to recognize that the sweater is a crippling weakness, but he should at least be keeping his most sacred possession in a place where raccoons can't shuffle in and pee on it.

3
Wearing Impractical Outfits

Lionsgate

Jason, Michael Myers, and Leatherface all wear masks that, while appropriately terrifying, seriously impair their vision to the point of catastrophic disadvantage. When you're doing the creepity-creep through some bushes in the middle of the night in your search for victims, it'd probably be best not to have some asshole gimmick stuck to your face that robs you of your peripheral vision.

New Line Cinema
The addition of power tools just makes the mask even more of a liability.

Pinhead wears this complicated leather outfit that, while appropriate for his transdimensional sex-murder persona, really seems like it would restrict his movement, as well as squeak against his thighs while he's trying to sneak up on people. If he wore velour, or some other light, non-restrictive fabric, he'd have an easier time catching folks unawares and maybe stealing back that puzzle box like we talked about earlier. Really, it seems like a simple wardrobe change could drastically improve his entire situation.

Dimension Films
That and some Bactine.

The Leprechaun wears an elaborate leprechaun costume (and also speaks in rhyme like some kind of tragic dumbass, but that is inconsequential to my point). However, killing people isn't really his primary goal -- he just wants his gold, and motherfuckers keep stealing it. The outfit is working against him in that respect -- those buckled shoes were never designed to be worn while chasing down thieves, and they clatter around like Dutch clogs any time he tries to go Solid Snake on anybody.

Lionsgate Films
Also, he looks like a lawn ornament, and that's not helping anything.

Getting his gold back would be a much easier task in general if people couldn't immediately see that he was the Leprechaun. He should just wear an oxford shirt and some slacks and tell everyone he's Peter Dinklage, then ambush them when they put their guard down and reclaim his booty.

Bottom line -- if you're going to be lurking around in the dark, just wear a ski mask and some wrestling shoes. Don't be married to a look.

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2
Invading Other Franchises Always Ends in Disaster

New Line Cinema

In Freddy vs. Jason, Freddy Krueger brings Jason Voorhees back to life and sets him loose in a sleepy Midwestern hamlet to mutilate the screaming Jesus out of a bunch of teenagers, the idea being to generate enough fear for Freddy to use as energy to power his jailbreak from hell, because nightmare-prowling murder demons apparently operate on the same logic as Monsters, Inc.

New Line Cinema
"Bitch, I'm not scared of you. I've dealt with Beyonce's ego."

Here's the problem: Jason is terrible at alliances, to the point that I'm pretty sure he never even knew they were on a team. The two end up battling, which is an unfortunate turn of events for Freddy, because he is a spindly pedophile dressed like a private detective at a Christmas party, whereas Jason can swing a machete with the aggregate forearm strength of 17 professional linebackers and is roughly the size of a triceratops.

New Line Cinema
"As I pause in this moment of quiet reflection, it is suddenly clear to me that many parts of my plan were terribly flawed."

Freddy ends up right back where he started -- dead, and with nobody to terrorize. He would've had better success teaming up with Whoopi Goldberg's character from Ghost, which incidentally is a movie I want to see immediately.

1
Overcomplicating Their Revenge

New Line Cinema

A fair amount of slasher movie monsters are chopping people up to satisfy some bloodthirsty vengeance they feel they are owed. Invariably, they end up sabotaging themselves with lofty revenge schemes that are entirely too complicated to succeed.

For example, Freddy Krueger wants revenge on all of the people who chased him down and burned him to death, and considering he was a child murderer when he was alive, it makes sense that he would target their children now that he is a blazing infernal fury ghost. And he has an incredible power to do so -- he can just kill the kids in their dreams. Seriously, that is one of the mightiest special abilities in the history of superhuman murderers.

New Line Cinema
Yet another poor teenage girl having to fight off the unwanted advances of a guy with a fedora and bad skin.

But Freddy spends way too much time building up to each murder -- he'll haunt the kids for a few weeks, tormenting them with those pre-emptive nightmares I mentioned earlier, before finally delivering the death blow. That gives the teenagers enough time to band together to solve the mystery of his identity and figure out a way to stop him, which is the precise chain of events that occurs in every single movie.

New Line Cinema
"Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me over the span of six sequels, a crossover, and a reboot ..."

If Freddy just burst into each kid's subconscious like a detonating zeppelin and tore a screaming hole through their face in a single nightmare, there'd be no issue -- a bunch of inexplicable yet unrelated cases of teenagers dying in their sleep. Nobody would be able to start passing around stories of a guy in a sweater and a Wolverine glove trying to flay them in their dreams, and nobody would ever find out that Freddy had come back from the dead. He could go on killing people until the end of time, and we'd never have any goddamn idea what was happening. We'd think it was aggressive sleep apnea or something.

New Line Cinema
"No! The mask! Why didn't you wear your sleep mask?"

In Halloween, Michael Myers' ultimate goal is to kill his sister Laurie (it isn't revealed that she's actually his sister until Halloween II, but whatever, I'm calling the shots here). So he busts out of his mental hospital, boosts a car, and races back home to their neighborhood at the speed of a frenzied maniac ... to spend three-quarters of the movie stealing a headstone and stalking two other girls who have nothing to do with anything, just so he can set up an elaborate corpse diorama for Laurie to discover:

Dimension Films
He went the extra mile with the jack-o'-lantern, too.

And it isn't like Michael had trouble finding her -- he follows Laurie around for the entire day, but the second night falls, he gallops off and murders three other random people who have absolutely no connection to him. If he'd just gone straight to Laurie's house, rang the doorbell, and punched her in the eye socket with a fistful of carving knives, that would've been it. Boom, revenge complete.

Michael was already on borrowed time -- he's an escaped mental patient with a history of violence, and his doctor knew exactly where he'd be going. He should've just run Laurie over with the car he stole from the hospital and kept right on driving, all the way down to Mexico. Instead, Michael literally wastes the entire day locked in a long-distance staring contest with the back of his sister's head before lumbering away to kill a handful of total strangers, giving the authorities enough time to show up, rescue Laurie, and launch him out of a second-story window on a rocket ship made of gunfire.

Dimension Films
"I was actually hunting down the monster that made The Love Guru, but you'll do."

Revenge doesn't need to be an ornate death ceremony, guys. Just get it over with and move on. Jason has the right idea -- he's mad that the teenage counselors at Camp Crystal Lake let him drown, so he immediately supermurders any teenager he finds as hard as he possibly can, with whatever object he happens to be holding at the time. None of this "waiting for the perfect moment" nonsense -- Jason is in it for the numbers.

New Line Cinema
"I get shit done."



Tom has never made a mistake and cannot be destroyed by conventional weaponry. Read his novel Stitches and follow him on Twitter.

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