For as long as horror films have existed, there have been protagonists who struggle to survive another day. From final girls like Laurie Strode and Ellen Ripley to cliché groups of students who fit in Cabin in the Woods’ logic, protagonists are meant to be relatable, heroic, and smart.
In many ways, a horror protagonist can fill in for a fan, giving them a window into what they would do in similar situations. Sometimes, though, the heroes at the center of a horror movie let viewers down by being some of the most annoying characters ever put to screen.
10/10 Wendy Torrance Is Over-The-Top
The Shining is considered one of the greatest horror films of all time. The film focuses on an isolated family who oversees the care of a hotel in the middle of winter. Jack, Wendy, and their young son, Danny, are left alone for the duration of a bone-chilling winter. Jack, a struggling writer, slowly loses his grasp on reality and turns on his family.
While it’s impossible not to feel sympathy for Wendy, who’s scared and trying to protect her family, she is incredibly irritating. Over-the-top and on edge for the duration of the lengthy movie, Wendy can be difficult to endure. Interestingly, Shelley Duvall, the actor who played Wendy, was tormented endlessly onset to force her to deliver a good performance.
9/10 Rob Zombie Gave An Innocent Michael Myers A Backstory
In 2007, Rob Zombie took on the daunting task of recreating John Carpenter’s masterpiece, Halloween. The reviews for this remake were mixed, with the consensus being that Zombie missed the point of the original film. 2007’s Halloween spends a lot more time with young Michael Myers to explain why he kills.
Unfortunately, this massively backfired. Most fans still couldn’t sympathize with Myers at this stage, and the attempt to turn him into a protagonist-figure was never the point of his character. The young Michael was just irritating.
8/10 Barbara Did Little More Than Scream
Night of the Living Dead
The original Night of the Living Dead is a masterpiece and the blueprint of good zombie media. Terrifying, complex, and filled with social commentary, Night of the Living Dead has been talked about and celebrated for decades. One character who did not help this film whatsoever, however, was Barbara.
Shrill and useless, Barbara spends the majority of her time on-screen screaming. While it’s understandable that what these characters are experiencing is horrific, Barbara took this to a whole new extreme of annoying.
7/10 Samuel Vanek Was Another Annoying Child Protagonist
To give Samuel credit, The Babadook’s entire premise sort of relied on the antics of an out-of-control child driving his single mother to the edge. Samuel was meant to be grating and irritating in The Babadook because audiences were supposed to see, understand, and even sympathize with why his mother closed the gap between tolerating his behavior and doing something drastic.
That, however, doesn’t change the fact that Samuel is one of the most irritating children horror has ever seen. Some viewers have actually called The Babadook “unwatchable” because they also couldn’t tolerate the boy’s screeching and horrid behavior.
6/10 Karen Is Much Less Likable Than Laurie
Halloween 2018 & Halloween Kills
In 2018’s reboot of Halloween, fans were introduced to Laurie’s family. Laurie went on to have a daughter named Karen and a granddaughter, Allyson. Karen, however, comes off as entitled and entirely too good to deal with her mother’s trauma. While audiences can understand that Karen had a difficult childhood, it’s obvious that Laurie loves her more than anything.
It became harder to sympathize with Karen the more she dismissed Laurie’s warnings and worries, though. Had she just listened to her mother, her husband might not have died, and she might have escaped that dreadful night with her life.
5/10 Mark Lacks Any Manners
Midsommar is one of those elevated horror films that are so unsettling, they stick with a viewer long after the credits roll. While some may not be able to stomach this film, it was expertly crafted. Many horrors befell the main group, though fans didn’t really care when bad things happened to Mark.
Mark didn’t care about anything, never listened to anyone, and lacked any sort of manners. Right down to urinating on a sacred tree and then showing no remorse for it when confronted, Mark was intolerable. In fact, many fans believe that Mark got what he deserved in Midsommar.
4/10 Micah Is An Annoying, Dismissive Partner
Micah takes the dismissive husband trope to a whole new extreme in the first installment of Paranormal Activity. This found footage film is shot entirely on Micah’s camera, meaning that the audience only gets to see what Micah decided to look at and film. Beyond that, audiences are forced to watch as Micah uses the camera to tease and even harass his girlfriend, Katie.
While Katie is undergoing the horrors of being possessed and slowly consumed by the entity taking control of her, Micah refuses to see or acknowledge that any of it is happening. His constant dismissals of Katie were incredibly irritating. Had he actually shown an ounce of care, perhaps things could have turned out differently.
3/10 Louis Creed Is The Reason The Film Happens
While the idea of losing a child is an unimaginable nightmare for anyone, Louis Creed takes his grief to the extreme in Pet Sematary. In both the 1989 original and the 2019 remake, Louis knocked over the first domino that set the films’ events in motion. Unable to process the loss of one of his children, he makes the annoying decision to bury them in the cemetery that brings dead things back to life.
However, the resurrected souls never come back the same. Instead, they come back angry and murderous, which Louis knew. Had Louis simply mourned the unfair death of his child, the entire franchise never would have happened.
2/10 Blaire Lily Is A Horrible Friend
Unfriended followed a group of friends on a Skype call who are interrupted by an unknown user. As the story progresses, the group realizes that they’re being haunted by a girl who died by suicide one year earlier, named Laura. Unfriended reveals that Blaire and her friends were responsible for uploading a humiliating video that upset and hurt Laura.
While every single character in Unfriended was a cruel person, Blaire was also annoying. She plays the victim and doesn’t even apologize for her actions until all her friends are dead and her life is directly threatened. It’s oddly satisfying to watch her go.
1/10 Heather, Josh, And Michael Make The Worst Decisions
The Blair Witch Project
Although The Blair Witch Project is one of the most influential found footage films of all time, it doesn’t actually change the fact that the protagonists were all incredibly annoying. They were determined to the point of stupidity, illogical in every decision, and unwilling to take a step back, breathe, and figure things out.
Sometimes, it’s hard to tell whether a viewer is watching The Blair Witch Project for the plot or if they’re really just invested in seeing these three grating characters get what’s coming to them. Fans just wished the protagonists would make better decisions.
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