By now, pretty much everyone knows that in a horror movie, especially a slasher movie, there are certain folks who are clearly marked for death. It’s now become parody. Just look at Tucker & Dale Vs. Evil, or Sigourney Weaver explaining the Athlete/Fool/Scholar/Whore/Virgin list from The Cabin In The Woods.
But it’s worth pointing out another set of folks who seem cursed almost as severely to come face to face with some kind of evil. What I’m getting at is there are certain employment opportunities that somehow lend themselves to the forces of darkness.
Let’s start with a few obvious ones.
Dunno why, but slashers love them some babysitters. I mean come on. The original title idea for Halloween was The Babysitter Murders. Other examples: When A Stranger Calls, The Boy, House Of The Devil.
#9 Camp Counselor/Employee
Not far down the slasher food chain from babysitters is camp counselors, especially if they’re doin’ the drugs and/or havin’ the sex. Friday The 13th is the obvious heavy hitter for this one, but don’t discount The Burning, Madman, and of course Sleepaway Camp.
God does not love or care about you in a horror movie. That’s Rule #8 in The 13 Rules Of Horror. Nowhere is this more evident than when priests get involved. Either they fail, or die, or both, and whatever they’re trying to accomplish hardly ever goes to plan. Examples: The Borderlands, The Devil’s Doorway, The Exorcist, Hatchet II, The Last Exorcism, The Omen.
#7 Researcher/Investigator (Paranormal Or Not)
A found footage staple, these folks rarely fare well. They go looking for The Big Bad, almost always find it, and almost always regret doing so for the rest of their lives (which is more often than not cut very short). As much as I hate this movie, I gotta put The Blair Witch Project on here, as well as The Blair Witch (the better sequel), As Above So Below, Grave Encounters, Grave Encounters 2, The KAOS Brief, Nietzermann, Psycho
Moving right along to the rest of the list, some fairly obvious, some not as much.
#6 Any Job That Involves Being In Space
Because in space no one can hear you scream. Unless it’s like, Star Wars or something. The amount of things that can go wrong is limitless, and that’s even without considering aliens. Many times this worsens by combining it with the next entry. Alien tops this category. Others include 2001: A Space Odyssey, Galaxy Of Terror, Heavy Metal.
#5 Any Job That Involves Being Isolated
Often, the enemy/threat isn’t the only problem but is compounded by isolation. You have a limited number of people, and limited/no resources to help you. Enough isolation, and someone will inevitably lose it. It just makes some folks crack. In the best examples, it’s difficult to tell if there even is a real threat, or if it’s all paranoia driven. Examples: The Thing, Pandorum, Event Horizon, 2001, Life, Black Mountain Side, X-Files “Ice” and “Firewalker.”
#4 Tour Guide/Director
These folks just seem to end up in the wrong place at the wrong time like in Fantasy Island, Hatchet, Hell House LLC.
As if it’s not enough that a reporter can often risk life and limb for a story just in general, in the horror world they frequently find themselves on the front lines of murder spree, pandemic, zombie outbreak, alien invasion, etc. Examples: Contagion, Hatchet III, Halloween (2018), Hell House LLC 2: The Abbadon Hotel, REC, REC 2, Quarantine, Scream, The Shrine.
Sheesh. So many of these folks take one of two paths. Path A is that they get killed sooner or later which is what happens in the Halloween series (well, at least in one timeline), Halloween (2018), Split. Path B is that they become obsessed and/or homicidal themselves which also happens in Halloween (2018) as well as Asylum, Dressed To Kill, Gothika, Silence Of The Lambs.
And The #1 Worst Horror Movie Job, Writer
Writer’s just seem to attract problems just by being writers. Watch Misery if you don’t believe me. Also they’re curious. They find stuff, and if you find something, it finds you as well like in Sinister. Another problem with writers is their proclivity for, of all things, isolation. As stated above, this alone can create really bad situations like in I Spit On Your Grave and, again, Misery. More often, however, the isolation backfires and sends the writer over the bend (sometimes with supernatural help) as in 1408, In The Mouth Of Madness, Secret Window and, of course, The Shining.
So, if you’ve got any sense at all of self preservation, choose your career wisely. And let me know in the Comments if you have any other bad horror movie jobs.