Psychology of Horror Movie Elemental Characters Part 1

Nonetheless, horror movie characters set the mood in a good storyline. Many times this is why a storyline can become so predictable. But this is why horror movies become so entertaining. As in many, you never can determine what is going to happen, which is why many horror movies such as Scream keeps you guessing it through every scene. Wondering who the real killer is. That said, let’s begin psycho-analyzing the first five elemental characters according to

The Cop

David Huban – Wrong Turn

According to Thomas West in the “10 most Common Horror Movie Characters” article. There is almost always a cop present in a horror movie, usually telling the young people to be careful, or just being generally unpleasant, sometimes to such an extent that they might be seen as the potential villain The cop tends to be the moral compass of the movie. Which also is the character that foretells the tragic fate the characters will end up facing in the future. The cop is a wildcard based on the storyline as the cop can be good or evil. The protector of the innocent, such as the case in the Wrong Turn. Or the protector of evil as in Texas Chainsaw Massacre. The symbolism represents the delicate balance that this authority figure is subjected to where a cop with strong will and integrity will rise above corruption or will bend in sin based on what’s at stake personally in the storyline. Suppose you’re going to make it. Not many horror storylines have a tragedy that the cop faced, as this could potentially be a motive that many stories don’t include. If you’re feeling a bit creative, maybe you can add a traumatic event that works as a motive if you decide to write a horror-themed storyline.

The Final Girl

Photo by Tom Leishman on

The final girl is the perfect case scenario of someone who handles their unresolved issues. As the storyline always has a dark past or a trauma that the last girl has experienced, she begins to face her fears. As stereotypes are used in this horror story movie line, there are not many final guys. And if they are, it’s the unarrogant soft-spoken one. Who helps the last girl through some of those unresolved issues and helps her face her fear. The truth is why the strongest guy never seems to be the final guy in the movies. Like in real life, men in “Superego” tend to think they can overpower the killer. They are having this guy in irrational logic fall to his impeccable doom trying to be the hero. Do you have any guy friends who show this kind of character? The guy who acts like nothing can phase them. Nothing can overpower them. Can nothing stop them as they show borderline narcissism? Use that as a basis in your storyline. Some of you all will say, not all final girls end up being useful and have no control. I am here to tell you that it is “fake news.”

Not all stories are rainbow and gumdrops. Truth is those who go to the dark side choose to go there as the metaphorical idealism comes from this. When it’s all said and done, the final girl is just tired of the bullshit around them, in a world where people always undermind her and belittle her. The motive goes from good to bad as all people have good and evil in them. Because in some storylines, once you outsmart the killer and face your fear. The vigil anti comes out, and a new motive comes into play. Rid the world of shitty people, which might be a good storyline.

The Jock

Chris Hemsworth – Cabin in the Woods

The jock is a staple of any storyline as this guy represents the All-American Boy. Which, let’s keep it real, has some sort of ego complex. As he always attempts to show just how tough he is. Only how not scared he is (although he shows it in every single time with an empty threat). That, in the end, gets him killed because he has something to prove to the group of friends that he is a badass. He is a bit careless and a bit of a narcissist. He is always poking fun of the other people that show concerns, with an added reassurance that “he will protect anyone,” having the clique scenario where he leads everyone to impeccable doom.

And in most cases, since he’s the most hated. Has the most violent death. Which for once, I would like to see a jock who isn’t the typical stereotype. Which might be hard to do in today’s time. As the stereotype that is used is based on the stereotype of the average male. We will stop there. Another common characteristic in these horror themes storylines is that they take everything personally. They assume a little too much, which is why this character ends up getting killed off as another common characteristic. They end up pissing off the killer and get’s put his name on the list that ends up being marked off with a red underline.

The Bad Girl

Anna Hutchinson – Cabin in the Wood

The bad girl is another wild card in a horror-themed storyline where the bad girl represents the rebel of the bunch. Which also has unresolved issues through this that is commonly associated with body shaming issues. The bad girl can be the final girl, the killer, and many other scenarios based on the writer on the horror-themed storyline. In Scream, she helps develop the character both with Tatum Riley, Played by Rose McGowan, and Gale Weathers, who both have an internal complex. Which later in the storyline, becomes Sidney Prescott’s Alli in helping her end the killing spree. In other situations, she can also be the final girl as Dana Polk became in Cabin in the Woods, which unfortunately ends in a worldwide apocalypse.

The Killer

Photo by Wilson Vitorino on

The killer is the antagonist in a horror theme storyline. They have an unresolved trauma that ends up becoming a vendetta of some sort of revenge. All with some traumatic backstory involves shame like in Adam Carr in Valentine, played by David Boreanaz. Or a cruel act that leads to the killer’s death like Jason Voorhees in Friday the 13th. Or can be an entitled act of misinterpretation like Billy Loomis played by Skeet Ulrich in Scream. The killer can come in any shape, size, and gender, as Lori Spenger in Happy Death Day is shown to be. As it was an act of jealousy that enabled the killer in this story. As anyone who crossed paths to attempt to finish the task at hand. Killing Tree Gelber in Happy Death Day. Will all anyone that gets in the way. Many horror theme storylines have the killer get distorted by some traumatic event in life, while others just possess pure evil. Like Freddy Kruger, it resembled in the remake of “A Nightmare on Elm Street,” which still ends up having trauma distort him from childhood that followed him in adulthood. Which in the end, shitty people is what makes these individuals that started the as good soul, embrace the dark side to a most consequential end in these horror storylines.

What are your thoughts? Do you agree or disagree? Feel free to comment on your thoughts on the psychoanalysis of these characters. Tomorrow we will Psychoanalyse the last five iconic characters in a horror-themed storyline.

Published by Frieda Lopez at Frieda the Writer

Frieda López is the writer for Journey of an Unraveled Road who was born and raised in San Antonio, TX. Through her professional career in Customer Relations and Retail Management, she has utilized her experience and interactions with the behavioral patterns, which was used to start her personal journey with Journey of A Unraveled Road as her debut novel. She has completed philosophy, psychology, and theology courses at San Antonio College as well as creative writing courses. Frieda López has been a lifelong writer since 2nd grade. A survivor of childhood trauma, childhood abuse, and domestic violence, she wrote this piece, which started this book as her personal journey; works from home in San Antonio, TX.

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