It would seem that horror movies favor a female surviving the massacre. Perhaps it's childbirth. If we can handle that, we can handle a guy with an axe right? I have listed my 10 favorite female survivors from a horror massacre in no particular order. I will define their motivations and their skill set - what made them into such bia-tches in the end? I'll rank them on how they survived. I might even tell you who I identify with.
Six women descend into a cave for a thrill-seeking experience on a girl's weekend trip. Nothing goes right on this trek into the bowels of the earth, including backstabbing competitiveness and hideous creatures stalking them. The timid and somewhat broken, Sarah, becomes a survivor more or less because she's too scared to die. She's not a particular brave woman, but her driving motivation is to get the hell out of the cave, even if it means climbing over the bodies of her friends. Does she survive? Well, European version and American versions differ on that. Let's just say, we Americans need a hopeful ending, but if she did survive, I don't see this broken doll being put back together again.
On the survivor scale, I give her a "Lindsay Lohan" ranking; she will struggle and age quickly. This may be the end of her career.
Friday the 13th
Necessity can take a youngster into adulthood overnight. Such was the case for Alice, who was all in for a weekend of camp cleanup and ended up fending off a killer. She grappled with the tools around her and finally came to the realization that she could not reason with a madwoman. Mrs. Voorhes must die! Alice might be a little broken after the final showdown, but she made it, proving the case that some massacres you may physically survive, but mentally not so much.
On the survivor scale, I give her a "Britney Spears" ranking, she's seen a lot, done a lot, and may never be truly trusted to be sane again.
Smart in school, most likely to not date, but to babysit instead, the overly responsible teen in the bunch, Laurie, goes from suburban sheltered life to angry mama bear in no time flat. When it comes to heroines, she did a most excellent job for not just saving her own skin, but being driven to save the skin of the little ones she is responsible for. She exemplified the female motto: Messing with me is one thing, but messing with the kids, that's going to get painful and unrelenting wrath.
On the survivor scale, I rank her a "Tina Turner," she's gonna turn that inner bitch on and he's never going to hurt her or hers ever again.
Texas Chainsaw Massacre
Sally not only has to go from a mindset of road trip to killer, but killer who practices hardcore carnage. For this heroine, it is purely survival on a very animal-like instinct. She must make it from one moment to another knowing that she cannot reason with the killing machine. There's not a lot of resources to work with, but when she turns on the inner survivor, she gets it done.
On the survivor scale, I give her a "Jennifer Aniston" ranking, as she seems to do better alone.
There was nothing extraordinary about Sydney, until she realized that her family life was a complex series of lies and deceptions leading to resentment from those who were hurt by her now dead mother. She doesn't know why anyone wouldn't like her and she certainly doesn't know why someone would kill everyone around her to get to her, but when push comes to shove, Sydney turns from put-upon teen to uber bia-tch in seconds, proving that a new skill set is a powerful thing.
On a survivor scale, I give her a Taylor Swift ranking as her ex's are in her crosshairs.
She's an explorer, not a killer. Or, she was until her crew was killed by a horrible and hideous alien and she was the only survivor left to tell the grizzly tale. Even though she is terrified of the aliens, in the follow-up movie, "Aliens," Ripley adapts as a fighter and goes to kick some alien ass in retribution for her comrades. She is a mama bear with the little one, the voice of ethics against the "system" that wants a live alien to take home and study, and a fight-to-the-finish badass when the alien wants to recreate the ship-board takeover of her previous adventure. By the end, all vulnerability that was once inside her, all insecurity dies, and Ripley is a killing machine with aliens on her hit list.
On a survivor scale, I give her a "Meryl Streep" because she can seriously knock it out of the ballpark in any situation - this woman is adaptable.
Nightmare On Elm Street
What starts out as an unassuming teen caught in the wrath of a nightmare killer's wrath, becomes an intelligent researcher hellbent on finding out how to stop this tormenter of teens and their dreams. It doesn't matter to Nancy if the adults won't help, she knows what's going on and she is not resting (or sleeping) until she outsmarts him.
On a survivor scale, I give this one a "Kim Kardashian" ranking; she makes dumb decisions and isn't cautious who she sleeps with, but she's still around to talk about it.
Sarah Connor has a boring and uninteresting life, that is, until the future comes to warn her of a chain of events that will alter the very future of the world. Is she up for being a heroine against futuristic machines, and scientists who are presently heading down a path of Armageddon? Well, as it would show in the series of Terminator movies, Sarah can don her warrior armor fast, going from soft suburban ingenue to fighter for civilization.
On a survivor scale, she's a "Madonna" ranking; she changes her persona overnight and doesn't know when to quit.
Sure, your baby brother is a pain in the ass, but aren't all little brothers? When push comes to shove, Patricia Jenner will offer herself up to save her baby bro's life. She is sometimes negative, sometimes defensive, but ultimately when it comes to killing a monster, she knows it's not going to take just one try. These things never die the first time! This movie was one of my favorite modern horror movies up until the miserable tongue-in-cheek ending. Ideally, I would have had Patricia taking one of the cop cars and chasing her brother and the monster into the distance. That would have been more in character than her sitting there after her brother got carried of and meeting mom and dad to go home.
On a survivor scale, I give her a "Chelsea Handler" ranking; as she's a little bit bitter and jaded and is probably going to keep bringing this up over and over in therapy.
Silence of the Lambs
She's a bit insecure about her past, insecure about her present day as a fledgling FBI agent, and still respectful of her elders, so how is she going to go up against a brilliant, manipulating, charming, and unbelievably evil killer to get help finding a bat-shit crazy psycho? She's in way over her head and trying to mature quickly. What Starling has on her side is a bright mind. She was born to be an investigator and that blood comes into play as she figures out this psycho parade she's caught in the middle of.
On the survivor scale, I rank her a "Condeleezza Rice" ranking; she's all business and a sharp mind, but still no one gives her credit.
As far as the survivors, I think I relate more with Laurie Strode, though I could bitch it up like Ripley in Aliens - I suspect Ripley never went back to a "normal" life again and kept her bitch shields up. I will fight to the end for those who need my protection, but I would still go back to a job and family and all the usual trappings of life after survival.