In many horror movies the targets of the villain/monster are often no more than cannon fodder, destined to be slaughtered without the audience even really getting to know their names. But sometimes the person being targeted is just as interesting or iconic as what or who is after them. These are the ones that stand out just for me.
Played by: Tippi Hedren
The film: The Birds (1963)
Who/what is after her?: Birds… all of them.
“Melanie Daniels: Close that door, quickly.
Annie Hayworth: What?
Melanie Daniels: Please.”
Carol Anne Freeling
Played by: Heather O’Rourke
The films: Poltergeist (1982), Poltergeist II: The Other Side (1986), Poltergeist III (1988)
Who/what is after her?: Lots of ghosts
“Diane: Sweetheart, last night, when you said “They’re here’…
Carol Anne: Can I take my goldfish to school?
Diane: Sweetheart, do you remember last night when you woke up, and you said “They’re here’?
Carol Anne: Uh huh.
Diane: Well, who did you mean?
Carol Anne: The TV People.
Robbie: She’s stoned.
Dana: Oh yeah? What do you know about it?
Robbie: More than you. Ask Dad.”
Played by: Jodie Foster
The film: The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
Who/what is after her: Hannibal Lecter
“Clarice Starling: You see a lot, Doctor. But are you strong enough to point that high-powered perception at yourself? What about it? Why don’t you – why don’t you look at yourself and write down what you see? Or maybe you’re afraid to.”
Played by: Jamie Lee Curtis
The films: Halloween (1978), Halloween II (1981), Halloween H20: 20 Years Later (1998)
Who/what is after her?: Michael Myers
“Annie Brackett: Still spooked?
Laurie: I wasn’t spooked.
Annie Brackett: LIES!
Laurie: I wasn’t! I saw someone standing in Mr. Riddle’s back yard.
Annie Brackett: Probably Mr. Riddle!
Laurie: He was watching me.
Annie Brackett: Mr. Riddle was watching you? Laurie, Mr. Riddle is eighty-seven!
Laurie: He can still watch.
Annie Brackett: That’s probably all he can do!”
Played by: Linda Blair
Film: The Exorcist (1973)
Who/what us after her?: A demon
“Psychiatrist: Is there someone inside you?
Regan MacNeil: Sometimes.
Psychiatrist: Who is it?
Regan MacNeil: I don’t know.
Psychiatrist: Is it Captain Howdy?
Regan MacNeil: I don’t know.
Psychiatrist: If I ask him to tell me, will you let him answer?
Regan MacNeil: No.
Psychiatrist: Why not?
Regan MacNeil: I’m afraid.”
Played by: Sigourney Weaver
The Films: Alien (1979), Aliens (1986)
Who/what is after her?: Big, bad aliens
“Newt: My mommy always said there were no monsters – no real ones – but there are.
Ripley: Yes, there are, aren’t there?
Newt: Why do they tell little kids that?
Ripley: Most of the time it’s true.”
Played by: Simon Pegg
Film: Shaun of the Dead (2004)
Who/what is after him: Zombies
“Shaun: Look, I don’t care what the telly says, all right? We *have* to get out of here. If we don’t they’ll tear us to pieces, and that is really going to exacerbate things for all of us.”
Played by: Neve Campbell
Films: Scream (1996), Scream 2 (1997), Scream 3 (2000), Scream 4 (2011)
Who/what is after her?: Various people all acting as Ghostface
“Phone Voice: Do you like scary movies?
Sidney Prescott: What’s the point? They’re all the same. Some stupid killer stalking some big-breasted girl who can’t act who is always running up the stairs when she should be running out the front door. It’s insulting.”
Played by: Sharni Vinson
Film: You’re Next (2011)
Who/what is after her?: Masked intruders
“Erin: Grab anything that might make a good weapon.”
Played by: Ivana Baquero
Film: Pan’s Labyrinth (2006)
Who/what is after her?: The creatures in a dark labyrinth
“Ofelia: Many, many years ago in a sad, faraway land, there was an enormous mountain made of rough, black stone. At sunset, on top of that mountain, a magic rose blossomed every night that made whoever plucked it immortal. But no one dared go near it because its thorns were full of poison. Men talked amongst themselves about their fear of death, and pain, but never about the promise of eternal life. And every day, the rose wilted, unable to bequeath its gift to anyone… forgotten and lost at the top of that cold, dark mountain, forever alone, until the end of time.”