Horror movies get their shock value from a high body count, right? The characters get killed off one by one, until there's just one survivor left — often, this is the "Final Girl." But actually, that's often not true. Here are 20 horror movies where most, or all, of the sympathetic characters survive.
Warning: Major spoilers for the endings of 20 old horror movies (and two slightly more recent ones) below.
Seriously, the whole point of this exercise is to spoil the endings of a bunch of movies. If you don't want to read spoilers, stop reading now. Final warning!
1. The Exorcist
True, the two priests die, but Regan and her mother make it through alive.
2. The Amityville Horror
This movie ends with an iconic title card that proclaims "Today, the Lutzes live in another state." So the worst thing that happened to them was they had to leave Long Island.
The entire Freeling family survives despite the best efforts of the Cuesta Verde haunts.
4. Child's Play
Andy (Chucky's first owner) and his mother Karen manage to rid themselves of the doll and keep themselves relatively intact.
5. Near Dark
Caleb, the cowboy protagonist, and his family make it. Even Mae, the young vampire woman he falls in love with, lives and is cured of her vampirism via a blood transfusion.
6. The Lost Boys
All the sympathetic characters — Grandpa, the Emersons, the Frog brothers — make it through.
7. Bram Stoker's Dracula
Jonathan and Mina Harker, Doctor Van Helsing, Seward and Holmwood all survive. Of the sympathetic characters, only Quincey Morris and Lucy Westenra die.
8. The Entity
Carla, the protagonist, and her family are all physically intact in the end.
With the notable exception of Quint, all the important characters are alive at the end.
10. Fright Night
Charley Brewster, his girlfriend Amy, and his beloved horror marathon host Peter Vincent all survive. His friend "Evil" Ed Thompson does, however, become a vampire.
11. Rosemary's Baby
All the principal characters are alive in the end. The only deaths are of Rosemary's friend Hutch, and Terry, a woman 'rescued' by the Castavets.
12. Deliver Us From Evil
Sarchie, his family, and his exorcist friend all live. Even the leader of the squad of possessed Marines makes it, the demon expelled from his body. Only Sarchie's partner Butler gets it.
13. Attack the Block
Most of the relatively/entirely benevolent characters - Samantha, Brewis, Ron, Pest, Moses - survive the alien assault.
14. The Birds
Melanie and the Brenners are still alive at the end of the movie.
Nearly all the principals survive, including protagonists Val and Earl, and seismology student Rhonda.
16. The Haunting (1963)
Other than Eleanor Lance, everyone lives.
17. Joy Ride (2001)
All the main characters survive.
18. Shaun of the Dead
This one is slightly more questionable. Shaun, his girlfriend Liz, and his friend Yvonne all make it. His best friend Ed becomes a zombie but enjoys a relaxing post-apocalyptic fate, playing videogames in Shaun's shed. But Shaun's mum and stepfather do die, along with Liz's flatmate Dianne's boyfriend. (And Shaun's annoying flatmate Pete, a minor character, also eats it.)
19. 28 Days Later
Depends on which ending you go with. But the theatrical ending shows the three main characters alive on a beach, getting rescued. Only the dad is dead.
20. The Conjuring
Thanks to the efforts of Ed and Lorraine Warren, the nice family who just happened to move into a house that was already occupied by a demon get off pretty much scot-free.