It's that time of year again. Time to start fresh and make a "new you." Maybe you vow to hit the gym more, or keep your dorm room clean, or watch more horror this year. To celebrate the time of the year when people refocus their lives and attempt to change themselves we've put together a list of our favorite horror movie good guys gone bad. These characters embraced change… and ended up becoming horrible monsters or raving lunatics. These aren't characters who spent the whole movie scheming behind the protagonists backs; these are characters who undergo a deep and often sudden change, who are drastically different at the end of the film. They may not have resolved to lose weight or do their taxes early, but these horror turncoats have made a resolution... to kill their friends and loved ones!
Jack Torrance in 'The Shining'
Okay, this is an easy one so let's start right off with it. Sure, Jack Torrance wasn't a great guy to begin with, but he comes a long way in The Shining. In Stephen King's novel we get the impression that he was once a mean drunk and hurt his kid, Danny. But when he gets to the Overlook Hotel things get a little… weird. You know the score: elevators of blood, the dead woman in room 237, "all work and no play." This is all classic transformative stuff. We get to witness the psychological breakdown of a man in brutal detail. And in both the novel and the film we see Jack slowly transform from a guy trying to get his life back on track to… "Wendy, give me the bat." Happy New Year, Mr. Torrance. We're going to make a resolution to stay out of your way while you're "working."
Katie in 'Paranormal Activity'
And the award for most abrupt case of transformation goes to… Katie from Paranormal Activity. In this low budget freak-out, Katie and Micah have just moved into a brand new home. But, as in all good haunted house movies, all is not as it seems. When they begin to hear creaks and footsteps they seek professional help. But no one can calm down an angry demon if it doesn't want to be calmed down. When said demon gets in Katie's head… things don't end up going well for Micah. Though the story is told through the inventive use of home video recording cameras, it still unfolds in tense detail. And when Katie flips over to the dark side it's an awesome scare and a cool gag. So what if this isn't the most sensical or long-lived case of a turncoat… we love it! And even though this "twist" ending was jammed onto the end of the film by Paramount Pictures, we love Katie's turn from concerned house owner to full-on demonic freak. So remember, if your resolution was to buy a new house this year, be sure to watch this movie (and Amityville Horror, and the first season of American Horror Story, among others…) first.
Everyone Ever Bit By A Zombie, Ever
You and your boyfriend have been surviving the zombie apocalypse for about two weeks. The living dead surround you both. As you race down an alley you hear you boyfriend give a little shout of pain. Next you notice him limping. Five hours later he's a drooling, ravenous, bloodthirsty beast going for your throat. The example that truly gets to the root of this list is the classic "victim of a zombie." Whether it's Shaun's mom from Shaun of the Dead or Carol's daughter Sophia in The Walking Dead, the awful result of a zombie bite is always a devastating, and unplanned, case of a treachery. These victims haven't been scheming to kill their loved ones. They haven't made a deal with the devil and their not screwing everyone over for personal gain. They're monsters, plain and simple, and it's heart wrenching to watch everyone else deal with the transformation. It's kind of like when your partner says they're going to try "only eating raw foods" in the new year.
Regan from 'The Exorcist'
Look, it's not Regan's fault that she turned into a vessel for the demon Pazuzu. She's just a kid, a kid playing with a Ouija Board, a kid who… gains incredible strength and supernatural powers. In this tense horror masterpiece Regan becomes a violent, vile manifestation of the demon. She becomes everything unholy and wrong, a symbol of treachery and darkness. And nothing short of sacrifice is enough to set her back on track. What makes this movie so terrifying (aside from Friedkin's many tricks) is exactly what we're getting at with this article. She's an innocent, she doesn't start out with any grand ambitions, and a power beyond her scope takes control and turns her against her mother (and the Catholic church).
Rosemary from 'Demons'
How many people here went to a special event for New Year's Eve? Be honest, was it a creepy film screening in a derelict part of town? No? Okay, then you're starting your year off better than Rosemary. You remember her, right? Rosemary, the sassy fast-talking prostitute, is the first victim to get "turned" in the Italian horror classic from Bava and Argento. She, like many others, has been mysteriously invited to a secret movie screening at a newly renovated cinema. She begins to feel ill after unknowingly scratching herself on the face with a demonic mask in the movie theater's lobby. Soon, the scratch begins to bubble and ooze pus, and it's not long before she's going on a rampage in the theater, infecting others with her demonic possession. If only she would have made a resolution to not jam creepy, demonic masks onto her face at weird film screenings, everyone would have just had a nice night out at the movies.