When we think safety and protection, we often think of condoms, but we also think of police officers. The men and women of law enforcement (just like Law & Order, if you're into that sort of thing) are here to protect us from bad guys. We like to think of them as slightly more immune to death than the rest of us because they have batons and guns, and they can radio for back-up. When's the last time you picked up a walkie-talkie and summoned a small army with a helicopter? The answer is never. When things go downhill in a horror movie, our first instinct -- and often what we're yelling at the TV -- is, "Girl, you need to call the cops because they will know exactly what to do and if they don't, they have guns, and if that doesn't work, they have friends with guns." Sadly, cops aren't the ultimate saviors we like to believe they are. In fact, they're often more dumb and inept than most of our protagonists. Check out our breakdown of the dumbest cops in horror history for proof that guns don't always equal salvation.
This intense French home invasion thriller courtesy of Julien Maury and Alexandre Bustillo features a fierce performance from Beatrice Dalle as The Woman, a lady in black hell-bent on taking the unborn child from Sarah (Alysson Paradis), a recently widowed, nine months pregnant photographer sitting at home on Christmas Eve, the night before her baby is due. The film is sharp and unrelenting, and to be fair, the police are helpful and on point the first time they're called out to the house. They even offer to return every hour to check on Sarah because it's riot season in France. The mysterious woman corners Sarah in the bathroom after a violent series of attacks, but when the cops return to check on her, they've brought along an apprehended criminal. Not taking the possible threat inside the house too seriously, these brave men of the law decide one of them should keep their new criminal friend handcuffed to themselves so he doesn't escape. It's an ill-conceived maneuver that puts Sarah in more danger and winds up killing all of them.
Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives
Surprise! Jason Voorhees is back again. It's okay if you weren't surprised, but it's shocking that the people around Crystal Lake can't get their act together and stay away from that damn campsite already. This time around Tommy from Part V has escaped the mental institution and is off to warn the town of Jason's return. Sheriff Garris dismisses Tommy as a lunatic and has him locked up before sending off his own daughter and her friends to the newly christened Forest Green camp (changing the name should make everything better and erase all that violent history). Garris' daughter Megan believes Tommy, but it's too late. Bodies start piling up, and when the cops confront Jason, they shoot him with puny mortal guns, oblivious to the legend of Jason Voorhees and his immunity to death. Poor, dumb Sheriff Garris ends up getting himself snapped in two by Voorhees. Some lessons are really hard to learn.
The Descent 2
Picking up where Neil Marshall's 2005 film The Descent left off, The Descent 2 finds Sarah safe and sound in a hospital bed, but her troubles are far from over. Blood on her clothes matches that of her missing friend Juno, so Sheriff Vaines takes a group of specialists and forces Sarah to return to the creature-infested cave system to track down possible survivors. When a bloody woman survives an uncharted cave system, even if you don't believe her when she says there are bloodthirsty creatures down there, it's probably not the brightest idea to march right back down there. What if you're right and the woman is violent and unstable? Then you've just locked yourself in unfamiliar territory underground with a psychotic killer. What if she's right? Then you've just locked yourself in unfamiliar territory underground with deformed cave creatures. Either way, it's a boneheaded move. Sarah's post-traumatic stress kicks in, causing her to inadvertently attack the sheriff and his crew; when Vaines follows in pursuit, he shoots off his gun, causing a portion of the cave to collapse. What kind of idiot shoots a gun off in a cave anyway?
The Last House on the Left
Wes Craven's classic 1972 slasher film is notorious for its depictions of rape, humiliation, and violence, but like much of Craven's work, The Last House on the Left is tonally inconsistent. In a pre-Scream world Craven attempts to utilize ill-timed humor in an act of teen-pandering, and nearly succeeds in effectively undermining the intensity and terror of his own film. While the antagonists are certainly a quirky bunch, it's the police officers that take top idiot honors. On the trail of the criminal trio, the police drive past a car matching the description of the gang and ignore it outright. No, that can't possibly be the car you're looking for; it must be another rape-mobile in this city -- I assure you, there are dozens. When they drive back to investigate later their car breaks down, and so begins a series of hitchhiking mishaps, culminating with a woman in a car full of chickens offering them a ride atop her roof; when the bumbling idiots fall off the car, the woman drives off and leaves them behind. These are supposed to be professional enforcers of law, and yet here they are, hitchhiking and feeling confident that riding on top of a car full of chickens is a solid strategy when there are violent rapist thugs on the loose.
When a group of friends head into the woods in Eli Roth's Cabin Fever, a skin-ravaging and deadly virus isn't the only thing they have to worry about. Deputy Winston (Giuseppe Andrews) is a moronic slacker cop looking to weasel his way into the party festivities of visiting campers. Not content to just be a typical stoner, Winston really ups the ante of fooli, ignorant behavior by blatantly ignoring his promise to protect and serve. After our protagonists kill a crazy infected man, they lie to Winston and tell him the truck is just broken down and they're trying to fix it. The deputy is astonishingly dumb enough to look past the blood spattered all over the windows and makes an offer to party with them before offering to send a tow truck. I'm not saying they're bad people, but maybe if you see blood spattered on a truck and you're a cop, the best course of action is, I don't know, calling for back-up because it's possible someone has been murdered.