Horror movies are a weird thing. You rarely root for the victims and are often excitedly waiting for the next poor sap to get aced by the monster/ghost/maniac/jerk of the day. The way to balance that equation a little bit is to give the heroes some moxie, and that’s accomplished by giving them cool dialogue. Here are 12 badass movie lines from horror films that help you cheer for the right people… usually.
12. Silence of the Lambs
Line: “A census taker once tried to test me. I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice Chianti.”
You don’t want to cross Hannibal Lecter, although he does sound like an excellent dinner host.
11. Addams Family Values
Line: “I can’t swim.”
Technically not a horror film, but the Addams name goes a long way – just as Wednesday’s biting line to the “victim” does.
Line: “You’re terminated, f*cker!”
An evil skeleton chasing and killing people makes the original film as much horror as it is sci-fi, and Sarah Connor began her transformation to Judgment Day badass here.
Line: “This chick is toast.”
It has ghosts, so the showdown with Gozer counts as horror, if only to get this badass sequence on the list.
8. Dead Alive
Line: “I kick ass for the Lord!”
Peter Jackson gave us a super-priest who is all kinds of badass.
7. A Nightmare on Elm Street
Line: “This… is God.”
This is certainly rooting for the wrong person, but Freddy Krueger’s such a mouthy bastard that we had to include something from him.
6. Monster Squad
Line: “My name… is Horace.”
While we all love “Wolfman’s got nards!,” the real badass moment comes from Horace vs. the fish monster from some familiar lagoon.
Line: “Get away from her, you bitch.”
When Ripley levels the playing field, all bets are off. And Mama Alien gets a scolding.
4. They Live
Line: “I have come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass…and I’m all out of bubblegum.”
“Rowdy” Roddy Piper, ladies and gentlemen. Making his presence known to the secret alien hordes.
3. Army of Darkness
It’s impossible to choose just one line from this film, since so many are great, so here’s a whole boatload of them.
Line: “Smile, you son of a bitch!”
The final showdown with the murderous shark results in a great line from Martin Brody.
1. The Shining
Line: “Here’s Johnny!”
This one has a generational shelf-life, as more and more young people sadly forget who Johnny Carson was, so we’re giving it a victory lap.