Six Blondes Who Didn't Have More Fun in Slasher Films

We recently looked at the phenomenon of the “Final Girl,” the young woman who survives slasher films by vanquishing the killer. Typically, these ladies are virginal, good-natured, and almost always, brunettes (Friday the 13th and its sequel were the rare exceptions). Why is it that blonde women almost always meet their demise in horror films? Can we posit that these transgressive towheads represent lusty sin and whoreish temptation? Let’s go with that, and meet some of the most famous blonde scream queens who met their end on celluloid.
By: SheWired Editors
October 31 2012 2:43 PM

We recently looked at the phenomenon of the “Final Girl,” the young woman who survives slasher films by vanquishing the killer. Typically, these ladies are virginal, good-natured, and almost always, brunettes (Friday the 13th and its sequel were the rare exceptions). Why is it that blonde women almost always meet their demise in horror films? Can we posit that these transgressive towheads represent lusty sin and whoreish temptation? Let’s go with that, and meet some of the most famous blonde scream queens who met their end on celluloid.

Janet Leigh as Marion Crane in Psycho

The most famous blonde horror victim has an affair with a married man, steals her boss’s money, and walks around in a bra. According to horror movie logic, she was asking to meet her maker.

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Sarah Michelle Gellar as Cici Cooper in Scream 2: 

Gellar was the ultimate blonde survivor in TV’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but was offed in two late ’90s slasher favorites. She was a light-haired sorority girl (and “Sober Sister”) with little backstory in Scream 2. Her perfunctory death was nothing compared to Helen’s thrilling fight for survival in the mostly abysmal IKWYDLS. Helen was blonde, trampy, and kind of stupid, so you knew she was gonna get it — but most were impressed at how long she actually stuck around (sidenote: Helen’s sister, played by a blonde Bridgette Wilson-Sampras, also got the knife).

Sarah Michelle Gellar as Helen Shivers in I Know What You Did Last Summer:

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Hayden Panettiere as Kirby Reed in Scream 4:

This sequel mostly stunk, but Panettiere’s little blonde spitfire was a highlight. We cheered for her to outwit Ghostface, but she was too spunky and yellow-haired to make it (though her death is a bit vague, so she may actually make it to Scream 5, if we’re subjected to that).

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Drew Barrymore as Casey Becker in Scream:

Some critics felt Drew successfully channeled Janet Leigh in the infamous opening scene of the modern horror classic. In Scream’s opening minutes, flirtatious Casey bounces around in her sweater, makes Jiffy Pop, and waits for her boyfriend to come over and hang out. She put up a good fight with the killer, but we all know she ends up hanging from a tree.

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Rose McGowan as Tatum Riley in Scream:

Scream’s second blonde was more brassy than the first — and infinitely more sassy. Coming off Gregg Araki’s Doom Generation, McGowan infused Tatum, the heroine’s best friend, with Gen X edge. But all that bitchiness and all those tight tops meant death was near (in the form of a garage door).

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Angie Dickinson as Kate Miller in Dressed to Kill:

In many respects, Angie’s Kate Miller was the atypical horror victim. She was blonde, sexy, and trampy (cheating on her husband with a stranger she picks up at New York’s Metropolitan Museum). What was atypical was her age—Angie was nearly 50 years old when she played the sexually frustrated uptown housewife. Her bloody death in an elevator just a half hour or so into the film definitely had echoes of Psycho — something director Brian DePalma likely had in mind (there was also a shower scene, though this time the ill-fated heroine pleasures herself while getting clean).

Byline: Neal Broverman

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