10 Best Horror Movies Where There Are No Survivors

Horror movies have always been an escape, a place to forget real-world troubles by watching characters of questionable intelligence be killed by all manner of man and beast. Usually, these tales end with the Final Girl making a stand and overpowering the villain in the final act. It’s a trope, but it’s a good one, as there is something comforting about seeing at least one survivor make it to dawn.

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Sometimes though, when the screenwriter is feeling particularly cruel, the entire cast will be wiped out. Whether it’s to set up a sequel or to simply prove how hopeless the situation is, the following ten films make great use of the ‘no one lives’ ending.


‘Night of the Living Dead’ (1968)

The original undead classic, and a game changer for the horror genre. George A. Romeros Night of the Living Dead follows a small group of strangers who seek shelter in a deserted farmhouse. With zombies piling up outside, and tensions growing inside, things look increasingly bleak.

This is proven in the film’s conclusion, with the house being overrun. With everyone else dead, hero Ben takes shelter in the house’s cellar, staying safe from the horde. Hearing the arrival of armed rescuers, Ben moves to join them but is mistaken for a zombie and shot dead. This depressing ending adds an extra bleak layer to Romero’s masterpiece.

Night of the Living Dead is available to stream on HBO Max, Paramount+, and Peacock.

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‘The Cabin in the Woods’ (2011)

When five friends journey to an isolated cabin for a weekend away, bad things begin to happen as the youths are picked off one by one. Think you have heard this story before? Think again.

Throughout The Cabin in the Woods it is made clear that this is not a basic horror movie, and this is emphasized even further with the revelation that the teens must die in order to appease the Ancient Ones. When Dana refuses to kill her friend Marty, which would result in her being the “final girl”, these giant, evil gods awake from their slumber and destroy the earth.

’28 Weeks Later’ (2007)

Set six months after the initial outbreak, 28 Weeks Later is a more than worthy sequel to 28 Days Later. With the army keeping the pandemic in check, two young siblings are reunited with their father in the quarantine zone, causing a chain reaction that leads to another wave of the virus.

The final shots of the film reveal the two children escaped to France, but with Andy an unknown carrier of the virus, the scenes of a deserted Paris make it clear that the Rage virus has destroyed another country, setting up the third entry that unfortunately never came.

28 Weeks Later is available to stream on HBO Max.

‘The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning’ (2006)

A prequel to the well-received 2003 remake, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning follows two brothers (Matt Bomer and Taylor Handley) road tripping through Texas with their girlfriends (Jordana Brewster and Diora Baird) before shipping out to the Vietnam War. It’s not long before the friends run afoul of the cannibalistic Hewitt family.

With the rest of her friends massacred, Brewster’s Chrissie escapes the murder house and flees in a car towards the authorities. The escape is cut short, however, as Leatherface (hiding in the backseat) impales a chainsaw through her back, causing the dead girl to run down the police officer.

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning is available to stream on Netflix.

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‘Cabin Fever’ (2002)

Another cabin in the woods film, this time finding its cast being tormented by a flesh-eating virus. The directorial debut of Eli Roth, Cabin Fever offers a unique form of terror, as the disease is not something the protagonists can run away from as they peel apart.

Halfway through the film, Jeff runs away from the group, vowing to hide away to not contract the virus. With everyone else dead, Jeff leaves his hideout and reveals he remains uninfected as he screams “I made it” into the air. Unfortunately, this draws the attention of the local police, who shoot him dead in order to contain the disease.

Cabin Fever is available to stream on Hulu.

‘Down Range’ (2017)

When a group of carpooling college students suffer a flat tire on a deserted highway, they soon become targeted by a hidden sniper. down range is vicious, cruel, and bloodthirsty as the teens are picked off with deadly accuracy, heads and limbs being blown open with every shot.

With most of the cast dead, lone survivor Jodi reaches the sniper and attempts to shoot him with his own gun. When it jams, she instead beats him to death with it. The final blow causes the rifle to unjam, firing a killing round into Jodi’s throat, ending the film on an appropriately bleak ending.

down range is available to stream on Shudder and AMC+.

‘Quarantine’ (2008)

A remake of the Spanish cult classic [REC], quarantine is a found footage film that follows late night reporter Angela (Jennifer Carpenter) as she records a segment at a fire department. When a call comes in, Angela and her cameraman Scott ride along with the firefighters, ultimately becoming trapped in an apartment building as it is overrun with zombies.

Retreating to the attic, Scott is killed and Angela reaches for his camera, before being dragged screaming into the darkness. Ironically enough this final shot of the film was also used as its poster, spoiling the ending in the marketing.

‘Final Destination 5’ (2011)

When employee Sam has a vision that the bridge they are traveling on will collapse, he and several of his co-workers avoid their deaths. this is Final Destination however, and soon enough the survivors fall victim to inventive freak accidents.

Seemingly cheated death thanks to the new ‘kill or be killed’ rule, Sam and his girlfriend Molly decide move to Paris for work. It is revealed however that their plane is the same one that crashed in the original film, and the couple die in the explosion. Last man standing, Nathan, is also killed when the plane’s landing gear smashes into the bar he is occupying.

Final Destination 5is available to stream on HBO Max and Tubi.

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‘The Blair Witch Project’ (1999)

The film credited with kick-starting the found footage phenomenon, The Blair Witch Project is presented as a real amateur documentary. When three film students travel into the backwoods in search of an urban legend, they soon fall prey to strange events as escape becomes seemingly impossible.

Eventually coming across an abandoned house, they discover it is marked with bloody hand prints and demonic symbols. An offscreen entity attacks the students and causes them to drop their cameras as they are dragged screaming deeper into the basement. The final shot of one of the youths standing in the corner, facing the wall, remains an iconic horror image.

The Blair Witch Project is available to stream on HBO Max.

‘The Return of the Living Dead’ (1985)

Regarded as one of the greatest zombie movies of all time, the Return of the Living Dead is a more humorous take on the genre. Deciding a cemetery is the perfect place for a party, a group of punk rockers must soon contend with the undead as they rise from their graves intent to feast on some brains.

As the teens meet up with another group of survivors, the remaining characters hide from their pursuers and manage to call the military. Becoming aware the situation cannot be contained, the colonel in charge has the town destroyed with a nuclear blast, killing everyone inside in a fruitless attempt to end the outbreak.

The Return of the Living Dead is available to stream on Shudder, Amazon Prime Video, and Tubi.

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