Can a horror movie have a happy ending?

There is a question as to why horror-movie-goers watch horror movies. Some say they enjoy the thrill, the “fun-fear” as I call it, the ridiculousness or cheesiness of the performances and storyline or perhaps they enjoy seeing the ways that fictional characters shall die. Me, As much as I love horror films, I actually have to be in the right kind of mindset to watch them. If I’m feeling sad or lonely or sick, I kind of just want to watch a sappy love story, a good comedy or a classic Disney movie. For me giving a horror movie my time is kind of a commitment, especially for the more serious ones or psychologically-based films.

We all know that horror movies are inherently expected to end in one general way: almost everyone dies except maybe one or two people (usually lovers) that manage to get away and then at the last moment, perhaps the antagonist will pop out, disregarding all things that make sense or could have happened, and kill them or possess them or follow them home in such a way that you know they’re not really safe.

Do we actually enjoy seeing characters that we’ve spent nearly 2 hours with, through all their fears and struggles ultimately die in the end? Unless they are incredibly stupid, annoying or needlessly ill-hearted, some part of us does want them to survive.

Can a horror movie have a happy ending without being cheesy?