Dogs and cats are some of the best companions a human can have. They also play vital roles in many of our favorite horror movies. Sometimes they help save the day, and other times they exist just to make the hero’s life harder. Either way, furry friends often steal the show in whatever movie they’re in. Here are the five best pets that have ever appeared on the silver screen for horror.
5. Chips (Dawn of the Dead – 2004)
Not only is Chips the perfect therapy dog for Nicole (Lindy Booth) after the loss of her father, but he’s also the best delivery dog. When the mall survivors notice their friend Andy (Bruce Bohne) needs food, but is located across a zombie-filled street, Chips is sent on the mission. Luckily, zombies don’t find dogs too appetizing in this universe, so Chips does his job and carries a backpack of food to Andy. He doesn’t get distracted by any of the undead or decide to chase after a wandering squirrel, making Chips one of the best pets to have if you find yourself in a zombie apocalypse.
4. Nanook (The Lost Boys – 1987)
This Siberian Husky may love the cold weather, but he definitely hates the cold blood that runs through vampires. Once Nanook realizes that Michael (Jason Patric) is a bloodsucker, he guards Sam (Corey Heim) with his life. Nanook even tackles Michael down a flight of stairs. As far as guard dogs go, few are as brave and as smart as Nanook. There’s no need for garlic or a crucifix when you have a dog like this Husky.
3. Cujo (Cujo – 1983)
Saint Bernards are some of the most loyal pets in the world and are often used to save travelers who get stuck in the snow. However, they are also quite large and powerful. When a bat bites Cujo and infects the dog with rabies, this gentle giant becomes a hellhound. While Cujo may not be the pet you’re dying to own, there’s no doubt that Cujo finds himself in the horror hall of fame as the ultimate good boy turned bad dog. He’s also the scariest pet on this list, and you can’t have a horror-focused list without a proper scare.
2. Jonesy (Alien – 1979)
Jonesy the cat steps up and prevents this list from being all dogs. Not only does Jonesy get to travel into space and hunt varmints in the USCSS Nostromo, but he also acts as a member of the crew. He’s there so the humans on board have a cute animal and don’t go stir-crazy by realizing they’re in the endless vacuum of space. Jonesy is such a valued member of the team, that Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) risks her life to make sure the cat gets onto the escape shuttle before the Nostromo explodes. Considering that Xenomorphs are known to go after animals, it can also be noted that Jonesy is brave and has incredible survivability. If any cat deserves some Fancy Feast for their troubles, it’s Jonesy.
Honorable Mention: Gizmo (Gremlins – 1984)
Gizmo is one of the most lovable creatures in horror. Everything from his appearance, to the way he walks and talks, is adorable. However, he’s deceptively high maintenance, and if you don’t follow the rules for Mogwai, you’ll end up with a much bigger responsibility than just one pet. Due to being sentient, Gizmo is probably the smartest one on this list. Yet, he’s really not the pet you want to start your child off with as a way to teach responsibility. Stick to the goldfish route.
1. Beast (The Hills Have Eyes – 1977)
The Hills Have Eyes is considered one of the greatest revenge stories for both humans and dogs. Beast, the German Shepherd, truly deserves the name he was given. Not only does he singlehandedly kill two of the blood-thirsty mutants, but he also does it without a scratch. Once Beast’s girlfriend, Beauty, gets killed, Beast goes on a rampage that not only avenges his lost love, but also saves his human owners by thinning the enemy numbers. He’s easily the strongest and most loyal dog on this list. That’s why this dangerous, good boy has to take first place. A fight between Beast and Cujo would surely be the ultimate battle.
Ethan Norris is a writer/editor for film and television articles. He has a degree in Film Studies and a background in videography that is used to make his knowledgeable content stand out. He may love horror movies, but he enjoys writing about them even more.