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8 of our Favorite Horror Movie Pets

Fighting off the supernatural, the undead, and the downright dreadful isn’t a one-man job. Sometimes a furry friend, whether it be dog or cat, has to step in and take care of business. Plus, there’s no better way to lighten the mood in a tense and frightening film than casting Cujo’s sweeter cousins to steal the show.

With that in mind, we’ve whipped up a list that honors these loveable vigilantes, highlighting some of the best pets in horror.

church pet sematary
Pet Sematary Movie (2019)

1. Church from Pet Sematary (1989)

This one’s a bit more tragic than some on our list, since Church the cat wasn’t able to stay the beloved family pet for long. After his sad death from being run over, he’s taken to the local “pet sematary” by his owner Louis Creed, a place with strange properties that can revive the dead.

Unfortunately, animals (or people) buried in the pet sematary don’t come back the same, often being disturbed and vicious, and Church is no exception. Still, Church stands as a reminder of how far we’d go for our beloved pets, and how we want as much time with them as we can get.

2. Sam from I Am Legend (2007)

I’m not crying, you’re crying! Very few fictional pet deaths pull at the heartstrings harder than this one. German Shepard Sam is Dr. Robert Neville’s loyal counterpart in the apocalyptic thriller, and sadly she is one of the few on our list not to make it to the final scene.

Her devotion and love coupled with her protective instincts had you rooting for her throughout the film. Fighting off an infected pack of her own kind in the desolate streets of New York City, Sam ultimately falls victim to the mutated virus. Despite Dr. Neville’s best efforts to save her, he does what he must do to protect himself and respect Sam’s lifetime of loyalty.

3. Chip from Dawn of the Dead (2004)

Fortunately for Chips, the flesh-eating foes in this zombie film had no taste for heroic dogs. While fighting for their lives, the humans took advantage of the zombies’ indifference and Chips was tasked with some lifesaving missions of delivering supplies.

On one of these missions, soft-spoken Karen fears for the dog’s safety and risks her like driving to save him. Though we may worry about the fate of the humans, we’re comforted knowing Chips will survive this horde of the undead and remain a vital part of his pack.

4. Jonesy from Alien (1979)

In addition to being Ellen Ripley’s pet, Jonesy the tomcat was also designated as captain of rodent control aboard the USCSS Nostromo. While there are a lot of theories flying around about Jonesy’s ultimate role and significance in the film, he does his best to provide comfort and a source of entertainment to the crew of the spaceship.

When the xenomorph began attacking the ship and its crew, Jonesy kept a level head once he realized the alien paid him no attention. Lucky for him, because at the end of the film Jonesy gets to hold on to all nine of his lives.

precious silence of the lambs
Silence Of The Lambs Movie (1991)

5. Precious from The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

While the infamous “Buffalo Bill” from The Silence of the Lambs was anything but charming, his Bichon Frise Precious was a cute and cuddly reprieve from the atrocities committed in the classic psychological horror film.

Although Precious didn’t exude the heroism seen from the rest of the pets on this list, her loving demeanor earns her a spot and bragging rights for outliving her heinous owner. And thankfully, she appears to be headed to a loving home, as Catherine Martin is seen caring for her at the end.

6. Beauty and Beast from The Hills Have Eyes (2006)

You can’t argue about who the real heroes are in this film. The German Shepard duo of Beauty and Beast certainly comes out on top for actively taking down the villain in this gory remake of Wes Craven’s 1977 film.

When Beauty meets a quick demise after being the first to discover the dangers lurking in the hills, Beast pursues a personal vendetta against the mutant family, hellbent on retaliation. Beast manages to slay multiple mutants in the process of protecting his family, securing his place on this list and an endless supply of doggie bones.

Harry Amityville Horror 1979
Amityville Horror Movie (1979)

7. Harry from The Amityville Horror (1979)

This good boy tried his hardest to warn his family of the dangers that were lurking in their basement. His incessant barking and attempts to communicate the evils of the house fell on deaf ears all throughout the film, though, until the climax.

After fleeing the cursed house, George returns to save Harry and they team up to help each other to safety. In the 1979 film, Harry’s efforts earn him a spot on our list of favorite pets who are lucky enough to survive the horrors brought upon them. However, his counterpart in the 2005 remake isn’t so fortunate.

8. Gizmo from Gremlins (1984)

Perhaps the most adorable – and dangerous – horror movie pet of all is Gizmo the mogwai from Gremlins and Gremlins 2: The New Batch. Though undeniably cute and cuddly, Gizmo’s biology makes it so he’s a walking timebomb, only needing a bit of water to spawn a host of troublesome and deadly gremlins.

Never fear, though, since Gizmo is quite familiar with the gremlin menace and is a capable combatant. In both films he’s seen taking down some of his transformed brethren to keep their mayhem at bay. Still, should you end up adopting a mogwai, you better keep a sharp eye on them.

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