If you’re anything like me you cheer on the pets in a movie to make it until the end credits, even if that pet isn’t necessarily good. There’s just something about those big brown eyes and fluffy tail, or twitchy nose that always gets me right in the feels. Here is a list of top five horror pets that we love to cheer on, whether they’re good or… a little less inclined to be.
Pet Sematary: Church
Stephen King’s novel turned movie Pet Sematary reminds us of the pain we experience when we learn about death as a child with the passing of our first beloved pet. However, if we could, would we bring our furry friend back to save ourselves, or others, from the inevitable grief? That is exactly the question Louis Creed is faced with when his daughter’s cat Church is suddenly killed in his daughter’s absence.
Creed decides to roll the dice and puts the British Blue into the cursed Indian burial ground that is rumored to bring the deceased back to life. Just like magic, or rather an ancient and evil curse, Church comes back! Yet something isn’t quite right.
While still affectionate to his daughter as he purrs alongside her on the bed, Church is lethargic, smells horrible, has eerily glowing eyes, and becomes aggressive towards Louis. Creed is left wondering if this new lesser version of his daughter’s beloved pet is better than letting her learn about death and grief the hard way, as everyone eventually does.
Pet Sematary Two: Zowie
While it wasn’t nearly as successful as its predecessor, Pet Sematary Two gathered a cult following as it lived on after its release on home video and DVD. This time, instead of bringing back a frisky feline from the cursed Native American burial ground, a boy brings back his large, fluffy, and sweet natured Husky mutt named Zowie. While it appears the dog comes back to life as before, looks can be deceiving.
Without a heartbeat, a gun wound that won’t heal, and the deteriorated blood cells similar to those of a deceased canine, it is obvious the once lovable Zowie did not come back the same. Soon the mutt’s lovable demeanor begins to change as well. He soon becomes as sour as the ground he was buried in. Once sweet and aloof, Zowie becomes bloodthirsty and vicious towards other animals, and eventually turns on his young owner.
Man’s Best Friend: Max
While not met with the biggest reception after its theatrical release in 1993, then finally making its way onto DVD in 2005, Man’s Best Friend is by no means an underdog.
In this film a Tibetan Mastiff named Max is rescued from an experimental genetic research facility. Max’s gratitude toward his new owner is endless after his rescue and relocation in her home, showering her in exhilarated tail wags and sloppy kisses. However, his overprotective nature soon couples with some very odd behavior that shouldn’t be exhibited by any dog. Not any naturally born dog, anyway.
It is soon revealed that Max is no ordinary pup as he displays acidic urine and an uncanny ability to understand human conversation. He also has mental cognition skills that go far beyond even the smartest canines used by the armed forces. Oh, and did I mention he can also climb trees and camouflage himself to be practically invisible? Yep. But put all those abilities aside and this pooch still has his deep rooted love for his owner in his puppy heart first and foremost, even sacrificing himself for her at the hands of the evil man who created him.
Stephen King really has a knack for worming fluffy critters into our hearts only to painfully yank them away. Perhaps the most memorable killer dog in horror history is Cujo, but few recall the fact he didn’t start out so vicious. Poor lovable Cujo was a victim of rabies, and that is what turned him into the vicious killing machine that comes to mind when his name is spoken.
In the first half of the movie you can tell the big fluffy puppy is internally fighting as the viral disease courses through his body. He whole heartedly struggles against the new developing feelings inside that urge him to hurt his young owner and his family. Yet inevitably the the virus reaches his central nervous system and the once happy go lucky Cujo is gone just in time to ambush a mother and her young son, trapping and terrorizing them inside of their broken down car.
While this movie rides the line between science fiction and horror depending on who you ask, Alien has one frisky cat that has captured the hearts of moviegoers everywhere. Let’s face it, to survive the chaos that unfolded on USCSS Nostromo makes Jones one bad ass cat!
The golden tabby didn’t ask to be shoved into a cat carrier, placed in a hypersleep pod, then shot into space, but he adapted. I’m sure the space milk and rehydrated cat food wasn’t all that good either. Nevertheless, Jones found his own area to call home in the bowels of the Nostromo, until some guy with a cattle prod forced him out. Then the same idiots who brought him into space brought a man killing alien to the party. This is not what Jones signed up for.
Let’s give Jones some props for surviving all that he did, and applaud the fact Ripley let the poor little guy stay home for some R&R in the sequel!