The Pet Sematary is known for its twisted take on resurrection — as Jud Crandall says, sometimes dead is better — but we still think that there are a few heroic four-legged-friends in the horror genre that should deserve a second chance.
Pets that are so pure and good that there’s no way the sour soil could turn their temperament. They’ve put their lives at risk for their human companions, showing their honorable bravery and dedication, never asking for anything in return.
There are a number of horror films that show the dark side of creepy creatures, but the animals on this list are proof that there is still some good in the world. They’ve comforted and protected their owners in their most dramatic time of need. For that, we think they’ve earned a second shot, even if they do come back a little wrong.
Come on, we at least owe them that much.
Nanook – The Lost Boys (1987)
We should all be Team Nanook, because that dog is a dang treasure. Loyal friend-to-the-end and A+ vampire detector, Nanook (aka Cody the Alaskan Malamute) is a very good boy.
Fiercely loyal, Nanook wasn’t afraid to turn on family in order to keep his owner safe. This dog doesn’t mess around. Bless you, Nanook, for guarding us all against the goddamn shit-sucking vampires in our family.
Jonesy – Alien (1979)
When you’re hurling through space in a commercial tugboat, it’s helpful to have a little morale boost. Enter Jonesy the cat.
Jonesy is a source of comfort for the crew, injecting a bit of warmth and heart into the cold, gritty atmosphere of the Nostromo. And this cat is into survival — after an encounter with the Xenomorph, Jonesy still manages to escape with Ripley, safely into cryosleep so he can continue to be a comfort to her when she finally awakens. As far as cats go, that’s a pretty good cat.
Sam – I Am Legend (2007)
If you didn’t cry over Sam in I Am Legend, you’re lying.
Loyal, protective, and intelligent (though not always the most obedient), Sam (aka Abbey the German Shepherd) has a very important job in the post-apocalyptic wasteland of New York City. She keeps Robert Neville safe, healthy, and — most importantly — she keeps him sane. She’s the ultimate example of “man’s best friend”.
Clovis – Sleepwalkers (1992)
Clovis (aka Sparks the cat) is a damn hero. Who first spotted the Sleepwalkers? Clovis. Who saved Tanya’s life? Clovis. Who rallied the neighborhood cats for an all-out attack and ultimately saved the day? Friggin Clovis.
This cat deserves a lot of respect and a giant dish of treats.
Max – The Terminator/Terminator 2 (1984/1991)
Max the German Shepherd appears only briefly in The Terminator films, but has definite off-screen impact.
After meeting Sarah Connor, Max proves himself to be quite useful in the future; we learn from Kyle Reese that — in his lifetime — dogs are used to spot disguised Terminators. Max stays with Sarah and John through the years as a friend and protector, demonstrating his loyalty one last time as he warns John Connor about the T-1000 in his kitchen.
Beauty and Beast – The Hills Have Eyes (1977/2006)
In a movie with a climax of vicious vengeance, it’s pretty rare to see the family dog get in on the action with their own score to settle. Beast rises to the challenge after his companion, Beauty, is (tragically) killed by psychotic desert-dwellers.
He sneaks, tackles, and mauls his way to glory in a spectacularly satisfying way. This dog has a job to finish, and by god he’s going to do it.
Good boy, Beast.
Bark Lee (aka Molly) – John Dies At the End (2012)
Bark Lee (known as Molly in the book series) has a special connection to the strange and unusual. This dog is heroic as hell, even though he kind of stumbles through each scenario as a passive observer who just happens to be there to assist. He drives, he activates bombs, I mean really, what doesn’t he do?
Molly Bark Lee has certainly pulled his weight in the fight against the total shitstorm apocalypse that John and Dave had to deal with, and for that we commend him.
General – Cat’s Eye (1985)
General may look like a sweet little bundle of stray cat, but this feline has some serious skills. Not only can he dodge traffic like an absolute champion, but he’s a loyal protector of innocent children against the breath-stealing trolls of the world.
This is definitely a very good and surprisingly proactive little kitty. He’s had a hard life zipping around the big city and escaping the SPCA, so he’s well earned a second go-around.
Thor – Bad Moon (1996)
In yet another instance of German Shepherds being totally badass, Thor (aka Primo) from Bad Moon is undeniably the hero of the whole dang movie.
He spots a con man from a mile away (and — with the help of his owner — teaches the creep a very important lesson), he diligently watches over and cares for his family, and most importantly, he takes out a goddamn werewolf. throughout the whole film, Thor is definitely the star of the story, making his way into the good boy hall of fame.
Socrates – Willard (1971/2003)
Rats are actually fantastic pets. They’re highly intelligent and very social, which makes them really easy to train. No one knows this better than Willard.
Socrates is a dear companion and best friend to social outcast Willard. He’s there for him in his darkest of times, forming a very close connection that clearly means a lot to Willard. Socrates is his friend ’til the (unfortunate) end. Though much smaller in stature than the other entries on this list, his wonderful loyalty and close bond help to secure Socrates’ place of honor. He’s certainly earned it.