I tend to get attached to characters in horror movies. When something is well written or well acted, if I’m engaged enough I’ll find myself thinking too deeply into this fictional person’s nonexistent life. And I think that’s a great thing about the genre. If we didn’t want to go off the rails thinking about our favorite horror movies, we wouldn’t want to read about them.
Eventually, I started to realize that some of my favorite characters in horror were sidekicks. They’re some of my favorites to write as well. I love to watch people who don’t always get the spotlight, who aren’t the driving force behind the film but often stand out as the most memorable character in it.
Because of that, I thought it would be fun to run through some of the most entertaining, often iconic sidekicks in horror. Sometimes they’re the supportive, if often irreverent, best friend. Sometimes they’re the wing-man to the movie’s major villain. And, surprisingly enough, sometimes they get to be both.
With that said, here are some of the most entertaining, interesting and generally standout sidekicks in horror.
Uncle Red in Silver Bullet
Marty Coslaw is definitely the protagonist in Silver Bullet. His Uncle Red becomes something of an unexpected sidekick as he’s the only adult in town who believes Marty about the fact that there’s a werewolf on the loose in their neighborhood. In fact, Red isn’t even given a reason to believe Marty about the werewolf until the very end. He just trusts his nephew and always supports him, no matter what. He’s a deeply flawed guy, but his heart is never anywhere but in the right place.
Since neither of these guys are the protagonist of the movie, it’s tough to pick out which of them is the sidekick, but it’s definitely Ted if you think about it. Ted is there to give Jimmy advice, most of which is terrible. It’s a nice change of pace to see a character succeed despite his friend’s advice instead of succeeding because of it. Ol’ Teddy Bear is an interesting character, particularly because of his attachment to his nonexistent computer and bizarre fondness for 1920s adult cinema.
Stu in Scream
Sometimes the sidekick is actually one of the villains of the piece, and that’s definitely the case in Scream. Stu is right hand man to Billy Loomis, who is clearly the brains behind the operation. He’s supportive, he’s spastic, he might actually be even crazier than Billy, too. That’s what’s always interested me about Stu. Billy’s the more methodical one, but he has a motive. When he explains it toward the end, Stu looks at him with surprise because Stu never once bothered to ask why they were killing people. He was just along for the ride.
Charlie in House II: The Second Story
Charlie is that quintessential obnoxious, a-hole friend. The one people always wonder why on earth you hang out with them, but they’re also the person who always has your back, no matter what. It doesn’t even matter what’s happening. Girlfriend trouble? They’re there. Weird crystal skull opening up rifts in space and time in your new home? They’re there for that too.
J.C. in Night of the Creeps
J.C. is the perfect best friend who wants nothing more than to see his buddy be happy. In fact, he even says as much in the movie. He’s sarcastic, funny, always has a joke ready, but never gets to be too obnoxious. One of the standout characters of the film. He definitely doesn’t deserve his fate, as most other sidekicks of his type get to survive until at least the third act.
Ed in Shaun of the Dead
Similarly to Charlie in House II, although it’s dealt with a little more explicitly in this film, Ed is the friend of Shaun’s that nobody else really wants around. But the love these two share is deep and genuine. Their bond is so perfect in this movie that people were alarmed at first when Simon Pegg started showing up in features without Nick Frost at his side.
Evil Ed in Fright Night
Most sidekicks get to be on one side or the other, but Evil Ed starts out as Charley’s best friend and then becomes Jerry’s vampire underling by the end of the movie. He’s obnoxious, weird, a little antisocial but he is there to help Charley throughout most of the feature. He’s more of a horror fan than Charley, yet refuses to believe vampires might exist—until he becomes one. There’s something fun, quirky, even a little sad about his character, all of which makes Evil Ed incredibly endearing to this day.