The best horror movies balance the darkness with light, the evil with goodness. Often enough they only do that so it can hurt you all the more when the nice guys finish dead last. Here are our favorite nice guys in horror. Be warned, a couple of these include spoilers that will break your heart.
5. Dick Hallorann (Scatman Crothers), The Shining (1980)
Thank god for Dick Hallorann, the one person poor little Danny could trust to make sense of a senseless situation and do the right thing in a pinch. Scatman Crothers played such an amiable character, the kind of grown man who’s good to children. He was a good dude.
Kubrick was not as good to Scatman, though. The director famously put the then-70-year-old actor through 60 takes of his wordless death scene. He knew it was the one death that would break our hearts, though, so it had to be perfect.
4. Finn (Sam Richardson), Werewolves Within (2021)
The brand new video game adaptation opens with, of all things, a quote from Mr. Fred Rogers.
I am in.
Sam Richardson plays Finn, the new park ranger in an isolated mountain town divided along political lines. All he wants, especially as it becomes increasingly clear that there is a werewolf afoot, is for everyone just to try to be a good neighbor.
One of the reasons this film is as fun and satisfying as it is (no, not because the cute AT&T girl Lily [Milana Vayntrub] is in it) is because this film doesn’t punish Finn for being a good guy. It celebrates it. Finally!
3. Lee (Jon Krasinski), A Quiet Place (2019) SPOILER
Don’t watch the clip if you haven’t seen the movie. Or if you weep easily. Or if you weep less easily. What a gut punch this one is!
Sure, Lee’s fathering is marred by anger and frustration, but his tenderness – especially at the end – and his consistent desire to protect, encourage and support his family earns him a spot here.
2. Michael (Jake Weber), Dawn of the Dead (2004)
You just want to hug him. A cooler head, a humble voice, a supportive voice of reason, Mark is perhaps the most important person in that mall hunkered down away from the fast-moving zombie horde.
No matter what happens, Mark never loses his humanity. Hell, he never even loses his temper.
We bet he was a great dad.
1. Frank (Brendan Gleeson), 28 Days Later
This movie – a genre masterpiece – finally gave us a break, a breather, a respite from the rage and fear and terror when it introduced us to Frank.
Brendan Gleeson, a masterpiece himself, is ever chuckling, good-natured, protective but kind dad. He wants to keep his daughter safe. He wants to ensure her safety. But he also wants to carve out some kind of normalcy, happiness, even.
He is huggable, dependable, and exactly what Jim and Selena need, too.