Heroes and villains get all the glory while their sidekicks are often forgotten; even the term “sidekick” has something dismissive about it, like, “This guy gets kicked to the curb”. It’s a damn shame, because many prominent fictional figures owe their success to these so-called sidekicks, be they best friends, beta-wolf, or trusted confidants. Sometimes, a sidekick character can become so compelling, they outshine their superiors.
This list is for those in the shadows; it’s a chance to shine a light on the hardest working and most memorable sidekicks of horror. Be they aligned with a film’s protagonist or villain, these characters deserve some time basking at the center of our collective attention. When describing what makes a sidekick so awesome, it’s often necessary to divulge key characteristics and examples of their valor, so be prepared for spoilers if you wish to proceed.
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Have a read and let us know what you think in the Comments section. Did your favorite horror movie sidekick make the list? Who are some other prominent sidekicks who deserve a moment in the sun? Let’s discuss!
Warning: Below There Be Spoilers!
Malachai (Courtney Gains) from Children of the Corn (1984, Directed by Fritz Kiersch)
Notable Quote: “Outlander!”
Description: Isaac (played by John Franklin) is one of the creepiest kids in horror history, but his ginger lieutenant is a beast! He was a loyal enforcer with an unflinching aptitude for brutality, but anger turned out to be his downfall. His brief coup was exciting but, ultimately, He Who Walks Behind the Rows had to put him in his place.
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Evil Ed (Stephen Geoffreys) from Fright Night (1985, Directed by Tom Holland)
Notable Quote: “You’re so cool, Brewster!”
Description: Evil Ed was Charley’s (William Ragsdale) sidekick until vampire Jerry Dandrige (Chris Sarandon) seduced him to the Dark Side with a promise to end his chronic alienation. The character is the “X Factor” that made Fright Night exceptional, with a performance both madcap and poignant. Though things didn’t end well for poor Evil, hints that he might still be lurking in the shadows made for a perfect conclusion to an excellent film.
Chatterer (Nicholas Vince) from Hellraiser (1987, Directed by Clive Barker)
Notable Quote: “Click-click-click-click-click-click-click-click…”
Description: He’s basically mute, but when you hear the Chatterer’s teeth clacking together, you know you’re in some serious trouble! While all of Pinhead’s (Doug Bradley) minions are compelling, Chatterer is his most compelling enforcer—a menacing beast eager to please his master Leviathan. Though dispatched by the sinister Channard Cenobite (Kenneth Cranham) in Hellbound: Hellraiser II, manifestations of Chatterer reappeared in several straight-to-DVD sequels.
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“Chop-Top” Sawyer (Bill Moseley) from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (1986, Directed by Tobe Hooper)
Notable Quote: “Dog will hunt!”
Description: Leatherface’s brother in Texas Chainsaw Massacre: Part 2 absolutely steals the show. Loosely based on the hitchhiker from the original TCM (played by Edwin Neal), Bill Moseley took the role to new heights with madcap hilarity and ruthless bloodlust. Chop-Top was so compelling, an some people to make him the star of his own flick. Read about All American Massacre in the link below.
Jack Goodman (Griffin Dunne) from An American Werewolf in London (1981, Directed by John Landis)
Notable Quote: “Have you tried talking to a corpse? It’s boring.”
Description: Now here’s a sidekick who won’t even abandon you in death—even if you kind of wish he would! Griffin Dunne’s decaying revenant is one of the most innovative aspects of An American Werewolf in London, a film already regarded as groundbreaking.
Needy (Amanda Seyfried) in Jennifer’s Body (2009, Directed by Karyn Kusama)
Notable Quote: “Hell is a teenage girl.”
Do we love Needy because she found the courage to crawl out from behind the shadows of her immensely hot and demonic-possessed best friend, or because of that epic make-out scene with Megan Fox? How about both! Needy proves that even the meek have fierceness percolating beneath the surface by transitioning from sidekick to heroine.
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Tiffany (Jennifer Tilly) from Bride of Chucky (1998, Directed by Ronny Yu)
Notable Quote: “I’ll kill anybody, but I’ll only sleep with someone I love.”
Description: After Child’s Play Part 3 (released in 1991), the franchise seemed to have run its course, as the ongoing struggle between Andy Barclay (Alex Vincent) and Chucky (Brad Dourif) had been done to death (literally). It would take a pretty plastic counterpart to the maniacal Good Guy to bring the series roaring back to life! Tiffany (played to perfection by Jennifer Tilly) has become a staple and has everything to do with the franchise’s resurgence and longevity.
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Rod Williams (Lil Rel Howery) in Get Out (2017, Directed by Jordan Peele)
Notable Quote: “I’m T.S… motherfuckin’-A. We handle shit. That’s what we do.”
Description: Seriously, we should all be so lucky as to have a friend/sidekick like Rod Williams. I could probably fall off the face of the earth for a month before anyone would notice, but Rod suspects his home boy might be in trouble even before he goes missing. When the cops laugh him off (literally) this sidekick rushes in to save the motherfucki’ day! And he’s a dog lover to boot. My man!
Wyborne “Wybie” Lovat (Robert Bailey Jr.) from Coraline (2009, Directed by Henry Selick)
Notable Quote: “Whoa! Check out Slugzilla!”
Description: We’ve all had those annoying/enamored tagalongs, but Wybie is the stop-motion equivalent of Rod Williams from Get Out. Whether we’re talking about the real Wybie or the “Other” Wybie, he’s there to pull you out of an enchanted mirror or throwing the Other Mother down a well—even if his lips are grotesquely sewn shut! He’s the underestimated underdog who rises up to save the day.
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Marty (Fran Kranz) from The Cabin in the Woods (2012, Directed by Drew Goddard)
Notable Quote: “I’m sorry I let you get attacked by a werewolf and then ended the world.”
Description: Stoner hero, stereotype breaker, a bane of subterranean puppet masters: These descriptions fit Marty to a tee. He’s the one you count out too soon, the one whose wisdom is disregarded, and whose heroic potential is vastly underestimated. Marty is loyal, perceptive, and he’s got the backbone to face a myriad of terrifying entities. Even if you freak out and think about shooting him in order to save humanity from the wrath of ancient gods, he won’t hold a grudge. And how can we forget that epic bong, bro?
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Anne Stewart (Alakina Mann) in The Others (2001, Directed by Alejandro Amenábar)
Notable Quote: [When asked: “What have you done with my daughter?”] “Are you mad? I am your daughter.”
Description: The only reason the term sidekick applies to Anne is because she’s not the main protagonist of The Others; in truth, she plays second fiddle to no one, and it’s her fierce independence and indomitable spirit that makes her one of the best supporting characters in horror history. Alakina Mann should be the first name discussed when the topic of brilliant performances by child actors comes up, as she’s a consummate scene-stealer and a pint-sized tour-de-force.
Black Phillip (Charlie the Goat) in The Witch (2016, Directed by Robert Eggers)
Notable Quote: “Wouldst thou like to live deliciously?”
Description: While everyone who’s seen The Witch knows that Black Phillip is revealed to be much more than a random sidekick, rather the lynchpin and chief architect of a complex and harrowing metamorphosis. Still, the Canadian goat named Charlie literally steals the show and holds the distinction of being the only non-human on this list. In terms of impact on popular culture, Black Phillip may have indeed surpassed the film he appears in, with his catchphrase “Wouldst thou like to live deliciously” appearing on T-shits & mugs and even immortalized as tattoos.
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Stuart (Matthew Lillard) in Scream (1996, Directed by Wes Craven)
Notable Quote: “Did you really call the cops? [starting to cry] My mom and dad are gonna be so mad at me!”
Description: Okay, Stu isn’t exactly the smartest sidekick in the catalog, but his unshakable enthusiasm makes him a loyal warrior and an invigorating cheerleader. Shortcomings aside, Mathew Lillard’s balls-to-the-wall performance has become iconic—and surprisingly endearing. His mental and physical deterioration at the film’s climax is painfully awkward and unabashedly hysterical. It’s also important to note that Stu set the bar for sidekicks who are much more than meet the eye, as it’s revealed he’s actually ½ of Ghostface.
Ed (Nick Frost) Shaun of the Dead (2004, Directed by Edgar Wright)
Notable Quote: “We’re coming to get you, Barbara!”
Description: Nick Frost’s Ed was a shoe-in for this list; the only hard part was deciding which of his many hilarious quotes to use for this article! Again, not the most intelligent right-hand man on Earth (or agile, witty, street smart, or cleanly), but this guy is the definition of sidekick. Best of all, Ed keeps his cool, even under extreme stress—even if his tomfoolery pushes others into states of extreme panic!
Chicory (Richard Jenkins) in Bone Tomahawk (2016, Directed by S. Craig Zahler)
Notable Quote: “You know, I know the world’s supposed to be round, but I’m not so sure about this part.”
Description: This doddering old coot might have seemed a strange choice for Sheriff Hunt’s (Kurt Russell) posse, but Chicory outlasted men half his age, and even made it out of a troglodyte’s dungeon relatively unscathed. Those who have already experienced Bone Tomahawk know what an incredible film it is, with Richard Jenkins’ performance being just one sterling element of the production. Despite scoring high on many Top 10 Lists, Bone Tomahawk never fully emerged from its sleeper status.