Horror's Greatest Best Friends
Who Could've Easily Replaced The Final Girl?
Halloween isn't until tomorrow, so the spooky articles involving anything and everything Horror still continue! You may have seen who our favorite LGBTQ Horror film characters are, but this time around I dug deep to showcase the best of the Best Friends.
Originally, the best friend was nearly non-existent. In horror films there's typically the following stereotypes: the athlete, the slut, the final girl, the scholar, and the dweeb. Luckily, in more modern horror films, we've been introduced to a new archetype of character: The Final Girl's Best Friend. She's usually the one you're almost rooting for more than the final girl herself. She comes fully equipped with snarky remarks, a ruthless attitude, and isn’t as afraid or endearing as the Final Girl, simply because the Best Friend never needs to be saved or have a redemption.
I eliminated any males from this list, to avoid any potential love interests or even someone with an underlying crush. The friendships are strictly platonic- it’s what makes them a best friend. The Best Friend makes all the right moves and in some cases, becomes the dual Final Girl with her bestie. Check the girls out below!
Taryn White, Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors
While Taryn's (Jennifer Rubin) best friendship with Nightmare on Elm Street 3’s final girl is debatable: Taryn, a recovering heroin addict, proves that she wants to change her life. She literally devotes her life to helping and protecting the film's final girl. She gets in plenty of one liners and has her own story line of recovery and using her body to get her way. She certainly deserves a spot on this list.
The moment Kirby Reed (Hayden Panettiere) steps onto screen in Scream 4, you know she’s absolute toast. She’s bubbly, blonde, and arguably the cutest out of all her friends. She has some growth in character development, but trails pretty steadily on the type of best friend who doesn’t take lip from anyone else. She’s savvy enough to rescue a classmate who crushes on her, but also is too naïve to realize that her best friend – and the film’s presumed final girl – is the killer. It was depressing seeing such a fun character like Kirby kick the bucket in such an avoidable way, but the Scream franchise always seems to kill the Best Friend.
Suzanne, Night of the Demons
Linnea Quigley’s Suzanne from the original Night of the Demons is a horror character who should be cherished and praised until the end of time. Quigley, a scream queen in her own right, stuns as the boy crazy Suzanne to her best friend Angela – who ends up performing a séance that possesses her high school classmates. Suzanne shows a lot of skin and showed my five-year-old self where a lipstick should not go. Yes, this is the film where the girl puts a lipstick in her nipple. Regardless of Suzanne turning evil and killing horny boys, she still was a fantastic friend who always had Angela’s back – even if that friend was trying to conjure up demons and stuff.
Karla Wilson, I Still Know What You Did Last Summer
Who wasn’t excited to see Brandy AKA Moesha in the sophomore film of I Know What You Did Last Summer?! I remember near fainting at the sight of her in a horror film. But, okay, right off the bat, Brandy looks like a goner. And wait, her name isn’t actually Brandy in the film – it’s Karla Wilson. She makes the silly mistake of giving an incorrect answer to win a trip overseas and brings her best friend with her. Unfortunately for
Brandy Karla, her best friend is the final girl from the first film and chaos and murder follows her. Karla has two incredible chase scenes and magically becomes one of the first best friend stereotypes, in my memory, to survive the murder spree. Something tells me that Karla was going to get the axe, but Brandy’s powerhouse image got her to the end credits.
Annette Langston, Mother’s Day (2010)
2010’s Mother’s Day is probably a horror film you have yet to see. Starring huge names like Rebecca De Mornay and Jaime King lead this unpredictable movie of a sadistic family who invade a housewarming party and start picking off the party guests one by one. The film’s stand out is Annette Langston (Briana Evigan) who slinks around in a cute cocktail dress and teases her friend’s boyfriends with her good looks. Annette never backs down from the home invaders, even when they force her to remove her clothing to have sex with one of them. She is called a “tough cookie” by the film’s titular character – something her character proves throughout. She and her best friend – the movie’s final girl and homeowner – do their damage to the home invaders and successfully make it out alive. Immediately, Annette has all of the horror tropes against her – setting her up for failure. She uses her character’s weaknesses to prevail – for both herself and her best friend. Annette is truly the MVP.
Tatum Riley, Scream
This post is a little difficult to write as Rose McGowan has alleged Harvey Weinstein sexually assaulted her after this film. However, if there’s one person who helped shape Scream into the iconic horror movie it is now, McGowan’s Tatum is certainly the one. Tatum doesn’t play with nonsense of any kind. She’s loyal to her best friend and the series’ final girl, even giving her a place to sleep for protection. It is an absolute shame that Tatum was taken from us in the first film, because her story arch would have been incredible to watch compared to the will-they-won’t-they storyline of two annoying characters who got married in real life. Tatum is the ultimate best friend – and she shouldn’t have went to go get beer from the garage.
Helen Shivers, I Know What You Did Last Summer
I’m going to go ahead and call Helen Shivers (Sarah Michelle Geller) the one who got away. It should’ve been YOU, Helen! You should’ve been the final girl! We were rooting for you! Helen was put through absolute hell in I Know What You Did Last Summer. She witnesses her boyfriend being killed, is alleged to be crazy from these allegations, gets her sister killed, her hair chopped off, and loses her best friend – the film’s final girl – before the movie essentially starts. Helen doesn’t let any of these missteps make her fail. She has one of the greatest chase scenes in any film I’ve ever seen. You really believe Helen will evade her attacker – she does everything right – how couldn’t she?! Oh yeah, she gets distracted from a firework. The lazy writing should’ve allowed Helen to stick it out into the sequel, but unfortunately, her death mattered the most to the film. You know the vengeful fisherman means business if he’s killing the well-liked beauty queen.
Tina Williams, Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Meyers
By far, the ultimate best friend is Tina Williams (Wendy Kaplan) in Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Meyers. Tina usurps the final girl’s throne halfway into the film. Tina, ditzy and in a French maid costume, protect the dearly departed final girl’s sister just a year after they went through a brutal murder spree at the hands of lunatic Michael Meyers. Tina deals with a verbally abusive boyfriend, peer pressure, and becomes rescued by the police. Still, it’s unfortunate that Tina cannot resist a party. She decides to go drink and act like a normal girl on Halloween, only to be chased by Michael throughout the woods. Tina does her best to get away – she does, about three times – but sacrifices herself for the film’s star. Tina is a protector and a great friend – it’s the only reason she doesn't make it through the night.