The upcoming Halloween Ends will see the return of Laurie Strode, one of the most famous heroes in horror history. In fact, horror movies have a rich tradition of having iconic heroes like Laurie Strode who take it upon themselves to face off against the ultimate evil, dating back all the way back to Van Helsing and Dracula.
But some of the best heroes don’t take it upon themselves. Instead, they’re forced to step up to the plate. These include everymen and anti-heroes of all sorts, but what they all have in common is that they’ve captured the hearts of fans on Reddit. Redditors have been discussing the best reluctant heroes in horror history, ranking them by how unwilling and unassuming they start off to how heroic they end up becoming.
Chris – Friday The 13th Part III (1982)
One of the most famous final girls of the Friday the 13th franchise, Chris is a college student that’s looking to take a vacation in order to forget a traumatic event. Unfortunately, that traumatic event involved one Jason Voorhees, who comes back to start murdering her friends.
After trying to forget about the past, Chris has to face off against Jason once more, and this time it’s a fight to the death. Chris’ story of survival and trauma, and her turn as a triumphant final girl, made a big impression on fans. That’s why Reddit users like Ok_Point_2303 have picked her as a perfect example, saying “Chris from Friday the 13’th part 3.”
Tucker & Dale – Tucker And Dale Vs. Evil (2010)
This comedy duo might be the most naive but also the most likable characters on the list. Tucker & Dale are a couple of friendly hillbillies that are mistaken for serial killers by preppy college students, and end up having to take on the real killer.
Unlike other entries on the list, Tucker and Dale are immediately shown to have big hearts. But they could never have imagined having to fight off such a horrendous evil, making their hero’s journey resonate with Reddit users. SandBox4529 writes, “I think the most reluctant heroes were Tucker & Dale. Those two had no business being in that situation,” making a great case for these two hapless good ol’ boys who just had to step up to the plate.
Arkin – The Collector (2009)
In this cult slasher hit, the home invasion movie is turned on its head when Arkin, a desperate burglar, breaks into the house of a vicious serial killer. At first, he just needs to fight for survival, but then he becomes the only person that can possibly stop The Collector from taking more victims.
As one now-deleted Reddit user points out, “He escapes the house at a certain point but then goes back when he realizes the family’s daughter is in there with The Collector.” It’s always rewarding to see a morally ambiguous character ultimately make the right decision, and Arkin won over Reddit users with his selfless acts.
Peter Vincent – Fright Night (1985)
After a neighborhood kid learns that his next-door neighbor is a homicidal vampire, he turns to a Vincent Price-esque TV vampire slayer to help. But the actor, played wonderfully by Roddy McDowell, couldn’t be less like his television counterpart.
In fact, he’s a total coward, running off when the trouble starts and refusing to believe that vampires really exist. That’s why it’s so powerful when he finally sees the light and musters the courage to become the same character that he’s played on television. One now-deleted Redditor agrees, saying, “Peter Vincent from Fright Night (the original though David Tennat’s portrayal was probably the only part I liked in the remake), proving that even inside a showbiz phony, there could actually be a hero lurking within .
Riddick – Pitch Black (1998)
Everyone loves an anti-hero movie, and Riddick from Pitch Black definitely fits the mold. A convict that gets stranded on a planet ravaged by monsters, Riddick starts as a scoundrel who couldn’t give a damn about his fellow passengers.
At least, that’s what he wants people to think. But when he’s elected to navigate his group through the always-dark planet because of his night vision, Reddick slowly becomes more interested in saving them. It’s no wonder why he earned his own franchise, or why he’s a popular choice with Reddit users like necromundus, who writes, “Riddick in Pitch Black.”
Father Karras – The Exorcist (1973)
One of two priests faced with exorcising a young child, Karras starts out the film as a tired, world-weary man having his faith tested. He doesn’t even believe in demonic possession and thinks the young child, Reagan, is mentally disturbed. But soon, he realizes that he’s dealing with a truly unholy force and calls in the aid of another priest.
Together, they battle this demon until Karras is forced to throw himself out of a window in order to kill it. SadBox4529 writes, “If I had to choose it would probably be Father Karras, sacrificed himself in a split making decision.”Both his struggle with his own faith and his ultimate sacrifice have resonated with Reddit users.
The Hobo – Hobo With A Shotgun (2011)
In one of the most famous grindhouse movies of the modern era, the titular Hobo is a wandering nomad that’s brutalized by the city’s lowlives. When he realizes that nobody else will stop them, he uses what little money he has to buy a shotgun and become a vigilante.
Life has tested The Hobo in brutal ways, and it’s clear that he just wants to get by. So when he becomes a hero, even a violent one, that makes him a popular choice among Reddit users like OldBison, who writes, “The hobo from hobo with a shotgun.”
RJ MacReady – The Thing (1982)
In one of Kurt Russell’s most iconic roles, MacReady is a helicopter pilot that has to band together with a group of scientists to battle an alien that can shapeshift and assimilate.
While MacReady begins the film as a loner that just wants to get by, he slowly emerges as the hero of the group until he’s ultimately left to defeat the titular alien by himself. Through the film, he displays cunning, tenacity, and extremely durable willpower in the face of insane odds. That’s what makes him resonate so much with fans like miserygenerate123, who writes “Yeah Mac is the first character that came to mind.”
Ellen Ripley – Alien (1979)
One of the most famous movie heroines of all time, Ellen Ripley starts out as just a competent worker in the alien franchise aboard a spaceship that becomes terrorized by an extremely lethal alien lifeform. In fact, it’s her competence that saves her when all of her crewmates start becoming hysterical and irrational.
Sigourney Weaver took what could have been a final girl and helped turn her into a defiant and resourceful hero that’s captured the hearts of moviegoers everywhere. That’s why she’s a popular choice among Reddit users like Thunderhank, who writes “Ripley.” Throughout the franchise, she just wants to survive, but the Xenomorphs always force her to become something more: a hero.
Ash Williams – The Evil Dead (1981)
Easily the grooviest entry on this list, Ash Williams has gone down as one of the most incompetent yet endearing characters in horror history. Played with supreme gusto by Bruce Campbell, Ash starts out as an unsuspecting college student that gets into a nightmarish battle with the undead.
By the Army of Darkness, however, he’s fully evolved into a gun-toting, chainsaw-wielding, wisecracking type. As Reddit user bloodlord77 puts it, Ash is “The most reluctant hero of all.” That’s because, while he’s always looking out for himself, Ash has displayed bravery, even when he has nothing personal at stake. Still, he never changes from the cocky buffoon that always finds himself thrust into these bizarre scenarios.
Next: Every Evil Dead Movie & TV Show Ranked According To IMDb