Top Ten Final Boys of Horror
Everyone talks about the final girls of horror, but what about the final boys? Sometimes the men are just as important in horror. You’ve read my top fifteen favourite final girls, now read on for my favourite final boys!
At the number one spot I have my personal favourite “Final Boy” in the horror genre, Brent Mitchell from the brilliant The Loved Ones. While not a slasher film, Brent really fights to survive and kicks ass doing so. But what works so well about his character is how well developed he is. He’s not just some personality-less rugged hero. He is teen boy with a dark past who is trying to overcome it. The movie almost ends up being his fight to outlive his trauma.
No Final Boy list would be complete without the one and only Ash. Most would put him at the number one spot, but he still sits at the very high spot of second place. Ash is an interesting guy indeed as he really grows throughout the trilogy. In the first one he is weak and screams a lot, but then we see him find his strength in part 2 and then in the final film he’s the Ash we all know and love. He is kicking ass, taking names, and spitting out awesome one-liners.
I love me some Thom Mathews, and his rendition is in my opinion the best. Corey Feldman was fine in part four and the actor in part five is fine as well, but it’s Mathews who really injects some life and personality into Tommy. He doesn’t just run; but he goes after Jason to fight back. He is full of snark and feistiness and he is one of the few heroes that is equally good to the final girl of the film.
In the very hated sequel, but loved by me, we have the only real “Final Boy” of the series. Jesse is a great character in my opinion. He’s a huge dork, but I loved him. He is definitely not Nancy, but then again who can be, but he definitely works as the lead. He is likable and sweet and he has personality and spunk to him. The film did chicken out in one instance, the forced love story. The entire movie I got a gay vibe from him, and I wish they went the whole way with that. The horror genre, as much as I adore it, lacks some strong gay male characters, and if they just went the entire way and made Jesse gay, I think it would have made the film that much better and also ahead of its time.
The Burning is a great slasher film that switched up the usual “Final Girl” trope. Yes, there is a lead female, but she isn’t given much to do. She never even comes across the killer. In fact it’s the dorky boy, Alfred, who gets the chase scene, and Todd who goes after the killer. Todd is the one the killer has a confrontation with and it’s Todd who fights back against the killer to save the day. He saves Alfred, and ends up saving the rest of the camp in the process. It also helps that Todd is really damn hot and spends the bulk of the film in various states of undress.
Alex is in an interesting situation. After years of having no psychic abilities a strange but great accident happens where he has a premonition…of his airplane exploding. He escapes along with a select few others, but many die. But it doesn’t end there. He and the other survivors were meant to die, and now he has Death on his tail. Alex is an unusual final boy as he isn’t running or fighting against a tangible force…but he is going against Death himself. He is constantly trying to outwit the force, but most of the time fails but he never gives up. He’s the one who takes on the responsibility to end the chain of murders.
In the number seven spot is the hero of the highly underrated Night Warning from 1983. Many might be asking what this film is, but trust me when I say it’s a hidden gem. The film tells the story of high school student Billy and his crazy aunt who wants to keep him there forever. She starts murdering people, and even tries to go after Billy’s girlfriend. While Billy doesn’t get the main chase scene, he still is the one in the finale who battles against the killer. But what is interesting is that the killer is his own flesh and blood, so he isn’t facing off against some masked unknown killer.
I like it when films use nerds as the lead character, probably because I can relate to those characters. Night of the Creeps is an 80’s sci-fi horror film about slug-zombies (you heard me right)…and it’s awesome! Part of what truly makes the film work are the four leads—Chris, JC, Cynthia, and Det. Cameron—as they are all well written and have interesting characters. They were given great dialogue to spew…but it’s Chris who takes the lead as the role of being a hero is thrust onto him. He could have run away, but he takes the flamethrower and goes to save his girl and save the planet. What’s not to love about him?
Charley, from the ORIGINAL Fright Night, is honestly a bit whiny and he is even sometimes downright annoying, but I can’t help but have a light spot for the character. It must suck to know something but have no one believe you and I was very much into his journey from scared young boy to selfless hero. When no one believes him, he decides to go after Jerry, the vampire, to save his friend and girlfriend and protect his mother. You have to admire that. Yeah, he is annoying, but it also adds to his transition as a character and makes him a more believable hero.
Little Erin Merryweather is a criminally underrated and under seen slasher film from 2003. Similar to The Burning it took the gender roles and switched them on their head. I don’t just mean that the guy was the lead; I mean they literally switched every gender role. The killer is a female and the “Final Boy” is the dorky sweet Peter. Hell, we even get a Sam Loomis type character in the boy’s female professor. Instead of attacking young women, the killer is also going after young men. I thought this film was a clever spin on the usual clichés of the horror genre. Peter is a great hero who is a wannabe journalist. He knows the killer is out there, so instead of sitting around and doing nothing, he goes out of his way to find out what is going on. It’s him who outsmarts the killer in the big chase scene and he is just a likable character overall.