Best And Worst Dad's In Horror
In anticipation of the new Brian Taylor movie Mom and Dad (review incoming!), we wanted to highlight some of the best dad's and some of the best WORST dad's in horror movies.
Robert Thorn from The Omen
Although he's portrayed numerous times in film, the original Robert Thorn, played righteously by Gregory Peck is the selection here. Sure, you might think that some guy who tried to murder his child isn't dad of the year candidate, but when your kid is THE ANTICHRIST, you're pretty solid.
Steve Freeling from Poltergeist
Craig T. Nelson is undeniably likable and believable in Poltergeist as the father who finds himself facing down forces far beyond his control. Although he does move his family into a house that happens to be haunted by a vengeful spirit, it was all in the best interest of his family. What really makes him a good dad is that he pushes himself to the edge to protect his family when those spirits lash out.
Father Meiks in Frailty
Throughout the movie, we are led to believe that good old Papa Meiks, played by Bill Paxton in his only directorial effort, is a sociopath with fake motives. He comes off as abusive and violent but when the movie takes a sudden left turn near the conclusion, we find out that Meiks may have been in the right a little more than believed. A man with the ability to see the sins of men who takes things into his own hands, it's like a dark more grounded preamble to hit series Supernatural.
Giles in Buffy the Vampire Slayer (TV Series)
Listen, listen. Shut up. I KNOW that Giles isn't Buffy's real dad but, I mean, come on. He is. He literally gets fired from being her Watcher because he has grown to love her as a daughter. Giles is everything we all love about the best tv dads. He's caring, even though Buffy is stronger than him he will still do his best to protect her, and he practices witchcraft. Okay, maybe that's not ALL tv dads. Giles truly is one of the best though, full of sage advice and understanding, Giles also grows and evolves as the series continues, making him one of the most evolutionary dads on this list.
Louis Creed in Pet Sematary
Maybe the follow through isn't ideal but it's the thought that counts, yeah? Louis Creed is a dad who fiercely loves his wife and kids. So much so that when his daughters pet cat is run over, he decides to roll the rice with the underworld and bring the feline back. Even when that goes sour, he takes that risk again with his son, Gage, in a desperate attempt to reunite his family with their loved one. Again, when that plan dips into disaster territory, he yet again plays roulette in an attempt to bring his wife back. Despite the thoughtful adage of his neighbor that "sometimes dead is better," Louis throws all caution to the wind in hopes of bringing his family back together.
Chucky from The Seed of Chucky
Listen, this is not most peoples favorite entry in the Child's Play franchise, although even I can admit that as time goes on Mancini at least attempted to do some interesting stuff with gender dynamics. Our favorite maniacal doll however turns out to not be the most accepting father. When his son Glen starts to make the discovery that he may very well be trans, Chucky flips his lid. Then, to make things worse, he continually forces his own whims and will on his child. For shame, Chuck.
George Lutz from The Amityville Horror
True accounts of Lutz aren't very kind but as far as cinematic representation goes, James Brolin plays the stepdad who very much loves his new wife and children and works hard to give them the best life he can. Then he tries to murder them over and over again after having sudden outbursts of anger and violent episodes. I mean, yes, the house is slowly and continually driving him mad. So I guess he's only like, half bad. But he angrily chops so much wood, it's ridiculous.
Jerry Blake from The Stepfather
Well before he was trapped on some weird purgatory island (is that how that show ended?), Terry O' Quinn played on the most intimidating and subtly terrifying characters in horror. Jerry Blake is a serial killer who targets single women with families and become the surrogate father before murdering everyone in cold blood and starting anew. Based partially on the true story of John List and cleverly mixed with slasher tropes and psychological thriller toppings, Blake is truly terrifying because of his manipulative and believable lies and how far he is willing to go to protect his identity. He certainly doesn't help any of the negative press with step parents.
Jack Torrance from The Shining
Where some of these characters have redeeming qualities or aren't even necessarily "bad" through and through, Jack Torrance (brilliantly played by Jack Nicholson) is just a creep through and through. Even before he gets tricked by an evil hotel to attempt to hack his family to death with an ax, he's an abusive alcoholic who has no patience for his wife or child and in even in his flashes of showing compassion and love, he's just gives you the heebies jeebies. Then a ghost butler gives him booze and he quickly takes an exit off the "that's not okay" highway and drives straight into "you're a bad person" city. Population Jack Torrance.
Daddy from The People Under The Stairs
Honestly, I don't even know where to start. I mean, wildly racist. Turning children into deformed slaves. Cutting tongues out. All of those make his vice of greed look a little childish. Plus. PLUS. That bondage suit. Daddy is the WORST.