It’s an established tradition to kill off the dog before any of the humans in many, many horror movies. But here are some scary movies you can watch without worrying about about the dog.
Updated with even more safe-for-dog-lover movies!
“Final Destination” (2000)
In the first film of the horror franchise, Death is stalking Clear Rivers (Ali Larter), but she’s able to free her German Shepherd Rex before any damage is done. We don’t see Rex again, but we can hope he’s safe.
The family canary passes away, but very good boy E. Buzz is A-OK in this horror classic. Read more: Our Favorite Movie Dogs: E. Buzz in ‘Poltergeist’
Blind musician Emma (Madeleine Stowe) can now see, thanks to a corneal transplant. Her guide dog, Ralphie, is still by her side as a serial killer hunts her. Ralphie gets hit by a car and is badly injured, but (thankfully) doesn’t die.
“An American Werewolf in London” (1981)
David (David Naughton) survives a werewolf attack, but has been warned by his now undead friend Jack (Griffin Dunne) that, come the next full moon, he’ll change into a werewolf too. David might be in denial about his new status, but a dog and a cat who cross his path outside Alex (Jenny Agutter)’s flat growl and hiss at him, sensing the wolf within. Later, after David does indeed transform into a wolf, he stalks three homeless men at their camp. One of the men’s dog senses the wolf’s presence and growls. His owner lets him go and he escapes the bloody carnage that follows.
“The Conjuring 2” (2016)
The dog was the first to die in the first “Conjuring” movie, but a Rottweiler named Baron escapes harm in this sequel. (Read the breakdown of Baron’s scenes in “The Conjuring 2” viewer advisory.)
“Insidious: Chapter 3” (2015)
Psychic Elise Rainier (Lin Shaye) encounters more horrifying ghosts in The Further in this sequel, but luckily, can come home to her dog, Warren. Like her, he’s just as sensitive to ghosts, and in the film’s final scene, alerts her to the presence of something supernatural.
Two orphaned sisters who were presumed dead are found after five years, having somehow survived in a shack in the woods. (They are sniffed out by a pair of hunters and their dog.) They go to live with their uncle Lucas (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) and his girlfriend Annabel (Jessica Chastain). A malicious entity, “Mama,” follows the girls to the new home. She seems intent on killing the girls’ new guardians, but, happily, the family dachshund Handsome is not harmed. He is absent from the film’s climactic showdown, but we’re going to assume he’s safe and sound.
When young Max (Emjay Anthony) accidentally summons Krampus, an ancient demonic spirit, over Christmas, the whole family must defend themselves against not only Krampus, but evil toys and elves. At one point, it looks like lovable bulldog Rosie (played by a male dog named Thor) is a goner, but she survives the mayhem. She also saves the family from murderous gingerbread men by, naturally, eating them.
“The Invisible Man” (2020)
In this thriller’s opening scene, Cecilia (Elisabeth Moss)’s escape from her abusive boyfriend Adrian (Oliver Jackson-Cohen), is nearly ruined by his dog, Zeus, who has followed her to the garage. As she removes the dog’s shock collar, it runs off, but not before triggering the car alarm and waking Adrian. Cecilia is able to get away from Adrian, despite his following her in a rage. (SPOILER) The good news: In the end, Cecilia is finally rid of Adrian for good … and walks off happily with Zeus.
“The Meg” (2019)
Fear not: Adorable terrier Pippin does not get eaten by the mega-shark in this Jason Statham action movie. (Several people and a baby whale are not so lucky.)
“Don’t Breathe” (2016)`
A trio of thieves gets more than they bargained for when they try to rob a local blind man (Stephen Lang), who’s more than able to defend himself. He also has a fearsome pet Rottweiler. Luckily, two of the savvy housebreakers (Dylan Minnette and Jane Levy) are each able to outmaneuver the dog without killing it.
“The Rental” (2020)
When two couples rent an oceanside house, one of them brings his dog despite the “No Pets” rule. The audience suspects the worst when Reggie the French bulldog goes missing, but he later turns up none the worse for wear.