Horror with animal heroes

Happy quarantine! Sorry, not actual quarantine, just stay-at-home orders and following social distancing guidelines. Anyway, since I’ve nearly exhausted every streaming service imaginable over these past several weeks while staying at home, and I happened upon the Bunnicula cartoon on Boomerang. It’s cute and clever and it reminded me of reading the books as a kid.

This got me thinking about my love of horror, and how much I would love to see more adult horror with animals as protagonists or at least with an animal who saves the day. Oh, how I would love to read a mash-up of Watership Down and The Exorcist. This may not exists exactly, but here are the properties I know of that come close.

  • Beasts of Burden by Evan Dorkin – This comic series brings us the adventures of the beasts of Burden Hill, a group of household pets (several dogs, one cat) who act as paranormal investigators, protecting their neighborhood from all forms of supernatural threats.
  • Thor by Wayne Smith – This novel is told from the perspective of a loyal dog who must defend his family from a werewolf, and it was the basis for the 1996 film Bad Moon.
  • Cat’s Eye – From a screenplay by Stephen King, Cat’s Eye is an an anthology film with all three stories connected by a stray tomcat named General. In the film’s final tale, General selflessly defends a little girl from an evil troll that lives in her walls.
  • Sleepwalkers – Also from a Stephen King screenplay, Sleepwalkers are a race of werecats who must feed on virgins to live. Their greatest natural enemies, however, are domestic cats who can interfere with the Sleepwalkers’ powers and whose scratches are fatal to these human-cat hybrids. Clovis, the cat of local law enforcement, leads all the local cats in the charge against these fiendish creatures.
  • Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island – This animated, straight-to-video, ‘90s revival of the Scooby-Doo franchise revitalized the character for a new generation. This is great horror for the whole family, as it actually embraces a traditional formula. For more fun with Scoob and the gang, you should checkout the television series Mystery Incorporated, the comic book Scooby Apocalypse, and there’s even a direct sequel, Return to Zombie Island.

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