A lot has been said about horror’s Final Girls, but can we talk about a chunk of hunks who have managed to make it to the credit roll? In no particular order, here are 25—give or take—of horror’s most memorable Final Guys.
1. Ash Williams (Bruce Campbell)
SURVIVED: The Evil Dead (1981), Evil Dead II (1987), Army of Darkness (1992), Ash vs. Evil Dead (2015)
The only man standing between us and the forces of pure evil unleashed by The Book of the Dead consistently throughout several movies and a TV series… Ash is the ultimate Final Guy.
2. Derek Cho (Steven Yeun)
SURVIVED: Mayhem (2017)
When a virus that turns humans into unapologetic, ego-driven maniacs takes hold of a high-rise building full of the worst kind of humans—lawyers—there isn’t much hope for the little guy. That is, until Derek Cho decides he’s had enough.
3. Jim (Cillian Murphy)
SURVIVED: 28 Days Later (2002)
Waking up from a coma in an abandoned hospital—as one does in the post-apocalyptic world—Jim becomes the unlikely survivor of not just the virus and its hordes of rage zombies, but also of human nature’s darkest tendencies in desperate times.
4. Valentine McKee (Kevin Bacon), Earl Bassett (Fred Ward), & Burt Gummer (Michael Gross)
SURVIVED: Tremors (1990), Tremors 2: Aftershocks (1996), Tremors 3: Back to Perfection (2001), Tremors 4: The Legend Begins (2004), Tremors 5: Bloodlines (2015), Tremors: A Cold Day in Hell (2018), Tremors: Shrieker Island (2020)
When subterranean worms overtake a small town in the middle of nowhere, it’s up to these three unlikely heroes to outmaneuver the creatures and save the inhabitants of a town named Perfection. Burt even goes on to save the world from every evolutionary form of the creatures through 6 more films.
5. Pat (Anton Yelchin)
SURVIVED: Green Room (2015)
If you’ve ever been a groupie, you’ve followed your favorite band to some pretty sketchy places. But what if one of those places wasn’t just graffiti and a rough crowd? What if it was run by actual murderers? Once Pat accepts that his band would be short a whole lot more than a pathetic cut of the night’s revenue, he decides it’s time to shut this dive down.
6. Alex Browning (Devon Sawa)
SURVIVED: Final Destination (2000)
Alex has an uncanny ability to receive warnings from the universe of fatal accidents about to occur. Saving a group of peers from certain death in a plane crash just makes Death itself have to circle back around to take them out one by one. This poor guy endures enough near-death experiences to rival a cat and its nine lives.
7. Paxton (Jay Hernandez)
SURVIVED: Hostel (2005)
The ultimate cautionary tale for anyone thinking of traveling abroad, Hostel puts Paxton and two of his friends in the middle of an underground human trafficking operation. Not only does Paxton make it out alive, he exacts revenge on the sicko who killed his friend, too. Major Final Guy vibes.
8. MacReady (Kurt Russell) & Childs (Keith David)
SURVIVED: The Thing (1982)
Let’s be honest, these two probably have more trust issues than you could shake a hot wire at, but they survived The Thing without having to kill each other, and that’s saying something.
9. Brent (Xavier Samuel)
SURVIVED: The Loved Ones (2009)
If you don’t agree to take Lola to the Prom, she will make your life a living hell… and then she will kill you. Unless you’re Brent, who will be the one to teach her that no means no. #hetoo
10. Dr. Lawrence Gordon (Cary Elwes)
SURVIVED: Saw (2004)
We never know what we’ll be capable of when given the choice to rot away chained to a pipe in a filthy bathroom or saw off an extremity to get away. It’s all about making the difficult decisions and sacrifices in order to appreciate the life we take for granted.
11. Tommy Jarvis (Corey Feldman, John Shepherd, & Thom Matthews)
SURVIVED: Friday the 13th Part IV: The Final Chapter (1984), Friday the 13th: A New Beginning (1985), Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives (1986)
Boy, Tommy really went through it. So much so, in fact, that three different actors had to play him. This guy faced off with the formidable Jason Voorhees more times than any of the franchise’s Final Girls.
12. Brody (Roy Scheider) & Hooper (Richard Dreyfuss)
SURVIVED: Jaws (1975)
If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself… and you’re gonna need a bigger boat. Any Final Guy list that doesn’t include Brody and Hooper is a sham. No one had bigger fish to fry than these guys.
13. Finney (Mason Thames)
SURVIVED: The Black Phone (2021)
You can argue that he did it with the help of his dead predecessors, or you can insist that he did it by his wits alone. Either way, Finney stands as one of the most impressive survivalists in modern horror with his harrowing escape from The Grabber.
14. Rodger (Alvin Alexis)
SURVIVED: Night of the Demons (1988)
Rodger bucked the odds of horror’s most racially-charged trope, and I feel like everyone still manages to forget about him because he shared his victory with one of the most A-typical Final Girls, Judy (Cathy Podewell).
15. Bill Whitney (Billy Warlock)
SURVIVED: Society (1989)
Forget Two Girls One Cup, we should all just film our reactions while watching the second half of Society when Bill goes head to butt-head with his father. It would seem that what we all suspected in the first place is true… rich people are freaking weird.
16. Sam (Corey Haim) & Michael (Jason Patric)
SURVIVED: The Lost Boys (1987)
We all know how awkward it is when your mom gets a new boyfriend. It’s worse when you’re almost positive he’s the head vampire whose minions have turned your big brother into a half-breed. Grandpa gets an honorary mention here, seeing as how he’s the one who ultimately saved the day.
17. Cole (Judah Lewis)
SURVIVED: The Babysitter (2017)
“Have you checked on the children?” I have a better question: “Have you checked on the babysitter?” I’m sure we all would have caught our babysitters breaking a few rules here and there if we took a late-night peek into the den. But Cole got more than he bargained for when he walked in on a literal deal with the Devil.
18. Anton Tobias (Devon Sawa)
SURVIVED: Idle Hands (1999)
It takes the death and injury of several people, including Anton’s best friends, but he does eventually get his act together and defeats his possessed hand.
19. Charlie Brewster (William Ragsdale & Anton Yelchin)
SURVIVED: Fright Night (1985), Fright Night (2011)
What do you do when you neighbor is obviously a vampire, but no one believes you? You sack up and kill him. Especially when he messes with your girl.
20. Ben Mitchell (Nathan Phillips)
SURVIVED: Wolf Creek (2005)
One of my favorite plot twists was this one when you think the girl is most definitely going to get away, but alas… she does not. And the one guy other than the killer has a chance to run, takes it, and manages to survive the deadly Australian outback long enough to be found by a couple of good Samaritans. Based on a true story, Ben’s struggles didn’t end there as he spent way too much time in police custody as a suspect, but he survived, and we salute him.
21. Shaun (Simon Pegg)
SURVIVED: Shaun of the Dead (2004)
The everyman’s zombie movie where the most haphazard, unlikely underdog of the bunch actually survives the apocalypse… and keeps his best friend’s reanimated corpse as a pet. Shaun is a true Final Guy.
22. Marty (Fran Kranz)
SURVIVED: The Cabin in the Woods (2011)
Imagine if Shaggy and Velma are the only ones in the Scooby Gang to solve the mystery and make it out alive. It’s not often the stoner who was put there for comic relief makes it out alongside the Final Girl. For that, Marty has earned a spot on the list.
23. Jesse Walsh (Mark Patton)
SURVIVED: A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge (1985)
No Final Guy list is complete without Jesse and this unique installment of one of the most beloved franchises in horror. Though Jesse’s battle was more existential than physical, it was no less an impressive defeat of the master of mind games, Freddy Krueger.
24. Doug (Aaron Stanford)
SURVIVED: The Hills Have Eyes (2006)
“The lucky ones die first,” reads the tag line. I’m sure Doug would agree. We’re just glad he made it out with the baby and the dog.
25. Tucker (Alan Tudyk) & Dale (Tyler Labine)
SURVIVED: Tucker and Dale vs. Evil (2010)
Yes, it was an accident. Still counts.
Got a Final Guy you love, but don’t see him here? Comment below! The list goes on.