The Best Fools In Horror
No matter the killer, the location, or the weapon, the classic horror trope will generally follow a particular route, showcasing the hunting and the deaths of the five main characters of the "Slut", the "Jock", the "Brain", the "Fool" and the "Final Girl".
As part of my October series, I've introduced you to the best characterisations and stereotypes of the Final Girl and the Slut. Next up is arguably one of the most important characters of the film besides the Final Girl and the Killer - we're talking the Fool.
The Fool is generally included in a horror movie to make light of the situation, to provide some comedic relief, and to generally have a pretty fun death. He's the funny dude that the girls dont get with, often ending up sexless and alone in horror movies, but he may also help figure things out and give a more humanising aspect to the characters on the screen. He can also be known as the nerd or the stoner, but no matter the proclamations, he will always be a fool.
Marty Mikalski, Cabin in the Woods
Played by Fran Kranz, who at the time was apparently more ripped than Jesus so was forced constantly to keep his shirt on in possibility of upstaging Chris Hemsworth (yes, really!) Marty is the stereotypical lovable stoner playing the Fool in Cabin in the Woods. Despite Marty's penchant for weed, Marty is not dumb, shown in deep capacity for philosophising even while under the influence. He is a fierce friend, and suggests not doing the classic horror movie trope movements by suggesting they all stick together and that they shouldn't play around with the weird things in the basement.
It is later revealed by the Chem Department that the weed Marty is smoking is treated to make him stupid and fit the role more, but actually ended up making him smarter and able to see past the horror trope bullshit the control room were trying to put them through. In the end, Marty ends up surviving with Dana when he rescues her from the Buckners and they let the world end, turning the whole genre on its head.
Dewey Riley, Scream
Sheriff Dwight "Dewey" Riley is seen in the Scream franchise as the bumbling do-gooder Fool with timid dim-witted personality. He is definitely portrayed as an idiot, who begins to develop more intelligence and intuition during his investigation of the Woodsboro murders in the movie, and through his relationship with sleuth reporter Gale Weathers. Played by David Arquette, Dewey is caring and protective despite his boyish charm and inexperience and is actually one of the only Fool characters who ends up getting both the girl, and surviving in the end. He is also one of the only horror movie survives who does not break one of the major rules of surviving a horror movie (don't get drunk, don't have sex etc) so this probably helps his case!
Chad "Chewie" Wong, Friday the 13th
The original Friday the 13th didn't get the Fool right, suggesting that the character of Jack Burrell (boyfriend of Slut character Marcie) was the Fool. Originally played by Kevin Bacon, the role was not nearly iconic enough comedic wise and suited the trope of the Jock better. Because of this, the reboot definetly nailed it with the character of Chewie, who was partially based on the character.
Technically there are several Fools in the reboot, but Chewie stands out with his witty one liner that open his character straight away. Played by Aaron Yoo, Chewie is a wise-cracking stoner with a thing for the Slut, who ends up going off with The Jock, before Chewie goes out to the tool shed to fix a chair he broke. Out there, Chewie is targeted by Jason, before presenting him with a hockey stick and hilariously saying, "Here, it completes your outfit". He is then killed in classic Fool style.
Richie Tozier, IT
Stephen King's IT plays around with the classic horror stereotypes a bit, which is what makes him such an amazing storyteller, but there is no doubt that the character of Richie Tozier fits right into the role of the Fool. Played by 90's funnyman Seth Green and Harry Anderson in the 1990 original film starring Tim Curry, and super popular comedians Finn Wolfhard and Bill Hader in the 2017 and 2019 adaption, the casting seems perfect for the foul-mouthed misbehaving loser in the Losers Club.
Richie impersonates a lot of people, has a loud mouth and is seriously funny throughout all versions of IT, but his nerdy appearance with thick black rimmed glasses and buck teeth have him purposely sitting where he belongs - never getting a girl, never getting cool. Richie, unlike the classic Fools though, doesn't die at the end of the 1985 section of the series.
Duncan Michaels, The Final Girls
The 2015 horror version is as close to comedic satirically gold as anything could possibly come to Cabin in the Woods, showcasing a series of characters who pretty much embody the five character tropes getting sucked into a horror film that is reminiscent of Friday the 13th. Forced to live out the generic horror tropes against the killer, Duncan fits into the stereotypical version of the Fool opposite Adam Levine's hideously sexual Fool in "Camp Bloodbath". However, Duncan, played by Thomas Middleditch, is the Randy Meeks of this movie, proiving himself to be a complete horror movie geek and being able to dictate the rules of the slasher.
Duncan knows the rules, but is failure to believe has him stabbed by the villien Billy before he is run over by Camp Bloodbath's Final Girl, resurrecting for the sequel at the end of the movie.