Thrillers are exciting, action-packed, and more often than not, almost completely unpredictable, so there’s quite a bit of common ground when it comes to what they share with dogs. Over the years, the masters of the genre have given us undeniably good titles like The Silence of the Lambs, Momento, Se7en, Shutter Island and Inception, each with their own idiosyncratic characters and better yet, identifiable personalities and names to go with them, leaving a plethora of great naming options for recent adoptees. And while we may not have caught them all, here’s a list of some of our best suggestions of all-thriller, no-filler dog names.
Thriller Dog Names in Pop Culture
Of all the famous movies and scenes and characters over the years, few are as universally memorable to thriller-loving cinephiles as the scenes that involve Jame Gumb, better known to fans of The Silence of the Lambs as Buffalo Bill.
Outside of his insatiable thirst for the weird and unconventional (and, you know, the whole being a serial killer thing), Buffalo Bill’s character also cemented one of the most famous dog scenes in thriller history, that of the interaction between Buffalo Bill himself, his dog Precious, and Catherine Martin, the woman at the bottom of his well that has become his latest victim — not to mention forever associating Q Lazzarus’ Goodbye Horses with eternal weirdos and dance parties for one.
In the scene, Buffalo Bill is holding Precious while he delivers one of the most famous lines in film history: “It rubs the lotion on its skin. It does this whenever it’s told. It rubs the lotion on its skin or else it gets the hose again.” Precious then barks in agreeance before Ted Levine, the actor playing Buffalo Bill, finishes the line, talking to the dog: “Yes it will Precious. It will get the hose.”
What ensues is nothing short of some of the most unsettling footage ever shot for a thriller — which is impressive considering what has been done before and since — and includes the incredibly helpless attempts by Martin to lure Precious towards the well to use her as leverage for her release, in which the dog matches the top-notch acting by peering over the edge several times and barking, as well as taking the bone, if only momentarily.
In truth, it shouldn’t be a surprise that Darla (Precious’s real name) nailed her part so flawlessly. In fact, her part in The Silence of the Lambs was her third appearance in a feature film, the first two being her part as the Pink Poodle in Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure and Queenie in The ‘Burbs respectively. She also went on to play the Ratty Poodle in Tim Burton’s Batman Returns as well as making appearances as Watkin’s Poodle in the television show Coach, as well as Fifi in the show Eerie, Indiana.
While Darla the Bichon Frise only starred in films and TV in her later years (1985-1992), she lived a long and happy life with trainer Cristie Miele as a notorious sock stealer until finally passing away at the ripe old age of 17.
Thriller Dog Name Considerations
Since there are so many titles and characters to choose from, we suggest starting the naming process by selecting some of your favorite thriller films as well as making a list of your dog’s most unique character traits. That way, once you narrow down the lists of each, the chances will be good that something will pop out and match without having to dig too hard.
There’re many ways you can go about finding a good match, such as using anecdotal evidence from your own life. For instance, if your dog happens to talk to themselves a lot or likes to fight or wrestle just for fun, then Durden, after Tyler Durden of Fight Club, would be a great match. If they always happen to wait for you outside the shower when you’re getting ready for the morning or evening, then Norman or Bates would be great selections. If they happen to be easily spooked or react to things that aren’t there, then Night or Sear would be great picks. If they tend to do a lot of barking or other noisemaking, Keyser and Verbal would be solid choices.
Whatever avenue you choose to go down, don’t feel limited by what’s on our list. Find creative ways to identify commonalities between your dog and your favorite thriller characters or titles and get a thrill of your own when you finally find the perfect fit!