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The Bad Boyfriends of Horror Not So Sweet Sixteen

Horror movies have long tapped into the fears of the society, taking what scares us most and exaggerating it. I noticed a trend, thanks in large part to our 16 seed Christian from Midsommar, of horror movies featuring boyfriends (and husbands) who are beyond bad. The men on this list gaslight, cheat, abuse, and in the worst cases murder their significant others. 

But which one of these dirtbags is the actual worst? 


See the full rules here.

Day 1 saw only one upset, as Micah from Paranormal Activity (24) crushed Coffin Joe from At Midnight I’ll Take Your Soul (9). 

Day 2 also only had one, with Seth Brundle (18) eliminating He from Antichrist (15). 

Jack from The House That Jack Built (1) versus Christian from Midsommar (16)

Last Round: Jack beat Charles from The Others (32) with 66.7% of the vote.

Lars Von Trier’s movies are intentionally revolting, and The House That Jack Built may be the sickest. In the film, a tasteless meditation on the nature of storytelling with nothing to say about storytelling, Jack murders a large number of women, mutilating at least one of them who believes he’s her boyfriend. And maybe he is, but what he does to her isn’t love. 

RELATED: The House That Jack Built (Director’s Cut) is 2018’s Best Movie, Period


Last Round: Christian ousted Cameron Elam from Halloween (17) with 60% of the vote. 

Christian is my dark horse pick to win the tournament. Anyone who’s seen Midsommar knows that Christian’s the epitome of a dirtbag. Portrayed brilliantly by Jack Reynor, he is the kind douche that will make you yell at the screen. He gaslights Dani about the danger her sister is in and tries to plan a month long international trip without telling his girlfriend. 

RELATED: Ari Aster’s Midsommar is Next Level Horror

Micah from Paranormal Activity (24) versus Jack Torrance from The Shining (8) 

Last Round: Micah crushed the higher-seeded Coffin Joe from At Midnight I’ll Take Your Soul with 77.8% of the vote. 

Micah, from Paranormal Activity, is undoubtedly more familiar to American audiences. He’s the boyfriend who repeatedly tells Katie that there is no ghost despite the filmed evidence. When Katie tells them they’re being haunted, he doesn’t listen. When Katie tells him to stop provoking the demon, he doesn’t listen. Micah doesn’t listen to women. 

RELATED: Paranormal Activity: Does it Hold Up? 

Eight Behind the Scenes Stories That Would Make Great Features of Their Own jack nicholson in the shining.

Last Round: Jack flew by Paul from The Descent (25) with 90.9% of the vote. 

All work and no play make Jack a dull boy. But it didn’t really matter how much work or play Jack had in the film version of The Shining. He was physically abusive of his son Danny long before they arrived at the Overlook Hotel. The ghosts didn’t make him a s*** husband. They gave him an axe. 

RELATED: Stephen King Opens up About Why He Hates Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining

Guy Woodhouse from Rosemary’s Baby (4) versus Robert Thorn from The Omen (13) 

Last Round: Guy had an impressive outing, winning with 90.9% of the vote against Mills from Se7en (29). 

What would you trade for fame? Since the film isn’t from Guy’s perspective, we don’t know how long he deliberated before he agreed to trade his wife’s womb for acting fame. He doesn’t stop there, though. He actively gaslights, drugs, and rapes her to help Satan get her pregnant. 

RELATED: Ten Horror Films Condemned by the Catholic Church

Nine Beloved horror films that are kind of overratedLast round: Thorn squeaked by Dr. Lionel Barrett from The Legend of Hell House with 54.5% of the vote to meet his fellow horror legend. 

One of the roots of neglect and abuse is the idea that women are inferior to men physically, emotionally, or mentally. The trouble in The Omen doesn’t start with Damien. It starts with Robert Thorn lying to his wife. He tells her that the baby she gave birth to didn’t die. He doesn’t trust her to be able to deal with the pain. Because he doesn’t trust her, we get the antichrist. 

RELATED: Why the Omen Franchise Does Not Get the Love it Deserves

Alex Le Domas from Ready or Not (12) versus Adrian Griffin from The Invisible Man (5) 

Last Round: Le Domas from the 1% got 81.8% of the vote against Money from Don’t Breathe (21) 

Alex Le Domas is an heir to a board game dynasty. He’s distanced himself from his family, but has an about face and decides to marry the love of his life, Grace, at their mansion. He neglects to mention their curse-stipulated tradition of playing a random game that could be murderous hide and seek to Grace. 

RELATED: Ready or Not [Frightfest 2019 Review]

[No pictures of Griffin available at this time.]

Last Round: Adrian Griffin demolished Clive from Bliss (28) with 90% to set up this battle of entitled rich dudes. 

Adrian Griffith is a scary dude. He abuses Cecilia while everyone knows he’s alive. What makes it worse is that he continues to abuse her after he’s tricked everyone into thinking he’s dead. 

RELATED: The Invisible Man is the First Great Horror Movie of 2020

Billy Loomis from Scream (2) versus Seth Brundle from The Fly (18)

Last Round: Billy showed Henry Spencer from Eraserhead (31) how movies make psychos more creative with 91.7% of the vote. 

Loomis is a quintessentially bad boyfriend. Since Scream is from 1996, I’m going to spoil it: he murdered Sydney’s mother. Then he killed a few other members of their friend group. After that he tried to kill Sydney! The cherry on top? He tried to pin it all on her father. 

RELATED: Look Who’s Stabbing: At Which Point In Scream Was Ghostface Billy or Stu?

The Fly

Last Round: Seth Brundle upset He from Antichrist (15) with 75% of the vote. 

 Brundle is a nerdy scientist who meets the love of his life at a bad time. Ronnie tries to help him, but he repeatedly pushes her away. He cheats on her, yet Ronnie still won’t give up on him. She keeps trying to help him despite his swollen ego and half fly genes getting in the way. Brundlefly is that much worse because he can’t return the love she gives him. 

RELATED: How Cronenberg’s The Fly Made Body Horror Mainstream

Richard from Revenge (10) versus Hugh from It Follows (7)

Last Round: Richard defeated Shigeharu Aoyama from Audition (23) with 58.3% of the vote. 

As you can see from the picture, Richard has an immensely punchable face. Revenge, an excellent film, opens with Jen taking a trip with Richard to a house only accessible by helicopter. He’s cheating on his wife with her, and he brings two friends on their romantic getaway. They rape her, throw her off a mountain, and leave her for dead. That’s when the Revenge starts. 

RELATED: Blood on My Sofa: Revenge

Last Round: Hugh cruised to victory over Clay Dalton from Drag Me to Hell with 83.3% of the vote. 

Hugh, like many of the other men on this list, is on here because of the information he withheld. He knew, long before he convinced Jay to have sex with him, that It is after him. He knows that once they’ve had sex, It will be after Jay. It will hound her until she’s had sex with someone else. He also loses points for his sexist comments on how easy it is for women to have sex as well. 

RELATED: Advance Review: It Follows

Andy Kitzmiller from Knives and Skin (3) versus Mark from Possession (14)

Last Round: Kitzmiller squeezed past Columbus from Zombieland Double Tap (30) 54.5% of the vote.

Knives and Skin is one of my favorite movies from last year. Kitzmiller is at the quarry with Carolyn in the opening scene of the film. The two are making out, and when she decides she doesn’t want to anymore, he knocks her down, breaking her glasses. After that, she goes missing, which kicks off the main plot of the film. 

RELATED: Knives and Skin Riffs On, Improves Twin Peaks [Review]

Last Round: Mark was victorious over Dr. Henry Frankenstein (19) with 63.6% of the vote. 

I bought my first Blu-ray player so I could watch Andrzej Żuławski’s Possession again. This film has been favorably compared to Ingmar Bergman’s Scenes from a Marriage. Both tell intense diverse stories. The main difference is that while Possession starts as a melodrama, it soon careens into horrific surrealism. Mark promises Anna that he wants to part peacefully, but he can’t keep his word, going insane in Sam Neill’s most frenetic performance ever. 

Sir Thomas Sharpe from Crimson Peak (11) versus Crispian Davison from You’re Next (6)

Last Round: Sir Sharpe cut through David Kessler from An American Werewolf in London with 66.7% percent of the vote. 

Sir Thomas Sharpe is bad even before the twist in Crimson Peak reveals his true intentions. If your significant other withholds life-threatening information, you should break up with them. Sharpe knows about the ghosts and what they’ve done to his previous life and chooses not to tell Edith Cushing any of it. If you think that you’re mad now wait til you find out why he did it. 

RELATED: Why Poe Fans Will Love Crimson Peak

Last Round: Crispian got the better of fellow A.J. Bowen character Duncan Havermyer from Satanic Panic (27) with 58.3% of the vote. 

Meeting your significant other’s parents is always hard. There’s a pressure to get them to like you. It’s a bit harder for Erin when she joins her 1% rich boyfriend Crispian’s family for his parent’s wedding anniversary. SPOILERS FOR ONE OF THE BEST HORROR FLICKS OF THE 2010S AHEAD. It’s impossible to get them to like her when Crispian, played perfectly by AJ Bowen, hired a team of mercenaries to kill everyone but him and still decided to bring her as a guest. 

RELATED: Noteworthy Heroines of Horror: Erin from You’re Next

Vote for the boyfriends you hate the most here! And make sure you come back tomorrow for Round 3!

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Written by Ryan C. Bradley
Ryan C. Bradley (he/him) has published work in The Missouri Review, The Rumpus, Dark Moon Digest, Daikaijuzine, and other venues. His first book, Saint's Blood, is available from St. Rooster Books now! You can learn more about him at: ryancbradleyblog.wordpress.com.
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