February is the month for romantics. But let’s be honest, there aren’t a ton of good guys in horror movies. Maybe it’s because the final girl trope puts a lot of narrative focus on the female lens. And maybe we’d rather face a masked serial murderer than sit in a car while our boyfriend refuses to ask for directions.
What makes this trope even more fun is how horror movie boyfriends are bad in an impressive variety of ways. Some are merely incompetent, while others take possessive to a whole new level. We’ve rounded up 12 of the worst horror movie boyfriends and ranked them from slightly annoying to alarmingly toxic.
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Shaun – Shaun of the Dead
Shaun (Simon Pegg) isn’t a terrible guy. He’s slacking his way through life and only gets motivated when disaster strikes. To his credit, he does everything he can to save his girlfriend Liz (Kate Ashfield), including shooting his mom after she reanimates as one of the walking dead. Sometimes it takes a zombie apocalypse for a guy to get it together. And even then, sometimes they’re still going to want to keep their zombified best friend chained up in the basement so they can play video games.
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Micah – Paranormal Activity
We get it: men like to take charge. But maybe if your wife is possessed by a demon, don’t pick a fight with it—or her. Micah (Micah Sloat) isn’t exactly trying to be a jerk. He just really doesn’t listen. After going against the advice of a psychic, Micah uses a camera to record the strange occurrences that happen at night. When he sees Katie (Katie Featherstone) in a trance, he decides the best course of action is to get a Ouija board and play 1-800-call-a-demon. Things obviously don’t go well. It turns out not listening to your wife, can in fact, kill you.
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Trent – Friday the 13th
Every single thing about Trent (Travis Van Winkle) is total cringe. First, he invites everyone to his parent’s summer cabin at Crystal Lake for bragging rights. We get it, dude, you’re rich. But when his girlfriend Jenna (Danielle Panabaker) decides to help one of their friends search for his missing brother, Trent stays behind and hooks up with her best friend instead. He’s arrogant, rude, and way too into himself. Jason did women everywhere a favor when he impaled this one.
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Chris Hooker – The Craft
Because the head of the coven, Nancy (Fairuza Balk), and her selfish sidekicks put Sarah (Robin Tunney) in way more danger than her boyfriend Chris (Skeet Ulrich), it’s easy to forget that he was a slimeball boyfriend. Before they even went on a date, he spread a rumor that they had already slept together. And he made fun of Sarah in front of his friends when she confronted him. Sure, he was cursed when he tried to force himself onto Sarah, but he’s the kind of guy who ignores boundaries on a good day. Which is why we’re not that upset that he got thrown out of a window. Sorry, not sorry.
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Christian Hughes – Midsommar
The last thing any girl wants is for a guy to stay with us out of pity. And that’s just the start of our grievances with Christian Hughes (Jack Reynor). He reluctantly invites his girlfriend Dani (Florence Pugh) to come on a once-in-a-lifetime midsummer celebration in rural Hälsingland where he tries to steal his friend’s thesis. Turns out, Christian was going to break up with Dani before her sister killed herself and their parents, and regularly uses Dani’s panic attacks to control her. Super nice guy. It makes sense that Dani finally got tired of his nonsense and stuffed him inside a bear as the final sacrifice. Hey, we all have closure rituals.
Patrick Bateman – American Psycho
It isn’t that Patrick Bateman (Christian Bale) cheats on his fiancée Evelyn (Reese Witherspoon) with sex workers that puts him on this list. It’s more that he then kills these women. Evelyn gets off easy, as Patrick breaks up with her before going on a massive killing spree, a police chase, and a shootout. But given how his confession leads nowhere and there’s little evidence that any crimes were ever committed, we’re actually left wondering if Evelyn was ever really his fiancée at all. Honestly, it’s the best outcome we could wish for her.
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Guy Woodhouse – Rosemary’s Baby
Making a deal with the devil is bad enough. But when that deal includes drugging your wife so she can be sexually assaulted to have the antichrist, well, there aren’t enough red flags for that. Of course, things just go downhill from there. Guy (John Cassavetes) lies to Rosemary (Mia Farrow), ignores her health while she’s pregnant, and lets a satanic cult restrain her and steal her baby. He doesn’t try to kill her though, so (we guess?) he gets points for that.
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Seth Brundle – The Fly
We might have had some compassion for Seth Brundle (Jeff Goldblum) morphing into a fly if he didn’t cross some major boyfriend boundary lines during his transformation. While he wasn’t winning boyfriend of the year before, his slightly jealous nature turns aggressive and then downright psychotic. But all our compassion dies when he tries to force his pregnant girlfriend (Geena Davis) to fuse her and her unborn baby’s body with his, even resorting to kidnapping her to try and make his “Brundlefly” into the ultimate “Brundlefamily”. No Brundlethankyou.
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Billy Nolan — Carrie
Okay, so Billy Nolan (John Travolta) isn’t Carrie’s (Sissy Spacek) boyfriend, but he is so terrible, we had to include him on the list. First, he’s dating one of the biggest bullies in the school, Christine Hargensen (Nancy Allen), so clearly he has zero taste and bad judgement. Then he helps her rig the pig’s blood to humiliate Carrie. And if all that isn’t bad enough, he has the nerve to try and hit Carrie with his car when she finally decides she’s had enough. We know, murder is bad, blah, blah. But good riddance.
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Jack Torrance – The Shining
All work and no play makes Jack… a bad husband. Sure, the haunted Overlook hotel wasn’t doing Jack (Jack Nicholson) any mental health favors, but considering it took dislocating his son Danny’s (Danny Lloyd) shoulder to give up drinking, Jack isn’t exactly a shining example to start. When Wendy (Shelley Duvall) realizes that Jack is far more unstable than she initially realized, she tries to take Danny and escape. Jack doesn’t make it easy, but eventually Danny tricks him into a hedge maze where the snow finally cools his temper—permanently.
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David McCall – Fear
Remember what it was like to be young and in love? Nothing—especially parental concern—could keep you away from your one true love. Which is why we all get why Nicole (Reese Witherspoon) ignores her dad’s insistence that she stay away from David (Mark Wahlberg). Unfortunately, by the time she realizes her dad might have been right, (we know, it’s a total bummer for any teen), David isn’t about to let Nicole walk away. After hurting everyone standing in his way, including the family dog, he breaks into her home as a grand gesture of his love. He’s violent, unstable, and definitely doesn’t understand the first thing about boundaries. Hard pass.
Billy Loomis – Scream
It takes a special sort of sleazy to use your girlfriend as a sex conquest while you and your friend go on a killing spree and then try to kill her too. But that’s the kind of special guy Billy Loomis (Skeet Ulrich) is. Before that, he uses emotional manipulation to keep his girlfriend, Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell), vulnerable and unsteady, while convincing her she needed to lose her virginity to him. The icing on the psycho cake is when we find out he and Stu (Matthew Lillard) were actually responsible for killing her mother. We would have shot him in the head too.