Michael Myers? Boring. Freddy Krueger? Yawn. We’ve all seen the horror greats enough times to rival the body counts left behind by our favorite villains. If you’re up for a real scare this Halloween, challenge yourself. Don’t even think about the horror section. Rather, venture into a realm of pure terror, the romantic comedy genre. For those brave readers who didn’t immediately close their browsers in fear, we’ll take a look at the top five most frightening romantic comedies, sure to deliver a true scare this season.

1. “Something’s Gotta Give” (2003)

If you thought Jack Nicholson was disturbing as Jack Torrance in “The Shining,” try “Something’s Gotta Give.” This 2003 rom com centers on Harry Sanborn (Nicholson), a creepy old dude with a penchant for younger women. There’s a particularly painful scene where Harry can’t engage in adult activities until he is able to walk up a flight of stairs, which feels like a cheap Cialis commercial. Dragging on for an excruciating 128 minutes, there are at least four times the narrative should wrap up but much to the viewer’s dismay the nightmare keeps slogging along. Not even Jack Nicholson’s eyebrows can distract you from the pain.

2. “Twilight” (2008)

In an utter bastardization of vampire lore, Stephenie Meyer’s blood-suckers sparkle in the daylight instead of burn. Certain vampires are angsty heart-throbs that don’t relish in sucking human blood. The notion of anti-vampire vampires isn’t really new, but there’s no “Blade” awesomeness. Coupled with bland acting, it’s blood-curdling, and “Twilight” will ultimately leave you wishing someone would drive a stake through your heart.

3. “What Women Want” (2000)

The premise of “What Women Want” is so stupendously ridiculous, you’ll think it’s a joke. Macho advertising exec Nick Marshall (Mel Gibson) gets shocked, and the next day he’s able to read women’s thoughts. How getting shocked by a hairdryer in a tub provides mind reading skills makes no sense at all. Immediately after this abomination finishes you’ll have to re-watch the “Lethal Weapon” quadrilodgy to redeem your opinion of Gibson’s acting.

4. “Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason” (2004)

Sequels are traditionally worse than their predecessors, and “Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason” is no exception. Contrary to the title, there is no reason, not even on the edge, that this film should have been made. Painfully predictable, you can picture the entire plot, though your imagination will likely offer a more creative version than the nauseating “Edge of Reason.”

5. “Runaway Bride” (1999)

Maggie Carpenter (Julia Roberts) has abandoned a string of men at the altar, and New York writer Eisenhower “Ike” Graham (Richard Gere) pens an article about her infamy. The column is ridden with inaccuracies, so naturally Maggie and Ike work together to broadcast a more truthful depiction and, well, you can guess where it goes from here. Remarkably trite and lacking inspired performances, you’ll be tempted to run away from “Runaway Bride.”


  • No GIGLI?

    In addition to mangling vampire (and werewolf) lore, TWILIGHT’s other crime is that it lead to FIFTY SHADES OF GREY — that trilogy started as TWILIGHT fanfic with poorly-researched BDSM elements, but then E.L. James realized he could just change the names around, remove the blatantly supernatural elements (vampire Edward Cullen –> wealthy entrepreneur Christian Grey), sell it as a Unique Property, and make millions.

    The other day I’d heard a remake/revamp/sequel to WHAT WOMEN WANT is in the works, called WHAT MEN WANT, which will be starring Taraji P. Henson (of EMPIRE and HIDDEN FIGURES) as a sports agent who has been constantly boxed out by her male colleagues; when she gains the power to hear men’s thoughts, she is able to shift the paradigm to her advantage as she races to sign the NBA’s next superstar. Given the (many, many, maaaany) recent sexual assault/harassment scandals, I have trouble seeing a film showing a woman gaining the ability to read her male co-worker’s unfiltered thoughts as anything but a horror movie.