Horror movies and romantic comedies seem to differ on the surface: one deals with gristly situations involving blood, murder and guts; the other trades hemoglobin for saliva regarding exchanged fluids, kisses and lovemaking for death, and tugs on the heartstrings for dismemberment of said heart.
That said, they do share similarities: people that harbor unhealthy obsessions with a particular person; women portrayed as angry/crazy/skanky/crazy-skanky; friends that do more emotional harm than good to the protagonist; and a token black person.
The parallels extend to the titles of these films. The titles are often ambiguous to the point that you don’t know whether you should expect uplifting feelings or gruesome dread in the pit of your stomach–unless it contains awful words or is a Jennifer Aniston movie. Don’t believe me? Check out this list and guess which is the horror film and which is the romantic comedy.
- 1. Insidious: a. A listless 30-something romantic plans to snare a man in a clever love trap, or b. a family that attempts to prevent evil spirits from stealing their son?
- 2. New Year’s Eve: a. A serial killer that annually preys upon partygoers out on the town, or b. an ensemble movie about the lives of several couples in New York City on the last day of the year?
- 3. The Shining: a. A spiritual presence slowly drives a father insane, or b. a star-crossed tale of two young lovers that can only see the other through a mirror they can’t penetrate?
- 4. He’s Just Not That Into You: a. Several women learn the signs of the men in their lives not being interested in them, or b. a longtime wife scorned into settling the score against her cheating husband?
- 5. Jeepers Creepers: a. Fraternal twins Judy and James Creepers find love with fraternal twins Charles and Cindy Jeepers, or b. two siblings find a flesh-eating monster while on Spring Break?
- 6. Let the Right One In: a. A sheltered middle-aged virgin is forced out into the world and finds true love, or b. the story of an unpopular boy finds love, solace and revenge in a pretty girl that has supernatural powers?
- 7. From Dusk Till Dawn: a. Criminals hold their hostages in a vampire’s den for the night, or b. the first night two strangers spend together in the blossoming of a new romance?
- 8. The Woman: a. An awkward young lady goes off to college and finds herself and love in her new-found independence, or b. the chronicled despair a lawyer’s family after capturing a feral woman to torture?
- 9. The Caller: a. An AM talk show host finds unlikely romance with an on-air participant, or b. a woman that receives harassing calls from a mysterious person?
- 10. What to Expect When You’re Expecting: a. Several parents on the verge of being parents experience misadventures, or b. the child paranormal being is implanted in a young woman’s uterus to bring about the End of Days?
- 11. It Happened One Night: a. A young woman goes missing the night before her first day of work at a New York City magazine, or b. a bratty heiress runs away and finds help from a reporter looking for a story?
- 12. P.S. I Love You: a. A troubled young man takes matters into his own hands when he finds his girlfriend cheating on him, or b. a young widow maintains a bond with her deceased husband through messages left to help her live life?
- 13. Warm Bodies: a. A zombie finds romance with the girlfriend of one of his victims, or b. a furnace repairman gets the romantic payment of a lifetime?
- 14. The Girl Next Door: a. A girl suffers abuse in the care of her aunt, or b. a beautiful blonde is the subject of a high schooler’s affections?
- 15. Rosemary’s Baby: a. Rosemary, the youngest daughter of seven children, finds comfort in her overprotective family as she carries her long-wanted child to term, or b. a woman is controlled by the paranoia brought upon by her mysterious fetus?
- 16. A Christmas Carol: a. Sitcom mother Carol Brady searches for love during the holidays after the death of her husband Mike, or b. the motion-captured retelling of Charles Dickens’ seminal classic?
- 17. Mamma Mia!: a. A bride-to-be searches for her real father with the aid of ABBA songs, or b. an immigrant serial killer that murders people that speak in offensive Italian accents?
- 18. Jack and Jill: a. Fraternal twins get together for the holidays, or b. the worst Adam Sandler movie of 2011?
Answers: 1-B, 2-B, 3-A, 4-A, 5-B, 6-B, 7-A, 8-B, 9-B, 10-A, 11-B, 12-B, 13-A, 14-A AND B, 15-B, 16-B, 17-B, 18-B (ha!)