Its February and love is in the air, but so is influenza and the coronavirus, so maybe skip the romantic night out this year. Instead, stay in and cuddle up on the couch with that special someone (or someones) and watch a movie. And what better way to express your love than watching movies about dark things that go bump in the night? Horror movies are perfect for any occasion and Valentines Day is no exception. We put together a list of some of our favorite romantic horror movies for you and yours to watch this February.
This is actually my personal favorite on the list. I am a big fan of the writing/directing team of Justin Benson, Aaron Moorhead. They have consistently delivered horror films that focus more on drama and characters than blood and gore. Following the death of his mother and the loss of his job Evan, a young american man, goes to Italy to clear his mind. There he meets and falls in love with Louise, an alluring woman with a mysterious past. When people start violently disappearing around town, Evan begins to suspect the woman of his dreams may not actually be a woman at all. Lovecraftian, sweet, and more drama based than typical horror fare. A cerebral horror film that examines relationships and the nature of love in a rather unique supernatural fashion.
Bram Stoker’s Dracula
Ol’ Drac gets a bad rap in most movies. A monster of incredible power who stalks the night looking for prey. Francis Ford Coppola’s version makes Dracula a more sympathetic character. A man so bereaved that he curses god and becomes a devil. Immortality and the need to feed has left him a warped shell of a human, monstrous inside and out. But when he finds the reincarnation of his lost love it sparks something in him and he tries to reclaim his life. Standing in his way is Van Helsing and a group of men brought together over mutual love for the woman that Dracula has targeted. The sense of romance is imbued in much of the work as well as the characters’ motivations. It is also fraught with some really bad acting and questionable directing. Still, it’s worth a watch if for the sets and makeup alone.
See also: Pretty much every vampire movie ever. We’ve included a few more below.
Interview with The Vampire
Romance plays at the heart of much of Ann Rice’s work. Not so much in a narrative way, but in a nebulous aesthetic way. Her sentences are structured around the beauty and love of the moment. Her characters constantly fall in and out of love – with each other, with humans, and with their own immortality. The movie adaptation of her first vampire novel Interview With the Vampire captures this essence of her writing quite well. There is an elegance to each set piece and each character that exudes various levels of romance.
The Hunger is a movie that gets at the very heart of the vampire myth. While most focus on the beauty and ennui of immortality, others focus on the unholy nature of these creatures, The Hunger looks at the more human elements of what drives a vampire. Love, fear of being alone, and selfishness. A vampire is the most selfish creature in horror, a human who is willing to sacrifice the lives of others to extend their own. How would a person like that deal with relationships? Do they feel love or only lust? The Hunger is a steamy, erotic horror film that is heavy on atmosphere and ideas, but languid (occasionally teetering on tedious) and light on plot.
Shape of Water
Less of a horror movie and more of a romantic twist on a classic monster story The Shape of Water nonetheless fits the bill here. There is no denying Guillermo Del Toro knows his horror. He uses many of the tricks and tropes he’s learned over the years in telling a fairly straight forward love story where one of the lovers just happens to not be human. It gives the whole movie an off-kilter feel.
David Cronenberg’s remake of the 1950’s sci-fi classic, is a work of art in its own right. Cronenberg has become known for his body-horror style and this is one of his best efforts. When Dr. Seth Brundle (played by Jeff Goldbluhm) experiment goes wrong his DNA is fused with that of a fly. He and his girlfriend Ronnie (Gina Davis) watch in horror as he slowly devolves into a truly disgusting monster. This movie scared the hell out of me as a kid, but there is a nice commentary about the depth of love in the face of horror.
Bride of Chucky
In my opinion, the later Child’s Play movies are the perfect example of how to do a horror franchise right. Few monsters can retain their ability to scare beyond the first film. Familiarity kills fear. After the third or fourth entry a villain no longer has any sway over the audience. So, the best thing to do is embrace the other end of the horror spectrum; sex, violence, and morbid humor. Bride of Chucky parodies the genre while adhering to its tenets. It’s a fun movie with a Bonny and Clyde style romance at its core.
Not so much a horror movie but dramedy with supernatural overtones, Wolf is still a well crafted film with great performances. Will Randell’s (Jack Nicholson) life is going to hell. He gets demoted at work, his wife is cheating on him, and the mastermind behind all of Will’s strife is his own protege. After being bitten by a wolf on his way home one night Will starts to change, becoming more wolf like, and retakes control of his life. Slick writing and an amazing cast elevates Wolf above its counterparts. It is a great middle of the road suggestion for couples where one partner likes horror and the other doesn’t
See also: American Werewolf in London and Underworld for more Lycanthropy love stories.
Shaun of the Dead
A romantic comedy…with zombies. Listless, 29-year old, slacker Shaun’s whole world is turned upside down when the love of his life Liz breaks up with him, that and the end of the world. A zombie invasion forces Shaun to examine his life and become an adult. A witty, sweet romantic comedy is infused with a surprisingly good zombie movie in this modern classic from director Edgar Wright.
See also: Life After Beth and Warm Bodies for more undead declarations of love.
Any romantic horror movies we forgot to include? Tells about it below in the comments. Don’t forget to like and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.