Valentine’s Day is here again which gives us a perfect excuse to invite that special somebody over to watch a movie and chill. However, it can be a long and tiresome project of finding a romantic movie you’ll both love. One person will suggest a sappy movie that is sure to make you cry and the other will suggest a rom-com to get a few laughs out of the evening. Ultimately, neither of you will be able to agree on a good movie and you’ll be stuck watching The Notebook for the tenth year in a row.
But there’s an entire genre few people ever consider for Valentine’s day; horror movies. Watching a romantic horror movie (yes, they exist) is the best of both worlds; everyone wins.
Without further ado, here are 14 romantic horror movies to watch this Valentine’s Day presented in chronological order.
1. Bride Of Frankenstein (1935)
Back in the early days of film, horror movies were some of the greatest products of Hollywood. Bride of Frankenstein is a sequel to the 1931 film Frankenstein and the plot sees the monster demand a mate from his creator; thus, the Bride is created. The movie is beautiful and full of romance, a perfect combination to help you celebrate with your loved one.
2. The Fly (1986)
The Fly is based on Franz Kafka’s famous 1915 novella, Metamorphosis. In the film, a scientist named Seth Brundle, played by Jeff Goldblum, invents a teleportation device and attempts to use it, however, things don’t go as planned. A housefly had managed to slip its way into the device while Brundle is inside and the two merge to become one. The transformation into a hideous insectoid monster is a slow one, and Brundle’s girlfriend, Veronica (Geena Davis), realizes the mad scientist is undergoing a metamorphosis. But she stands by him to witness her lover become a monster.
3. A Chinese Ghost Story (1987)
This wonderful film hailing from Hong Kong masterfully combines horror, romance, and martial arts to tell a story that is both heartbreaking and inspiring. The plot goes like this: A traveling tax collector, Ning Choi-san, seeks refuge for the night in a temple. While spending the night, he meets a young woman named Nip Siu-Sin, and the two instantly fall in love. There’s just one small problem, Nip is a ghost who serves an evil demon master. Ning enlists the help of Yin Chik-hsia, a Taoist warrior, and the two enter the spiritual realm to save Nip’s soul and free her from the demon’s control.
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4. The Vanishing (1988)
Although technically a thriller and not a horror movie, The Vanishing is a Dutch-French movie about a couple who takes a vacation to France. While stopping at a gas station, Saskia, the girlfriend, disappears. Rex, Saskia’s boyfriend, frantically searches for her for years but never finds her. He eventually meets the kidnapper, who had been sending him postcards, and learns what happened to his beloved Saskia. The movie is full of suspense and interesting twists, all of which makes for a great movie. Be careful, however — there was an American remake a few years later, but it’s not very good.
5. Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992)
Often regarded as the most romantic of the romantic horror movies, Bram Stoker’s Dracula is the perfect movie for Valentine’s Day. The legendary Francis Ford Coppola expertly adapted the 1897 novel into an exciting film filled with drama, suspense, and fascinating characters. Starring Gary Oldman, Winona Ryder, and Anthony Hopkins, Bram Stoker’s Dracula is a must-see for any fans of Gothic romance.
6. Candyman (1992)
The movie follows a graduate student who is doing research on urban legends. One local legend catches her interest so she goes on the hunt to learn more about the legend known as Candyman. Believed to be the ghost of a former slave, Candyman used to be highly regarded in the world of academia before he took a white mistress and was mutilated by an angry mob who cut his hand off and replaced it with a hook. In the present day, Candyman can be summoned by saying his name in a mirror five times, however, you really don’t want to summon him as he’ll shove his bloody hook into your back.
7. Return Of The Living Dead III (1993)
Although the third film in the franchise, Return of the Living Dead III abandoned the themes of its predecessors and the comedic undertones. Instead, the third installment focuses on horror, science fiction, and romance. In the movie, the government is experimenting with bringing people back from the dead to use in the military. Colonel Reynold is heading the project and unbeknownst to him his son, Curt, sneaks in to see what’s going on. When Curt’s girlfriend, Julie, dies in a motorcycle accident, Curt takes her body to the lab and attempts to bring her back to life.
8. Shaun Of The Dead (2004)
Moving away from dramatic horror movies comes one of the most well-known and well-liked horror comedies of recent memory. The movie is about two 30-somethings who are pretty much the biggest losers in their town, but when a zombie apocalypse happens out of the blue the two must protect their loved ones and themselves.
9. Let The Right One In (2008)
This romantic horror film from Sweden is one of my favorite horror movies in recent years. A young boy moves in with his father and meets the next door neighbor “girl” who happens to be a vampire. The movie shows fatherly love between Eli (the young girl) and Hakan (her caretaker who kills people to harvest blood) as well as the young love between Eli and Oskar (the young boy). Oskar, despite being a 12-year-old, is full of hatred and fantasizes about killing people, especially the school children who are tormenting him. There are a lot of twists and turns you won’t be expecting and it is genuinely heartwarming.
10. Warm Bodies (2013)
The best way to describe Warm Bodies is zombie Romeo and Juliet – seriously, the main characters’ names are a play on those of Shakespeare’s star-crossed lovers. There’s even a balcony scene. It tells the forbidden love story of a zombie, named R, and a human girl named Julie. Warm Bodies combines everything from horror to comedy to romance and it somehow manages to do all of that really well. It’s also unique in the fact that it’s told from the zombie’s perspective and gives zombies human characteristics which are largely absent in the genre.
11. Only Lovers Left Alive (2013)
With a star-studded cast including the likes of Tilda Swinton, Tom Hiddleston, Mia Wasikowska, and the late Anton Yelchin, Only Lovers Left Alive is a phenomenal vampire film. Hiddleston plays Adam, a suicidal vampire who is tired of eternal life; he’s a musician who wants to make music but can’t because of fear of being recognized. His partner of hundreds of years, Eve, (Swinton), lives far away from him but realizes he needs her again so she goes to Detroit to be with him. What I love about this movie is the way it handles complex topics like suicide and drug use (the drug, in this case, being blood) and the way the characters interact with one another; she is the light to his dark, the optimist to his pessimist. Their love is strange but real.
12. Alleluia (2014)
The Belgian-French crime drama Alleluia a surprising film. It starts off innocently enough: a man is looking for a one-night stand and meets a woman online. However, when he asks her if she’s into killing people things take a dark turn as the two go on a killing spree. Now, it shouldn’t have to be said when talking about horror movies, but this is not a film for children. It’s full of gore, sex, and foul language. It’s not quite romantic, but it’s definitely steamy.
13. The Honeymoon (2014)
Bea and Paul are newlyweds who decide to spend their honeymoon in a cabin by a lake. Everything is going pretty well until Paul wakes up in the middle of the night and can’t find Bea. Eventually, he finds her naked in the middle of the woods; she claims she was just sleepwalking. I won’t spoil anything else, but some really messed up stuff happens and there may or may not be aliens involved.
14. Crimson Peak (2015)
Two of the stars of Only Lovers Left Alive, Tom Hiddleston and Mia Wasikowska, appear as lovers in Crimson Peak. Set in the Victorian era, Edith Cushing, played by Wasikowska, is a woman who is seeking to be more than just a marriageable object, but when she meets Hiddleston’s Thomas Sharpe she ends up falling in love and moving to his secluded house. But when she starts to see ghosts everywhere, she realizes things are much more sinister than she had suspected. This is a throwback to the old Gothic romances, and the settings are beautiful.
Hopefully, this list will help you find the perfect movie to watch with your bae on Valentines Day. Horror and romance might not seem like they go well together, but every movie on this list is proof that the combination is a wonderful one.