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Another one Valentine’s day is upon us, and love is in the air. What better way to celebrate the holidays dedicated to love than with horror films that put romance at the center of scares, monsters and even a bit of gore? Innocent flirtations, lust, temptation and enduring love drive the characters in these romantic horror films, motivating them to fight through all odds, no matter how repulsive or deadly…even if it doesn’t end always good for lovebirds.

Whether you’re in the mood for light-hearted, gory rom-coms, grand romances of the macabre variety, or gruesome spins on star-crossed lovers, these ten romantic horror flicks bring the Valentine’s Day vibe. Or any other day of the year!

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The Abominable Dr Phibes

Vincent Price plays the titular Dr. Phibes, a famous concert organist who is believed to have died in a car accident. He had come running home after learning that his wife had died during an operation. He survived the accident but was horribly disfigured. He then hatches an elaborate plan of revenge against his wife’s surgeons while keeping her embalmed body in a sarcophagus. A configuration that seems much more serious than it is; Dr Phibes is an ironic horror-comedy. Heavily stylized but with cheerfully elaborate deaths and a scene of Price chewing like a pro. All this in the name of love.


Cloverfield

When a going away party for Rob (Michael Stahl-David) is interrupted by the arrival of a giant monster that’s rampaging through the city, Rob is determined to fight his way through the devastation to answer a call. distress of ex-girlfriend Beth (Odette Yustman) and save her. His friend records their perilous journey over earlier footage of happier times between Rob and Beth. Rob’s ardent love for Beth is the beating heart of this thrilling American kaiju feature, offering a very different and genre-specific approach to romance.


candy man

“It was always you, Helen.” A line that is strangely alluring, seductive and a little threatening. The chemistry between Candyman and Helen (Virginia Madsen) is electric; there is a very thin line between love and hate, life and death in this scenario. Tony Todd delivers a career-defining performance as the eponymous Candyman in this romantic horror classic; an urban legend made flesh for those who dare to invoke it. It’s spooky, haunting, tragic, and oddly romantic, making it the perfect Valentine’s Day horror movie.


The thirst

Park Chan-wook, the director behind the deliciously twisted Revenge Trilogy, has a unique brand of dark and brutal humor. It’s no surprise, then, that he delivers just that with his unique take on the vampire mythos. Following a Catholic priest who volunteers for a medical experiment only to find himself afflicted with vampirism, The thirst has nothing to do with any vampire movie you’ve seen. It’s weird, tragic, and darkly funny as the Catholic priest morally struggles with his newfound bloodlust and awakened sexuality. Park Chan-wook offers a fresh take on the vigorous vampire, with a morally divisive track and plenty of bloody violence.


After midnight

After ten years together, Abby (Brea Grant) quietly leaves her boyfriend Hank (writer/co-director Jeremy Gardner), with only a cryptic note indicating his demise. He expects her to return, but as days turn into weeks, abandonment and depression take hold. However, in Abby’s absence, Hank’s rural family home falls under the siege of a strange monster. Gardner and co-director Christian Stella inject genre into the examination of a relationship, alternating between a happier past and a monstrous present. In other words, don’t expect simple creature functionality; this promotes love. Expect an iconic Lisa Loeb song to be presented in a whole new, hilarious light.


Spring

Spring

Evan Russell (Lou Taylor Pucci) is in a tailspin after losing his mother to cancer. His friend recommends that he travel to clear his head, so he flees to Italy. He meets the enigmatic Louise (Nadia Hilker), a reserved woman who eventually gives in to Evan’s feelings. Louise harbors a dark and monstrous secret that will irrevocably change both of their lives. Filmmakers Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead use sci-fi and horror to offer a romantic, Lovecraftian reminder that change can be scary, but it can also be beautiful.


Fly

David Cronenberg’s romantic opera-horror masterpiece follows the journey between an eccentric scientist and a tough journalist from his cute encounter to his gruesome and bitter end. It’s a doozy of a choice for Valentine’s Day horror. Seth Brundle (Jeff Goldblum) meets Ronnie Quaife (Geena Davis) at a press event, where Brundle lures the curious reporter to his loft to show him the teleportation device he’s inventing. They quickly fall in love, but the honeymoon phase is cut short when Brundle’s DNA fuses with that of a housefly, triggering a long and torturous transformation into an Inhuman fly. Ronnie is forced to watch, scared and helpless, the man she fell for is slowly being lost, like a slow decay of a grotesque disease.


An American werewolf in London

At the heart of this werewolf film is a fascinating romance between the eponymous American werewolf, David (David Naughton), and his nurse, Alex (Jenny Agutter). Their whirlwind romance charms and simultaneously raises the stakes as David comes to terms with the monstrous beast he is becoming. As the body count increases, David is forced to confront the growing darkness within him. This results in tragedy for the star-crossed lovers; this horror-comedy still has serious bite.


Bram Stoker’s Dracula

“I crossed oceans of time to find you.” It doesn’t get much more romantic than this swoon-worthy line from Dracula (Gary Oldman). Francis Ford Coppola’s sprawling horror epic transforms the iconic bloodsucker into the genre’s greatest romantic. After a prologue from 1462 that presents how and why Vlad Dracula went to the dark side (spoiler alert: it’s for love), Dracula jumps to 1897. He travels to England to woo the reincarnation of his beloved. If only her damn fiancé didn’t get in her way. Impressive and lavish sets and production design, a star-studded cast, and a slew of memorable gothic horror moments make this period horror flick an all-time romance horror movie and another movie classic. horror perfect for valentine’s day.


Undead

At the center of Peter Jackson’s raucous gorefest is a romance between sweet mama’s son Lionel Cosgrove and love-hungry shopkeeper Paquita Maria Sanchez. And the undead horde via Skull Island Sumatra Rat-Monkey stands between them, naturally. Lionel must fight his way through crowds of zombies and finally stand up to his overbearing mother if he wants his happily ever after. Without Peter Jackson’s Romantic Horror Love Story, We Wouldn’t Have Simon Pegg’s Shaun of the deada zombie rom-com on which Dead Alive (Brain death in New Zealand) played a significant influence. Why not watch both this Valentine’s Day?

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