Bad Romance? Here’s (My) 13 Quintessential (Highly Questionable) Romantic (umm) Horror Films for Valentine’s Day!

[First off- a disclaimer! My tastes in horror almost always include gore, torture, disturbing themes that probably would upset 99% of people, and dark comedy. Every film on this list comes with parental advisory, and probably check more trigger warnings than exactly exist. If that is not your thing, that is absolutely cool- but as an ultimate FanGhoul I didn’t want anyone to jump into this list without a warning.]

Happy Valentine’s Day! If you have a sweetie to snuggle up with, or just have a quiet night in planned with your cat and a large pizza (me)- here a few recommendations for what to watch! While some of these are genuine, many are tongue and cheek- but I do own every single film on this list, and would watch them on any holiday, but these all feature some aspect of love.

Life After Beth

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Let’s start this list off with the vastly underrated dark comedy Life After Beth. Have you ever had your significant other die tragically? Have you ever tried to get over them but the guilt makes that seem impossible? Have you just wished “I wish they were here again” and then suddenly they rise out of their graves- literally- like the undead- and they want to get back together??? Haven’t we all. Starring Aubrey Plaza, Dane DeHaan, Anna Kendrick, John C. Reilley, and Molly Shannon this movie is packed with the kings and queens of comedy. Life After Beth is directed by Jeff Baena -(unrelated if you have Netflix, you’ll want to check you Horse Girl, also by Baena.)- Check our the trailer here:

The Loved Ones

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Who doesn’t love a fun, nostalgic look back at Prom? It’s a night of romance, flirting, dresses, torture, kidnapping, and a disco ball! Wait, maybe that wasn’t your experience, that’s ok- no judging here. The Loved Ones is an Australian film directed by Sean Byrne that centers around Lola (Robin McLeavy) and her crush Brent (Xavier Samuel). If you love fucked-up extreme horror involving love struck teenagers, drilling holes into peoples heads, & a very codependent Dad- this is the film for you. Grab your Valentine, dress up for the prom, and traumatize them by showing them this movie. Watch the trailer from Paramount Pictures here:

The Voices

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Listen. Ryan Reynolds, Anna Kendrick, Gemma Arterton, Jacki Weaver– plus a talking cat and dog, and a refrigerator with happy severed heads. The severed heads talk too, obviously. This is a MANDATORY watch for horror fans, and Valentine’s Day is the perfect opportunity to watch Ryan Reynolds fall in love. Watch the trailer here, and be aware there so much going on in this film it would be impossible to describe it without major spoilers:

Melancholia

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A wedding. A bride. Family dysfunction. The end of the earth. Melancholia is a beautifully dark film that asks the question, what would you do at the end of the world, and have you mended the relationships you care about? This is probably the one film I recommend for someone who wants an introduction to Lars Von Trier. Valentine’s Day seems like a good holiday to dive into an ultimate bittersweet, and upsetting film, right? Maybe not, but eventually you should give this a try. It’s exquisite, and it features on of Kirsten Dunst’s strongest performances of her career. Trailer:

The Human Centipede II

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The second installment in Tom Six’s iconic masterpiece series is all about being a super fan of something you LOVE- and taking it way way way too far. . Brings a whole new meaning to ‘dancing cheek to cheek!’ If you know, you know. If you don’t. Skip this one. Aren’t sure? Check out the trailer:

Bliss

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Bliss is the ultimate psychedelic trip into an artist’s passion for her work. Directed by the iconic visionary Joe Begos and helmed by superstar Dora Madison, Bliss will take you on a wild ride- it’s literally 150mph the entire time and never lets up, which is part of why it’s so relentlessly engaging. Love doesn’t always have to be between to people, at its core this film centers around an artist’s love for her work and the lengths she will go to combat artist’s block and create some thing up to her vision of perfection. Check out the trailer:

A Serbian Film

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Some people will do anything for the love and stability of their family. When a porn-star ages out and wants to quit the industry, he finds himself on one last job in order to make enough money to provide for his family and quit the business altogether. What follows is probably the most depraved sequence of events to make it one screen without FBI interference. Remember those warnings I mentioned at the beginning of this article? If you can think of a trigger- it is in the movie. Directed by the legendary Srdjan Spasojevic, this film is the only one on the list to boast a NC-17, and the only one to have had its unedited directors cut banned from several countries. For me it’s a fun date night movie, for you? Tread cautiously. Head the warnings and check out the Trailer below:

After Midnight

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Sometimes you break up, you have this perfect relationship, it ends and the you get stalked by a really creepy-ass monster that wants to eat you- and then your ex, your family, friends, and entire town think you’ve probably gone insane. It just be like that sometimes. That’s the case in After Midnight. Directed by Jeremy Gardner and Christian Stella, this film explores the complexity of human emotion and relationships, plus you know- Cryptids! Besides just being a fantastic genre bending film- After Midnight was released today! So check it out now! Here is the trailer:

Honeymoon

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Ah. First comes love, then comes marriage, then come the honeymoon in a romantic cabin in the woods, and then finding you wife wandering around the woods in the middle of the night leading to a bizarre and terrifying possible body snatches scenario. Also… aliens? Directed by the incredible Leigh Janiak, Honeymoon is guaranteed to make you second guess your partner and probably everyone around you, also yourself. Here is the trailer:

My Bloody Valentine 3D

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Yes… this is a reboot. Based on the 1981 classic, My Bloody Valentine follows the similar plot- it’s pretty simple, a tragic coal mining accident kills six people and lands one in a coma. Legend has it when the miner in the coma wakes up on Valentine’s Day, he immediatly murders 22 people. Now it’s years later, and his angry murderous ghost is back, and killing again. So why put this on the list? Hear me out. Jensen Ackles. J e n s e n A c k l e s. Not convinced? Check out the trailer:

Revenge

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A romantic getaway turns into a women’s worst nightmare when she is brutally assaulted and must fight for her life. In doing so she decides to take back her body and her autonomy- becoming the ultimate assassin. This is not a romantic movie. Not at all. I added it to the list because Coralie Fargeat has created this gorgeous revenge film that is unlike any others I’ve seen before. Starring an absolute superwoman, Matilda Anna Ingrid Lutz, this movie is all about empowerment and not letting anyone define you by what happens to you. It’s self-love. Extreme self-love. But absolutely worth watching with someone you care about. Trailer:

CLIMAX

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To round out this list of recommendations, let me introduce you to Gaspar Noé. To put it very simply, Climax, is less about love and all about carnal, feral attraction and lust. Remember in the 80’s broadway show A Chorus Line when one of the dancers asks, “if you couldn’t dance anymore, what would you do?” Well in Climax we meet a modern ballroom/vogue company in France at the end of a rehearsal. Next add in psychedelic fruit punch and what we get is 2 hours of increasingly disturbing, confusing, gorgeous, neon, sexual, and dark content. This is my recommendation for you if your Valentine’s night includes edibles. Here is the trailer:

Parasite

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This is the ultimate film about family loyalty and love. When I first saw this South Korean masterpiece in the theater I went into it completely blank, I hadn’t read the synopsis. I recommend you do the same. There is a reason Parasite has earned historic and prestigious acclaim, including an Oscar for Best Picture and Best Direction by Bong Joon-Ho. I will link the trailer but I challenge you to just take the dive and see the film without watching:

If you have made it through this list of films and I haven’t totally scared you off, I applaud you, now we are best friends. Let me know if YOUR favorite ‘romantic’ horror movies. Tweet Me!

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