10 Most Romantic Horror Movies for Valentine's Day

Look, I can get behind a good romantic comedy to celebrate Valentine's Day with. Addicted to Love is one of my favorite movies of all time, after all, but frankly, that genre has more sap than Bob Sapp if Bob Sapp were a maple tree... which would not be the most ridiculous thing Bob Sapp has done.

Can't we snuggle up and watch a horror movie instead? Isn't there something out there that can offer couples both an affirmation of the power of love and some quality dismemberment? Yep, there sure are, and if you're twisted like me, you'll be with your honey watching...

Warm Bodies: I feel bad for Warm Bodies because it came about just as the world was getting so thoroughly sick of zombies that any attempt to do something new with the genre felt desperate. It's a really good film that follows a zombie who regains his humanity through true love's kiss, all the while battling horrific skeletal zombies and a paranoid human survivor population. When you consider how many times we've had our hearts broken watching beloved characters succumb to the zombie menace with no hope of bringing them back then watching the opposite is damned near a religious experience.

Bram Stoker's Dracula: First of all, if you watch Gary Oldman as Dracula with a girl your odds of getting laid increase exponentially. That's just a given. More than that is the way that Francis Ford Copolla managed to add in a tragic love story angle to the old gothic tale without sacrificing one throat slit or demonic transformation.

Shaun of the Dead: Some might argue that Shaun of the Dead is more comedy than horror, and to them I say "Holy Mother of God they tore that dude to pieces!" At its heart it's a movie about relationships and learning how to live and love in the world. Shaun and Liz don't just survive the zombie apocalypse, they grow to trust each other and build a relationship based on accomplishments rather than entropy from their ordeal.

Dead Alive: Back before he was the lord of all hobbits, Peter Jackson made horror movies that saw more blood and intestines than a vampire colonoscopy clinic. The best of them was Dead Alive, and though it gets all it's notoriety from the scene where Timothy Balme takes out a horde of mutant corpses with a running lawnmower the real story of the film is how he escapes from the domineering hold of his mother to be with the girl he loves. Granted, Jackson accomplishes this with the bloodiest parody of birth since the xenomorph made John Hurt into a human donut, but it ends with Balme and Diana Peñalver arm and arm and totally into each other.

Let the Right One In: The adaptation of John Ajvide Lindqvist's vampire novel is simply put one of the best horror films ever made. It's bloody, it's disturbing, it's ambiguous, and like all truly great movies it is driven by a powerful connection between its characters. The love story between Oskar and Eli is strangely chaste and innocent, no matter how gruesome and pile of bodies get over the course of the movie. I think about it as if Stephen King had written Bridge to Terebithia, but with a happier ending.

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Altered States: William Hurt begins to experiment with consciousness through the use of a deprivation chamber and mystical Mexican hallucinogens. Thus was born the church of Scientology. No, wait. Wrong guy. I meant to say, "Thus was born a gripping tale of terror where a man finds himself losing his humanity and existence as he devolved into a mass of proto-thought." The only thing that ultimately saves him is the love of his wife, who he realizes gives real meaning to the ethereal mysteries he has plumbed. It probably doesn't hurt that he comes to this realization while Blair Brown is naked.

Fright Night: The remake, mind you, not the original. You can call blasphemy all you want, but the remake has David Tennant as a vampire hunting Las Vegas magician in it. To understand what that does to your chances in the bedroom please see my comment on Gary Oldman above and multiply it by three. On top of that, it's still the classic story of a boy killing his way through predators to save his girl, and that's always romantic.

Near Dark: I don't know what it is about vampires that make for good horror romances, but the sheer number of examples is a little staggering. Doesn't anyone ever fall in love with a mummy or something?

Near Dark is a classic, a southern gothic vampire story that is directly responsible for any number of books and films. And yes, it has a wonderful plot line that basically involves a heroic boy rescuing a girl from a family of killers and curing her of her vampirism. That's not the romantic part, though. The real romance is watching Lance Henriksen and Jenette Goldstein, essentially the "parents" of the vampire clan, die holding hands as they burn in the sun and share their last moments together. Gets me every time.

The Birds: If you want a good, old-school Hollywood horror romance then nothing tops The Birds. Rod Taylor and Tippi Hedren quip and run from killer seagulls. There's a craft to the dialogue and a playfulness to the scenery that makes the movie the perfect to appreciate on the same level as a rom com... except for all the murder, of course, but then again, that's why we're here.

May: Finally, if you're spending Valentine's Day alone then you can do no better than May starring Angela Bettis. Bettis plays an awkward vet tech who longs to find a connection but ultimately finds everyone she comes into contact with to be treacherous and lacking in integrity. The obvious solution is to kill them all and use their parts to construct the perfect companion, and Bettis pulls that off with brilliant gusto. Whether you're reeling from a break-up or just happier alone than with a psycho May can perk you right up.

Jef has a new story, a tale of headless strippers and The Rolling Stones, available now in Broken Mirrors, Fractured Minds. You can also connect with him on Facebook.

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