Valentine’s Day has become a commercialized romantic explosion of hearts, teddy bears, and chocolates. The commercials on TV become increasingly sappy and cringe inducing for those who are more cynical about this time of year, and the onslaught of romantic comedies airing on TV is enough to drive even the most rational person a bit crazy. So, for those who are simply fed up with the holiday, or those who want to go off the beaten path to celebrate it (as you may have done for Christmas), why not celebrate another love in your life: horror films? Here are a few scary flicks, with just the right amount of romance, to get your blood pumping this Valentine’s Day.
This 2009 Korean horror film has frightened audiences from Seoul to Dallas with its unique style of horror. Written, directed and produced by Park Chan-wook, the film follows Sang-hyun, a Catholic priest who, during a failed medical experiment, becomes a vampire. After a failed attempt to kill himself upon discovering his thirst for human blood he resorts to stealing blood transfusion packs from the hospital he volunteers at. He is a transformed man and Tae-ju, a wife of one of his friends, finds herself drawn to him and the two begin an affair. Things take a dark(er) turn when, instead of running away together, Tae-ju suggest they simply kill her husband.
Following a zombie apocalypse, a zombie named R (Nicholas Hoult) encounters a mortal, Julie (Theresa Palmer) while she’s outside of her human compound searching for medical supplies. After killing her boyfriend and eating his brain, R is filled with memories and thoughts of Julie from her boyfriend’s brain and rescues her from other zombies. R is confronted for the first time since he became a zombie with human emotions and feelings towards Julie. However these emotions make him vulnerable to attack from the Boneys, a group of skeletal zombies who prey on anything with a heartbeat. The couple must fight for their lives and figure out a highly unconventional relationship in this offbeat romance.
One of the classic films by award winning and iconic director Alfred Hitchcock, The Birds starts off innocently enough. The film’s two central characters, Melanie Daniels (famously played by Tippi Hedren) and Mitch Brenner (Rod Taylor), meet at a bird shop and begin dating. The romance, however, quickly takes a back seat to the strange events happening in San Francisco. Bird attacks become increasingly common and the two lovers are forced to fight for their lives from aerial attacks. Despite being 50 years old the film is easily found through platforms like DirecTV and Netflix.
A classic in the vampire genre long before the teens from Twilight sullied its reputation, Dracula is another gem, this time from Francis Ford Coppola. Based on Bram Stoker’s famous novel, the film follows Dracula (played by Gary Oldman) from the moment when he denounces God and first becomes a vampire in 1462, to 1897, when he encounters Mina (Winona Ryder), a woman he’s sure is the reincarnation of his deceased wife. Things take a turn for the worse when, after a friend of Mila’s is attacked, Dr. Abraham Van Helsing discovers there is a vampire in their midst and sets out to kill him.
This dark film about a married couple who happen to be vampires has breathed new life into the beaten-to-a-pulp vampire genre. Starring the incredible duo of Tilda Swinton and Tom Hiddleston as Adam and Eve, the couple is increasingly disillusioned by the state of the world and forced to live off “pure” blood provided to them by drug-dealers due to the toxic lifestyles of the current human population. When they couple reunites after a period apart Eve discovers Adam’s desire to kill himself. Then, Eve’s little sister Ava comes to visit from L.A. and things quickly go even further south.