The 7 Best Horror Movie Romances

Because you're not Mr. Hallmark.

February 14, 2019 5:00 am
German actress Nastassja Kinski on the set of Cat People, directed by Paul Schrader. (Getty Images)
German actress Nastassja Kinski on the set of Cat People, directed by Paul Schrader. (Getty Images)
Corbis via Getty Images

So you’re not Mr. Hallmark – and you won’t have your passion stuffed in a pink envelope, your dark desires writ on cardboard with a side of floral bouquet. We get it. Here are some off-beat horror romances for those men whose idea of a valentine is a bottle of tequila, salt, lime and a new tattoo.

Only Lovers Left Alive  For long-married me, few movies reflect the deep mutual knowledge and commitment to pulling one’s partner out of the flames than hipster Jim Jarmusch’s Valentine to wife and producing partner Sara Driver. “Suicidal romantic” bloodsucker Tom Hiddleston roams the Detroit nights with a thirst that even plasma can’t quench. On the other side of the globe, his uber-cool yet practical mate of multiple centuries, Tilda Swinton, lives a sophisticated Bohemian life. But when he’s at risk, she swoops in to save his immortal ass with the power of their endless love connection. Too cool for school theme song: “Funnel of Love”. Swoon.

King Kong Whether you go old school with the 1933 Fay Wray black-and-whiter, beat your chests to the 1976 version with dewy Jessica Lange or groove to Peter Jackson’s 2005 remake with Naomi Watts, this is one hairy love story. A love song of reverse bestiality, it’s about a monstrously large Simian that falls for a Shiksa goddess who’s unappreciated by those ant-sized, cinder-hearted men around her. Why shouldn’t she love a hirsute soul who has her back – in the palm of his hand? As it turns out, not only gentlemen prefer blondes.

1935: British actor Boris Karloff (1887 – 1969) holds the hand of British actor Elsa Lanchester (1902 – 1986) in a still from director James Whale’s film “The Bride of Frankenstein.” (Getty Images)
Getty Images

Bride of Frankenstein When you have an undead groom that falls to pieces, whose loneliness is monstrous in its raw humanity, what else can papa Dr. Frankenstein do but craft him a life partner? Perhaps James Whale’s 1935 horror classic – pairing Boris Karloff and Elsa Lanchester – is the saddest blind date story ever. If it’s too heavy, pair it with Mel Brooks’ sexy and genius Young Frankenstein.

Let the Right One In  Teen seduction has never been as fierce as Tomas Anderson’s twisted 2008 tale of vampire tween Eli who picks up sensitive outcast Oskar on the jungle gym. She wins his heart by mercilessly defending him against school bullies. This tender-terrifying amour fou is even more devastating than the 2010 American Let Me In pairing Chloe Grace Moretz and Kodi Smit-McPhee – but that remake’s still horrifyingly romantic.

Cat People Genius duo Producer Val Lewton and Director Jacques Tourneur collaborate in this creepy crawly 1942 erotic fable about a sexy Serbian (Simone Simon) terrified that she’ll transform into a big feline at the height of passion. As it turns out – she’s NOT delusional and her fear of sex, and ferocious jealousy, has real-life repercussions. Watch the famous, and much copied, swimming pool scene here. Meow! The moody black-and-white thriller (remade by Paul Schrader with Nastassja Kinski in 1982) will work its way under your fur. Want more Lewton-Tourneur thrills? Try I Walked with a Zombie.

French actress Catherine Deneuve with singer-actor David Bowie on the set of British horror film “The Hunger” ( Getty Images)
Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

The Hunger  A love triangle among super-sexy Catherine Deneuve, David Bowie and Susan Sarandon? This movie is a total turn-on, a visual aphrodisiac. The vampire movie’s power to metaphorically address lust, its pleasures and potential pitfalls, gets the sensually slick Tony Scott treatment with the androgynous Bowie as the deli-meat in an erotic bloodsucker sandwich.

Twilight Catherine Hardwicke’s ass-kicking 2008 horror romance put Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart on the map as Edward Cullen, the twinkly vampire in the James Dean vein, and his moody high school soulmate, Bella Swan. It’s a slacker Romeo and Juliet for saccharine romance haters.

The InsideHook Newsletter.

News, advice and insights for the most interesting person in the room.