The 13 Most Romantic Horror Movies for Valentine’s Day


It’s hard to find great horror movies that are also great love stories, because for the most part, those things are polar opposites. Many of the greatest and scariest horror movies ever made are all about ripping people who care about each other apart, literally and figuratively. The Shining may be terrifying but it’s hardly a comforting date movie, if you catch the drift.But that doesn’t mean that horror movies can’t also be romantic; it’s just that they sometimes have to be romantic in unexpected ways. Tales of ghosts and demons who fall for mortal men and women have a tragic undercurrent but they’re often very sincere, and many of the most horrifying monsters ever conceived have a heart if you know where to look for it (and aren’t trying to shove a wooden stake in there).

Many films are perfect for an unconventional Valentine’s Day. So sit back and get ready to believe in love at first fright!

The 13 Most Romantic Horror Movies

The Mummy (1932)

This horror classic stars Boris Karloff as an ancient mummy who comes back to life to find the reincarnated version of his forbidden lover, played by Zita Johann. The catch is that, in order to be together forever, he must first mummify and resurrect her as well. This tragic tale of immortal love features a rare romantic leading performance for Karloff, and like many of the original Universal Monster movies, it still holds up impressively well.

Beetlejuice (1988)

Tim Burton’s kooky horror comedy may not seem particularly romantic at a glance, since the protagonists are already married and they die early on, but after that grisly demise they are given a gift: an actual eternity to live together, in wedded bliss. It sucks to be dead but unlike many ghosts, who linger because they were unhappy in life, the Maitlands (played by Geena Davis and Alec Baldwin) get to become a romantic ideal of domesticity. They are the ultimate happily ever after… even after they die.

The Addams Family (1991)

They may not be in “horror movies,” but the Addams Family exist in a world where torture, grave robbing, cannibalism and murder are amusing everyday realities, so they are at least “horror adjacent.” Either way you would be hard-pressed to find a happier married couple than Gomez and Morticia Addams, whose passion for one another has never waned for a single, solitary moment.

Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992)

The story of Dracula had been told, and retold, so many times by the time Francis Ford Coppola got to it that there was only one thing to do: Make it a million times sexier. This lavish production features eye-popping, operatic imagery to tell an extremely sensual version of the classic tale, featuring a star-making performance by Gary Oldman as the hottest Dracula ever (in second place: Frank Langella).

The Mummy (1999)

Stephen Sommers’ blockbuster remake of The Mummy takes the romanticism of the original and adds witty banter and derring-do. Arnold Vosloo plays an alluring new version of the monster, who wants to resurrect his true love by sacrificing a librarian (Rachel Weisz), who only just starting falling for a handsome, Indiana Jones-ish rogue (Brendan Fraser). The tone is brighter, and the chemistry between Weisz and Fraser is first-rate.

Shaun of the Dead (2004)

Edgar Wright’s spot-on satire of the apocalyptic zombie genre is a non-stop cavalcade of gags, but it’s also a heartfelt story about growing up and becoming a better person, and a better romantic partner. Shaun (Simon Pegg) has to earn the respect of his girlfriend, Liz (Kate Ashfield), but it’s only when flesh-eating zombies attack that he actually makes it happen in just one horrifying, hilarious day.

Cloverfield (2008)

Cloverfield gets a lot of attention for its gimmick – a found-footage kaiju movie – but not enough for being a solid horror movie about a young person who discovers what really matters to him in the wake of a terrible tragedy. A giant monster is attacking New York City, but Rob (Michael Stahl-David) is the only one running towards the danger, to save his ex-girlfriend Beth (Odette Yustman) at all costs. Harrowing, clever, and bittersweetly romantic.

The Conjuring (2013)

The real-life story of Ed and Lorraine Warren may be… complicated… but in the movies they’re two of the most positive role models the horror genre has to offer. Happily married, weathering great dangers together, they seek out ghosts and demons and save troubled households from all manners of calamity. They don’t just drive out your literal demons, they heal your metaphoric ones as well, arguing that wholesome happiness is the best way to keep evil out of your life.

Only Lovers Left Alive (2013)

It comes as no surprise that independent filmmaking icon Jim Jarmusch wouldn’t make your typical vampire movie. But it was a little surprising that he made one of the most romantic horror movies ever. Tom Hiddleston and Tilda Swinton star as immortal vampires who have been together for centuries, and still find new things to talk about, from the many celebrities they’ve met over the years to the finer points of fungus. We should all be so lucky as to find someone we could so easily love hundreds of years after we met.

Warm Bodies (2013)

A zombie falls in love with a human, and it’s about to get awkward. Jonathan Levine’s spry horror comedy turns both the rom-com and zombie genres on their heads, adding gruesome consequence to the former and genuine optimism to the latter. Maybe there really is hope after the world falls apart, and maybe love – even the weirdest kind of love – really can save us. Nicholas Hoult and Teresa Palmer are delightful together, and the film is equal parts funny and touching.

Pride & Prejudice & Zombies (2016)

Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice doesn’t need zombies to make it captivating, but they do add a bit of novelty to Burr Steers’ oddball horror comedy, in which Elizabeth Bennett (Lily James) and Mr. Darcy (Sam Riley) wage war with the undead when they’re not trading barbs – and punches – with each other. The zombie stuff is fun, but the cast is so good that after a while you’ll probably find yourself wishing the movie would focus on the romance even more than the kung fu undead violence.

Happy Death Day (2017)

A slasher version of Groundhog Day wouldn’t be complete without a love story too, and Happy Death Day provides. This smart horror comedy stars Jessica Rothe as a self-involved college student who gets murdered by a masked maniac and wakes up at the beginning of the day, reliving the same events over and over… including her (seemingly inevitable) death, until she gets it right. Rothe is an impressively charismatic star, and her chemistry with Israel Broussard, as the one person who might be able to help her out of her torment, makes the movie perfect for date night.
Guillermo del Toro’s Oscar-nominated monster romance finally gives the Creature from the Black Lagoon the romantic subplot he always deserved when a mysterious fish monster (Doug Jones) finds true love with a mute cleaning lady (Sally Hawkins). It’s as much a fairy tale as it is a horror story, but then again they are often one and the same, and del Toro is a master at wringing both sweetness and grimness out of this kind of fantastic, and fantastical, material.

What are your favorite horror movie romances? Let’s discuss in the comments!



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