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Top 10: Romantic Horror Films

Sometimes you want to laugh, sometimes you want to cry, but when you are a horror fan the most important thing is that someone always has to die! Luckily for us, there are a lot of great horror films that play with the elements of other genres – comedy, drama, romance, thriller, sci-fi and even the family film genre.

You’re stuck on that last one aren’t you? Wondering what films I could possibly be talking about? Well, we will let it linger for a bit and compare notes later. Let’s just focus on one genre at a time.

The following list is for you hopeless romantic horror fans looking for the perfect date flick. Just make sure it’s not a first date… I guess if she’s an awesome chick then it won’t matter, but let’s face it – we’re a rare breed.

TOP TEN ROMANTIC HORROR FILMS (in no particular order)

DANCE OF THE DEAD (2008)

Okay I lied. There is so a particular order as I particularly placed this film first. It’s a personal fave of mine. Every teen girl dreams about their high school prom, or pretends not to in order to seem cool. What could be more romantic? Well to this former teen girl the answer would be ZOMBIE PROM.

If this movie were around when I was a teenager I would have based my entire prom experience around it. The flowing dress ripped at the bottom to expose my badass combat boots. No ridiculous corsages, instead I would have fashioned a ninja star launcher that shoots from my wrist when I make a fist. Well that last part isn’t really in the movie but look how inspired I am! Basically this film has everything you could ask for – Zombies launching out of graves and giving chase, bad ass nerds and
brave cheerleaders, actual guitar heroes, insane teachers, violence, blood, guts, and gore, but most importantly LOVE.

Most teenage boys don’t want to go to prom anyway, so why bother going when there’s a good chance your fellow classmates are undead and waiting to devour your face? Why, to save your high school sweetheart of course! Actually, the sweetheart was busy making out with some other dude at the cemetery, but hey, there are more important things going on! No sense in dwelling on who did what. Instead they all work together and set out to save the prom! Plus two zombies totally make out hardcore.

It’s campy, it’s fun, it’s my romantic number one. <3 [Ali]

ZOMBIE HONEYMOON (2004)

Life after prom. You were warned, but you went and married your high school sweetheart anyway and now you will never get to experience life on your own and grow and become your own person. You might as well be dead. There I go expressing my feelings toward people who have been together since high school. Really doesn’t have anything to do with this review…

So this isn’t actually a sequel to DANCE OF THE DEAD, but it is the next logical step in the romantic timeline. But really? Zombies getting married? Talk about your white wedding. Actually in this film the characters are very much alive on their wedding day, and like at most weddings, they promise to love honor and cherish till death do they part. While that’s a great theory and probably true of most marriages, in this case – not so much. I don’t want to reveal too much but basically this film shows just how strong the bonds of love can be. Not as strong as zombie venom, but strong enough protect, provide, and to stand by the lump of rotting flesh you married while it tries very hard not to rip the limbs from your body shove the warm bloody flesh into it’s gaping face-hole.

Seriously though, there is a very touching reason that this film was made. So even if it’s not your cup of tea, it means a whole hell of a lot to the writer and his sister. Definitely check it out.

Side note: Yes zombie venom. What else would you call it? [Ali]

 

LET THE RIGHT ONE IN (2008)

What else is there to say? It’s right there in the title!

Okay so there are several reasons why this is a great romantic horror, but it’s also just fantastic over all. Let me start by saying that women love a beautiful fluffy snowfall. This film is full of gorgeous evening snow shots that make you want to curl up next to someone and get all warm and cozy. So you’re cuddling right? ‘Cause the next thing you know blood is flying across the screen and splattering over the earth’s white blanket causing your lady love to grip tighter and pull closer… unless she’s like me in which case blood hitting snow is the most beautiful thing she has ever seen and she is now perched on the edge of her seat becoming one with the film, and
you, my friend, no longer exist.

Anyway… maybe romance isn’t the best way to describe it as the characters are only12 years old, but the bond between them and the things they are willing to do for each other go beyond the borders of a regular friendship and quite possibly display a basic idea of romance that most women never experience. And guys, who wouldn’t want their woman to revenge kill for them? Seriously. [Ali]

 

AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON (1981)

So Rick Baker is super hot. As someone with a background in special effects make- up you best believe that he was, and always will be, my career crush – if there is such a thing. (Speaking of THE THING, Rob Bottin is a close second. Noting their similar appearances at the time, it seems I grew up in the wrong decade). There is just something about the relationship of the make-up artist and his/her work that is, in a
way, romantic. Maybe it’s the use of ones hands to create life, or maybe it’s just me. The wolf, its transitions, and Jack’s decaying corpse are so perfect and gorgeous how could you not fall in love?

Make-up aside, this film becomes romantic when David awakes in the hospital and is put in the care of Nurse Price. They fall in love, naughty montage, yadda, yadda, yadda, and now he must battle his inner wolf to protect her and the rest of London. It really puts an interesting spin on the idea that only true love can set you free. Also, EXCELLENT soundtrack!

Side note: I would just like to add that Kurt Russell is also super hot in John Carpenter’s THE THING as well as James Brolin in THE AMITYVILLE HORROR. I really do have a type. This could be a whole other list – “The Hotties of Horror”…oh yes it’s happening. [Ali]

 

MARY SHELLEY’S FRANKENSTEIN (1994)

I would like to continue to romanticize the idea of creation and the ability to do so. Think about how much love it must take to dedicate yourself to a craft, allowing it to overpower and consume you.

In this film you have a man creating out of mourning and longing; a creature born of scientific creation in search of acceptance and love; the creature’s desire to create a companion to escape loneliness and solitude; murderous revenge; and creation again caused by the loss of love. Hatred spawns from love and revenge spawns from both. Maybe if they stopped spawning they would all be happier, but things aren’t that simple and so life goes on, and on, and on…

This film is sad, creepy, dark, and damp yet still so beautiful in everything that it represents – Life. We are humans, flawed by our emotions, so we turn them off and play God. Love is so messed up.

Side note: The make-up is fantastic and I must mention that it was cast by Priscilla John (THE PILLARS OF THE EARTH) whom I admire and the screenplay co-written by Frank Darabont – so the younger generation who may not have seen this film but enjoy THE WALKING DEAD and Frank’s other work should check it out. [Ali]

 

THE LOST BOYS (1987)

“Unchain me sister, love is with your brother” Gerard McMann sings in the opening credits. But don’t worry folks; I’m not here to engage you on a journey of incest. Let’s save that for some V.C. Andrews fan to discover. Under a killer soundtrack, ‘The Lost Boys’ takes us out for a romantic stroll of blood sucking, low-lit shots and Jim Morrison references.

Lucy (Diane Weist), a newly divorcee, moves her and her family to Santa Carla, California where she is on the prrrowl! Snatching a date while at the local video store (score!) will find this milf into a heated mess. Watch the story unfold between her and the romance she craves while trying to juggle her finances and unruly children.

The whole family seems to be smitten… or perhaps… bitten! Moments into the movie we watch Lucy’s eldest son Michael (Jason Patric) lock eyes on to Star (Jami Gertz). During this scene the only source of light is FIRE reflecting off of a beefy saxophone rockstar; you know the rest of this story to be of true love.

My favourite love story in this vamp classic is that of the youngest son Sam (Corey Haim, R.I.P.). His love for comics bring us back to a time of childlike wonder and love for the unknown. Sam and the crew he meets (starring the other Corey) passionately try to out the head vamp applying skills they had only read in the comics.

If you don’t care for these characters, you will be indulged by the vampires. Sexy vampire David (Keifer Sutherland) with the rest of the lost boys on their motorcycles had teens rippin’ their shirts off in the 80’s (things Ali and I had only wished for if we grew up in that decade). The vamp boys frolic about such as ‘the lost boys’ did in Peter Pan, expressing their freedom and showcasing their bad boy image.

Watching the life-to-vamp changing of Michael and his love lust for Star keeps our arms and legs inside this ride (or with your partner). Joel Shumacher successfully delivers a suspenseful, eerie and romantic affair.

Do not suggest: TWILIGHT: not enough low-lit shots or sunny days in Cali; lack of eye locking cut in between a shot of an over-tanned ‘roids induced sax player; too many sparkles. [Ames]

 

HIGH TENSION/HAUT TENSION (2003)

First of all, it’s French. So it already sounds so much sexier than every other movie. Okay so maybe we gain a point for sounding sexy, but we lose one for making you have to read subtitles… back to zero.

How about this – Girl love. We’ve talked about the romances between men and women but now we get to see what romance is like between women and women. It’s not warm, and gentle and soft-core. It’s brutal, and violent and filled with such rage!

If you haven’t seen it I wont give anything away, well other than the lesbianism. Marie is in love with Alex, we knew it from the moment we saw them together and if you didn’t it’s because you don’t watch enough movies because you are a pretentious jerk who thinks you are better than everyone else! Anyway, after Alex’s family is murdered in the middle of the night, Marie tries to protect her and escape only to come up against the villain several times. There is so much blood and it is stunning, in both ways the word stunning can be interpreted.

Moral of the story – Ladies, beware of your best friend harboring an all consuming love for you, it may cause you to be stalked by a maniac! This is the kind of situation I have been anticipating for years with Ames. It hasn’t happened yet, but fingers crossed! [Ali]

 

DRACULA (1992)

Not only the best vampyre love story but the ultimate love story of our time is that of Dracula. Set in Victorian era England, I finally have a reason to use this spelling of “vampyre”. A novel written through a series of letters by Bram Stoker, director Francis Ford Coppola paints us an image of splendid sets, gorgeous garments and colourful characters.

Despite the hilarity of Keanu Reeves saying he is “impotent with fear” ¾ of the movie; I swear this is the best love-horror story. And yeah right Keanu, you spent your whole time “paralyzed” in the castle having orgies with Dracula’s glorious whores. I’m sure you were all but impotent. Sorry, I mean, Jonothan Harker, the lawyer Keanu plays.

Moving on…

A time before computers and texting ruined our love lives, we had to
long for our loved ones. Dracula waited for centuries. How many men can say that? Not too many. Power of love? I think so. His slaying of many Turks during his human years isn’t going to turn this guy into a sensitive sally. The feasting of blood to keep alive is pure sustenance. Vlad will get his Willhelmina back if it’s the last thing to do. We quickly see that the point of this story isn’t about vampyrism, it is about love. This is successfully shown through a series of mood and wardrobe changes for Gary Oldman.

The main two lasses are Mina (Winona Ryder) and Lucy (Sadie Frost). They’re pretty good friends: pretty, pretty, pretty good friends. WIN. They totally share a spontaneous lusting kiss – as any best friend duo would dressed in beautiful Victorian garb, running and dancing amongst a maze of hedges in the rain.

Mina: Breathtaking in every scene. She longs for her lover who is stuck in
Transylvania impotent with fear, yet she is smitten by Dracula himself, experiencing insatiable urges towards him. What’s a gal to do!?

Lucy: If you want another image like that to ROSEMARY’S BABY in which a beastlike figure is on top of a broad, you might find a moment of that in this flick. Also, she bares her tits in every scene.

Prof. Van Helsing (the one and only Anthony Hopkins) grows a passion for justice against the spreading of this wretched vampyrism. This conflicts with the viewers as we already have compassion for Dracula… and we want to see his whores again.

This could be my favourite work of Gary Oldman. He glorifies the personification of, and inhabits every emotion that is, Dracula. Through a series of make-up, costume, clouds, fogs and mirrors, this also helps his point.

If you haven’t seen this yet, please find this flick. Don’t let “1992” deter you. It beats out most current vamp films. It is wonderfully created visually set under a dramatic score with theatre-like acting from an all-star cast.

Also suggests: BLACULA. [Ames]

 

MAY (2002)

So this film actually has all of the above…well except vampires and zombies. There’s men and women, women and women, awkward teenage-like interactions with the opposite sex, and body parts being sewn together to create the perfect companion. Youre typical Satuday night ;)

It’s the story of what Ames’ life would have been if the scale had tipped the other way, but to our disappointment, Ames opted for sanity. Ya can’t win ‘em all! May on the other hand, not so good with the sanity. Feeling like a freak most of her life, things take a turn when she is given the ability to hide her visible flaws. Finally she gets a chance to appear normal, but the thing is, changes on the outside don’t change who you are on the inside. Poor May. Every lover she takes on is able to see through the awkward, harmless exterior to her frightening, unstable interior, and so she is
forced to turn the tables and expose their interiors right back! It really hurts to like someone when they don’t like you back, she wants you to feel her pain.

Failed taglines aside, this film also stars Anna Faris, whom Ames and I both adore. [Ali]

 

BUIO OMEGA (1979)

I had made several lists for this topic and narrowed it down to 10. In doing so I completely changed my mind on many of the choices. This left one space open. Ames and I shot off ideas back and forth, things like CLOVERFIELD, UNDERWORLD, VALENTINE, MY BLOODY VALENTINE, etc… But these films just don’t feel enough like horror to me. I understand that to some, a lot of our choices may be borderline, but we are happy with them. So I racked my brain to think of a really epic, gory, disgusting film that is no doubt horror and keeps within our theme of romance. Well here it is!

BUIO OMEGA is an Italian film from the 70’s. The versions you can find here are dubbed over with English and can fall under alternate titles such as BEYOND THE DARKNESS, THE FINAL DARKNESS, and BLUE HOLOCAUST.

I saw this film for the first time at a friend’s birthday party when I was a mere 14 years old. I don’t know why we were allowed to rent this but we did and it was probably the most wretched thing that any of us had ever seen, and I LOVED it. Some of the girls didn’t stomach it too well, probably had something to do with the fact that we were watching a dude ring out the slop and juices from a woman’s intestine whilst we ate heaping piles of birthday cake. I have not been able to find this film since, but when I do – viewing party with heaping piles of cake!

So this dude lost his mother when he was young and this nasty housemaid looked after him. Then he falls in love with a young woman and the housemaid does not like sharing his attention and takes her out. Devastated, the dude digs up his fiancé, drains her body and stuffs it so she will always be with him. Now he’s already a little unstable so why not go full tilt? He starts picking up random women, and when he realizes they are no replacement for his lost love, he butchers them too. The
taxidermy element is awesomely disturbing. Of course this is insanely romantic, I threaten to do it to Matthew T. all the time! If he kicks the bucket you best believe he will be stuffed and preserved and sitting permanently on the couch so that I can throw on this film as I cuddle with his lifeless body.

Side note: Matthew T. has actually seen this film! I don’t know anyone else who has. [Ali]

So there you have it! If you haven’t noticed, these comments are very personal and what we find romantic may not appeal to everyone. But if this article gives even one person a new reason to check out one of these films then we have done our (un-paid) job. Would that be considered a duty? Yes it was our duty! Offering you a different and slightly female perspective.

Tune in next time for…something else, we just haven’t decided yet cause we are women.