If you are like some of us here at SAW, you are sick of the hearts, flowers and mushy rom-coms that just aren’t real life that are shoved down our throats this time of year. So, we decided to give you guys some alternatives for this Valentine’s Day with some rip out your heart and punch you in the gut type romance movies instead of the normal lovey-dovey stuff where we don’t get to watch Katherine Heigl get brutally murdered.
Here are Five Horror Movies to Watch on Valentine’s Day Instead of Mushy Crap. Enjoy!
Hounds of Love | Vincent Kane
Why watch another nauseating and not true to the real world rom-com, when you can curl up and watch a brutal and bleak gut-punch of a movie? Hounds of Love is a punishing movie about a couple that just so happens to be serial killers as they love to kidnap women and terrorize them before ending their life. Isn’t it cute when couples do things together and have the same interests? Australian writer-director Ben Young’s debut can be seen in the same vein as Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer as an uncompromising and dark character drama with disturbing content. The story is about a girl named Vicki who makes the mistake of hitching a ride with this stranger couple and what we witness next is the teenager being subjected to violence and domination as she does whatever she can to just survive. This is expertly made as a bleak throat punch that is not for the weak.
Spring | Sailor Monsoon
Romance and horror have been intertwined since the beginning of storytelling, with stories of monsters pining with unrequited love (Dracula, the Mummy, the Gill-man, King Kong, the Beast, Etc.) being staples of both genres, which is why they make for such perfect bedfellows. Audiences can’t help but sympathize with monsters and they love a good ‘opposites attract’ story, so making a naturally sympathetic monster the romantic lead, is a recipe for gold. Let the Right One In is the undisputed king of the romantic horror and probably always will be but I think Spring has enough heat to challenge any film, including The Shape of Water, to the second place thing-y. Whatever they give to the Prince. A septor. Spring is the silver septor or chalice or whatever of romantic horror films. The two leads are likable and have a natural chemistry, the location is beautiful and the monster is crazy as fuck. It’s Lovecraft meets Linklater.
My Bloody Valentine (2009) | Bob Cram Jr.
We all know what it’s like when your high school romance returns just as a serial killer begins a spree. There’s all the romantic tension and decapitations… no? Just me? Well, me and the characters in the remake of My Bloody Valentine. Ten years after a Valentine’s Day massacre Tom Hannigan (Supernatural’s Jensen Ackles) returns to his home town to find his high-school sweetheart Sarah (Jaime King) married to frenemy, and current sheriff, Axel Palmer (Kerr Smith). Don’t worry – while there’s enough character interaction to give you some connection to the characters there’s also plenty of carnage, courtesy of the Miner – possibly returned serial killer Harry Warden, though the movie will keep you guessing as to the actual identity of the pick-ax-wielding maniac. Chock full of gore, black humor and characters that are given slightly more depth than your average slasher flick, My Bloody Valentine won’t teach you anything about the nature of love, but it IS a bloody good time. (For a more complete review, check out my Slasher Remake Double Feature.)
Crimson Peak | Romona Comet
So you’re here because you don’t want mushy, lovey-dovey stuff. That’s fine. May I then suggest an atmospheric gothic romance turned ghost story with plenty of blood, incest, and murder? Mia Wasikowska plays Edith Cushing, the young daughter of a wealthy businessman. Edith also has the unfortunate ability to see ghosts, and she is warned at a very young age by the ghost of her dead mother to “Beware of Crimson Peak.” Later, Edith marries Thomas, an Englishman seeking investors for a clay-mining invention. The marriage takes Edith across the pond to England, where she lives in Allerdale Hall with Thomas and his sister Lucille. Allerdale Hall itself is slowly sinking into the red clay mine that it sits atop of. Gruesome looking ghosts begin to haunt Edith, and she slowly realizes that there is something far more sinister lurking about in the halls. The movie itself doesn’t tout any major surprises, but it looks and feels like a sophisticated adaptation of a classic gothic novel. The aesthetic is gorgeous, and the ghost story itself has enough substance to keep you entertained. Crimson Peak may not be horror in the most basic sense, but it will certainly make you think twice about marriage.
Thirst | Lee McCutcheon
Directed by Park Chan-wook (Oldboy) and starring Kong Sang-ho (Parasite), Thirst is half supernatural horror, half tragic love story. Sang-ho plays a Catholic priest who, due to a failed medical experiment, has turned into a vampire. Not your stereotypical vampire that murders people in order to survive, but the type who prefers to creep into hospitals so he can steal blood transfusion packs. He also has the problem of falling in love with the wife of one of his closest friends. Not ideal at the best of times but considering he is a Priest, things get complicated, to say the least. Parallels can be drawn between his inescapable temptation for human blood, coupled with his desire for human flesh (in a not so literal sense). Things quickly spiral out of control with jealousy, murder, and conflicting vampire ethics all coming into play. What starts as eery horror transitions into romantic tragedy, with dark humour and beautiful cinematography all the way through. Just don’t go in expecting Twilight.
Well, what do you think of our picks? Have you seen any or plan to watch one this Valentine’s Day? Have any recommendations of your own?