The magical day is upon us once again. It's February 14th and love is in the air. I love many things in my life...one of those things happens to be horror movies and low and behold...I run a site devoted to films of horror and other gory oddities and deviance. So, today I'm going to share with you my favorite horror films that have a love theme in it. Perhaps a girlfriend or boyfriend or both. Perhaps the love of a father and son...or perhaps a best friend...or love obsession. This Valentine's Day...share one of the following films with someone you love. They'll love you for it...or not.
Damn....so much love in here.
I present....in no particular order...14 films of love and horror...
Angela Bettis stars as May Dove Canady...a lovely young woman traumatized by a bizarre childhood who has trouble associating herself with the people around her. The film is a fun little romantic foray into the odd obsessions of a troubled girl directed by horror maestro, Lucky McKee. Pieces of Jeremy Sisto, James Duvall and Anna Faris show up in the film. A good way to kick start the love of Valentine's Day.
Let the Right One In (2008)
I've already written so much about this beautiful film on Film Deviant....yet, I cannot write enough about this enduring classic regarding a young vampire and a young boy set in the cold winter of 1982 Blackeberg, Sweden who find that they cannot live without the other. It is a genuine tale told through the masterful direction of Tomas Alfredson adapted from John Ajvide Lindqvist's genius novel, Let Me In. It is the best vampire film of the last decade and one of the finest examples of original vampire lore ever and you should watch it right now.
Eden Lake (2008)
What happens when a man whisks his girlfriend away on a romantic weekend to an isolated lake set deep in the deserted backwoods of the UK in which to secretly propose to her and live happily ever after? Well if it's Eden Lake then the young couple encounter a brutal run in with a ruthless gang of kids from hell. This film, directed by relative newcomer James Watkins, does not relent once the unfortunate events take hold. Speaking of unfortunate events, it has an ending you won't soon forget.
The Fly (1986)
David Cronenberg is, without question, one of the best directors still working today. His long body of work has made me a fan for life. While I can list a number of his other films that are much better, The Fly is his one film that truly embodies the sentiment of love. Jeff Goldblum, in perhaps my favorite performance of his, stars as eccentric scientist Seth Brundle working on the invention of teleportation. Geena Davis is Veronica, the young reporter that falls for Seth. One night a seemingly successful experiment goes horribly wrong and we are treated to an experience in physical bodily horror that only Cronenberg can craft so effortlessly. In the end...the film, no matter how grotesque it ultimately gets, is a heartbreaking tale of lost love.
All the Boys Love Mandy Lane (2006)
Amber Heard is becoming quite the little prolific minx in the horror biz. With parts in Drive Angry, The Ward, Zombieland and The Stepfather she is proving that she can be the go-to girl when it comes to good looks and blood splatter. However, it is her 2006 film All the Boys Love Mandy Lane in which she displays a true talent for the genre. The film is a solid attempt at an innocent love story combined with a twist slasher ending. It is the essence of slasher/date movie and its beautiful cinematography will fool you into thinking that it's an art house film. And Amber Heard is all kinds of amazing.
The Strangers (2008)
Bryan Bertino made a little film that took people by the throat in 2008. Liv Tyler and Scott Speedman play a couple with issues in The Strangers...a film about the dangers of taking your bitter girlfriend with you to a secluded cabin with three deranged maniacs, who share a love for creepy disguises, on the loose. The film has a certain quiet unease that ultimately makes the premise eerie as fuck. A knock in the middle of the night by a stranger looking to kill you. The reasoning behind the terror? Because you were home. What in the Jesus Christ is scarier than that?
Pet Semetary (1989)
Pet Semetary is the scariest thing Mary Lambert has ever directed. Unless you count the video documentary for The Lionel Richie Collection...in which case, I stand corrected. If the people that you love ever met a tragic untimely demise and you had the chance to bring them back from the dead...would you do it? Even if it meant dealing with certain malevolent consequences. Stephen King tackles this premise in his story of a father taking his freshly perished son to an ancient Indian burial ground known for bringing back dead animals. A disturbing tale of never-ending love.
The Orphanage (2007)
It's no secret around these parts that Guillermo Del Toro is one of my favorite human beings that has ever walked the earth. He's created some undeniable classics within the genre and he's also been instrumental in seeking out great films that otherwise would have remained buried in obscurity. One such film is Juan Antonio Bayona's The Orphanage...a warped tale perfectly capturing the love of a mother and her child. A horror film that touches your heart along with your spine. You'll be left breathless once the finale comes around. It's like an unexpected assault on your deep inner emotions. If you enjoyed The Devil's Backbone I know you'll love this.
The Loved Ones (2009)
The Aussies know horror. In fact they join the ranks of the Asians and the French in terms of horror film prolificness. Sean Byrne's The Loved Ones is no exception. The film bleeds across the screen with its story of love and obsession and madness. A teenage boy named Brent (a great performance by Xavier Samuel) is involved in a tragic car accident that kills his father. The film takes place after those events finding young Brent in an escapism world fueled by heavy metal and marijuana. He meets a young girl named Lola, played with a perfect blend of innocence and fucked up lunacy by Robin McLeavy, who takes him on a world filled with obsessive perversion and insanity. Can Brent escape this world and make it back in time for prom? Check it out tonight with a loved one and witness the ending that rewards the viewer for enduring Brent's brutal torture.
Speaking of obsessive torture, nothing comes close to the Takashi Miike's classic horror masterpiece, Audition. Shigeharu Aoyama is a company executive whose wife passes away. After 7 years he is invited to sit in on an audition for an actress where he meets a hot young woman. He kind of falls for her and tries calling her afterward...not having a clue of what he is in store for. What happens from here on in is etched into the pathos of horror movie lore. Audition is not merely a film....it is legend...and you must see this with your Valentine's sweetie.
Shaun of the Dead (2004)
Edgar Wright is one of my favorite directors and Shaun of the Dead is one of my favorite zombie films. It has everything in it. A good blending of comedy and gore...what's not to love about this film?? Shaun goes out of his way to save his girlfriend in the midst of a zombie outbreak....and(!) there's even a side-plot about the importance of friendship. Simon Pegg and Nick Frost are absolutely immortal in this. A perfect choice to lighten the mood for a night of romance.
30 Days of Night (2007)
How can you deny the power of the love between Eben and Stella? In 30 Days of Night, adapted from a Steve Niles comic book series, director David Slade shows that he can indeed helm a true horror film with human emotion planted within its core. The scene in which Stella and Eben enjoy a sunrise is pure fleeting love and it is as chilling as it is heartbreaking. Interesting how Slade went on to direct the total opposite Twilight: Eclipse...the fuck was he thinking??
The love between a mother and her child is like no other. The lengths she will go to ensure the safe-being of her baby is beyond comprehension. Such is the premise in the little film Grace...a different kind of horror film. It fuses all kinds of genre elements...from vampires to zombies and a dash of Rosemary's Baby and It's Alive for good measure. The film is written and directed by Paul Solet and boasts a strong performance in the lead role by Jordan Ladd. It is a film that will disturb you and move you all the same. Love is deeper than blood.
My Bloody Valentine (1981/2009)
My Bloody Valentine is a seminal classic. It is the ultimate go-to horror film for this time of year. And now there are two versions. The original classic version...as well as the 2009 3D version with Tom Atkins(!) and gratuitous female 3D nudity. It's the kind of stuff that drive-ins were invented for and never threatens to be more than the sum of its parts. A simple horror film made twice for your Valentine's Day enjoyment. Give the gift of love...and a pick ax through the cranium.
Happy Valentine's Day!