The horror genre is one of the most versatile when it comes to genre-crossing and blurring the boundaries of what a movie genre can explore. This is no more evident than in how horror movies seamlessly lend themselves to exploring the romantic drama alongside an exploration of the terrifying.
Whether it is for the vulnerability or the intensity, there is something about romance and horror that complement each other. While there are horror films that may just throw in a relationship as a plot device, there are others that truly combine romantic drama with the terrifying world of the horror movie. It is these rare movies that can be equally as terrifying as they are romantic.
10 The Lodgers (2017) – 5.1
The Lodgers takes place in rural Ireland during the Irish War of Independence and introduces twins, Rachel (Charlotte Vega) and Edward (Bill Milner). The twins are resigned to a life trapped inside the walls of their dilapidated family estate, forever under the control of “the lodgers.”
Rachel desires an escape, while her brother Edward has acquiesced to his fate. Rachel meets and falls for Sean, a returning soldier, and begins to see a chance of escape for herself. Sean represents an opportunity of freedom for Rachel and so begins a series of events that anger both Edward and the lodgers, and puts everyone at risk.
9 After Midnight (2019) – 5.4
After Midnight follows Hank, a 30-something-year-old male who finds himself suddenly single and alone after his girlfriend of 10 years, Abby, leaves unexpectedly. Heartbroken, he pines for Abby and reminisces about their relationship through a series of romantic flashbacks.
Abby’s departure soon becomes the least of Hank’s worries, though, as an unseen monster appears in the woods and begins to terrorize Hank’s house. After Midnight is the study of a relationship between two people who have settled into a comfortable existence and begin to realize that their dreams and desires do not align, combined with a thrilling monster-story.
8 Sun Don’t Shine (2012) – 6.1
The 2012 movie Sun Don’t Shine follows an intense road trip between a couple, Crystal (Kate Lyn Sheil) and Leo (Kentucker Audley). The atmosphere of this trip starts out tense and uneasy and becomes increasingly ominous, as the couple progress on their journey toward their new future together.
The events that have led Crystal and Leo to this moment are slowly revealed as the couple drive on, and audiences slowly learn the reason for their trip. The film explores a complex relationship and the lengths that one individual will go to to help another.
7 Spring (2014) – 6.7
Spring follows Evan, a young American who, after a bereavement, decides he needs a change in his environment and finds himself traveling to Italy. In the south of Italy, Evan meets the elusive Louise and becomes determined to get to know her.
As Evan wins Louise over, the terrible secret underpinning their relationship is slowly uncovered. Spring is the story of two young people from different parts of the world who happen to find each other and fall in love, as well as a monster horror film that questions whether love can overcome even the most terrifying obstacles.
6 Beast (2017) – 6.8
Beast revolves around 27-year-old Moll Huntford (Jessie Buckley) following a series of murders on the island of Jersey, targeting women of Moll’s age. The entire community is on edge when Moll meets Pascal (Johnny Flynn).
As Moll and Pascal’s relationship blossoms, her family remain entirely unsupportive. The worst part, however, is that many consider Pascal to be a suspect in the murders that have shaken the island community. Moll and Pascal must navigate their relationship, while staying safe from the many external threats to themselves and their relationship.
5 A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night (2014) – 7.0
Ana Lily Amirpour’s A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night is set in an Iranian ghost-town called Bad City and follows the Girl (Sheila Vand). The Girl is a lonely young vampire who roams the streets alone at night in search of prey, and one night meets the equally lonely, Arash.
The bond between the Girl and Arash grows, and they soon team up to escape their lives together. The Girl is both an isolated teenager and a ruthless predator, who moves between being the villain and the heroine in a horror film that is more focused on the complexities of the individual than it is on good and evil.
4 Thelma (2017) – 7.0
The 2017 Norwegian supernatural horror Thelma follows the title character (Eili Harboe) who moves to Oslo to attend university. She begins to escape her sheltered life as she gets to know fellow student, Anja (Kaya Wilkins). As Thelma discovers a growing attraction to Anja, a number of inexplicable catastrophic events start to happen around her.
Thelma is thrown into unfamiliar territory both in her overwhelming desire for Anja and in the sudden powers that she cannot control. Thelma simultaneously begins to discover herself and a world of dangerous supernatural powers.
3 Thirst (2009) – 7.1
The 2009 Korean horror movie Thirst introduces Sang-Hyun (Song Kang-ho) a respected and devoted Roman-Catholic priest who, through no fault of his own, becomes a vampire. Sang-Hyun then meets and falls in love with Tae-Ju, as he tries to navigate his newfound existence.
The relationship between Tae-Ju and Sang-Hyun exposes how they are fundamentally different in their morals and their approach to their new life. What follows is the study of a relationship between two entirely different individuals who find themselves facing the same fate together.
2 Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992) – 7.4
Francis Ford Coppola’s 1992 adaptation of Bram Stoker’s novel stays true to the co-existing romance and horror of the source text. Having never recovered from the death of his beloved wife Elisabeta, Dracula (Gary Oldman) sets out to track down Mina Murray (Winona Ryder), whom he believes to be the reincarnation of his late wife.
In one of the most iconic vampire tales, the formidable Dracula will stop at nothing to regain his lost love. Alongside Dracula’s ruthlessness and manipulation, the movie presents the tale of an everlasting love that transcends lifetimes.
1 Let The Right One In (2008) – 7.9
The Swedish horror Let The Right One In is a tender romantic teen-drama of two outcast 12-year-olds who find solace in each other. The film follows Oskar as he meets his new next-door neighbor Eli, and the two gradually become friends.
Despite the fact that Eli feeds on human blood and Oskar fantasizes about murder, the two teenagers form a tender and innocent relationship that gives them both a sense of belonging. Let Me In, the American adaptation of the film was released in 2010, starring Chloe Grace Moretz.
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