'Til Death Do Us Part: 25 Great Romantic Horror Movies

Scary Films for Couples

Can horror movies be romantic? Here's a list that says, "Sure, why not?" So sit down by the fire, cuddle up to your loved one and put on a horror movie for a change.

Beautiful Creatures (2013)

Beautiful Creatures
© Warner Bros.

From Richard LaGravenese, writer of acclaimed romance films The Bridges of Madison CountyThe Horse Whisperer, The Mirror Has Two FacesP.S. I Love You and Water for Elephants,  --the story of forbidden love between a witch and a human -- boasts the sort of playful charm and palpable chemistry that was sorely missing from fellow young adult literary adaptation .

Twilight before Twilight, Blood and Chocolate likewise adapts a young adult novel about supernatural interspecies love -- in this instance a human and a werewolf -- and does it better than the human-vampire love story of Twilight.

 

Blood and Roses (1960)

Blood and Roses
© Paramount

Gorgeous cinematography heightens the lushness of this French production about a woman possessed by the vampiric spirit of her ancestor, a loose adaptation of the groundbreaking 19th century lesbian vampire tale Carmilla.

This unorthodox werewolf movie not only incorporates social commentary about prejudice, it also features a touching love story about a boy who looks past the exterior of a hairy "wolf girl" to see the beauty within. Sniffle.

 

Francis Ford Coppola's rendition of Dracula turns the novel into more of a sexy and epic tale of eternal love between the female lead, Mina, and the titular vampire, who's presented in a more sympathetic light. (Luckily, the horror elements aren't sacrificed for the sake of the romance.)

 

Cat People (1942)

Cat People (1942)
© RKO

The first of a string of classy, atmospheric Val Lewton horror productions of the 1940s (including Cat PeopleI Walked with a Zombie and The Leopard Man), this noir-ish film uses shadows and sound to generate thrills in the story of a doomed relationship between a man and a woman who's convinced she will turn into panther if aroused. Freud would have a field day.

Beautifully shot with a dreamy fable-like quality, this Hong Kong period piece tells the tale of love between a human and a ghost enslaved by a wicked tree demon.

 

Although it's buried beneath the carnage of a giant creature laying waste to New York City, the core of is the love of the main character that drives him to cross the city in search of his trapped ex-girlfriend. It's one of the best examples of the horror trope of separated loved ones trying to reunite in the midst of an apocalypse.

 

Crimson Peak (2015)

'Crimson Peak' movie poster
© Legendary Pictures/Universal Pictures

Guillermo del Toro channels Gothic cinema of yesteryear in this haunted house story of a young bride (Mia Wasikowska) whisked away to her new groom's (Tom Hiddleston) crumbling mansion, where ghostly secrets lie. Its top-notch cast helps sell the story of love and betrayal, while the gorgeous production design delivers the eye candy.

Ganja & Hess (1973)

Ganja & Hess African-American horror movie poster
© Kino

This artsy, pensive, surreal "blaxploitation" fare revolves around a dangerous but heartfelt affair between a pair of newly turned vampires.

Primarily thought of as a romance in which a murdered man's spirit returns to protect (and get freaky with) his widow, there's something for everyone in this Oscar-winning hit that blends romance, drama and comedy with supernatural horror elements.

 

The Hunger (1983)

The Hunger
© MGM/UA

Director Tony Scott lends a hip '80s music video look (complete with slow-motion doves and David Bowie) to this cult vampire film that embraces the sultry, sexual side of romance, embodied by a steamy lesbian love scene between Susan Sarandon and Catherine Deneuve.

I Will Follow You into the Dark (2014)

I Will Follow You Into the Dark
© Epic

An unusually dramatic and romantic ghost story starring Mischa Barton as a woman whose faith in life after death is tested when her boyfriend disappears from their bed one night, leaving a trail of blood that leads to the supposedly haunted top floor of his apartment building.

Two highly regarded adaptations of the Swedish novel by John Ajvide Lindqvist about the sweet, innocent relationship that develops between an adolescent boy and the vampire girl who moves in next door.

A young Dennis Hopper stars as a seaman who falls in love with a woman who plays a mermaid at a Santa Monica side show who may or may not be descended from a race of sirens who ultimately lead sailors to their doom.

 

The Presence (2011)

The Presence
© Lionsgate

Seeking an escape from the stress of her life, Mira Sorvino retreats to a lakeside cabin that turns out to be haunted by a ghost who develops an affection for her and must protect her from a darker presence lurking nearby.

 

Red Riding Hood (2011)

Red Riding Hood
© Warner Bros.

Unfairly lumped in with the Twilight movies (in part because director Catherine Hardwicke helmed Twilight), easily outpaces those more popular films in terms of melding horror with romance, with more effective werewolf design, less treacly melodrama, a superior cast and a lush fairy tale environment reminiscent of Neil Jordan's The Company of Wolves.

Shaun of the Dead (2004)

Shaun of the Dead
© Rogue

The greatest "rom zom com" (romantic zombie comedy) to date balances undead gore with belly laughs about a hapless man's efforts to save his relationship in the midst of a zombie outbreak in Great Britain.

 

 

The Signal (2008)

The Signal (2008)
© Magnolia

A movie about an apocalyptic scenario in which people become infected by homicidal rage doesn't seem to have romance written anywhere near it, but throughout , the featured star-crossed lovers strive to reunite amidst the chaos, culminating in a genuinely emotional finale.

 

Spring (2015)

Spring
© Drafthouse

Charming, romantic and downright cute without becoming sentimental, the atypical horror movie conveys the dizzying array of emotions in that early honeymoon phase of a relationship with playful dialogue and charismatic performances. It just happens to slip in the unconventional hurdle of a monstrous full-body metamorphosis.

OK, stay with me here. The Strangers is the horror equivalent of a "chick flick" tearjerker, a tragic (and terrifying) story of love confronted by a deadly nemesis -- like a fatal disease...a fatal disease with a butcher knife. 

 

is a sexy Korean movie in which a priest is infected with a vampiric virus that leads him to give into the lustful temptation of a friend's wife.

 

Warm Bodies (2013)

Warm Bodies
© Summit

Although it works better as a romantic comedy than as a horror movie,  is cute and breezy with a likable cast that might help zombie fans overlook the glaring lack of gore. It's like if  were funny and had three-dimensional characters.

This French-Canadian vampire flick incorporates racial dynamics into the story of a college student who woos a mysterious pale musician who turns out to be a man-eating succubus.

 

Wolf (1994)

Wolf
© Columbia

The antithesis of a young adult novel's adolescent love story, Wolf finds love with a more adult pairing: Michelle Pfeiffer and a lycanthropic Jack Nicholson.

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Harris, Mark H. "'Til Death Do Us Part: 25 Great Romantic Horror Movies." ThoughtCo, Feb. 10, 2016, thoughtco.com/great-romantic-horror-movies-1873255. Harris, Mark H. (2016, February 10). 'Til Death Do Us Part: 25 Great Romantic Horror Movies. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/great-romantic-horror-movies-1873255 Harris, Mark H. "'Til Death Do Us Part: 25 Great Romantic Horror Movies." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/great-romantic-horror-movies-1873255 (accessed November 17, 2017).