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

The Best Scary Films for Date Night

You may not think of horror movies as romantic, but there are actually several scary films that have a love story built into the plot. Plus, when that masked man jumps out from behind the tree holding a bloody knife, what is your natural reaction? To hold the person next to you, maybe even burying your face into their shoulder, right? Sounds pretty cozy. 

This list of 25 romantic horror flicks offers plenty of choices for both scary movie and love story film fans. So sit down by the fire, cuddle up to your loved one, and put on a horror movie for a romantic night together.

Beautiful Creatures (2013)

Beautiful Creatures
© Warner Bros.

From Richard LaGravenese, writer of acclaimed romance films such as The Bridges of Madison CountyThe Horse Whisperer, and The Mirror Has Two Faces, this story of forbidden love (based on the novel of the same name) between a witch and a human boasts playful charm and palpable chemistry. The main characters, teenagers Ethan and Lena, discover dark secrets while forming a loving relationship that is threatened by outside forces.

Blood and Chocolate (2007)

Blood and Chocolate
© MGM

Blood and Chocolate is also an adaptation of a young adult novel about supernatural interspecies love, in this instance, the relationship is between a human and a werewolf. Set in Romania, Vivian is promised to the leader of the werewolf pack but falls in love with Aiden, an American cartoonist, leading her to have to choose between family and passion.

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 story of jealousy and desire has somewhat of a surprise ending that is sure to leave you both saying "no way!"​

Wolf Girl (2001)

Blood Moon
© 20th Century Fox

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. Tara was born with a rare disease leaving her body covered with hair. While traveling with the freak show, she meets Ryan, whose mother is developing a drug that could change Tara's life. However, they are both unaware of its fierce and violent side effects.

Bram Stoker's Dracula (1992)

Bram Stoker's Dracula
© Columbia

Francis Ford Coppola's rendition of Dracula by Bram Stoker (1897) turns the novel into more of a sexy and epic tale of eternal love between the female lead, Mina, and the titular vampire. Luckily, the horror elements aren't sacrificed for the sake of the romance. After capturing a young lawyer, Dracula travels to Britain to seduce his prisoner's fiancee, Mina, which involves plenty of terrorizing and murder.

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.

A Chinese Ghost Story (1987)

A Chinese Ghost Story
© Mega Star

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. A tax collector, unable to find shelter for the night, is forced to stay in a haunted temple where he falls in love with a female ghost who is bound forever by a spirit that wraps its tongue around and sucks the life out of its victims.

Cloverfield (2008)

Cloverfield
© Paramount

This movie is one of the best examples of the horror motif of separated loved ones trying to reunite in the midst of an apocalypse. The main character is driven by love to search for his ex-girlfriend who is trapped underneath the carnage—caused by a giant monster—of New York City. The movie is shot from the perspective of a hand-held movie camera​ and follows five characters on their rescue mission.

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. This is more of a mystery thriller than a gory horror flick, perfect for if you are a bit squeamish.

Ganja and 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. After an archaeologist named Hess is stabbed with an ancient knife, he develops a thirst for blood. A love grows between Hess's missing assistant's wife, Ganja, and Hess, leading to an ending that may have you scratching your head. 

Ghost (1990)

Ghost
© Paramount

Definitely one of the tamer "horror" movies on this list, this ​Oscar-winning hit blends romance, drama, and comedy with supernatural horror elements. 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 classic film.  

The Hunger (1983)

The Hunger
© MGM/UA

Director Tony Scott lends a hip '80s music video look (complete with David Bowie and slow-motion doves) 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. A love triangle ensues when David Bowie's character seeks out Sarah Roberts, the famous doctor, to help him combat the female vampire's death spell.

I Will Follow You into the Dark (2012)

I Will Follow You Into the Dark
© Epic

This unusually dramatic and romantic ghost story stars 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. 

Let the Right One In (2008) / Let Me In (2010)

Let the Right One In
© Magnet

These two highly regarded adaptations of the Swedish novel by John Ajvide Lindqvist are about the sweet, innocent relationship that develops between an adolescent boy and the vampire girl who moves in next door. The 12-year-old boy (named Oskar and Owen respectively) is being bullied and next-door neighbor Eli/Abby befriends him and helps him retaliate. The 2010 version involves Abby's father and a serial killer plot.

Night Tide (1961)

Night Tide
© American International

A young Dennis Hopper stars as a sailor (Johnny) who falls in love with a woman playing a mermaid at a Santa Monica ​sideshow. Johnny comes to suspect the mermaid is descended from a race of sirens who ultimately lead sailors to their doom during the full moon.

The Presence (2010)

The Presence
© Lionsgate

Seeking an escape from the stress of her life, Mira Sorvino retreats to an isolated 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. When her boyfriend shows up, the spirit becomes more obsessive and causes the woman to exhibit strange irrational behavior.​

Red Riding Hood (2011)

Red Riding Hood
© Warner Bros.

Unfairly lumped in with the Twilight movies (in part because director Catherine Hardwicke helmed Twilight), this movie easily outpaces those more popular films in terms of melding horror with romance. It features more effective werewolf design, less treacly melodrama, a superior cast, and a lush fairy tale environment. Valerie is promised to one man but in love with another, and now wonders if one of them is actually the werewolf that terrorizes the medieval village.

Shaun of the Dead (2004)

Shaun of the Dead
© Rogue

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

The Signal (2007)

The Signal (2008)
© Magnolia

A movie about an apocalyptic scenario in which people become infected by homicidal rage doesn't seem to say romance, but throughout this film told in three parts, the featured star-crossed lovers strive to reunite amidst the chaos, culminating in a genuinely emotional finale.

Spring (2014)

Spring
© Drafthouse

Fleeing to Italy, an American man develops a relationship with a woman holding a primeval secret. 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. 

The Strangers (2008)

The Strangers
© Rogue

This movie, starring Liv Tyler, may be the horror equivalent of a "chick flick" tearjerker, where a couple staying at an isolated vacation house is​ violently attacked by three masked strangers. This tragic—and terrifying—story leads the couple to behave in ways they never thought possible.

Thirst (2009)

Thirst
© Focus Features

This is a sexy Korean movie in which a priest becomes a vampire, leading him to give into the lustful temptation of a friend's wife. After volunteering to be part of a secret vaccine, he nearly dies and is given a vampire blood transfusion, causing him to abandon his puritanical ways.

Warm Bodies (2013)

Warm Bodies
© Summit

Although it works better as a romantic comedy than as a horror movie, this film is cute and breezy with a likable cast that might help zombie fans overlook the glaring lack of gore. An out-of-the-ordinary zombie (named R) feels the need to protect a human named Julie, and as they develop their relationship changes occur within R as well as the zombie population causing conflict and fighting between the two groups. 

White Skin (AKA Cannibal) 2004

White Skin
© Seville

This French-Canadian vampire flick incorporates racial dynamics into the story of a male college student (Thierry) who woos a mysterious pale female musician (Claire). Claire turns out to have many hidden dark and dangerous secrets, leaving Thierry to question who—or what—she actually is. 

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 (Laura) and a lycanthropic Jack Nicholson (Will). After being bitten by a wolf, Will begins to turn into one, while Laura develops feelings for him.