Morbidly Beautiful

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Romance isn’t dead, but these 14 killer romantic horror movies will take your breath away, whether you watch solo or with someone special.

love and horror

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A lot of horror lovers are also romantics at heart — or at least the ones I associate with. After all, modern horror was birthed from the gothic tradition, and most gothic novels involve a sweeping romance that makes the stakes higher and the horror more affecting. 

This list ranges from sweet to sour to savory, a little bit for everyone. So, if you like your romance darker and more depraved, we’ve got you covered.

I believe there’s somebody for everybody and a romantic horror story for us all. (Not to mention, I literally named my production company Love and Horror, so this is more or less officially my brand at this point in my life, and I am embracing it.) 

Let the Right One In (2008)

Romantic horror Let the Right One In

Let the Right One In In is part horror film, part coming-of-age marvel, and part delicate fairytale. Oskar, a bullied boy, becomes infatuated with Eli, a young vampire who moves into his apartment complex.

The result is bloody and heartrending — a vicious reminder of our humanity and capacity to love. 

Widely available on many platforms, including Tubi, Prime Video, and Peacock

Bones and All (2022)

Romantic horror Bones and All

Anchored by a beautiful performance by Taylor Russell, Bones and All is a cannibal romance that will be sure to slake your hunger. It’s both tender and terrifying in equal measure as characters Maren and Lee, two young cannibals, try to feel their way through the complexity of young adulthood under the yoke of horrific primal impulses.

A near-perfect mix of romance and. horror, the ending may also be one of my favorites in some time. 

Watch on Prime Video, Paramount+, and other platforms

Crimson Peak (2015)

Romantic horror Crimson Peak

Guillermo del Toro is our long-time purveyor of romantic horror. Hell, even his film Mimic has a romance subplot. The man knows what makes love and horror tick, so Crimson Peak is a divine marriage of the two concepts. Edith and Thomas’s chemistry is palpable, and it culminates in a beautifully and tastefully shot sex scene that might be able to sway even the strongest of the sex scene naysayers.

Come for the romance, stay for the ghosts and an exquisite Jessica Chastain. 

Watch on Netflix or rent on VOD

The Shape of Water (2017)

Romantic horror Shape of Water

Remember when I said Del Toro knows romance? Case in point: here he is again on this list with an Academy Award-winning tour de force.

The Shape of Water received the reputation of the fish man sex movie upon release. While it absolutely is the fish man sex movie, it is more than that. Del Toro reminds us what makes us all human and explores the power of connection, even with those that seem most foreign to us.

This movie is one of the most tender and sweet depictions of love on celluloid, and it deserves that respect — and not to be reduced to one scene that had people pearl-clutching. 

Rent on VOD

Little Shop of Horrors (1986)

Little Shop of Horrors

If you love pastiches on old-school horror, Little Shop of Horrors is the film for you. Based on the musical that was based on a film, this is a horror darling that proves a good puppet is worth more than all the CGI in the world. Seymour and Audrey have such a pure romance built on mutual respect and admiration.

Somewhere That’s Green” will never fail to make me cry and might cause you to shed a tear as well.