It’s a day for romance, but nobody said romance couldn’t be a little f’d up. If dark and twisted is your thing, we’ve got you covered.
Valentine’s Day is for lovers, and that includes horror lovers as well!
If you’re looking to snuggle up to a movie with your sweetheart on Valentine’s Day after a romantic date, well, this might not be the list for you. We’re the guy in the dirty alley behind the nice restaurant that catches your eye after your boring date, opening our overcoat and whispering to you — yes, kid, you — to come a little closer and see what we’ve got.
Heavy on the fucked-up, with varying degrees of romance, here’s our watchlist of Valentine’s Day fare to stream at your own risk (in rough order of most romantic to least).
1. A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night
Streaming on Shudder and Tubi
There’s just something about a vampire resisting, though sorely tempted, the tender flesh of an unsuspecting neck that’s just endlessly appealing.
Ana Lily Amirpour washes this scene in the moody darkwave atmosphere it deserves and manages to pull off a compelling love story set in a sinister Iranian underworld with very few words.
2. Let the Right One In
Streaming on Hulu
Look, we really tried to keep vampires from dominating this list, but it’s hard when lonely immortal creatures who hunger for the blood of the living are right there being so metaphorical, okay?
At least with its sweet-faced nonconformist protagonists, shocking violence, and meditations on the joys and hostility of community, Let the Right One In is anything but typical.
Not to belabor the point, but when someone can’t help but lap your blood off the floor? That’s good shit.
3. The Whip and the Body
Streaming on Shudder
Horror fans will read the keywords “young Christopher Lee,” “sadomasochism,” and “Mario Bava” and need no more persuading.
For those who aren’t yet convinced, we might let you know that Italian film censors forbade minors to watch because the film contained “degenerations and anomalies of sexual life,” and that English and American releases were heavily edited to remove most of the whipping scenes.
For anyone else who isn’t yet salivating and pressing play, we don’t have a damn thing to say to you. Have a pleasant and vanilla Valentine’s Day and move along.
Streaming on Hoopla
Two orphan girls living in a convent venture into the forest, where they make a pact to die together before accidentally unleashing the malevolent force that’s been attached to one of them since birth, compelling the religious order to try and suppress their Satanic powers.
There’s a naked ritual and lots of blood. Some of the best horror stories are about people who just don’t belong in the world they’re born into, and Alucarda is a prime (and very sapphic) example.
Get your honey a heart-shaped cake with JUSTINE iced in fancy letters and give it a watch.
Streaming on Shudder and Tubi
Is there nothing more romantic than seducing men to feed them to your skinless formerly dead lover who clawed his way back to you from BDSM hell? Or are you normal?
Clive Barker’s masterpiece is already a stone-cold classic, but the romance aspect is underrated. Make it a double feature with Hellbound: Hellraiser II for even more (literally) raw eroticism, but go no further unless you’re prepared for a steep drop in quality.