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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.

4. Alacurda


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.

5. Hellraiser

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.

6. Knife + Heart


Streaming on Shudder and Amazon Prime

Paris, 1979: A masked killer is wreaking bloody havoc on the actors of a porn studio, leaving its director, already heartbroken and desperate from the collapse of her relationship with her editor, with a mystery to solve.

Is forbidden love your thing? What about unrequited love? Homicidal love? Take your pick with this hazy atmospheric French (of course it is) film, rife with symbolism, dream logic, and gorgeous tableaus of sex and violence.

7. Nightbreed

Streaming on Shudder, Prime, and Tubi

Written and directed by horror icon Clive Barker, Nightbreed weaves a darkly fantastical and refreshingly overtly queer tale of a group of monsters living as societal outcasts.

Ostensibly, you could just take the film’s plot at face value and watch for the love story between the two protagonists. But you (and, unfortunately, the director’s cut of the film as well which is the streaming version) would be missing out on the real romance of the movie — the lead’s discovery of the shadowy underworld, his finding of belonging within it, and ultimately trying to reconcile this newfound identity with his old life.

This is a messy one, but it’s found cult status for a reason and is well worth the watch (also, David Cronenberg’s performance is chilling and not to be missed).

8. May


Streaming on Tubi

There’s a scene in this movie where the main character May takes her most precious possession to a school for blind children where she volunteers, thinking this act of sharing will engender a tender moment and make her feel more connected to something, more human. Instead, the kids rip it to shreds and everyone ends up bloody with our fearless protagonist devastated.

The dark and nihilistic humor that glitters perversely in this moment of the film is echoed over and over again in different iterations throughout, serving as filmmaker Lucky McKee’s sort of comic treatise on love. And it’s true —heartbreak is messy and gory and dangerous — and extremely fucking funny.

Celebrate Valentine’s Day in post-9/11-ennui style with this standout 2002 cult horror film.

9. The Witch Who Came from the Sea


Streaming on Shudder and Tubi

A stark and lonely tale of a woman who is decidedly not a witch and who most certainly did not come from the sea, this video nasty centers on repressed violence, sexuality, and trauma, and the stories one woman tells herself to cope with all of the above.

This movie makes our fucked-up romance list not because it’s particularly sexy or romantic, but because it centers on a vicious and unhinged woman trying to make her way through the world and fucking and killing whoever it takes to do so.

But don’t let this blurb fool you — while Witch is not horror in the maybe more popular sense, it will still leave you spellbound and more than a little disturbed.

10. Jug Face


Streaming on Shudder and Tubi

How many taboos do you have to commit to finally be rid of your oppressive religious community? Will committing those taboos not only ruin you but destroy the very fabric of the community you try to leave behind? Asking for a friend.

Jug Face wrestles with these questions in the setting of a backwoods folk horror tale centering on Ada, who’s been fucking her brother and soon amasses even more dangerous secrets to try and hide.

Where this film shines is not necessarily in the supernatural, but the more mundane and darker aspects of a tragic inevitability of actions, consequences, and unlucky circumstances of birth. Happy Fucking Valentine’s Day.

Written by: Ariel Dyer and Candace Sluder co-host Not Your Final Girl, a horror movie podcast where they cover horror double features and interview guests with humor, insight, and video-store employee burnout vibes. You can catch episodes wherever you listen to podcasts and follow them on Instagram and Twitter @NYGPod or Facebook at Not Your Final Girl.

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