In films and stories, love and death are two of the most powerful driving factors. When these two elements are combined in carefully measured proportions, the horror-romance genre is born. Desire is a recurring theme in horror romances, and this desire is often so powerful that all conceptions of common sense and rationality are pushed under the rug. In a horror romance, the characters fall in love with a variety of demons, zombies, animals, and ghosts.
This ugliness, in turn, thrills and attracts the lovers, acting as a magnet between the two diametrically opposed partners. These twisted, lovesick films can bring a smile to your face if you are not in the mood for a gooey romance comedy. So let us have a look at some of the most well-known horror films that have maintained faithful to the romantic spirit.
Bride-to-be Casey and her friends Jill and Kristen take a bachelorette trip to Costa Rica. She takes the backroads and swims in a lonely lagoon, where she is bitten by a strange bug. Casey is preoccupied with her upcoming wedding with Jared and pays little attention to the bite.
After returning home, she experiences strange changes in her body and habits. Casey develops rashes, insect-like behavior like building hives, weaving webs, and superhuman, or rather inhuman excretions. After Casey finds out that there’s another woman between him and Jared, she develops murderous tendencies.
If we had to sum up this movie in four words, we would say: ‘Love at first bite.’ You have seen horror movies and love triangles, and you have seen both. Chad Archibald presents you a woman who has been transformed into an insect, and she is envious.
Very jealous. “BITE” deals with a woman’s cold feet about her marriage, her husband who desperately wants to have a baby, her to-be mother-in-law who is far from loving and a friend who is secretly in love with her fiancé. The film is a horrifying study of its characters and the relationships that they share with each other.
“BITE” has a rocky start, but then lifts off with rocket speed in terms of its gore and romance factors. The special effects are sure to gross you out with scenes where gooey substances come out of Casey’s body and the vulgar excretions from her private parts. Elma Begovic plays the lead in this movie, and special mention must be given to her acting despite being wrapped in thick makeup for the most part of the film.
Meatball Machine (2005)
Sachiko, Yoji’s coworker, is the object of his unrequited love. He discovers another coworker sexually assaulting Sachiko one day and rushes to her aid, only to get beaten up. Sachiko loves his effort and gesture and decides to go to his home for the night. Things take a turn when an alien bug infects Sachiko in Yoji’s house. It transforms her into a killer cyborg.
Later, Yoji is also infected, and the would-be lovers fight in gore and viscerally exaggerated fashion. There’s also a subplot dealing with a father whose daughter was infected by a similar alien bug that transformed her into a Necro-Borg!
This Japanese film features intense violence as well as a subtle yet unusual love story. There are several body modifications into lethal weapons. Yoji blames himself for Sachiko’s bad luck; the beautiful girl he adored has turned into a merciless killer, and it is all his fault.
Yet, there are scenes in the film which prove that the sweet girl inside Sachiko is not entirely lost. Yoji battles with the dilemma of fighting the love of his life and saving the world from her wrath. The horror factor is compelling due to the special effects. The bodies of both our Necro-Borgs transform into flamethrowers, cannons, darts and guns.
Limbs are cut down to the ground, and blood splatters and sprays all around. Sachiko’s conversion into the cyborg is a sensory overload in itself. The only downside to the film is the lack of a strong story. Still, Directors Yudai Yamaguchi and Jun’ichi Yamamoto keep the viewer so engrossed with all the action and horror that the film feels satisfying.
Marco and Sonia are a young couple who seek refuge in an isolated building in their city during a zombie apocalypse. The great majority of the populace has turned into flesh-eating zombies. Soon, things take a drastic turn when Marco gets infected and slowly starts to transform into the monster that the couple was trying to evade. Adding to the critical situation, Sonia finds out that she is pregnant and also immune to the zombie virus.
In the midst of blood gushing out and guts being cut, this zombie film fits nicely into our list of romantic horrors since it manages to depict a remarkably emotional connection. During a human and zombie slaughter, “Mutants” swims in uncharted oceans of love.
The gore quotient is high in the film, but so is the emotional quotient with Sonia’s pregnancy and her unyielding love for her undead lover. Filmmaker David Morlet has taken “Mutants” above and beyond a regular zombie film by making the viewer ponder on some dark psychological questions.
Hélène de Fougerolles plays Sonia, and she has done a terrific job at portraying her love for the infected man. The more he decays, the more her love and concern grow for him. The body horror in the film is sufficient to get your stomach to clench. There is also a subplot including a band of thugs that Sonia has to deal with to save herself and her unborn child. All things aside, “Mutants” is a zombie flick and we assure you of a thrilling climax with hoards of zombies and a lot of killings.
The Beast A.k.a La Bête (1975)
Lucy is a young heiress who travels to France for a planned marriage with Mathurin de l’Esperance, the socially inept scion of an aristocratic family. One of the stories about an ancestor from ages ago who went missing and whose undergarment was discovered covered in claw marks is told by the de l’Esperance family. Lucy stays the first night in the de l’Esperance chateau, and she has a steamy dream about a Victorian lady being ravished by a beast in the dark woods.
Director Walerian Borowczyk throws a strange horse’s rumpy-pumpy sequence in our faces right at the start of the film; such a scene prepares us for the wild things that are about to happen. “The Beast” is a film that instead of love, combines hedonism with terror. Lucy and Mathurin’s marriage is the central theme of the story, and it’s probably there to channel the Beastiality and steaming tension in a sophisticated manner.
The dream sequences in the film have a somewhat humorous undertone to them. A beast with an enormous reproductive organ runs after a young woman. The beast ultimately pleasures himself while beholding her. The film is a very peculiar mixture of the sinister and the libidinous, and is painted with surrealism. Interestingly, at one point in time, it was banned all across Britain.
Elsa and Clive are the biotechnology engineering world’s geniuses. Splicing or interweaving DNA strands to generate new hybridized animals and creatures is their specialty. However, the successful couple desires more and wishes to use human DNA and create a new hybrid. They believe this could give them unimaginable medical benefits.
However, the pharmaceutical company that they work for objects to this ambitious project. This forces Elsa and Clive to finally carry out the experiment in a secret facility without the knowledge of their superiors.
The genetic experiment gives birth to Dren. She is a wonderful human-like creature with inexplicable levels of intellectual and physical development. She is far superior to humans and exceeds the couple’s expectations. And yet, Elsa and Clive’s most tremendous success will soon become their greatest cause of fear and horror.
“Splice,” a film by Vincenzo Natali, tells the story of two geneticists who enjoy playing God. Dren is played by Delphine Chanéac, who is almost excellent in this sci-fi horror. Because of Dren and Clive’s unconventional and socially inappropriate connection, we have placed “Splice” in our list. The human DNA in Dren came from Elsa, and that makes her Clive’s daughter.
Yet, the consummate, and this has strong incestuous themes. Adding to the weirdness is Dren’s age; she is an adolescent when they make love, which raises questions of consent and pedophilia.
If you thought that the weirdness was over, then hold on a moment. Dren is a hermaphrodite, and in one of the scenes, she transforms into a man only to become more aggressive and do something dreadfully evil and horrid with Elsa. This film will have you repulsed and leave you with intense levels of aversion and nausea.
Evan is a young man from California who has recently lost his father to cancer and is soon to lose his mother. He flees to Italy aimlessly when she passes away. He meets Louise, a scientist, in a small and charming village in Italy. Louise is funny, smart, attractive, and Evan immediately gets smitten by her.
However, Louise has a dark secret. Both Evan and Louise will have to make tough decisions if they wish to stay together.
A man, a lady, and a Lovecraftian horror of the highest order. This is the theme of Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead’s “Spring,” which stars Lou Taylor Pucci as Evan and Nadia Hilker as Louise and is directed by Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead. The genre-blurring in this film is rather delightful than messy, as it is equal parts horror and rom-com. “Spring” is generally not a scary film, but the creature effects and special effects are noteworthy.
The horror elements are not the focus of the film, and they are there only to help the story and build a tense and emotional relationship between Evan and Louise. The directors wanted the audience to focus on the budding relationship of two souls who were far from alike, but share a blooming romance. The chemistry that Taylor and Hilker share on the screen adds to the film’s charm and sensuality.
At certain points, the film seems to overexpress itself, and the plentiful dialogues tend to kill the interest, but the indie-romance with its cosmic horror elements merge together to make “Spring” a must-watch for a horror fan. Suppose you need yet another reason to watch “Spring”, the cinematography is outstanding, with some of the most beautiful drone shots of the Roman ruins and classic Italian villas that overflow with flamboyance.
The Untamed (2016)
Alejandra and Angel have a sour relationship. Angel’s covert homosexuality and his friendship with his brother-in-law Fabian are the main reasons. Alejandra is frequently frustrated and dissatisfied as a result of this. They live in an orthodox Mexican town where concepts like physical pleasure, self-indulgence, and homosexuality are socially unacceptable.
Fabian works as a nurse in a hospital where he meets Veronica. Fabian and Veronica fall in love and this leads to a break up between Fabian and Angel. Veronica comes across Alejandra and tells her about an octopus-like alien that can cure all her woes and frustration. Soon Fabian is found naked and dead. Meanwhile, Alejandra finds out about her husband’s homosexuality. Alejandra keeps on visiting the alien to fulfill her needs and desires while more and more dead bodies are discovered.
The narrative of a lady and a beast in a solely carnal connection is told in “The Untamed.” Alejandra wants to be a woman and enjoy her body after fulfilling her responsibilities as a mother and a wife, much like the tentacles of an alien creature do for her. She doesn’t love this beast, but it is her source of happiness and she fails to give it up. Ruth Ramos, who plays Alejandra, has done a tremendous job in the film; her performance is realistic and almost surreal.
Let’s look at our highly promiscuous love octopus. It has numerous tentacles to pleasure several points in the body. It has a peculiarly intelligent-looking head, and most importantly, it radiates some kind of sensual energy, which makes even animals go wild and crazy.. Cannes winning director Amat Escalante has directed this ultra-twisted horror romance.
When Mark returns from a covert business trip, he is taken aback to discover that his wife Anna has requested a divorce. This puts the pair in a difficult situation, and Mark begins to rage. The couple begins to fight verbally and physically, with their little son Bob being the only casualty of their marital conflict.
As he finds no plausible reason for Anna’s unusual demand for a divorce, he suspects she is in an extramarital relationship. He hires a private detective to follow Anna. Mark ultimately finds out that Anna has been fulfilling her physical desires with someone, or rather something!
It’s a tentacled beast with blood all over its body that is constantly evolving into something more diabolic. Mark intends to save his marriage but gets into a complicated relationship with Bob’s teacher Helen, who is the spitting image of Anna. The climax of this film will leave you surprised and shocked.
This film is about a woman’s possession, directed by Polish director Andrzej Zulawski and starring Sam Neil as Mark. Unfulfilled sexual needs drive people to extremes to the point that they are unable to return to their normal lives. Isabelle Adjani bagged her Cannes award for this bold and powerful performance as Anna.
Zulawski makes sure that Isabelle’s performance looks real and believable when she shares a bed with the monster. There’s grace in what they do, but at the same time, the act itself is nefarious.
In this raunchy pursuit of pleasure, both Anna and the tentacled monster get so consumed that they ultimately lose who they are. Mark tries to save his marriage at all costs, but he is conflicted in his own mind. The film is an elegant mix of horror, romance, and psychological thriller, and it is one of those films that leave the viewer silent as the credits start rolling.
Let the Right One In (2008)
Oskar, a sensitive, unhappy, and bullied 12-year-old kid, lives with his mother in Stockholm. A man and a woman move into a vacant building near his home. Eli befriends Oskar after witnessing him viciously stabbing a tree. Eli’s beauty is captivating and there’s something strange about her personality that attracts Oskar and soon, the two of them fall in love.
Eli soon tells Oskar about her macabre side. She is an undead girl who thrives on blood. Hakan is the man who helps her get it by killing people and collecting their blood in 2-liter milk cartons, which she later drinks. The story progresses as Hakan makes a mistake.
A fable about a boy and a vampire is told in “Let the Right One In.” The aspects of horror and anxiety are gripping, and the chemistry between Oskar and Eli, played by Kare Hedebrant and Lina Leandersson, is beautiful. Throughout the runtime of the film, the audience is thrown into a pit of fright and suspense but the very next scene lifts you to the bond that young Oskar and Eli share.
The little boy knows about the little blood-thirsty vampire’s secrets and yet chooses to love her. He is forced with a choice and thrown into a dilemma. The film is a sweet and disturbing tale of young love. Tomas Alfredson has beautifully adapted the novel written by John Ajvide Lindqvist into this film, which ultimately asks a simple question: how much can love forgive?
Dawn and her pals have made a vow not to marry till they are virgins. She has become a motivational speaker for the cause since she is so dedicated to the cause. She had never been aroused in her life until Tobey, a new boy at school, arrived.
Dawn is attracted to Tobey, both emotionally and otherwise. She fears that if this continues and she spends more time with Tobey, then they will end up in bed, and that is against her life’s only motto. She decides not to meet Tobey any further, but that doesn’t immensely help things.
Ultimately, Tobey discovers that Dawn is biologically abnormal. Truth is that Dawn has razor-sharp teeth inside her privates that bring the folk-lore of “vagina dentata” to life. However, Dawn’s house is a more significant source of her tensions than her romantic life. She has an ailing mother, a horrible father, and a step-brother who wants to take Dawn’s carefully preserved virginity. If only he knew how preserved it was!
Mitchell Lichtenstein, the writer, and director, has left no stone unturned and no issue unexplored in this bloody narrative about the castration of sexual assaulters. The film has black comedy and satire, as well as a small amount of drama about a maturing adolescent. It’s a romance that has gone sour.
It has hints of women empowerment and, above all, it’s a horror B-movie with a lot of slashing and male reproductive parts dropping on the ground. As soon as the teeth in this film get busy with the teething, the gore starts to spread its jaws. Although, this is done very subtly and in ways that are funny.
“Teeth” remains a horror-comedy, where a monstrous girl falls in love with a normal boy at the end of the day, but the circumstances call for complexities. The film comes with plenty of funny and intelligent one-liners that are much-needed comic relief through the film’s 90 minutes run time.
Cold Skin (2017)
A vessel arrives on the shores of an island in the Antarctic Circle in 1914, bringing with it an anonymous guy to serve as a weather observation replacement. However, the previous observer of the island, according to the lighthouse’s caretaker, Gruner, died. Gruner names this man Friend, who soon finds that the island is plagued with humanoid sea-creatures as if they were what was left of Atlantean monsters.
On most nights, these sea creatures attack the lighthouse, but the reason seems largely unknown. It’s revealed that Gruner had abducted and raised one of the female sea creatures and was using her to fulfill his hedonistic needs.
Friend names the creature Aneris and soon starts to care for her to the point that it seems he loves her. The two men must now save themselves from the creatures but Friend also has to decide what to do with the watery love triangle.
This picture, directed by Xavier Gens and based on Albert Sánchez Piol’s novel of the same name, feels like a unique take on Guillermo Del Toro’s “The Shape of Water.” The film’s greatest strength is its flawless cast, which includes Ray Stevenson as Gruner, David Oakes as Friend, and Aura Garrido as Aneris. However, there’s also a deeper question that the film poses.
Xavier never really reveals who the real bad guys are, is it the humans or the creatures or both. Known for helming horror films like “The Divide”, Xavier Gens did a tremendous job at portraying a cross-species romance and the nuances that arrive because of that. Furthermore, he very smartly includes the theme of jealousy that exists within humans. Apart from a few issues arising from an inconsistent plot, this French-Spanish flick is worth your time.
The Shape of Water (2017)
When Elisa Esposito was a child, she lost her capacity to speak back. She did, however, grow up to work as a cleaner at a top-secret federal facility. Colonel Richard Strickland brought the Amphibian Man to the facility so that it could be researched in detail, and her regular and monotonous life altered.
However, Strickland soon convinces General Hoyt to carry out vivisection on the Amphibian Man to learn more about him. When Elisa discovers this, she joins hands with her friends Zelda and Giles to extract the fish humanoid out of the facility. She takes the Amphibian Man home, where she keeps him in his bathtub until a nearby canal gets enough rainwater to connect with the sea.
On the one hand, Elisa and the Amphibian Man develop a romantic relationship, and even sleep with each other, while on the other hand, Colonel Strickland would leave no stone unturned to retrieve his prized possession.
Guillermo del Toro wrote and directed this masterwork, for which he earned an Academy Award for Best Direction. Since “Pan’s Labyrinth”, “The Shape of Water” is del Toro’s best and most thoughtful effort. What makes the film a profoundly beautiful experience is the fact that it blends conflicting ideas to create something entirely novel yet natural.
I mean, the violence erupts suddenly and artistically, while the eroticism feels sweet yet sorrowful and scary. Sally Hawkins as Elisa Esposito and Doug Jones as The Amphibian Man are amazing in their respective roles. It continually felt like they knew what they were doing. And, the cross-species romance couldn’t be more natural and humane than what was portrayed in the love-making scene.
Fido is a story set in a parallel dimension where zombies overran the Earth after cosmic radiation infected nearly everyone who died. However, a government agency devised a method to safeguard the living. Not only did they fence the conglomerates inhabited by the living, but they also developed a collar that controlled a zombie’s insatiable hunger.
Furthermore, the zombies could be tamed and made to do menial household chores with the help of a remote that came with the collar. Under these settings, a housewife named Helen Robinson buys a zombie and brings him home. Helen’s son Timmy befriends the undead human and names him Fido, while Helen’s husband is petrified by the idea of a zombie living in his house.
Things go well for a few days, despite the fact that Fido proved to be the crappiest house help. But things changed drastically when Fido’s collar malfunctioned, and he killed a neighbor by succumbing to his insatiable hunger. It’d be up to little Timmy and Helen to save Fido from a final end.
“Fido,” directed by Andrew Currie, is not totally about a monster and a human romance, but it is obviously about a child’s love for a friend, even if that friend is a freaking zombie. While the humorous element does not compare to previous comedies such as “Shaun of the Dead,” “Fido” succeeds in holding the audience’s attention throughout the film.
What works best for the film is it’s perfect casting, which includes Carrie Anne Moss as Helen Robinson. I mean, she is the same woman who once starred in the action-packed sci-fi film “The Matrix”. And here she was playing a housewife struggling to maintain the status quo in an increasingly pretentious society.
Hellboy I (2004)
When the Nazis and a Russian mystic named Rasputin attempted to summon Ogdru Jahad through a dimensional vortex, the Allied troops foiled the plan, and Rasputin was drawn into the portal. The gateway did, however, reveal something from another realm: a demonic infant boy with a stone right hand.
And, Trevor Bruttenholm, the young man who guided the Allied forces, saw it fit to adopt this little boy. Sixty years later, we find that Hellboy has joined the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense, a special government wing that fights paranormal and supernatural criminals.
Among Hellboy’s allies are an amphibious humanoid named Abe Sapien, a new recruit named John Myers, and a brooding and somber woman named Liz Sherman, who has unstable pyrokinetic abilities.
Unfortunately for everyone, Rasputin’s old disciples resurrect him and bring him back. Rasputin intends to resume his plans of summoning Ogdru Jahad and sucks the soul of Liz Sherman so that it could be used as leverage against Hellboy. Will he be guided by love, or will his demonic origins influence his decisions?
“Hellboy” is unquestionably one of Guillermo del Toro’s best works, and it is also a powerful superhero film. Apart from the magnificent monsters and effects in the picture, the growing relationship between Hellboy and Liz Sherman is the nicest thing about it. Both the characters share a heart as big as a house and add more colors to a film that’s already rich in visual imagery.
Warm Bodies (2013)
Most humanities perished eight years after the zombie apocalypse, only to resurrect as zombies. One of them is a zombie who can not recall his name but knows it starts with an R. While the zombies roam around free and struggle with their insatiable hunger for human flesh and brain, the ones who are still alive live in enclosures. Colonel Grigio, the leader of one such enclosure, sends his daughter Julie and others to retrieve medical supplies.
However, Julie gets attacked by a bunch of hungry zombies. R feels something about Julie, and his dead heart skips a beat. R saves Julie and brings her to an airplane where he lives. R convinces Julie that she should stay with him until it was safe for her to return home. They both indulge in playing games and LP records to kill time, and eventually, they get emotionally attached to one another. It seems that R’s love for Julie is turning him human once again.
The film, written and directed by Jonathan Levine and based on a novel by Isaac Marion, recounts a love story from the perspective of a zombie. R and Julie, played by Nicholas Hoult and Teresa Palmer, have fantastic on-screen chemistry and bring to life a relationship that was never meant to be.
Nicholas as a zombified boyfriend and Teresa as his full-of-life girlfriend often remind us of the chemistry Romeo and Juliet shared in Shakespeare’s masterpiece. But if that’s not something that appeals to you, watch it for the outstanding humor that “Warm Bodies” provides.