Top 10 Valentine Movies for Creepy People

Creeps have feelings too. If you’re up for watching something horrific for Valentine’s Day this year, here are 10 (plus a few) strong recommendations, from zombies to slashers, J-horror to body horror, ghosts to vampires.

My Bloody Valentine (1981)

February 14th just wouldn’t be right without a watch of this 80s slasher favourite, directed by George Mihalka. Set in mining town Valentine Bluffs, the film follows a group of young people and their romantic exploits as they plan the ultimate Valentine come-back party, years after the town banned celebrations due to some brutal murders by a masked killer. Make sure you catch the uncut version to experience the gore of the spectacular kills as originally intended.

Valentine (2001)

Another Valentine’s Day essential is this eponymous early-noughties slasher from Urban Legend director Jamie Blanks. Again, an unknown killer stalks a group of friends while they prepare for a big romantic celebration, but this time it has the sheen of the late-slasher-revival. The bleeding nose of the cherub-masked murderer was inspired by 1982’s cult classic Alone in the Dark. Buffy’s David Boreanaz and Denise Richards (Wild Things, Starship Troopers) star, and the opening scene features a brief appearance from Bride of Chucky’s Katherine Heigl.

The Perfection (2018)

Two prodigious cellists are subjected to some sinister goings on in this queer horror sleeper hit that found a home, and decent reception, on Netflix. Allison Williams (Get Out, M3GAN) and Logan Brown (Dear White People) have delicious chemistry as the lovers at the centre of this disturbing, twisty-turny tale of music, paranoia and body horror, and they sell the shocks as things start to unravel towards the satisfying revelations of the denouement.

Want more scary, sexy body horror? Go for David Cronenberg’s The Fly (1986), a film equally as heart-breaking as it is horrific, following the love story between Geena Davis’ Veronica and Jeff Goldblum’s Seth as he descends into madness and mush.

An American Werewolf in London (1981)

John Landis’ exemplary werewolf movie features the sweet and believable blossoming romance between David Naughton’s wolfy victim David and Jenny Agutter’s nurse Alex. As is often the case with these things, it ends in blood and tragedy, but it gets there via effective jump scares, incredible practical effects – the famed transformation scene has arguably never been bettered – and a healthy dose of dark humour.

A Chinese Ghost Story (1987)

In this Hong Kong romantic horror-dy starring Leslie Cheung, Joey Wong and Wu Ma, and directed by Ching Siu-tung, a debt collector battles to save the soul of a ghost he meets and falls in love with while spending the night in a haunted temple. It’s a stunning spectacle with stop-motion monsters, supernatural martial arts, epic battles, and plenty of silly romance.

Ganja & Hess (1973)

This cult black vampire romance from director Bill Gunn has been reappraised and appreciated following 2019 documentary Horror Noire: A History of Black Horror. It’s a woozy story of ancient daggers, thirst for blood and doomed love. Winding and beautiful, this is a must-see for anyone with a passion for vampire films and black cinema.

You can enjoy more vampy Valentine horror with The Hunger (1983), the stylish and brilliantly-soundtracked queer vampire love-triangle film directed by Tony Scott and starring Catherine Deneuve, David Bowie, and Susan Sarandon, plus 2014’s A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night – the Iranian black and white vampire western from Anna Lily Amipour.

Return of the Living Dead 3 (1993)

Brian Yuzna’s zombie threequel is a film of passion and pain. Starring Melinda (Mindy) Clarke as Julie, a rebellious flame-haired beauty who dies in a motorcycle accident only to be brought back to life by her boyfriend, Curt, whose father heads up a top secret military operation that’s raising the dead. As Julie transforms, she decides that hurting herself is better than killing others, and her intense love with Curt and brutal body modifications are all that keep her going. Until they don’t. A brilliant entry to the zombie franchise that’s way better than its title suggests.

Crash (1996)

If horny body horror is your thing, you can’t go wrong with David Cronenberg’s controversial masterpiece starring James Spader, Holly Hunter, Rosanna Arquette and Deborah Kara Unger. The film, about an underground group of scarred, traffic accident victims who use the crashes as an aphrodisiac, won the Jury Special Prize at Cannes that year. It’s a provocative and intensely sexy movie that’ll get the blood pumping on Valentine’s night, should that be your sort of thing.

The Bride of Frankenstein (1935)

James Whale’s sci-fi horror classic is one of the highlights of the Universal monster canon. Boris Karloff reprises his role as The Monster, with Ella Lanchester as the legendary Bride who is so much more than a Halloween costume for the ages. The story is a timeless one – boy wants girl, boys gets scientist creator to make girl, girl rejects boy. As with so many horror love stories, this couple is not destined to live happily ever after.

For more monstrous nuptials, with a more irreverent – while lovingly referential – tone, try Bride of Chucky (1998). This slasher sequel, written by Don Mancini and directed by Ronny Yu, sees Child’s Play’s iconic killer doll Chucky (Brad Dourif) take revenge/create himself the ultimate bride in Tiffany (the resplendent Jennifer Tilly).

Audition (1999)

To really push your boundaries this romantic season, why not delve into the seedy underbelly of Takashi Miike’s J-horror shocker? A widower takes his friend up on an offer to audition girls to find him a new wife, but this film starts as one thing and most certainly ends as something else. Moments like the telephone/sack scare and the “kiri kiri kiri” sequence will most certainly send you into the arms of your loved ones this February 14th.

Becky Darke

Becky Darke

Writer and expert

Becky Darke is a London-based podcaster, writer, presenter and programmer with her sights on film, horror and the ‘90s.​