For some, Valentine’s Day can feel pretty conventional. You’ve got your typical Valentine’s cards, candy hearts or boxes of chocolate, and maybe even a cheesy movie or two. Are any of these things mandatory? No, and neither is watching The Notebook or Pretty Woman for the millionth time. Horror movies are great for making fun of tradition, and mixing one in with arguably the weirdest day of the year is essential. This Valentine’s Day, try your luck at one of these movies from this carefully curated list of V-Day horror films. A small warning that these movies are not for the faint of heart — watch at your own risk.
The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
The Silence of the Lambs was released on Valentine’s Day in 1991, bringing us one of horror’s most famous villains, Hannibal Lecter. This film is based on the 1988 novel of the same name, and tells the story of a serial cannibal that is enlisted to help in the search of another similar serial killer known as “Buffalo Bill.”
This completely underrated horror film could very well be classified as a romance, aside from it having an actual monster in it. This film explores love and immortality as it tells the story of two people who meet in a small town in Italy. Yes, it does have its creepy, body horror moments, but it also tells a story of love and sacrifice. The best summary of this film goes to Rotten Tomatoes user John Beifuss who described it as “Sort of like ‘Before Sunrise,’ but with tentacles.”
Canada plays a huge role in the horror genre, birthing gems like the genre-defining slasher film Black Christmas and completely off-the-wall weird films like Ginger Snaps and Scanner. Pin is no exception. A classic example of how weird and messed up Canadian horror can be, this psychological thriller tells the story of two siblings who become obsessed with a life-sized doll. With a love story mixed into the disturbing series of events, this Psycho-esque film is a valid V-Day go-to.
My Bloody Valentine (1981)
Another Canadian classic, My Bloody Valentine was literally made for the Hallmark holiday. This film tells the story of the fictional community Valentine Bluffs. The town decides to host its first Valentine’s Day dance in 20 years, and it ends up getting ransacked by a vengeful killer. Think Footloose but with a pissed off killer in a mining suit instead of Kevin Bacon. Or don’t. You can also take a gander at the 2009 remake of the same name, which isn’t half bad.
It Follows (2014)
Anyone who watches a lot of slasher films knows that the “sex is bad” trope is a common one. It Follows, which has one of the best horror scores out there, is about a monster that follows you forever. It walks, so you can run away, but it will never stop trying to catch you. The monster is actually “contracted” through sex, and the only way to get rid of it is by passing it on to someone else through the same way. Aside from its very obvious symbolism, the cinematography in this film alone is enough reason to watch it. A great V-Day choice.
The Hunger (1983)
Let’s take a break from slasher films with The Hunger, a seductive horror film that stars David Bowie, Susan Sarandon, and Catherine Deneuve. This film is about a love triangle between two vampires and a doctor, who become entangled in the complications surrounding vampirism, immortality, and staying young forever. Unlike most vampire lore, the vamps in this film, John (Bowie) and Miriam (Deneuve), are immortal but still appear to age. When aging specialist Dr. Sarah Roberts (Sarandon) comes along, John seeks her help. Sarah then becomes mixed up with Miriam, who was previously John’s lover, and a complicated undead romance ensues.
Let the Right One In (2008)
Based on the novel of the same name, Let the Right One In is a Swedish horror flick about a young boy named Oskar who develops a close friendship with a vampire girl of the same age. Oskar is heavily bullied at school and doesn’t have a great home life, and finds solace with his new vampire friend who also protects him from bullies. Although it has its gory moments, particularly because Oskar’s new friend kills humans to feed, this film also tells the story of a romance that develops between two kids who are both suffering in their own ways.
The Loved Ones (2009)
This Australian slasher romance is about a high school dance gone horribly wrong. What did you do when your crush was into someone else? Most people would just brush it off and go to the dance alone or with someone else. But not Lola Stone. Instead, she decorates her house like a school dance, kidnaps her would-be date that rejected her, and brutally tortures him. High school, am i right?
Lovers Lane (1999)
The year before Anna Faris made her breakthrough in Scary Movie, she appeared in this totally awful but great 90s horror movie. Riddled with every slasher film cliche imaginable and 90s teen angst, this film is about a serial killer with a hook instead of a hand that kills hormone frenzied teenagers at a makeout spot called Lovers Lane.
Prom Night (1980)
Another Canadian slasher film, Prom Night was filmed in Toronto and at the time was Canada’s highest grossing horror film. The film stars Jamie Lee Curtis, who was known as the “scream queen” of horror films during that time, and tells the story of a vengeful killer who attacks a high school prom. If you were planning on watching a bunch of high school rom coms this Valentine’s Day, swap them out for this slasher flick.