More Romantic Horror Movies For Valentine’s Day

I was checking in on my previous list of horror movies to watch for Valentine’s Day, for inspiration this V-Day since it’s minus 25 Celsius here in Toronto aka a the perfect weather to be anti-social and avoid others. To my shock I seem to had left off some of the most romantical horror films! So I figured now was a good time to list some more great romantic horror films for everyone to watch while eating cheesecake alone.

It is worth noting this is a list of romantic horror films, rather than Valentine’s themed ones. There aren’t any slashers like Valentine’s Day, My Bloody Valentine. I also avoided movies like The Voices or Maniac where the protagonist can’t discern the difference between romance and chopping up the girls he likes.

So without further ranting I humbly present the follow up list-sequel (hasn’t the internet come up with a portmanteau for that yet?)

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Candyman: How could I have left this film off my previous list? Tony Todd’s flawless baritone purr calling out to beautiful grad student Helen Lyle from across a parking garage, his voice some how a whisper in her mind! A movie whose romance is only rivalled by it’s scares.

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Hellraiser: If you think about it, Hellraiser’s plot is essentially a Lifetime movie on acid. A woman in a loveless marriage reconnects with her brother in law, with whom she had a torrid affair with years previously. Only in order for them to be together she must bring him men to consume. How I managed to leave this off my list is beyond me. I mean seriously, who doesn’t want someone to want them as much as Julia wants Frank? Even after Frank ends up a skinless cannibalistic attic dweller.

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The Fly: A large percentage of Cronenberg’s Oeuvre would work for V-Day. I mean Crash, Videodrome, A Dangerous Method, M. Butterfly, Map to the Stars or Dead Ringers would be great viewing for the weird on V-Day. But The Fly is Cronenberg at his most gooey and romantic. Brundle-Butt aside, the sheer glamour of Geena Davis and the top notch practical effects should have you sold.

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Interview with the Vampire: Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt as immortal boyfriends? Yes please. While director Neil Jordan definitely subdued the gayness of the original text, the movie comes out hella gay none the less.A beautiful and sumptuous film with some of the last great practical effects of the 90s.  As romantic as it is bloody.

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Byzantium: A spiritual sequel to Interview with the Vampire, Neil Jordan stuns with a more subtle vampire story. Set in modern times with flashbacks to centuries previous, two vampires on the run hide in a small seaside town. But when the younger attends classes at a local school, she puts not only herself and her companion at risk, but also a haemophiliac boy she has feelings for. Truly stunning both visually and in terms of the way it reinvents the vampire mythos, it makes the perfect double feature with Interview.

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Bride of Frankenstein: “We belong dead.” The movie that brought Tiffany Charles, noted murderess and voodoo dabbler to tears is a V-Day must. Glorious black and white horror that lept over the bar set by James Whale’s first instalment.

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Honourable Mention Hannibal: The Red Dragon: While it isn’t a film, Hannibal is one of the best/goriest/most romantic things to be put on screen in the last decade. A particular stand out in the romance department is the final run of episodes which were essentially a 6 episode miniseries was a highlight of the series run and arguably the epitome of the homoromantic subtext turning text that drew so many to the critically acclaimed series. Episodes 8 to 13 of the third season tell a complete story that while enhanced by the preceding episodes would still make for a great V-Day watch and certainly play better after repeated viewings compared to Manhunter and Red Dragon the two previous attempts at adapting the Thomas Harris novel.

 

 

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Virginia Masden is Helen Lyle in Candyman [KILLER BEAUTY]

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Did you know that during Candyman, any time where Helen (Virginia Masden) sees Candyman (Tony Todd), Virginia was in a hypnotic state? During pre-production director Bernard Rose went with Virginia to a hypnotist who gave the director a key phrase that would induce a hypnotic state in the actress. Notice the dilation of her pupils and pronounced blood vessels in the whites of her eyes.

By the time filming was nearing conclusion, Masden spent an entire day of filming in a trance, unable to recall the day when she was brought back to herself. After that she says she refused to go under again.

Thanks Candyman DVD Special Features!

Candyman [Review]

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Our names will be written on a thousand walls. Our crimes told and retold by our faithful believers. We shall die together in front of their very eyes and give them something to be haunted by. Come with me and be immortal.-Candyman

Based on a short story by homo-horror meister Clive Barker, Candyman is one of the most underrated films of the early 90s. With various other franchises from the golden era petering out (Jason Goes to Hell, Freddy’s Dead etc) and the post modern classics still only a pipe dream (Scream, I Know What You Did Last Summer), Candyman often gets lost and forgotten.For those who are not familiar with the film, here is how I explained it to my mom when she called part way through watching it last night:

ME: Hey!

MOM: How are you?

ME: I am good… eating an entire pumpkin pie and watching Candyman!

MOM: Fatty… Is that a scary movie?

ME: Yes. It’s an AMAZING scary movie…!

MOM: Is that the one with the clown? IT I think? Where the clown drags the little girl under the bed?

ME: No… That’s Poltergeist… IT is the one where the clown is actually a fear-spider-monster…

MOM: I never saw that one…

ME: Candyman is about a grad student named Helen who is doing her thesis on urban legends. She begins studying Candyman. The legend goes you say his name 5 times in the mirror and he appears and guts you with a hook shoved in the bloody stump where his hand used to be.

MOM: That’s fucked up…

Helen’s search for Candyman leads her to Cabrini Green a housing project in the ghetto. What she finds is so much more then what she ever could have imagined. Eventually here quest leads to the mythical Candyman, the victim of a heinous crime who begins to appear to Helen leaving a trail of blood and gore in his wake.

Candyman is all kinds of epic. It has one of the best horror scores of all time by MOTHER EFFING Phillip Glass! It stars Virginia Masden! It features amazing Kubrick-esque shots of Chicago! All of the exterior shots of Cabrini Green are of actual housing projects in the Ghetto! All of the extras in these scenes are actual early 90s gang members who agreed to be in the movie after the film crew showed up and the men refused to leave their turf?! Most importantly it has one of the greatest horror icons of all time (I say icon and not villain because really Helen’s husband Trevor is the real villain in all of this). Candyman (played by genre vet and Shakespearean actor Tony Todd) still makes me mess my underthings… His deep booming voice, gentlemanly mannerisms and terrifying and ominous screen presence still send chills down my spine.

If you haven’t seen Candyman get your ass to the videostore (or torrent site cause it is 2012 but go rent it and support your local videostore…). It is the perfect movie for a chilly October viewing in the dark with a couple candles and lots of sweets.