Ah, Valentine’s Day. Love is in the air, couples are exchanging gifts and being lovey dovey, while others could care less about the holiday. For one reason or another it just isn’t for everyone. So, for the sake of survival, I’ve put together a list of the best Valentine’s Day horror movies that couples and singles alike can appreciate. After all, who doesn’t like a good movie marathon?
My Bloody Valentine (1981)
After a tragic accident on Valentine’s Day, the mining town of Valentine Bluffs decides to suspend the annual Valentine’s Day dance indefinitely. Why? Call it superstition but the town is afraid that if they celebrate the holiday killer Harry Warden will be back to kill again. Twenty years later, a group of party loving friends decide that Harry Warden is just an urban legend and that a party is long overdue. Things are going well at first. That is until people around town start dying. Has Harry Warden returned? Or is this the work of a heartbroken copy cat? I mean it’s the the quintessential Valentine’s Day horror movie that has some pretty well thought out kills, earning it a fair 3/4 pickaxes through the eye.
I would also recommend the My Bloody Valentine reboot from 2009. It’s meant to be watched in 3-D so it has those cringey, right in front of the camera shots that look weird without the glasses. But it does star Jensen Ackles so I give it 2/4 hearts in candy boxes.
Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975)
Valentine’s Day, 1900, the students of Appleyard College, a girls’ private school in Australia, are in for a treat. The school’s typically strict headmistress allows the girls to go on a field trip, a picnic to the volcanic formation called Hanging Rock. It’s an unusual place to have a picnic but everyone seems to be enjoying themselves. That is until the faculty realize one of the teachers and several of the girls have disappeared mysteriously. The build up is too slow for my taste. However it is a solid mystery flick with great outfits, easily earning it a 3/4 reptiles in the sun.
Warm Bodies (2013)
While it technically isn’t a horror movie with a Valentine’s theme, Jonathan Levine’s Warm Bodies totally deserves a slot on this list because it’s adorable and terribly underrated. After a terrible plague has left the planet’s population divided between zombies and humans, an unusual zombie called R (Nicholas Hoult) saves the very human Julie (Teresa Palmer) from being eaten. Julie sees something special in R and the two embark on a journey that could save the world. Meanwhile, as their unusual bond grows, R becomes more and more human. It doesn’t get much cuter than this. Between Hoult’s impressive American accent and the awesome soundtrack Warm Bodies easily earns 4/4 nice watches.
Audition, one of my favorite Japanese horror movies, follows Aoyama (Ryo Ishibashi), a widower who decides to start dating in a rather unusual way. With the help of his producer friend, Aoyama holds a fake auditions for a fake production as a sort of dating service. Oddly enough it works. After meeting and developing feelings for the gorgeous Asami (Eihi Shiina) they begin dating. As if things couldn’t get creepier, Aoyama quickly realizes there is something seriously wrong with his beloved Asami. Disturbing, tense and very well done, Audition deserves 4/4 syringes.
In 1988, Jeremy Melton asks five girls to dance with him during his Junior High School’s annual Valentine’s Day dance. To say it doesn’t go well would be an understatement. The evening ends with Jeremy getting severely beaten and eventually transferred to a reform school. Thirteen years later those same five girls, Kate (Marley Shelton), Paige (Denise Richards), Dorothy (Jessica Capshaw), Lily (Jessica Cauffiel) and Shelly (Katherine Heigl) are dying for dates to celebrate Valentine’s Day with. And this year they might just get their wish. It’s definitely not the greatest slasher in the world but it’s cheesiness makes it feel more like a comedy. Plus David Boreanaz is in it so Valentine gets 2/4 bloody roses.
X Ray a.k.a Hospital Massacre (1982)
In 1961, an unpopular boy named Harold (Charles Lucia) leaves a Valentine’s Day card in popular girl Susan’s (Barbi Benton) locker. This results in Harold going mad and killing Susan’s friend David before hanging him from a hatstand. Nineteen years later, Susan goes to the hospital to pick up some test results. Unbeknownst to her crazy Harold is back, specifically at the same hospital to hunt down Susan. This is a hidden gem. With witty one liners and featuring some great music X Ray earns a fair 3/4 surgical masks.
The Loved Ones (2009)
Another underrated film is Sean Byrne’s The Loved Ones. When quiet girl Lola (Robin McLeavy) asks Brent (Xavier Samuel) to the prom he politely declines, informing Lola that he is already going with his girlfriend. At least he wasn’t a jerk about it, right? Well to Lola it’s a devastating blow so, like a reasonable person, she kidnaps Brent, and forces him to participate in their very own prom in her basement. Charming. 3/4 hammers to the toes.
This article was originally published 2/14/19