Valentine’s Day is nearly upon us, and love is in the air. We’re theming this week’s streaming picks accordingly, because nothing captures our hearts quite like horror.
What better way to ring in the holiday than with a potential marathon that celebrates the darker aspects of romance? Sometimes there’s nothing more horrifying or painful than falling in love. For the erstwhile lovers in these five horror movies, the road to love is riddled with monsters, killers, unrestrained paranormal powers, and even homicidal impulses.
Here’s where you can watch these five romantic horror movies this week.
An American Werewolf in London – HBO Max
John Landis’s horror-comedy turns 40 later this year, but there’s arguably no better time than now to revisit it. That’s because at the heart of this werewolf flick is a compelling romance between the eponymous American werewolf, David (David Naughton), and his nurse, Alex (Jenny Agutter). Their whirlwind love story simultaneously charms and increases the stakes as David comes to terms with the monstrous beast he’s becoming. The higher the body count rises, the more David is forced to confront the growing darkness within him. It results in tragedy for the star-crossed lovers; this horror-comedy still has serious bite.
Audition – Tubi
Takashi Miike lulls you into thinking you’re watching a quiet love story unfold between widower Shigeharu and the enchanting Asami. It’s deliberate in pacing; it’s easy to overlook the red flags from both sides of this new couple. The more he falls head over heels with Asami, the more he wants to know about her past. The more he tugs at the threads of her history, the more her veneer unravels until it builds into the most terrifying and explosive finale. Asami’s gleeful giggling as she uses piano wire to forever tether her new love to her is the stuff of nightmares. There’s nothing sweet or innocent at all about this sick tale of dating gone horribly wrong.
Bride of Chucky – Peacock
It’s fitting that Tiffany’s last name is Valentine, as her introduction brought something to the series that we never expected: love. It’s the very human Tiffany that retrieves the Good Guy doll’s remains from police evidence and revives him via ritual. The reunited lovers gleefully embark on another murder spree, proving the couple that slays together stays together. But two psychopathic killers don’t fight like normal couples, and between trapping Tiffany’s soul into a doll’s body and the mundane chores of life, namely dishes, Tiffany and Chucky battle it out in the most violent ways. The volatile relationship between Tiffany and Chucky gets lethal.
Cloverfield – AMC+
There’s an extra incentive to revisit this 2008 found-footage favorite, considering the recent news of a proper sequel in the works. Sure, it’s a giant monster movie set in New York City, but it’s framed entirely through the perspective of a group of friends on a rescue mission. When a going-away party for Rob (Michael Stahl-David) gets interrupted by the arrival of a giant monster rampaging across the city, Rob is determined to make his way through the devastation to answer a distress call by ex-girlfriend Beth (Odette Yustman) and save her. His friend records their perilous journey over previous footage of happier times between Rob and Beth. Rob’s ardent love for Beth is the impetus for this exciting American kaiju feature, offering a very different, genre-specific take on romance.
Thelma – Hulu
Joachim Trier’s gorgeously shot supernatural thriller follows a lonely and repressed young woman, the titular Thelma (Elli Harboe), in her first foray outside of her ultra-religious Christian family’s rule to start university. Her sheltered upbringing means she struggles socially, and new, unexplained seizures compound it. When Thelma finds herself attracted to fellow student Anya (Kaya Wilkins), it triggers her suppressed subconsciously-controlled psychokinetic powers to wreak havoc on everyone’s lives. A psychological, Gothic thriller in the vein of Carrie, Thelma marks a different kind of coming-of-age tale that’s grounded by love.