It’s that time of year. Stuck in the desolation that falls between Christmas and Easter, Valentine’s Day is back. But fear not. Love isn’t just for Hallmark Channel subscribers. Yes, people find love even in horror movies. Of course, it’s usually tragic, cursed, or undead. Nevertheless, horror fans have plenty of options for curling up on the couch with a movie that isn’t about two terminally ill teens who fall in love. So if you’re alone this Valentine’s Day, and you’re looking for relationship goals, here’s a list of some of horror’s best couples.
Ed and Lorraine Warren (The Conjuring)
Based on real-life husband-and-wife paranormal investigators, The Conjuring Universe’s Ed and Lorraine Warren are the ultimate relationship goal for horror fans. Would Ryan Gosling have braved demonic forces for Rachel McAdams in The Notebook? Not likely. Though the franchise’s genuine scares draw fans to theatres, it’s the Warrens’ fleshed out relationship that elevates the movies above more generic fare. Besides, most horror fans know how hard it is to find someone who shares their interests.
BrundleFly and Veronica Quaife (The Fly)
Some relationships just end badly. Approximately a third of marriages in Canada end in divorce. And that number only increases for second and third marriages. Maybe you’ve had a bad breakup. Still, the odds are, your ex didn’t try and merge you and your unborn child with a fly in teleportor pods. David Cronenberg’s The Fly is the rare case of a good remake. It’s a compelling mix of Cronenberg’s ‘body horror’ with the classic ‘tragic monster’ narrative. Seth Brundle’s self-fuelled downfall is both grotesque and sad. When BrundleFly begs Geena Davis’ ‘Veronica’ to put him out of his misery, it’s heartbreaking than Titanic.
Edward Scissorhands and Kim
No one does eccentric Gothic romance quite like Tim Burton. In fact, picking one of Burton’s cinematic couples was challenging. The Corpse Bride, Sleepy Hollow, and The Nightmare Before Christmas are all good choices. But Burtons’ original fairytale, Edward Scissorhands, is a dark and timeless romance. It’s grim, magical, and heartbreaking all at the same time. Burton made stars out of Johnny Depp and Winona Ryder. Maybe you still hope Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston will reunite. But horror fans will always dream of a happy ending for Edward and Kim.
The Monster and The Bride (The Bride of Frankenstein)
Rejection hurts. No one wants to be alone. After director James Whale brought Marry Shelley’s tragic monster to the big screen, he followed it up with Bride of Frankenstein. Arguably, it’s a sequel that surpasses its predecessor. This time around Whale gives Karloff’s ‘Monster’ more screentime and, as a result, better captures its loneliness and isolation. Despite his protests, Dr Frankenstein creates a ‘Bride’ for his ‘Monster’ who just wants some companionship. Not surprisingly, it doesn’t end well. When the Monster gestures to his ‘Bride’ and says, ‘friend’, she screams in horror at the sight of him. Our heartbroken Monster chooses to destroy himself and The Bride remarking, “We belong dead”. Consider this a warning to always use up-to-date pictures on your dating profile.
Count Dracula and Mina Murray (Bram Stoker’s Dracula)
True love never dies. That was the tag line for Francis Ford Coppola’s lush re-imagining of Bram Stoker’s classic. Ever the bold filmmaker, Coppola mixed Stoker’s fiction with bits of Vlad the Impaler’s history and some Gothic romance. Forget about Jonathan Harker. Sorry, Keanu Reeves fans. This one’s all about the Count’s obsession with his long lost love, Elisabeta. As he says himself, the immortal vampire ‘crossed ocean’s of time’ to find Mina, his reincarnated bride. Not even a little problem like sunlight can keep him from his soulmate. While Coppola’s remake is remembered for its distinct visual style, the director also grasped the appeal of the original Universal Monsters. A sympathetic monster makes for a more tragic story.
Chucky and Tiffany (Child’s Play Series)
They’re horror’s most toxic couple. Sometimes they love each, most of the time they’re ‘in hate’ with one another. After Child’s Play 3 dragged the series into generic slasher territory, Bride of Chucky re-ignited things with a new, almost satirical, direction. Jennifer Tilly proved to be an amazing addition to the franchise. And while Seed of Chucky disappointed, Child’s Play found new life with belated sequels, Curse of Chucky and Cult of Chucky. Maybe last year’s remake underwhelmed due to Tiffany’s absence.
David and Alex (An American Werewolf in London)
”Well, I think a werewolf can only be killed by someone who loves them.” After nearly 40 years, An American Werewolf in London remains the best werewolf movie. Rick Baker’s werewolf transformation work is the bar to which horror movie effects should aspire. Yet at its core, John Landis’ movie is a ‘boy meets girl’ romance. A bit of ‘Florence Nightingale Syndrome’ with the British nurse caring and falling in love with the American tourist. Landis included several nods to werewolf movies of the past. But his nicest touch is the reference to Universal’s The Wolf Man where Lawrence Talbot is saved from his curse by his father. Here, Nurse Alex mercifully kills Alex as he hesitates for just a moment when she tells him that she loves him. Pass the Kleenex and cue the tears.
Gale Weathers and Dewey Riley (Scream)
A ladder-climbing tabloid reporter and a small-town, dopey deputy – it doesn’t sound like a recipe for love, does it? But somehow Gale Weathers and Dewey Riley survived and made it work across all four movies in the Scream franchise. Of course, each sequel usually found the couple on the outs or the relationship in trouble. Gale’s ambition typically drove the couple apart. But love conquers all. By the end of Scream 4, the up-and-down couple were still together. We’ll just ignore the fact that, in real life, Courtney Cox and David Arquette divorced.
Eric Draven and Shelly (The Crow)
The Crow is one of the defining movies of the mid-90’s. Its gritty visual style and alternative soundtrack perfectly capture the time period. Based on James O’Barr’s graphic novel, guitarist Eric Draven rises from the dead to avenge the brutal murder of his fiancé, Shelly Webster. In addition to Alex Proyas’ Gothic visuals, Brandon Lee is perfect as a tormented ‘angel of death’. Amidst the movie’s grim violence, The Crow never forgets the emotional core of its story. When his vengeance is complete, Draven is once again reunited with his love.
Gomez and Mortician Addams – The Addams Family
We should all hope to be in as love as Gomez and Morticia Addams. During its original television run from 1964 to 1966, John Astin and Carolyn Jones introduced us to the original ‘Goth couple’. Years later, Raul Julia and Anjelica Huston revived the couple in the extremely fun The Addams Family movie and its sequel. Romantic strolls through the swamp. Howls of suffering. Though their interests may run too dark for most of us, Gomez’s devotion to his ‘Cara Mia’ is unquestionable. Regardless of what incarnation you’re watching The Addams are proof that love doesn’t have to look like a Hallmark movie.