Hahaha, 2021, amiright? I mean, this was – generally speaking – an improvement on 2020, but still. And since the world basically shut down in 2020, many of the films released this year were made in 2019 or 2020 but didn’t see distribution until 2021, which makes the whole “best of the year” thing a bit muddy, admittedly. But hey! I’m gonna do it regardless. Because I care, and I want to share some stuff with you.
So, here is a list of 10 of my personal favorite horror films from 2021. Based on a completely arbitrary rating system, from a list of films that I saw. Happy New Year! Let’s hope the next one goes a bit smoother.
10) What Josiah Saw (dir. Vincent Grashaw)
Synopsis: A family with buried secrets reunite at a farmhouse after two decades to pay for their past sins.
Why You Should Watch It: This was one of my favorites out of Fantasia Fest this year (read my review here). It’s a solid southern gothic focused on sins and sinners, revealing uncomfortable secrets in a structured-by-the-chapter format. The performances, the cinematography, the music, and the script are all impeccable, delivered with a lived-in layer of dirt and grit that makes the film feel so very personal.
I had to sit with What Josiah Saw for a bit after my first watch, but it dug into me. I couldn’t get it out of my head. It’s complex and damaged. It’s haunting. It’s not an easy watch, but it’s storytelling is forcefully effective. You won’t soon forget it.
Where You Can Watch It: It’s not streaming anywhere yet, but keep an eye out for this one.
9) Malignant (dir. James Wan)
Synopsis: Madison is paralyzed by shocking visions of grisly murders, and her torment worsens as she discovers that these waking dreams are in fact terrifying realities.
Why You Should Watch It: Malignant is James Wan’s giallo-inspired bizarro-superhero psycho-slasher, and it’s an absolute blast. There’s something about seeing a large scale horror film with a fresh, original plot and various bits of scenery for the actors to chew that’s really heartwarming. We get remakes and sequels out the wazoo, but Wan is one of the few (and I hate to use this term, but) “mainstream” working genre directors who can pull off this kind of humble creativity with such grandiose effect.
It’s reminiscent of a good-ol-fashioned popcorn flick, but with Wan’s signature scares that light up the screen. His fight scenes are wild, his fear scenes effective, and the ideas within the film are the kind of frightful fun that we’ve all come to expect from Wan. It’s just a straight up good time at the movies, for the classic horror fan in all of us.
Where You Can Watch It: Rent on AppleTV, Amazon, Google Play, and more
8) Fear Street Trilogy (dir. Leigh Janiak)
Synopsis: After a series of brutal slayings, a teen and her friends take on an evil force that’s plagued their notorious town for centuries.
Why You Should Watch It: Ok so maybe this is three films, technically. All the same, Fear Street is an impressive teen horror trilogy that makes itself accessible to younger audiences without pulling any punches. It’s surprisingly violent with deaths that actually carry emotional weight. The attacks on the teens feel desperate, the victims terrified and frantic. It’s heavy! And earns its commendable R rating; nothing is sacrificed for the sake of broader appeal.
This is a trilogy made for horror fans, both for adults who have grown up with the genre, and for teens who are maybe just embracing their special scary side. The second entry (Fear Street 1978) is particularly perfect for slumber parties, revisiting the classic summer camp slasher and offering lessons in friendship. Fear Street is a serious take on the teen horror boom, revived from the 90s for Gen Z. Because if we’re going to bring back 90s fashion, please please please let us bring back the 90s teen horror cycle too.
Where You Can Watch It: Exclusively on Netflix
7) Last Night in Soho (dir. Edgar Wright)
Synopsis: An aspiring fashion designer is mysteriously able to enter the 1960s where she encounters a dazzling wannabe singer. But the glamour is not all it appears to be and the dreams of the past start to crack and splinter into something darker.
Why You Should Watch It: In terms of visual spectacle, Last Night in Soho is truly impressive. Using camera tricks and clever editing, Wright seamlessly stitches together scenes through a mirror’s image with Thomasin McKenzie and Anya Taylor-Joy in perfect harmony. Paired with Wright’s ability to craft a stellar soundtrack, the film transports you to a grand, vibrant era where everything is magical – but nothing is as it seems.
There’s a horrible dark side to the 1960s glamour that is uncomfortably real, and very scary. McKenzie and Taylor-Joy have a magnetic energy – you just want to see them happy – and they’re master manipulators when it comes to your emotions. They take you on a roller coaster of radiant joy and paralyzing fear, and it’s easy to get swept up in it all. Wright has proven to be a formidable storyteller, and Last Night in Soho is a true flex of his creative energy.
Where You Can Watch It: Available for rent on AppleTV, Amazon, DirectTV, and more
6) Saint Maud (dir. Rose Glass)
Synopsis: A pious nurse becomes dangerously obsessed with saving the soul of her dying patient.
Why You Should Watch It: Did I first see this in 2019? Yes (click here for my review). Is that cheating? Maybe, but it just got distribution in 2021 so I’ma count it. Saint Maud is a tense and twisting tour into obsession and fanaticism that will make even the most devout a bit uncomfortable. Morfydd Clark as Maud is endearing and sympathetic, tragic yet empowered by her faith. Jennifer Ehle as Amanda, Maud’s ward, is a sensual snake who inspires both admiration and a warning caution.
Saint Maud is the feature film debut from writer/director Rose Glass, and it’s certainly made her a name to watch out for. The final frame gave me chills I have not felt before or since, and though I don’t want to hype it up too much, it was one of the most powerful theatrical experiences I’ve had.
Where You Can Watch It: On Netflix in Canada, in the USA on Hulu, Epix, and more
5) Slumber Party Massacre (dir. Danishka Esterhazy)
Synopsis: A remake of the 1982 slasher film about sorority girls attacked by a maniac killer with a large electric drill.
Why You Should Watch It: We’ve seen a large… large number of horror remakes over the years, but Danishka Esterhazy’s Slumber Party Massacre is an 80s remake done right. Written by Suzanne Keilly (Leprechaun Returns, Ash vs Evil Dead) this SyFy original is surprisingly funny, playing up just about every single slasher trope you can think of with its tongue firmly planted in-cheek.
In true Slumber Party Massacre fashion, it incorporates slow-motion shower scenes and skimpy pajamas, but with a male focus that adds to the feminist-leaning comedy of the film. There are also quite a few little references for fans of the original franchise. Esterhazy and Keilly clearly have a lot of respect for the intent put out by the 1982 film’s writer, Rita Mae Brown, and really understood the “feminist slasher parody” assignment. The result is highly enjoyable. You can read my full review here.
Where You Can Watch It: Streaming on FuboTV, On Demand, and more
4) Titane (dir. Julia Ducournau)
Synopsis: Following a series of unexplained crimes, a father is reunited with the son who has been missing for 10 years. Titane: A metal highly resistant to heat and corrosion, with high tensile strength alloys.
Why You Should Watch It: Ok, so that synopsis is… not helpful. At its most basic, the film is about an exotic dancer who is impregnated by a car and – following a string of brutal murders – makes every effort to hide from authorities. So, that said, Titane is unlike anything else you’ll see this year. Or for a while, really.
Titane premiered at the Cannes Film Festival and took away the prestigious Palme d’Or (a win so exciting that jury president Spike Lee accidentally let it slip before the announcement had been made). Ducournau – also known for Raw, a cannibal coming-of-age tale – is the first solo female filmmaker to take home the prize, and it’s well earned. Titane has a raw sexuality and blunt force violence that’s hypnotic, unsettling, and inescapable. It won’t be for everyone, and that’s ok! But if you can get into it, it’s a wild ride.
Where You Can Watch It: Available for rent on AppleTV, Google Play, Redbox, and more
3) Werewolves Within (dir. Josh Ruben)
Synopsis: Feature adaptation of the video game where werewolves attack a small town.
Why You Should Watch It: Werewolves Within is a horror-comedy murder-mystery with a heart of gold. Written by humorist Mishna Wolff and based on the Ubisoft multiplayer VR game of the same name, the film is like a whimsical whodunnit gone violently awry, and an honest-to-goodness warm hug of a horror film.
The ensemble cast are finely tuned to their characters and each other, with micro-reactions and pitch-perfect tone for each line. Sam Richardson – in particular – shines as a wholesome hero, acting as a champion of goodwill and neighbourly kindness. The energy floats somewhere between Clue and Fargo, but with a werewolf. So that’s fun. You can read my full review here.
Where You Can Watch It: On Netflix in Canada, in the USA for rent on AppleTV and more
2) Psycho Goreman (dir. Steven Kostanski)
Synopsis: After unearthing a gem that controls an evil monster looking to destroy the Universe, a young girl and her brother use it to make him do their bidding.
Why You Should Watch It: Charmingly hilarious and delightfully gory, Psycho Goreman was one of my most anticipated films of 2021. I enjoy the works of writer/director Steven Kostanski (The Void) and his work with Astron-6 (The Editor, Father’s Day), so when I heard the premise of this film with his name attached, I was very excited. It did not disappoint.
Psycho Goreman is one of few recent horror flicks that would be appropriate for children (in a horror-happy household, of course). It features a collection of creative (and entirely practical) monsters, all designed by Kostanski himself – an effects artist by trade. With the practical effects and the film’s two leads both still in grade school, Psycho Goreman has an Amblin-meets-Power-Rangers kind of vibe, but with a heavy dose of comedy. It’s just so much fun.
Where You Can Watch It: Streaming on Shudder, AMC+, and more
1) The Sadness (dir. Rob Jabbaz)
Synopsis: A young couple trying to reunite amid a city ravaged by a plague that turns its victims into deranged, bloodthirsty sadists.
Why You Should Watch It: Maybe you shouldn’t, to be honest; this movie is not for everyone. It goes balls deep in violent depravity, with vicious visuals that might scar you for life. It’s well shot, but boy is it mean, and so over-the-top that it’s… actually really fun. It’s shocking, upsetting, and ruthless. As someone who’s partial to extreme cinema, I absolutely loved it.
The Sadness really shakes up the “violent infection” storyline. It comes at a time where a lot of horror films are playing it (relatively) safe for a wider audience, or directing their energy to more stylized, cerebral fare. This film says “fuck that” and just goes for it. It’s bold, brazen, and pretty damn exciting. You can read my full review here, and click here to read my interview with director Rob Jabbaz.
Where You Can Watch It: It’s still on the festival circuit, but keep an eye out for a release!
Vicious Fun (dir. Cody Calahan)
Synopsis: Joel, a caustic 1980s film critic for a national horror magazine, finds himself unwittingly trapped in a self-help group for serial killers. With no other choice, Joel attempts to blend in or risk becoming the next victim.
Why You Should Watch It: This was on my Honorable Mentions list last year as well as it had only just hit the festival circuit, but it’s an absolute blast so I wanted to circle back ‘round to it this year. Made by horror fans for horror fans, it’s a true celebration of the genre, with an appropriately neon-hued and synth-scored bout of violent, vicious fun.
If you love a good self-aware horror-comedy with killer characters and gruesome practical effects, you should definitely check it out. You can read my full review here.
Where You Can Watch It: Streaming on Shudder and AMC+
12 Interesting Horror Films Not Yet on Blu-Ray
It’s hard to tell why some films are so quick to get a Blu-Ray release when some films haven’t had an official stateside release since the VHS days or since snapper case DVDs and badly panned and scanned transfers were still a thing. Here’s a list of a few films that, for whatever reason, are taking an insanely long time to make it to Blu-Ray (or, in some cases, DVD).
Before Bernard Rose was summoning Clive Barker’s Candyman, he was making this understated English thriller about a sickly girl whose only means of escape is dreaming of the things she draws during her waking hours.
In these dreams, she meets another sick child and they strike up a friendship. It’s a good thing, too, because they’ll need each other’s help when those dreams turn into nightmares. Rose creates a moving and frightening story that’s high in mood and well-worth seeking out.
There was an out of print international Blu-Ray release and there’s an HD master that floats around on TV and streaming, so there’s definitely material to work with. This would make a great fit for the Vestron Collector’s Series since that’s the company that released this on VHS back in the late 80s.
After discovering this one on a complication DVD called Boogeymen in the early aughts, I went out of my way to check this indie New Zealand-lensed shocker out and I was blown away by it.
It’s about a psychiatrist trying to figure out why a serial killer murdered so many people. Was it his abusive childhood? Is he really hearing voices? Or is he just playing the sympathy card and manipulating the shrink?
Despite slight similarities to The Silence of the Lambs and Seven, it has a style all its own, great performances, and a few moments you’ll never be able to forget.
Hello Mary Lou: Prom Night II
Let’s just admit it. Prom Night II is the true MVP of the franchise. It throws just about every 80’s horror cliche and trope into a blender and adds a generous helping of Michael Ironside and “what the hell did I just see/hear” moments.
A mousy high school girl is possessed by the spirit of a sexy 1950’s prom queen who was accidentally burnt to a crisp by her jealous boyfriend and she’s been looking for a way to reclaim her prom queen crown ever since.
If that doesn’t sound fun enough, throw in some horny rocking horses, incest, big hair, a little sacrilege, murderous capes, and a full-frontal lesbianic locker room stalking scene.
It has everything! Except for a Blu-Ray release. Apparently, rights issues are holding this one up, so we can only hope they get everything sorted out ASAP because this one would be a big seller.
Lucky McKee’s May is one of the true cult classics of the past 20 years. Angela Bettis plays a vet’s assistant who has a problem connecting with anyone who isn’t 100% perfect.
After she realizes no one is truly perfect except her creepy porcelain doll, she decides to create the perfect human doll using all the best parts of her problematic companions.
With its quirky and macabre sense of humor, surprising humanity, and eerie lead performance by Angela Bettis, this is one that should be talked about a lot more than it is. It probably doesn’t help that it’s not available on Blu-Ray. Who do we need to call? Lion’s Gate?
Mother of Tears
Ok, so it’s not Suspiria or Inferno, but just to leave the 3rd and final chapter of Dario Argento’s Three Mothers trilogy in Blu-Ray limbo seems cruel.
In Rome, an ancient urn is unearthed and opened by a historian, and the blood-thirsty spirit of Mater Lachrymarum is released to throw the world into violent chaos. The visuals aren’t as eye-popping as the previous films (did they shoot this movie during the great Italian colored lighting gel shortage of 2007 or what?), but it has a few creative moments, an enjoyably angry performance from Asia Argento, and some nasty gore effects. And doesn’t the world deserve to see Daria Nicolodi flying out of a magical powder puff in stunning HD?
This one isn’t high art. I’ll admit it, but there have been far worse slashers that have gotten the deluxe treatment on Blu-Ray.
It takes place at a camp for 30-year-old cheerleaders where someone is killing off the competition. Is it our leading lady who might be coming apart at the seams?
Awkward rap battles and raunchy sex comedy spice things up in between scenes of cheerleaders being terrorized with garden shears and meat cleavers.
This seems like a great fit for Arrow or Vinegar Syndrome who have done such great work with cleaning up other neglected slasher films from the 80s.
Silent Night, Deadly Night IV: Initiation
While all of the Silent Night, Deadly Night entries deserve one big box set, this one is my favorite.
In this “sequel”, a reporter tries to get to the bottom of a case of spontaneous combustion and its link to a weird cult. It’s so loosely connected to the franchise or the Christmas holiday (you can spot one or two Christmas trees in the background and that’s as festive as it gets) that they might as well have called it something else, but there’s a lot of gooey body horror, witchcraft, spontaneous combustion, and Clint Howard as a deranged homeless man.
If that doesn’t spell Christmas cheer, I don’t know what does.
Summer Camp Nightmare
This one’s cover art enticed me to give it a rental in middle school and, while I was a little disappointed that it didn’t give me the slasher flick I was promised (it was rated PG-13! What was my dumb ass expecting?), it ended up being an entertaining “kids run amok and take over a summer camp” movie.
It’s like Lord of the Flies with bigger hair and Chuck Connors. I think. Honestly, it’s been so long since I’ve seen it that I’d like a Blu-Ray release just to remind me what all it had going for it again.
Maybe this one will do better with a fresh transfer and artwork that matches the contents of the film a little closer.
Man, this one is a downer. I mean that in the best way.
A spinster librarian takes care of her evil invalid father all night and day and dreams of running away and finding the man who was supposed to marry her many years ago. It’s a psychological drama with some gothic horror elements thrown in, but Carrie Snodgress and Ray Milland both give killer performances and it’s filled with deep dark family secrets, patricide daydreams, and a monkey for good measure.
It’s only been available on dark, dreary VHS tapes and a long out-of-print MGM double feature DVD with the Klaus Kinski creeper Crawlspace (which has already gotten its own Blu-Ray release).
Time to let this one out of the attic and let it see the sun.
The Stepford Wives
Somehow, this film’s remake has made it onto Blu-Ray, but no one’s been kind enough to offer the original classic a warm, digital home. Truly, what would the women of Stepford think about such rudeness? It’s a shame, too, because this is one of the creepiest and most unsettling 70’s horror films out there.
Katharine Ross and Paula Prentiss play two independent women who settle in the town of Stepford with their families and try to figure out exactly why the men in the town meet in secret at a creepy mansion and why the women look so perfect and have no interests outside of housework.
This is another one where rights issues have kept it from getting the release it deserves and that needs to change.
We’ll just die if we don’t get this on Blu-Ray.
Artist Cindy Sherman might be the last person you’d expect to make a horror film, let alone a slasher film, but she did (even if it’s rumored that she’d like you to forget) and it’s very entertaining.
It stars Carol Kane as an awkward office worker who accidentally kills a sleazy co-worker and then decides that her life might be better if she took out some of the other biggest offenders in her life.
It’s too ghoulish for the comedy crowd and too arty and satirical for most traditional slasher fans, which made it hard to find its audience. The fact that it went direct to video might not have helped either, but it’s gathered a decent cult fanbase over the past 20+ years since its release, and a retrospective with stars Kane, Jeanne Tripplehorn, and Molly Ringwald wouldn’t suck either.
The Haunting of Julia
Mia Farrow’s other major horror film besides Rosemary’s Baby (besides a fun supporting role in the remake of The Omen) is a thoughtful and quietly unsettling ghost story involving a grieving mother who gets a little too close to the ghost of a dead child haunting her new home.
It’s only ever been available in a crummy pan and scan VHS releases and the few widescreen prints out there are muddy and lacking definition. Time for an upgrade so that a new generation or two can become acquainted with this under-seen film.
I’m not sure who’ll be reading this, but if, by chance, a distributor gets ahold of this list, maybe they can make some magic happen and give some of these unfairly neglected horror films a little love on home video.
Love is in the Scare: The Best Romantic Horror Movies Streaming Now
Valentine’s Day is less than a week away, and what’s better than curling up with the one you love and watching someone getting their arm chopped off? The romance genre doesn’t often cross over with horror, but when it does, it’s always interesting. For those couples who can’t decide on a horror movie or a rom-com for movie night, this list of romantic horror movies is for you.
Whether these films show the good side of relationships, the bad side or the “it’s complicated” side, all of them will have you gasping in lust or terror. Celebrate Valentine’s Day the horror way with our favorite romantic horror movies streaming right now. Note: all of the service availabilities are in America.
Best Romantic Horror Movies Now Streaming
Spring (2014) – Hulu, Tubi
Before Sunrise but make it Lovecraftian. Horror superstars Aaron Morehead and Justin Benson’s (The Endless, Synchronic) earlier film Spring is perhaps one of their best, successfully blending an emotional romance with disgusting scenes of body horror.
Evan, played by Lou Taylor Pucci (Evil Dead remake), decides to travel to Italy following the death of his mother and the loss of his job. There, he meets the mysterious Louise, played by Nadia Hilker (The Walking Dead) and begins to pursue her despite some initial misgivings and odd behavior, leading to a touching romance that may be cut short for supernatural reasons.
This film seems like it’s going in a specific horror trope direction, but ends up not and being entirely surprising with its subject matter. The body horror elements here are strong, with some scenes that will challenge your stomach. At the same time, the romantic story surrounding it is grand, full of yearning, and will tap into that longing to randomly meet the love of your life in a foreign country.
Corpse Bride (2005) – HBO Max
What more can be said about this beloved animated gothic romance from director Tim Burton? Fantastically designed with a great gothic style, this spooky, romantic stop motion film is a great nostalgia watch for Valentine’s Day.
Victor (Johnny Depp) is about to get married to Victoria (Emily Watson) in an arranged affair to raise the social status of their parents. While practicing his vows and putting a wedding ring on roots in a forest, a root turns into the decrepit finger of a dead woman, Emily (Helena Bonham Carter), who declares that he is now her husband and takes him with her into the world of the dead.
While very similar to A Nightmare Before Christmas, I have always been partial to Corpse Bride for its grand romance and beautiful gothic style. It’s hard not to be invested in the various relationships in this film and hope the best for everyone, even though it seems unlikely. This one is definitely the most tame on this list, so it’s horror for all ages!
Dracula (1992) – Netflix
One of the best best adaptations of the well known vampire book Dracula is also the one of the most romantic. Dripping in gothic excess, this vampire film reminds us of the amorous nature of vampires and the alluring look of the Victorian era. Francis Ford Coppola took a surprising turn into the horror genre with Dracula, being known for The Godfather and Apocalypse Now, but his experience as a director paid off.
‘This film leans more into the romance aspects by altering the story to show a new intro where Dracula (Gary Oldman) lost a great love when he was still human. The rest of the film follows the familiar Dracula plot: Jonathan Harker (Keanu Reeves) shows up to Dracula’s castle to help him move to America, unwittingly getting trapped there as Dracula heads to America to steal Harker’s wife Mina (Winona Ryder) and causing havoc along the way.
This romantic horror film puts a higher emphasis on the lost love between Dracula and Mina, reincarnated as his former wife that he calls to throughout the film. Between this as well as the sad end of love between Mina and Jonathan through distressing letters, Bram Stoker’s Dracula is perfect to snuggle up to someone during.
A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night (2014) – Shudder, Tubi, AMC +
Speaking of vampires, A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night stands out as a particularly moody love story with some kills sprinkled in. This film is a black-and-white Iranian vampire western set in the fictional ghost town of Bad City. A young man (Arash Marandi) falls on some hard luck with a local drug dealer (Dominic Rains) when he encounters a mysterious woman (Sheila Vand) dressed in a black chador who rides a skateboard down the empty streets of the city.
This was the feature debut of Ana Lily Amirpour (The Bad Batch) but expertly crafts so many elements to make one of the most unique horror films that came out in the last decade. The romance in this film is endearing, sensual, mysterious and most importantly, full of complications that make you yearn for love.
Audition (1999) – Tubi, AMC +
Before society had Tinder as an app, it had real-life Tinder: girlfriend auditions. Horror master Takashi Miike (Ichi the Killer, 13 Assassins) directs this disturbing “love story” that will make you rethink the next time you get close to a new romantic interest.
Aoyama (Ryo Ishibashi) lost his wife several years ago, but is still reluctant to see other women. His friend suggests he hold auditions for a film, while secretly auditioning them as his wife. His eye is caught on Yamazaki Asami’s (Eihi Shiina), a shy, mysterious girl who may not be exactly as she seems.
Audition isn’t exactly the most romantic movie, especially near the surprisingly gory end, but it does capture that feeling of yearning for a romantic partner, and even making sacrifices for the idea of love, despite the reality of love. If you haven’t seen this romantic horror classic, now’s the time!
Warm Bodies (2013) – HBO Max
Who knew a zom-rom would make a delightful and introspective horror flick. While this is very much in the camp of Twilight, Warm Bodies improves upon the popular teen romance in almost all ways and is much less cringey (very important). In a breakout role from Nicholas Hoult (Mad Max: Fury Road, X-Men: First Class), a lonely zombie, R, braves the apocalypse mostly alone until he shambles into Julie (Teresa Palmer, Lights Out), a human woman sent out on a gathering mission for her survivor colony. What follows is an unconventional but heartwarming love story that unites the zombies and the humans.
The main character’s names, R and Julie, are no random choice. That’s right, this is a Romeo and Juliet adaptation, but with zombies. And while this could be very tacky, the film is existential in the most positive way and makes you ponder how similar we’ve come to being zombies, craving human connection, but not knowing how to show it. Plus, its got a killer soundtrack!
Only Lovers Left Alive (2013) – Tubi
Jim Jarmusch may be more known for artsy dramas like Paterson and Night on Earth, but he’s had a few successful forays into the horror genre with The Dead Don’t Die and perhaps his best, Only Lovers Left Alive.
Tilda Swinton and Tom Hiddleston star as a vampire couple, Adam and Eve, who have been together for centuries. Living on opposite ends of the world, Eve goes to visit Adam, a depressed famous musician, as her younger sister (Mia Wasikowska) enters their lives and starts causing chaos. This is an unconventional and very grunge version of the vampire story without being too horrifying or violent.
There’s something about love lasting through decades that just makes you get all mushy inside. This romantic horror movie doesn’t include as much relational drama as some of these other entries, so it’s nice to watch a loving relationship play out for once amid the chaos of the surrounding world.
Byzantium (2012) – Showtime
Yes, another vampire film. Are you sensing a pattern here? This one was made by Interview with a Vampire director Neil Jordan and goes for a more traditionally-romantic vampire tale while still being distinct with the complicated and relatable characters and intense violence.
Saoirse Ronan (The Lovely Bones, Hanna) and Gemma Arterton (Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters, The Girl With All The Gifts) lead as a mother-daughter vampire duo traveling from town to town trying to stay on the down-low. It is here that Ronan’s character Eleanor meets Frank, played by Caleb Landry Jones (Get Out, The Dead Don’t Die) a young boy dying from leukemia. Once again we have elements of the much desired “forbidden love” and this film definitely excels in it.
Spontaneous (2020) – Hulu
This may not immediately come off as a horror film, but Spontaneous is seriously disturbing and my top film of 2020. While it takes a lot of influence from teen dramas, Spontaneous stands out due to the excellent writing from director and writer Brian Duffield (The Babysitter and Underwater) who elevates the genre to a new level.
Mara, played by Katherine Langford (Knives Out, Thirteen Reasons Why) is a regular high school student when suddenly members of her class start spontaneously exploding, traumatizing everyone around them. During this period, Mara spontaneously meets and falls into a close romantic relationship with Dylan, played by Charlie Plummer (The Clovehitch Killer, Moonfall).
While that description may sound ridiculous and schlocky, I guarantee this film will hit you right in the feels as it mixes truly distressing sequences with a cute and touching love story.
Tromeo & Juliet (1996) – Troma Now
Another Romeo and Juliet adaptation graces this list, although this is a Shakespeare adaptation like you’ve never seen before. If you know anything about Troma films (The Toxic Avenger), you’ll know that this film is not for everyone. Notably, this was the first film written by James Gunn (Guardians of the Galaxy, Slither) and directed by the face of Troma himself, Lloyd Kaufman (The Toxic Avenger, Class of Nuke ‘Em High).
This is the classic tale of Romeo and Juliet, but restyled as a punk-rock, disgusting comedy that tries to be the modern, lowbrow, raunchy tale aimed at entertaining the commoners that Shakespeare intended it to be. Also, it features a practical effects monster penis puppet. This film is vile and repugnant, but at the same time captures the same young romance that you would find in the play. And before you ask, yes, Troma has a streaming site, and why are you not already on it?
Are We Not Cats (2016) – Shudder, Tubi, AMC +
This horror romance is the definition of one thing leads to another and now you’re in over your head… literally. This bizarre underrated romance is not for the faint of heart, with a twisted ending that will stick in your mind for a while. Eli, a man who loses his house, job and girlfriend on the same day, finds himself living out of a moving truck in an unfamiliar city, when he meets Anya at a party. He notices that they share the unusual habit of eating hair, and they quickly start a romance together with unfortunate consequences.
Are We Not Cats is a great testament that sometimes people are toxic together, and will just fuel each other’s toxicity. The relationship between the two characters may be off-putting and repugnant at times, but still is always coming from a place of genuine love.
The Love Witch (2016) – Pluto TV, VUDU Free, Crackle, Popcornflix
Anna Biller’s cult classic The Love Witch is simply the most “Valentine’s Day”-themed horror movie ever made. This film revels in saturated reds and pinks, soft impressionistic lighting, erotic dancing, beautiful men and women and lots of relationship problems, what could be a better watch for a holiday centered around love?
Elaine (Samantha Robinson) a beautiful witch, moves to a new town after mysterious events, and will do anything to find a man who loves her. She makes love potions and seduces men, but she can’t seem to get the potions just right.
This film perfectly captures the look of 1970s femme fatale films and the production design, costuming and makeup is luscious and gothic in the most romantic way. As Elaine says, “I’m the love witch! I’m your ultimate fantasy!” this film will leave you satisfied and with love on your mind.
Honeymoon (2014) – Pluto TV, Tubi, VUDU Free
Marriage is hard. Beautiful, but stressful. Leigh Janiak, known for recently directing the Fear Street trilogy on Netflix, started out with the horrifying gem Honeymoon. A recently married couple, Bea and Paul (Rose Leslie and Harry Treadaway) celebrate their honeymoon by going to a lakeside cabin in Bea’s hometown. It’s all going well, until one night Bea sleepwalks into the forest and her new husband finds her disoriented, naked and acting strangely.
Honeymoon is a fantastic horror film, and a fantastic relationship film, as the horror comes at the same time that both characters start to have anxieties over their marriage. This film progresses in a terrifying direction while also being an intimate story between two lovers struggling with external events and distrusting each other.
Hounds of Love (2016) – Tubi
This is an off kilter, true crime horror film based on the serial killer couple David and Catherine Birnie. In Hounds of Love, this couple is renamed John and Evelyn White (Ashleigh Cummings and Steven Curry) and they kidnap a young girl (Emma Booth) with plans to use her for ransom and then murder her. Trying desperately to prolong her life, she tries to create drama between the couple to find a chance to get away.
While not exactly the most romantic entry on this list, it still shows an interesting and messed up perspective on relationships. If anything, maybe it will make you appreciate your relationship more, or if you’re single, make you thankful you are.
That’s the list of some of the best romantic horror films that you can find streaming online right now. Relax with your loved one this Valentine’s Day by turning on one of these love-tinged horror movies to satisfy your your desires of love AND gore. Even if you don’t have some of these streaming services (I can’t be the ONLY person subscribed to Troma Now, am I?) most of them offer free trials you should take advantage of, and maybe you’ll find your new favorite horror streaming site.
How are you spending your Valentine’s Day as a horror fan? Comment your favorite romantic horror movies and have a lovely Valentine’s Day!
The 2022 Horror Movies We’re Most Excited About
We have finally entered a new year, and with that, we have so many great 2022 horror movies to look forward to. We’ve already had our first big horror release with Scream, so we’re taking a look at what else this year has to offer us. With the last few years being a constant waiting game of releases, we are finally looking at some new films that we haven’t had dangling in front of us for two years.
Of course, this list is going to include a lot of the ever controversial remakes, reboots and sequels. But, unfortunately that is going to be a constant theme as they have become one of the few box office guaranteed successes in a volatile market. Also, there will undoubtedly be a lot of independent features that come out this year that aren’t even known about yet.
Will these movies impress, or distress? We will find out soon enough, but judge for yourself if these upcoming 2022 horror movie releases are something to check out.
2022 Horror Movies To Keep on Your Radar
Texas Chainsaw Massacre (February 18)
Sally Hardesty will return for revenge, sounds like its a Halloween style sequel
Another classic film is getting a modern sequel in February, coming to Netflix. This version of Texas Chainsaw Massacre is being produced by Fede Álvarez — director of the brutal Evil Dead reboot in 2013 — and directed by David Blue Garcia (Blood Fest). In this direct sequel to the original, Sally Hardesty — the main character from the first film — will be returning to seek revenge against the leatherfaced killer. With that in mind, it sounds like this will be a sequel in the vein of David Gordon Green’s Halloween.
The Cursed (February 18)
Originally titled Eight for Silver, this werewolf film has been much buzzed about since its premiere last year at Sundance. Directed by Sean Ellis (Cashback), this film stars Kelly Reilly (Eli, Eden Lake) and Boyd Holbrook (Gone Girl, Logan). Don’t miss this period werewolf flick!
Studio 666 (February 25)
Studio 666 will surely be at the top of all horror and rock fans’ lists this year. This film stars the actual Foo Fighters as they try and record a new album in a haunted mansion. It is directed by BJ McDonnell — director of Hatchet III — and will star Jenna Ortega and Will Forte.
The Batman (March 4)
Perhaps the most anticipated film of the year, The Batman seems like it will combine the comic book genre with horror elements. From what it sounds like, it will be a cat-and-mouse dark detective film similar in tone to Zodiac. Directed by Matt Reeves (Cloverfield, Let Me In), this iteration of Batman will star Robert Pattinson as the caped crusader, Paul Dano as the Riddler, and Colin Farrell as the Penguin.
X (March 18)
Ti West is one of the most exciting horror directors working today. Known for The Sacrament (2013) and The House of the Devil (2009), X will be West’s long awaited return to directing after working exclusively with television shows (Them, The Exorcist) since 2015. Produced by A24, X will star Mia Goth (A Cure For Wellness, Suspiria), Kid Cudi and Brittany Snow (Would You Rather, Prom Night) and will take place in the 1970s following a production crew shooting an adult film in a rural farmhouse.
You Won’t Be Alone (April 1)
This film, starring Noomi Rapace (Prometheus, Lamb) just premiered at Sundance to excellent reviews. Taking place in Macedonia, this film is a folky period witch movie directed by Goran Stolevski.
The Northman (April 22)
The Northman is Robert Eggers’ (The Witch, The Lighthouse) latest film coming out with a stacked cast of Nicole Kidman, Anya Taylor-Joy, Alexander Skarsgård, Ethan Hawke, Björk and Willem Dafoe. He wrote this along with Icelandic poet Sjón. It is described as an epic revenge thriller about a viking seeking to avenge his murdered father.
65 (April 29)
An upcoming science-fiction action thriller is directed by the team behind Haunt, Scott Beck and Bryan Woods, and — most excitingly — produced by Sam Raimi. The film will star Adam Driver and feature music from Danny Elfman. While not much is known, 65 is about an astronaut who crashes on a strange planet, and will supposedly make use of dinosaurs!
The Black Phone (June 24)
A film starring Ethan Hawke, directed by the director of Sinister and Doctor Strange, based on a short story by Joe Hill, son of Stephen King? Sign us up! This film has already played across multiple film festivals, and has been getting excellent reactions praising this film for the creepiness, traumatic story and Hawke’s performance. The Black Phone is about a 13-year-old boy locked inside the basement of a masked killer, played by Hawke.
Nope (July 22)
One of the most exciting new directors in horror right now is Jordan Peele, and his latest film, following Us and Get Out, is one of the most anticipated horror movies of 2022. Entitled simply Nope, the film will star Daniel Kaluuya (Get Out, Black Panther), Keke Palmer (Hustlers), Steven Yeun (The Walking Dead, Mayhem) and Barbie Ferreira (Euphoria). Nothing is known about the plot so far, but keep an eye out for news on this film that’s releasing during the summer.
Salem’s Lot (September 9)
This remake is based on the Stephen King book of the same name and will be directed by Gary Dauberman, director of Annabelle Comes Home and writer of It. Lewis Pullman (The Strangers: Prey at Night), Bill Camp (Joker, Compliance) and Spencer Treat Clark (The Last House on the Left) will star and it will be produced by horror superstar James Wan (Saw, The Conjuring).
Don’t Worry Darling (September 23)
With a promising cast including Florence Pugh (Midsommar), Harry Styles and Chris Pine, Don’t Worry Darling is one of the most exciting 2022 horror film prospects for those eager to see Pugh’s return to horror. Actress-turned-director Olivia Wilde wow’d audiences with her comedic Booksmart in 2019, and the thought of her turning now to horror is as enticing as Luca Guadagnino’s switch from Call Me By Your Name to Suspiria (2018). In what sounds like a satirical psychological period piece, a dissatisfied housewife in the 1950s discovers her husband’s dark secret.
Halloween Ends (October 14)
The modern Halloween trilogy directed by David Gordon Green comes to an end this October. Love it or hate it, this will definitely be on every horror fan’s minds come Halloween season this year. This will be the supposed end to the new sequels starring the franchise’s iconic lead, Jamie Lee Curtis.
Violent Night (December 2)
David Harbour (Stranger Things, Hellboy) will star in what sounds to be a bloody violent good time of a holiday movie. Violent Night is directed by Tommy Wirkola of Dead Snow fame and the criminally underseen The Trip from last year, as well as produced by David Leitch, who also produced John Wick.
Disappointment Blvd. (TBA)
After Hereditary and Midsommar, Ari Aster’s next A24 film is definitely one of the most anticipated for horror fans. In typical Aster fashion, most details for this film, set to be released in 2022, are unknown and probably will stay that way until the film comes out. Let’s hope we at least get a release date sometime soon! What is known, is that Disappointment Blvd. will star Joaquin Phoenix (Joker, The Village) alongside Patti LuPone (Penny Dreadful, American Horror Story), Nathan Lane (Addam’s Family Values) and Amy Ryan (The Office, Goosebumps) and is described as a nightmare comedy.
The Munsters (TBA)
Rob Zombie, both beloved and hated by genre fans, made waves after he was announced as the director of an upcoming movie reboot of The Munsters television show. So far, Zombie film regulars have been cast, including Sheri Moon Zombie as Lily Munster, Jeff Danile Phillips as Herman Munster and Daniel Roebuck as Grandpa. Interestingly, this film will be released at the same time in theaters and on Peacock.
Evil Dead Rise (TBA)
We’re digging up the necronomicon again for a new look at the Evil Dead franchise with Evil Dead Rise. Directed by Lee Cronin, who is also behind The Hole in the Ground, this film will star Alyssa Sutherland and Lily Sullivan as estranged sisters. The fifth film in the Evil Dead franchise, it will have involvement from Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell only as executive producers. From what’s known, it will be following the events of Army of Darkness, but move to a modern setting in a city — an interesting concept. What’s more interesting, it will forego the theatrical release and go straight to HBO Max on an unreleased date.
Something in the Dirt (TBA)
Having just premiered at Sundance, this film from the celebrated horror duo Aaron Moorhead and Justin Benson (Spring, The Endless, Synchronic) is one of the most highly anticipated horror movies of 2022. The duo directed, wrote, edited and even acted in this film that they shot during the pandemic.
Orphan: First Kill (TBA)
Orphan: First Kill is a prequel to the 2009 film Orphan bringing back Isabelle Fuhrman as the iconic character Esther and also includes Julia Stiles. William Brent Bell, director of The Boy, will be directing this look at the origins of the beloved woman-turned-girl.
Bones & All (TBA)
Luca Guadagnino returns once again to the horror genre after Suspiria (2018) with an adaptation of the Camille DeAngelis book of the same name. It will star Timothée Chalamet, Taylor Russell, Mark Rylance, André Holland, Jessica Harper (OG Suspiria queen) and Chloë Sevigny, a promising and exciting combination. Bones & All will be a horror romance film centering around cannibalism.
Another one in the line of reboots, this new take on Hellraiser will be directed by David Bruckner, famed director of The Ritual and The Night House and will be written by Ben Collins and Luke Piotrowski, who also wrote Super Dark Times and The Night House. It will be going to the original source material, The Hellbound Heart written by Clive Barker, to presumably redux the 1987 film. It is also notable that this film will go straight to Hulu, and that Jamie Clayton (Sense8) will play Pinhead.
Mona Lisa and the Blood Moon (TBA)
The latest film from A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night director Ana Lily Amirpour premiered at the Venice Film Festival around the end of last year, so hopefully we will be seeing it released sometime this year. It stars Kate Hudson, Craig Robinson and Jeon Jong-seo (Burning). It also sounds like its a wild ride, on brand for Amirpour.
Men is the next film coming from sci-fi horror genius Alex Garland, who previously directed Ex Machina and Annihilation. The film will be produced by A24 and star Jessie Buckley (I’m Thinking of Ending Things). It seems she will be a large part of this film as well, as so far what is known is that it will be about a woman going on a solo vacation following the death of her husband.
Dark Glasses (TBA)
What’s exciting about Dark Glasses is that it will be Dario Argento’s return to directing in quite some time. In addition to that, it will be scored by Daft Punk. While there is no official release date yet, it will be premiering at the 2022 Berlin International Film Festival in February so it will most likely be released sometime this year. Dark Glasses is a French-Italian giallo about a serial killer stalking a call girl.
Crimes of the Future (TBA)
Horror master David Cronenberg returns finally to the director’s chair with a new sci-fi feature. This film from the renowned Canadian director will star Kristen Stewart, Léa Seydoux and Viggo Mortensen. Need we say more? It will most likely be hitting film festivals this year, and hopefully in the hands of the public by the end of it!
And those are some of the most notable 2022 horror movies coming out this year, or at the very least hopefully coming out this year (who can say anything for sure in a post-Covid world?) What are you looking forward to the most? Let us know in the comments below.
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