Love in horror films is a common staple in almost every plotline. Boy and girl meet. Boy and girl discover a monster. Boy and girl fight monster. Boy and girl fall in love while doing so, blah fucking blah. However, sometimes, it’s not so simple as that and the focal point in said horror film is the tragic love story in itself and what a shit show the feels can really be.
With the hallmark holiday of St. Valentine is upon us and while some of you may be planning hot dinner dates with your beloved spit-swapper, the rest of you are absolutely wanting to give out throat punches at the idea of celebrating this very commercial holiday where everyone is shoving mushy-mush love down your esophagus. It could be you are coming fresh out of a relationship leaving you wounded, or perhaps you’re in an unhealthy partnership now. Maybe it’s as simple as you just loathe this day altogether and the whole damn thing makes you want to vomit.
Any one of those reasons is validation enough and if that’s the case, this list is dedicated to all you readers out there who have sworn off love this Valentine’s Day. Instead of giving you the same ol’ “Here’s 10 horror movies for you to watch on Valentine’s Day” list with My Bloody Valentine always seemingly ending up with the top spot, I’ve decided to show you five examples of great tragic love stories in the horror genre. Because in the case this holiday may have you down in the dumps (it happens), at least you didn’t end up like these sad as hell horror movie couples. So bask in these five tales of love and woe readers, and remember, you could be a lot worse off.
It took a while for Kim to actually warm up to Edward given his awkward appearance and well, handicap. However, Edward loved her from the moment he set eyes on not her, but a picture of her. And once he got a peek at Kim in the flesh, it was all over. She had his heart. Once Kim finally came around by looking deeper into Edward’s genuine and pure as virgin’s blood love for her, it was the most disgustingly adorable on-screen romance you had ever seen. But hey, they’re on this list; It didn’t end with all sunshine and roses.
After a violent confrontation with Kim’s douche canoe of an ex (Jim), that ended with Edward killing the guy, an already angry crowd of townspeople gathered at his deceased maker’s home. Upon the pitchforkers seeing the now dead Jim outside the walls, Edward’s fate was sealed. Facing the ugly truth that Edward just couldn’t fit in with the normalcy of the outside world, and probably facing murder charges, both unanimously came to the conclusion that he was better off disappearing back into the shadows of his lonely castle. A broken-hearted Kim left her love Edward to once again, live a life of solitude and fibbed to the town that Edward had died in the struggle with Jim. They never saw each other again. Pretty heart-breaking folks.
King Kong (1976)
Beastiality without performing the actual act at its finest. The three major Kong movies we’ve received in the past 80 years, the original 1933 RKO, Dino De Laurentiis’ 1976 version, and Peter Jackson’s monster three-hour epic, all pretty much stay true to the same storyline with minor differences in interactions between beauty and the beast. So for this particular list, we will use the underrated 1976 film as our argument.
While the King of Skull Island treated his prize like a queen, Dwan was only interested in fame and glory. Several times, Kong portrayed real feelings of compassion toward the human, and Dwan just ended up selling him out to that dick, Charles Grodin in exchange for money and instant notoriety. And poor Kong goes along with it to appease his beloved until he believes she is threatened. Then all hell breaks loose. Did she feel bad about the tragic end of her protector? Sure she did, and she ends up alone in the middle of what she had initially had strived for all along. Fame. All at the price of losing her relationship with both her human love interest Jack, and her weird connection with Kong for whose death she was ultimately responsible. Kind of a bitch move.
Phantom of the Opera
As with Kong, the beautiful tale of love and woe that is Phantom of the Opera, has been mulled over many times in film and theater; making it possibly one of the greatest and audibly appealing horror films in the past 100 years. However, Universal horror icon Claude Rains’ portrayal of the disfigured man in love, is a classic and personal favorite.
Erique Claudin (Rains) is a bit discouraged after being dismissed from his long years of being a violinist at the Paris Opera House due to the failing limbs in his hands. Now, had Erique had put savings aside he may have been OK. However, this man was secretly in love with a young up-and-coming Opera singer Christine Dubois; and had been quietly funding the future starlet’s music lessons.
In the hopes of making ends meet, Claudin writes and sends off a concerto for the Opera House. After becoming concerned when he receives no word on his operetta status, the man takes a trip to the publishers only to learn they had stolen his music. In a struggle with said concerto thief, acid is thrown in Claudin’s face and the Phantom with an agenda is born.
That agenda is to see his love become successful. Maybe he went a little overboard by murdering the female lead in one of the operas Christine was an understudy for, and dropping a giant chandelier on the audience, but eh, who the hell are we to judge a man’s heart? In the midst of the chaos, Claudin sweeps Christine to the sewer undergrounds and proclaims his love for her. Christine still doesn’t know this was once a dear friend of hers, and Claudin has not revealed his identity, leaving her afraid and at the masked man’s mercy. He begins to play on his piano and urges his love to sing the concerto he had written for her. In the meantime, two of Dubois’ suitors come to her rescue, following the sounds of the music. When they reach the pair, one fires a gun at the ceiling, crushing Claudin to death.
In the aftermath, Christine realizes her captor was actually Claudin, and admiringly had said she had always felt “drawn to him”. Thus leaving her two potential suitors behind in honor of the man who loved her into his demise, and focusing only on her singing career.
“People once believed that when someone dies, a crow carries their soul to the land of the dead. But sometimes, something so bad happens that a terrible sadness is carried with it and the soul can’t rest. Then sometimes, just sometimes, the crow can bring that soul back to put the wrong things right.”
The tragic love story that serves as the center plot in 1994’s The Crow, and the real-life tragedy regarding Brandon Lee’s death behind the scenes of this beloved film, are enough to make anyone’s tear ducts swell. Shelly and Eric were relationship goals. The depth of Eric’s love for his lady is what every ghoul dreams of one day. Which makes this tale truly one of the saddest that I can personally think of. The brutal circumstances surrounding both Shelly’s and Eric’s murder drives Draven to come back from the grave one year later to avenge their untimely demise. Under the guidance of a crow, Draven tracks down the perpetrators and makes them suffer in the name of his lost love.
However, the satisfaction of seeing one of the main culprits being impaled by a gargoyle (kick-ass scene), doesn’t undo the past as Eric returns to Shelly’s grave. What was once can now never be but, if the people we love are stolen from us, the way to have them live on is to never stop loving them. Buildings burn, people die, but real love is forever.
The Fly (1986)
On top of being one of the top horror remakes of all time, Cronenberg’s The Fly is so much more than a monster movie. Without a doubt, it’s one of the saddest, and most painful love tales one can watch unfold on-screen. Seth and Veronica’s whirlwind romance looks and feels so authentic, as the pair have incredibly believable chemistry that sucks you right into this strange world of telepods, insects, and tragedy. And leaves you in a hot mess of tears and puke- because you and I both know this movie can easily produce projectile vomit for the queasy.
Just as things were heating up for the genius inventor and the journalist, a spontaneous experiment with Brundle’s telepods goes terribly wrong as a fly snuck into one of the pods with Seth, resulting in DNA fusion. Unlike the 1958 Vincent Price film, Brundle’s transformation is not instantaneous, and at first, Seth feels exhilarated and powerful. Of course, we know that’s just the bug juices flowing through his veins. Veronica can see that something is terribly wrong with her newfound love, and as Seth soon finds out, is dangerously right.
One of the key points that really feels like a stab in the heart of viewers, is a half-mutated Brundlefly’s speech to Veronica on “insect politics”. Veronica is desperate to help Seth, however, Brundle knows that he is beyond her help and orders her to stay away as he feels the insect inside of him has at this point, completely taken over.
“You have to leave now, and never come back here. Have you ever heard of insect politics? Neither have I. Insects don’t have politics. They’re very brutal. No compassion, no compromise. I’m an insect who dreamt he was a man and loved it. But now the dream is over… and the insect is awake. I’m saying… I’ll hurt you if you stay.”
The biggest kick in the dick is at the very end, however. Brundle, insane with an idea to fuse him, and a now pregnant Veronica together in the telepods seem like the answer to his problem. With the help of a concerned, although douche ex-lover and co-worker of Ronnie’s, she manages to escape leaving Brundle’s DNA to be accidentally fused with the pod itself. Now we have a mutated human-fly-telepod. Good grief. Seth reaching deep inside to his human counterpart shakily grabs a shotgun a distressed Veronica has in her hand and points it at his head, urging his love to end the madness. A hysterical Geena Davis complies and blows Goldblum’s brains out, giving us one of the most miserable endings to any horror film.
Ugh. Love stinks.
Happy Valentine’s Day Nostalgic Nuggets! Now, I’m off to eat an entire box of chocolates and cry in my pillow.