It is that time of the year again. You and that special someone snuggle up on the couch together and enjoy some quality time with one another and turn on a film that fits the mood for none other than Valentine’s Day. Now, when deciding to pick what kind of movie to watch with your special somebody, remember this little scientific fact. Love and fear are both ruled by the same hormone, oxytocin.
So maybe this year, drop the romantic comedies for once and head on over to the horror section of your handful o f streaming services you pay for (or use password sharing) and click on something to get those hormones raging in a different kind of way. Here’s 10 Valentine’s Day Horror films for you to seek out.
1. My Bloody Valentine (1981)
The title alone gives it the label of quintessential Valentine horror movie. Some would debate otherwise, but regardless, a lot of horror film lovers put this one at the top of their lists. My Bloody Valentine, takes place in a mining town called Valentine Bluffs. Years earlier, after an accident sent a miner on a killing spree where he then threatened to kill again if the town were to have a Valentines Day dance. I guess the mayor of the town didn’t get the memo because he reinstates the dance. Carnage and bloodshed ensue as the miner comes out of hiding to do harm once again to the people of the town.
2. The Love Witch (2016)
If you’re single on Valentines, this film may be right up your alley. Director Anna Biller blends multiple tropes into one great film about a woman who’s looking for love but then just ends up leaving a long trail of death behind her. A highly stylized horror comedy, so to speak, that looks like it was released in the sixties due to it being filmed in 35mm technicolor. The psychedelic cinematography and camera techniques enhance the film and make it more than just another story about a femme fatale.
3. Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975)
Most Valentine’s Day horror films are fun ninety-minute films where you can turn your brain off and cuddle with your special someone. Picnic at Hanging Rock may stick with you after the film is over. It takes place in early 1900s Australia where a group of students and a couple of their teachers from an all girls school set out on a trip to a place called Hanging Rock. The geological structure is where the group has their picnic, but shortly after their arrival some of them go missing. There is never any gore or bloodshed in the film. Just ominous tones and moods that make for an unforgettable psychological thriller.
4. Valentine (2001)
Maybe one of the last great slasher masks ever, the cupid mask. Valentine was directed by Urban Legend director Jamie Blanks and started an ensemble cast of late nineties and early aughts fame. Denise Richards, Mary Shelton, Jessica Capshaw, Katherin Heigel and David Boreanaz are the targets of a Cupid masked killer. Despite an interesting plot twist in the film’s final moments, there isn’t much new here. Critics compared it to a bad 80s slasher movie. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. The film was one of the last slashers released during the post-Scream renaissance of the slasher genre. However, twenty years later, the horror community has begun to champion this one more and more.
5. My Bloody Valentine 3D (2009)
Let’s go back to the mine in the town of Valentine Bluffs. The film was initially released at the height of the 3D craze that was taking over cinemas at the tail end of the decade. So when you go back and watch it n
ow, there’s a lot of shots used for that effect that will stick out to audiences. This long overdue sequel/reboot to the 1981 version is a love letter to classic slashers. It’s full of gore and fun kills and over-acted plot points.
Jensen Ackles was at the height of Supernatural fame when starring in this as the lead. A man who has inherited the mine where years earlier it was the place that sparked the massacre of the original My Bloody Valentine. His intentions to sell the mine are met with push back from a killer who has taken up the mantle of slashing through the townspeople. As the film’s original killer is believed to have died. This reboot does a great job at creating a whodunit atmosphere to it that twists and turns to its climatic end.
Nobody is arguing that this film is a masterpiece, but the film was marketed as a fun night at the movies, and it indeed was and still is.
6. Raising Cain (1992)
This one is for the married couples out there to watch after they put the kids to bed. Raising Cain is a standout domestic thriller of the nineteen nineties. Which was a decade that was full of films like these. Brian De Palma does what he does best as a director in films of this nature by amplifying themes of violence, sexuality and obsessive behavior. Great character actor, John Lithgow plays a child psychologist who has multiple personalities. One of which is someone named Cain, a murderous kid. The film feels like a love letter to Hitchock with all the tension built into it. And lastly, it all takes place on and around Valentines Day.
7. X-Ray (1982)
Like some of the slashers on this list, X-Ray is a fun turn your brain off kill-fest. The film has been released multiple times under different titles. One of which was Hospital Massacre. Actress Barbi Benton plays Susan, a woman who arrives at a hospital for a routine yearly check-up. But, it becomes apparent that a stalker roams the halls. We learn a year prior Susan had rejected a man’s advances on Valentines Day. He then went on to kill one of her friends. There now could be a chance that the one she rejected is now out to do her harm.
Horror fans who enjoy a lot of the post-Halloween and Friday the 13th slashers, will find a lot of enjoyment in this one.
8. Down (2019)
From 2018 to 2021, Blumhouse produced the Into the Dark series exclusively for Hulu. A monthly series of eighty to ninety minute films that dealt with that month’s holiday and was done in the vein of a made-for television horror/thriller of the 70s/80s and 90s. 2019’s Down was the first Valentines Day installment to the series. It dealt with the meet-cute sub-genre of two strangers getting stuck together due to unforeseen circumstances. The two find themselves in a broken down elevator on a Friday night that is also on the eve of Valentine’s Day (which then makes it Friday the 13th as well).
The two begin to organically form an intimate connection while being stuck on the elevator. Don’t let there strong connection that they build with one another fool you, it turns pretty sinister by the midway point of the movie.
Tales From the Crypt: Poetic Justice (1972)
A few decades prior to the HBO series, There was an anthology film with five installments. The film’s third segment is called Poetic Justice and is Valentine’s Day-themed. The great Peter Cushing stars in this segment. The plot centers around a group of residents in a neighborhood that are persistent on making life a living hell for one of the people living close by. But on Valentines Day, letters are sent out to these bullies that set the tone for some sinister revenge to take place.
My Valentine (2020)
The Valentines Day installment to Into the Dark in 2020 was a change of pace from the previous installment from a year prior. My Valentine is full of colorful cinematography that all takes place in the world of pop music. A singer by the name of…wait for it…Valentine is now free from an abusive relationship with her manager. However, things get real testy and on edge when she crosses paths with him and his new girlfriend, who seems like a literal twin of hers. Identity crises’ and toxic relationships are at an all-time high in this one.