Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. Couples or sentimental singles might already be queueing up romantic films to set the mood for February 14. There’s a movie to celebrate everyone and every kind of love, whether it’s a black and white classic like Casablanca, a coming-of-age love story like Love, Simon, or a steamy romance like Fifty Shades of Grey. There’s no judgment here.
For some reason, though, what really gets me excited on the day of hearts is blood and guts. I’m a firm believer that horror fits any and all occasions, and Valentine’s Day is no exception. Jilted lovers, obsessed stalkers, and psychotic in-laws? The holiday practically writes itself into the horror genre! And guess what? There are many contemporary horror movies that will make you grateful to be single on Valentine’s day—or any day of the year.
Meeting a significant other’s parents for the first time is already a terrifying experience. It’s especially daunting in an interracial relationship, with your girlfriend admitting you’re the first Black man she’s ever dated. Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) had every right to be nervous in this Jordan Peele horror movie masterpiece that’s perfect for a solo Valentine’s Day.
At first, the Armitages seem to be a harmless bunch, if a little trying too hard to prove they are accepting of all races and cultures. But the weekend spent with his girlfriend Rose’s (Allison Williams) family becomes weirder and weirder. Their servants, who are Black, by the way, behave strangely. And when guests at a lawn party constantly subject him to casual racism, Chris knows he must get out of there immediately.
Get Out is an equal parts hilarious and thought-provoking horror movie that serves as a commentary on how racism is scary even if a person tries their best not to be a racist. It may also be a subtle—or direct—warning to do a background check on your white girlfriend’s family before spending a weekend with them in an isolated home. It’s not the first horror movie you think of during Valentine’s Day, but it’s a perfect reminder that sometimes, it’s just better to be single.
Ready Or Not
Continuing the trend of weird family traditions is the 2019 horror comedy Ready Or Not starring Samara Weaving as Grace, who is about to get married. What Grace doesn’t know yet about her new husband is that his wealthy family, the le Domas clan, is really big into continuing tradition. Since they built their legacy on the gaming industry, it’s tradition to play a game as a rite of passage for anyone who marries into the family. Sounds fitting for a romantic Valentine’s Day, eh? Well, not exactly.
It’s all fun and games until Grace picks the one card that everyone dreads—Hide and Seek. Except, this Satan-worshipping family’s version of the children’s pastime is deadly. They must hunt Grace down and sacrifice her to the devil to whom they owe their fortune, or else something bad is going to happen to the entire clan.
Ready Or Not is a near-perfect horror movie with a final girl character that is easy to root for. And the unexpected message you’ll get on Valentine’s Day? Eat the rich.
The Menu is a movie that will make you want to skip a fancy dinner date and stay in for Valentine’s Day instead. While I’ve raved over the movie before, I didn’t focus much on the connection between Margot (Anya Taylor-Joy) and Tyler (Nicholas Hoult). The truth was they didn’t have a romantic relationship but a professional one. Tyler, a foodie, and aspiring food critic, hired Margot to be his date for the night.
But Tyler knew that the fates of the diners in Hawthorne have been sealed from the beginning, and he still paid for Margot to be there, knowing full well that she might die too. This didn’t matter to Tyler, who only cared about his own selfish desires and, in a way, took ownership of Margot’s life. He didn’t see her as a person; only as an accessory for the evening.
If you’re feeling pressure to go out for a fancy feast on Valentine’s Day, don’t. Especially if the person you plan to go out with is a pretentious prick anyway. Take a note from Margot and order a life-saving cheeseburger instead.
Have you been suffering bad luck in the dating department lately? Dreading being single on Valentine’s Day? The 2022 horror movie Fresh might just be the thing that makes you feel better. In fact, you might never go on another date after watching it.
Unfortunately for the protagonist Noa (Daisy-Edgar Jones), she did go on a date with a man she met the old-fashioned way: after bumping into him at the supermarket. In the age of internet dating, you never meet people like that anymore—but maybe there’s a reason for that.
The first few weeks of their relationship are fairy-tale-like. Steve is sweet, caring, and attractive. The kind of significant other you’d want as a date for Valentine’s Day. But when the couple spends a weekend in Steve’s luxury home, Noa finds out that her new boyfriend isn’t who he says he is.
Fresh is indeed a fresh take on the risks of dating. It’s a reminder that we have to remember especially on Valentine’s Day, that just because he’s cute doesn’t mean he’s not secretly a monster.
The Invisible Man
Not all relationships are built to last and it takes a lot of courage to leave a partner who’s a gaslighter and an abuser. The Invisible Man, a sci-fi horror movie fitting for single people on Valentine’s Day, opens with a very intense sequence. Cecilia, played to perfection by Elisabeth Moss, is leaving her toxic boyfriend behind in their cliffside mansion in the dead of the night.
She finds security in the home of her childhood friend-turned-detective James. Not long after her escape, she receives news that her ex-boyfriend Adrian, a successful optics engineer, commits suicide out of distraught. But strange events start occurring in James’ house that makes Cecilia doubt her sanity. She’s convinced that Adrian is somehow playing tricks on her—but how?
If you’ve ever at any point dated a toxic, manipulative, or abusive partner, this might hit a little too close to home. But if you want a good thrill on Valentine’s Day, The Invisible Man won’t disappoint.
Don’t get me wrong. I love a sappy romcom like any other person. But for some reason, my Valentine’s Day go-tos are horror movies. They’re just as enjoyable to watch with or without the presence of a significant other to shield my eyes from all the gory details of a horror film.