Valentine’s Day – I believe these might be the two most polarizing words in the English language. There is no middle ground here, you either love the holiday or you hate it with a passion. For those who love it, it’s all about spending time with that special someone. For those that abhor the holiday, it’s all about making it through the day without strangling the life out of poor unsuspecting Cupid.
I wanted to represent both sides of this equation and decided that maybe art could imitate life for once instead of the other way around. I looked to Hollywood for inspiration and decided on fourteen movies to please both the lovers and the haters.
I went through a highly scientific and complicated process to make my selections. In other words, I asked family and friends. I did have two main criteria that had to be met. First, for the lovers, I did not want the traditional romantic fare (or at least not what I consider traditional!) Second, for the haters, I wanted horror movies only; no cupids here!
So with the preliminaries out of the way, lets take a peek at my Valentine’s Day Movie Night choices.
My magnificent seven list of movies for Valentine’s Day lovers:
What you say? This is not a movie for Valentines Day? I disagree. Avatar has it all, a gripping love story set in the middle of a war-torn foreign land, amazing special effects and explosions!
Before you start shouting that this IS a romance movie, remember I wanted non-traditional romance. Ghost is nothing if non-traditional, considering the leading man (Patrick Swayze) is dead and the only way he can contact his wife (Demi Moore) is through a hilariously reluctant medium (Whoopie Goldberg). If nothing else, you need to watch this movie for the pottery wheel scene alone, totally V-day worthy.
Nope! I will not listen to the naysayers. I had to have at least one romantic comedy! If a movie about a dating coach (Will Smith) trying to help a romantically challenged client (Kevin James) while his own love life falls apart doesn’t tug your heartstrings than you might want to make sure you actually have a heart.
Another non traditional romance story. Our two lovers are cursed to be always together yet forever apart. Etienne Navarre (Rutger Hauer) is a wolf by night and his lady, Isabeau d’Anjou (Michelle Pfeiffer) is a hawk by day. They see each other in human form for a few fleeting moments at dawn but they can never touch. This is a must see movie for any time of the year, not just Valentines Day.
Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp, enough said. Oh wait, there are spies too!
This Means War
Yes, this is also a romantic comedy but it’s my article and my rules! This movie takes the age old story of best friends dating the same girl to a whole new level. The guys (Chris Pine and Tom Hardy) are CIA agents with all the skills, weaponry, and technology at their fingertips to wage an epic war in order to win the heart of their fair maiden (Reese Witherspoon).
We come to our final movie for the lovers and even though it is also a romantic comedy, I couldn’t NOT have it on my list. It’s named Valentine’s Day after all. More than the title though, it has an amazing ensemble cast including; Jessica Alba, Jessica Biel, Anne Hathaway, Patrick Dempsey and Eric Dane, just to name a few. How can you not see a movie that has both McDreamy and McSteamy? (Sorry not sorry for the Gray’s Anatomy reference!) It is also the movie debut of Taylor Swift and no matter what you think of T-Swizzle, this movie is required viewing for Valentines Day. It follows a group of people all interconnected in a six degree of separation way, as they navigate all the highs and lows that Cupid’s Day can throw at them. From new love, to long-standing relationships; breakups and makeups you will see it all here.
My malevolent list of movies for Valentine’s Day haters:
Bram Stokers Dracula
Technically, I suppose some could consider this a love story in a teeth piercing, blood sucking sort of way. Starring Gary Oldman and Winona Ryder, this interpretation of the classic vampire story stays fairly close to Bram Stokers novel. If you like your romance with a side of horror and suspense, than you can do no better than this Francis Ford Coppola directed tale. To put it another way, it’s a great anti-Valentine’s Day movie with bite.
Friday the 13th – 2009
I added the 2009 at the end of this title to distinguish it from the eleven Friday the 13th movies that came before it. You can’t have a night of anti-Valentine’s Day horror flicks without at least one slasher film. If that doesn’t convince you to watch, then I’ll give you two words that will, Jared Padalecki. For fans of the TV show Supernatural, no more needs to be said.
Who knew one little box could cause so much carnage? Think about that the next time you are tempted by that trinket box at the antique store. For sheer scare factor, this Clive Barker movie delivers. It’s the perfect Valentine’s Day distraction.
Let The Right One In
This is basically a love story between two kids but the twist is that one of them is a vampire. So, you know, I just had to include it.
My Bloody Valentine
Can you say Jensen Ackles? Cause I can, and if you want to see him play a really bad boy, you have to see this remake of the 1981 Canadian slasher film. I think even Dean Winchester would agree that Tom Hanniger (Ackles) is a real monster.
More vampires! What could make more vampires even better? Werewolves! Pit the two species against each other and throw in a love story between a vampire and a werewolf/vampire hybrid and you’ve got the ingredients for a perfect love story. Wait! What? I mean horror story. I’m so confused.
I feel like this list is missing something. Let me think… Oh yeah! Zombies! If brain munching, flesh eating zombies are your thing, you have to see this movie. Oh and it’s a love story to boot. Yeah, I know, we are discussing horror here, but I couldn’t discount this one. Let me just say that as a zombie horror, love story this one delivers. Just take my word for it, you’ll thank me later.
This completes my list, Hopefully I’ve represented both sides well or at least given you some new options for movie viewing. Make some popcorn, grab the remote and push play. Oh, and happy Valentine’s Day or as Dean Winchester calls it – “Happy Unattached Drifter Christmas!”