The words “for better or for worse, til death do us part” weren’t framed with the challenges lovebirds of horror face, however death often does part them. The writers at Grimoire of Horror have put together a list of our favorite horror couples featuring tales of love that are sometimes tender, sometimes tragic, mostly horrific, and always entertaining.

Frank and Julia in Clive Barker’s Hellraiser/The Hellbound Heart

Frank and Julia Hellraiser

Everyone remembers the Hellraiser series for the Cenobites, their striking looks and arresting performance stood out (then was ridden into the ground with 10+ attempts by the studio to cash in on them). But what can get lost, is that the Priests of Hell are not the villains of Hellraiser, a twisted romance transcending death and eternal damnation is. If this is news to you, definitely come back to the original and best for a Valentine’s treat. There’s the movie, the original novella, and an audio drama to choose from. (Luke Greensmith)

Michio And Aki in Yasuzo Masamura’s Blind Beast

Blind beast film

Prominent director within the Japanese new wave, Yasuzo Masamura, only indulgence into the horror genre builds off of the auteurs ability to craft deeply engaging melodramas. Less a romance and more a slow wearing down of will into compliancy, Blind Beast body obsession narrative creates a dark and haunting environment that is unforgettable. Additionally, the film ends on such a gruesome note of pure erotic grotesque deviancy that Michiko and Aki’s venture into the realm of the sense will stay timeless and impactful. (Adam Symchuk)

Gloria and Michel in Fabrice Du Welz’s Alleluia

Alleluia-film

Loosely based on the lonely heart killers case, Alleluia´s Gloria and Michel unscrupulous romance serves as a cautionary tale of what might happen when someone takes obsession and jealousy to unhealthy levels. Luckily for the viewer, this story results in a gory body count and scenes of paraphilic wild sex. This movie is the perfect choice for the horror fan who loves some kinky action, the perfect closure to the evening after a romantic dinner with your significant other. (Edgar Ruiz)

Rex and Saskia in George Sluizer’s The Vanishing

vanishing

There are few things in life that scare me more than the idea of someone I love disappearing without a trace, and I’ll admit that The Vanishing might be the scariest existential horror movie I have ever seen because of this. For Rex this is his reality, and after Sasika goes missing he is unable to go forward in life, stuck in the moment she vanished and tormented by not knowing what happened to her. The idea that Rex’s love is so strong for Sasika that he willing puts himself into the hands of her killer just to know what happened to her, and that he discovers this by experiencing it himself is beyond haunting. (Aubry Norman)

Reed and Jackie in Nicholas Pesce’s Piercing

Piercing film

Imagine if Shigeharu from Audition had more in common with Asami than he had initially let on. You know, a certain thirst for pain? In an alternate universe where this is the case, their interactivity might look a little like that of Reed and Jackie from Nicolas Pesce’s Piercing, which is based on a book of the same name. Incidentally, the man who wrote Piercing also wrote Audition! Leave it to someone of his caliber to generate such an unconventional couple; a match made in heaven, or in this case, hell. (Oki Covarrubias)

Chucky and Tiffany in Ronny Yu’s Bride of Chucky

Bride of Chucky

Bride of Chucky was something of a reboot and reorientation for the Child’s Play series, not only because it drops the ‘Child’s Play’ title as part of a split from the studio who hold that license. With that split comes an end to executive meddling, and the creator really let’s loose with the dark humour as his evil doll Bonnie and Clyde serial killers begin their rampage from this film onwards. (Luke Greensmith)

Hitomi and Zombie in Naoyuki Tomomatsu’s Bite Me If You Love Me

Bite me if you love me

In a love letter to horror from the west, Bite Me if you Love Me presents Hitomi as an overly obsessed fan of 80’s era horror. This obsession leads her to the idea of wanting a zombie boyfriend, and what Hitomi wants she gets by any means necessary! Now with a shambling partner at the ready to play with, Hitomi begins to learn the limitation of decay and soon leaves her boy to to rot in favor of the new bad boy in town, Jason Voorhees. fan However, true love will always prevail, who says a zombie can’t have feelings too! Balancing elements of exploitation, horror, comedy and fan film Bite Me if You Love me is a perfect indie gem from Japan for the couple with a sick sense of humor and love of over the top violence.  (Adam)

John and Miriam, Miriam and Sarah in Tony Scott’s The Hunger

The Hunger 1983

This moody and highly-stylized 80s vampire flick questions the boundaries of love and how far you would go to keep it. Both couples featured in the film are included because it is really Miriam’s parasitic love, which renders her lovers immortal but still doomed to age beyond feebleness, that gives the film its emotional punch. John likely would have happily stayed in his “the old man from the Six Flags commercials” state of being if it meant that he could stay beside Miriam forever, but Sarah chose death rather than become a vampire driven to killing for survival. Both fates tear Miriam apart, and ultimately destroy her. Her last words, as she is mauled by all of her corpse-like ex lovers from over the centuries, are “I love you. I loved you all.” (Aubry)

Tina and Vore in Ali Abbasi’s Border

Border 2018

Writer John Ajvide Lindqvist (Let the Right one In) is no stranger to odd love stories as he has written several fairytales involving unconventional romances. Such is the case of Border; a story of a misfit creature struggling with feelings of loneliness being misunderstood all her life, finally finding one of her kind and experimenting reciprocal love for the first time. However, as the story progresses, the film turns into a tale of morality over emotions when she discovers disturbing secrets about her partner, being forced to choose between the love of her life and what she thinks is the right decision. A love story that will leave you with a bittersweet feeling, one built off of sympathy for this odd couple and the problems their being ‘different’ creates. (Edgar)

Dennis and Lacey in Toby Wilkins’s Splinter

A loving criminal couple on the run, Dennis and Lacey are minor antagonists who end up dragging the other characters into the unfolding mess of Splinter before joining forces to survive against the strange fungus taking over warm bodies. Things go very messily wrong, although there’s always the chance their suffering bodies can be fused together here which is kind of like a romantic conclusion. Right? (Luke)

Hyo-Shin & Si-Eun in Tae-yong Kim & Kyu-dong Min’s Memento Mori

Memento Mori

They say that all of the greatest love stories almost always end in tragedy, and what genre knows tragedy better than horror? Hyo-Shin and Si-Eun share a secret romantic relationship at an all girl’s school, documented in their blood-red exchange diary that is eventually found by one of their peers. We are immersed in their world along with said peer as she reads the diary entry by entry, and by the time the ghostly happenings begin to occur, because this is the sequel to Whispering Corridors after all, we’re already rooting for this doomed romance to magically work out! (Oki)

Dan and Meg in Stuart Gordon’s Reanimator and Bride of Reanimator

Though the bromance between Dan and Herbert is center stage for much of the Reanimator series, Dan and Meg’s love is a driving force in both movies. Dan is constantly torn between his fascination with Herbert West’s attempts to bring back the dead and his fiance’s horror at the acts they are committing in the name of science. Meg pays the ultimate price for their curiosity when one of their rogue experiments strangles her to death, but that doesn’t stop Dan’s love for her (twice!) as in both films he attempts to resurrect her. Ultimately in Bride of Reanimator he realizes that the patchwork monstrosity they have created is not in fact Meg, though she has Meg’s heart, and lets her go for good. You know what they say… “If you love someone, let them go so you can get with your hot new Italian girlfriend who for some reason still wants to be with you after everything she has seen.” (Aubry)

Shigeharu and Asami in Takashi Miike’s Audtion

Audition Takashi miike

While the horrific final sequence in Audition is what resonates with most viewers, the film is a slow build of horror using fallacy of language as the catalyst for a dangerous obsession. Ultimately, the request of Asami to have true devotion and the only one to be loved by Shigeharu proves to be an impossible feat. The second entry on this list to be adapted from the work of Ryu Murakami, his ability to convey the spaces left in conversation is wonderfully conveyed in Takashi Miike’s adaptation . (Adam)

Curt and Julie in Brain Yuzan’s Return of the Living Dead 3

It’s a tale as old as time! Boy meets girl, girl dies, boy resurrects girl as unstoppable zombie, girl uses extreme masochism a Cenobite would be proud of to control their hunger for brains. This whole movie is a love story involving a zombie, just not so happy as Warm Bodies… (Luke Greensmith)

3 thoughts on “Hellbound Hearts: 14 Great Horror Couples

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