Do horror movies equate with dating? Can you really whisper sweet nothings to someone when you both have one eye on the screen, anticipating the next jump scare? Actually, horror is a terrific genre for any couple to bond over. If you’ve just met someone on an online dating site and discovered a mutual love of cinema, why not suggest a horror movie? Requirements: an open mind, a sense of humor, a thick skin, lots of refreshments, and a comfortable sofa where you can cling together when the action gets too intense! And experience adversity will strengthen any relationship!
The Descent (2005)
What better way to start date night than this claustrophic feature directed by Neil Marshall? A bunch of feisty females go potholing, only to encounter something much more sinister than bats inside the stygian cave systems. They are being scrutinized in the dark by creatures with human-like eyes, and rumbling bellies. The intense atmosphere will have you and your partner cozying together in no time.
Ridley’s Scott’s space horror is a landmark of both genres – terror and science-fiction. When it was released it gained notoriety for one particular scene, when an alien parasite living inside John Hurt decides it would like to explore the outside world and erupts from his guts. After its gory entry, the creature steadily grows, pursuing the remaining terrified crew members. “In space, no one can hear you scream,” was the tagline. Your neighbors will, though!
The Thing (1982)
John Carpenter was synonymous with 1980s horror, also helming The Fog and Halloween. But here he takes us to a remote outpost in the blizzard-lashed Antarctic, where scientists uncover something in the permafrost. When this defrosts, it sets about assuming the form of anything it encounters, butchering people and then pretending to be their buddies. The non-CGI special effects were groundbreaking. Have they stood the test of time? It’s guaranteed you and your partner will squirm with revulsion.
Shaun of the Dead (2004)
After all the mayhem, time to inject your date night with some much-needed comedy. Simon Pegg and Nick Frost have created a parody of the walking dead genre, which never pokes fun at its source material but rather pays homage. With many side-splitting laughs along the way. Here the zombie apocalypse arrives in suburban England, so the undead are despatched with an assortment of cricket bats and any other domestic items which happen to be on hand.
Bone Tomahawk (2015)
Back to the intensity. This is another cross-genre film, a Western set in the dusty 19th-century Midwest, featuring lawbreakers and grizzled sheriffs, but featuring a truly terrifying and otherworldly tribe of cannibals lurking in the hills. Not for the squeamish.
Wicker Man (1973)
There’s no blood here, but Robin Hardy’s film explores the culture clash when a strictly religious policeman (Edward Woodward) is lured to a weird island community/pagan cult. He little realizes he is about to play a central role in a sacrifice to their harvest gods.
A Quiet Place (2018)
The premise here is Earth has been invaded by horrific extra-terrestrials who hunt their prey by sound alone. Emily Blunt and her family must creep around the deserted landscape, not daring to betray their presence for fear of meeting a grisly end. In one truly nerve-fraying scene, Blunt’s character goes into labor while the aliens are close by. Be warned – you and your significant other will be on the edge of your seat for the entire duration.