What is it you imagine when thinking of a first date? Going to a fancy restaurant or night club? Movie theater, maybe? But, to our mind, romantic dates just beg to be spent at home, by the fireplace, over the cup of hot tea or punch. And a horror movie is an essential component of an ideal first date. Don’t be surprised! Lots of couples prefer to spend their first date watching classic horror movies that are just ideal for a night of cuddling. Good old horrors can make your date want to bury their face in your shoulder and press their body against yours. The scary moments can be great relationship catalysts you should definitely take advantage of.
So, what horror films to watch to make the most of your first date?
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‘Alien,’ ‘Silence of the Lamb,’ ‘The Shining,’ and ‘Psycho.’ Throw in ‘Exorcist,’ ‘Halloween,’ Night of the Living Dead,’ ‘Nightmare of Elm Street,’ ‘Friday the 13th,’ ‘An American Werewolf in London,’ and some honorable mentions and you’ve got yourself a list. But we bet you’ve seen those gems of the horror genre many times. Instead, we suggest that you set your sights on something less trivial and popular. So, take a look at our picks of the best classic horror movies you won’t definitely regret seeing.
# 1 Blood and Black Lace (1964)
As early as 1964, ‘Blood and Black Lace’ was doing something frighteningly similar to what was called revolutionary in the 70s and 80s with the cult slashers like ‘Texas Chainsaw Massacre,’ ‘Friday the 13th,’ and ‘Halloween.’ It’s a brilliantly confounding collision of the hyper-colorful, high-art beauty of fashion with the deep, shadowy, low brow depravity of murder. As essential as Italian giallo film as there ever was. A complicated story of the masked-murder of a scantily-clad fashion models in an Italian fashion house. The precocious camera is an eerie predictor of scares to come. The twists and turns of the plot tropes we’ve grown used to seeing, and the focus on the brutality of the act of killing itself are perfect predictors of every slasher to come in a way that makes ‘Blood and Black Lace’ an instant classic.
# 2 The Descent (2005)
If we had to replace ‘Alien’ in the echelons of horror, we actually think ‘The Descent’ is the only film that can do it. Despite the fact that ‘The Descent’ takes place in pretty much the opposite location as outer space, it bears a striking resemblance to ‘Alien.’ A group of explorers find themselves out of reach of rescue and trapped in an enclosed location with an unknown, hyper-violent creature, and they’re whittled down to one in search of survival. The scares are claustrophobic. The environment is just as harsh as the monster. There are smart character dynamics, there are moral quandaries, there are lies amidst the living. Both films have utterly captivating sequels stages around a single source of light, and it’s really good. ‘The Descent’ is smart and well-shot. It fills the niche for things that go bump in the night from the world beyond.
# 3 The Innocents (1961)
‘The Innocents’ is a loose adaptation of James’ ‘The Turn of the Screw,’ and a brilliant one at that. Full to the brim with the same kind of gradually accumulating sense of the uncanny that culminated into an oppressive climax in Kubrick’s ‘The Shining.’ ‘The Innocents’ replaces the deco carpeted overlook with the more traditionally Gothic, and then piles of the creeps. It follows a new governess as her two young charges begin to misbehave in the strangest of the ways, and the unusual occurrences stack up, she becomes sure that the children have been possessed by evil ghosts. But have they? The only person who ever sees them is her/ Are the ghosts the threat or is the governess? The film never allows us to detangle the supernatural from delusional, which is why it gives us the exact kind of the creeps as ‘The Shining.’
# 4 Henry: The Portrait of the Serial Killer (1986)
Gone here is the confusingly hypnotic charisma of Hannibal Lecter and replaced by the cold , sadistic, and utterly genuine hateful glare of Michael Rooker in ‘Henry: The Portrait of the Serial Killer.’ It’s horrifying, to be sure. To the extent that it’s the experience of coming face-to-face with pure evil in the way that’s rarely presented so thoroughly, and yet simultaneously so believable. It’s not enjoyable in any real sense. It’s a harrowing experience presented not as a fun spectacle or set piece, but abruptly and unflinchingly. But that’s where the real fear is.
# 5 Peeping Tom (1960)
‘Peeping Tom’ is pretty much the perfect psycho surrogate. A mild-mannered man who turn out to be a serial killer? Check. An oddly Freudian focus on sexual spectatorship? Check. Deeply disturbed parental back story? Also check. The film was initially panned as controversial and perverse, which prevented it from achieving the ubiquity that it probably deserves. But it’s complex, perceptive, and brilliantly made. Turning its lens on the audience in the same way the serial killer does his victims. And it’s also terrifying, which is why we think it’s one of the best horror films of all time.