Isn't being in love great? Nothing fills a person's heart with as much joy and sunshine than being with their favourite guy or gal. Romance. Happiness. All you need is love.
But what about the dark underbelly of love? Heartbreak. Obsession. Grief. We all fear these just as much as loneliness, and horror films sure know this.
This list will look at films where romance becomes something utterly terrifying. The dark places that love can take people. Forbidden love with those whom we should avoid. And relationships that become living nightmares.
It is worth noting that this list could have been filled exclusively with vampire films, since all of them play on taboos of love, sex, and death, and always end up being super mushy.
But, fear not, there are more than enough other horror films out there that will make you think twice before looking for love.
10. Beyond The Darkness (1979)
“Death has no power to separate us” promises Frank (Kieran Canter), our blue-eyed protagonist, as his girlfriend Anna (Cinzia Monreale) lays dying on a hospital bed. So far, so romantic.
Soon after this, Frank digs up her body from the graveyard, plonks her naked cadaver on his taxidermy table and, in a lengthy and graphic sequence, carves her open, removes her guts, sucks her brains out of her nose with a tube, sticks new eyes in the empty sockets…
Frank’s sure making good on his promise. Perhaps this is still romantic? Frank holds his dead girlfriend's heart in his hands like a lover from a Jacobean tragedy - then he bites into it and blood spurts everywhere. Gross.
It turns out Frank is a sexually deranged psychopath. He keeps Anna’s stuffed corpse tucked up in a bed, seemingly to cope with his grief, but also as a means of sexual arousal when he’s with other women.
If the necrophilic overtones weren’t enough for you, Frank also engages in quasi-Oedipal acts of sexual deviancy with his spooky housekeeper/wet-nurse, Iris (Franca Stoppi - looking like the wife from the American Gothic painting). That’s when the two of them aren’t chopping up and disposing of murdered women, of course.
Oh, and Iris is actually responsible for Anna’s death at the start of the film, killing her via voodoo curse so that she can try to marry Frank. It’s that age old love triangle between two murderous perverts and a corpse!