Horror is such a woefully underrated genre. Horror films are often overlooked at award ceremonies and actors who’ve starred in “too many” horror films are often unfairly limited from other work. Worst of all, horror is viewed as “distasteful” in a lot of circles and circumstances. When it comes to dating, rom-coms and feel-good flicks are top tier, but most relationships don’t start during the holidays, and horror can happen any day of the year! Personally, I have a theory that watching the right horror film with a date or potential partner can tell you a whole lot about that person, so if you’re gonna #NetflixandChill, why not learn something valuable about each other along the way? Here is my list of the 5 Best Horror Films to Watch On A Date!
5. A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
A Nightmare on Elm Street is a classic, so it makes a great date movie for a few reasons. The first reason being that if you’re dating the rare person who’s never seen this film, you can be the one to introduce them to an iconic piece of horror cinema and make a memory that they’ll have forever. Every time they see this movie and its franchise, they’ll think of you! The second reason being that this film also has serious nostalgia appeal. There are so many actors in this film that you might be surprised to recognize, even if you’ve seen it several times, simply because they were so young back then. Last but not least, because Nightmare On Elm Street has spawned an increasingly campy franchise, this could be the introduction to a fun evening horror binge!
4. You’re Next (2011)
You’re Next isn’t just a great horror film, it’s a great movie, period. This slept-on gem combines the best of the slasher subgenre, the final girl trope, and an ingenious twist on the hunter vs. hunted motif. Every moment of this film keeps your attention from beginning to end, keeping your eyes glued to the screen the entire time. So if you and your companion are the chatty sort, this film experience gives you the opportunity to discuss what you would do if you were in the same situation, keep a running commentary of whodunit, and essentially interact with both the film, and one another. You’re Next also gives you both an opportunity to smoothly transition into a conversation about classism and wealth disparity so you can let the possible classism and bourgeois sentiments jump out and get a better feel for your companion’s character and politics.
3. Hush (2016)
Horror films which feature one person simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time are becoming increasingly popular. Hush takes that up a notch by giving us a protagonist who’s also deaf, making her fight to survive that much more stressful and suspenseful to watch. Few horror films feature people with disabilities, and even few keep them around long enough to truly do any real character development or anything other than dying in the stead of the abled sorority sister. Hush doesn’t deal in gore but rather brings in the fear through an evenly sustained, ever increasing tension. Watching this film on a date can tell you a lot about how your companion feels about women in general, as there is no male lead to “rescue” the protagonist, and about women with disabilities in particular. Any latent misogyny or ableism may surface, making the decision to possibly boot them even easier.
2. The Witches (1990)
Kids need horror films too and it’s never too early to introduce them to the scarier things that life has to offer. The Witches, a tale of evil witches using candy to lure new victims, stands the test of time as one of the best horror films for the little ones. Most of us do not want to deal with anyone who takes themselves too seriously long-term, and seeing this movie together can really help you get to know your partner’s inner child. The Witches is whimsical, lighthearted, and the rare “feel-good” horror that can give you both some much-needed laughs and a chance to unwind together.
1. Teeth (2007)
This is not a campy film. It’s not gorey or suspenseful, either. But Teeth is nothing if not memorable. This film’s plot and message is one that leaves people with a strong reaction, there’s really no room for neutrality or playing Devil’s Advocate after seeing this. This film is one that’s usually widely loved by women as it’s about a girl with retractable vagina teeth which can feel empowering just to witness. But for cishet men? It tends to make them incredibly... uncomfortable. The message of the film is very clear: You have nothing to fear if you’re not a sexual predator or abuser. Teeth gives you an opportunity to gauge your date’s reactions to predators being punished, and opens the door to a conversation about rape culture and consent, which is never a bad conversation to have with anyone, especially someone who you are/plan to be intimate with.