Now Scream This: Say Goodbye To Valentine's Day With These Horror Movies

(Welcome to Now Scream This, a column where horror experts Chris Evangelista and Matt Donato tell you what scary, spooky, and spine-tingling movies are streaming and where you can watch them.)

Matt: Valentine's Day was last week, but why not present your sweetheart the greatest gift of all this week? A night of zero complications, pajamas, and streaming horror movies with an emphasis on love, crushes, and content that'd make Cupid cringe. Love as a monster, love as an escape, and most of all, love as the horror genre's richest thematic destabilization. Don't give into Hallmark's greedy corporate brainwashing – stay in and celebrate true love the way you deserve!

Chris: Romance is in the air! What better way to reject Greeting Card and Expensive Chocolate Day than by cuddling up with the one you love, and watching some horror? After all, what can be a better aphrodisiac than fear? As Bela Lugosi says in Ed Wood, "The pure horror, it both repels, and attracts...Take my word for it. If you want to make out with a young lady, take her to see Dracula." In honor of Valentine's Day (which is this week, by the way, so I sure hope you got your loved one something), Matt and I are bringing you the following romance-tinged fright flicks.

My Bloody Valentine (2009)

Now Streaming on Netflix

Matt: Lionsgate's My Bloody Valentine remake is proof that Jensen Ackles indeed has a career outside Supernatural. The film was one of at least five different horror remakes that released in 2009, and a splattery, enjoyable one at that. Maybe in a "dumb fun" kind of way, but genre crazies should appreciate a slasher update that wastes zero time carving into victims. Within the first fifteen minutes, you'll gaze upon more mutilated corpses than a Halloween Horror Nights haunted maze (excellent practical effects work on the part of Gary J. Tunnicliffe). From there it's love triangles, ripped out hearts, and Valentine's Day bastardization with drive-in appeal. Oh yeah, and prime gruff-as-gravel Tom Atkins? All horror remakes aren't created equal!

Chris: This movie is surprisingly gory, and fun. And Tom Atkins shows up wearing an ill-fitting t-shirt for some reason.

Let Me In

Now Streaming on Amazon Prime

Matt: Few can argue against Tomas Alfredson's Let The Right One In when debating modern vampire masterpieces. Big shoes for Matt Reeves' US remake to fill, but Let Me In doesn't disappoint. Once again two outcast children find comfort in one another - Kodi Smit-McPhee as "Owen" and Chloë Grace Moretz as "Amy" – which translates into romantic undertones. All that gets even more complicated by the bullies who harass Owen daily, and the realization that Amy is an ancient vampire. Reeves does well by the film's coming-of-age themes as well as bloodsucking darkness, no doubt heightened by Richard Jenkins' caretaker/"serial killer." As far as 2000s horror remakes go, well ahead of the pack. A replicant of what makes Alfredson's original so tragic and heartwarming, fanged ferocity and all.

Chris: I know many people enjoyed this remake, but I just couldn't get into it. The original is the one for me.

V/H/S

Now Streaming on Hulu and Shudder

Matt: I bring up V/H/S around Valentine's Day because of David Bruckner's "Amateur Night" – a found footage anthology segment where horny dudebros hope to lure an unassuming bar fly back for secretly recorded motel sex. What they find is "Lily" (Hannah Fierman), who turns out to be a winged succubus fixated on the recorder. Fierman's performance is aces-high from her repetition of the phrase "I like you" to wide-eyed, aloof presence that certainly ensures something isn't right. Bruckner's work is so enthralling in the short timeframe that a feature-length film - SiREN - spawned from Lily's backstory. Of course, there's a reason I'm recommending the short over the adapted "sequel."

Chris: "Amateur Night" is indeed one of the best entries in this so-so anthology film.

Life After Beth

Now Streaming on Netflix

Matt: Jeff Baena's Life After Beth isn't Warm Bodies good, but it also ain't Burying The Ex bad. Maybe it's a personal thing because actors Dane DeHaan and Aubrey Plaza have long been personal favorite performers. DeHaan playing the lovesick teen whose girlfriend rises from the grave, Plaza a once dead snake bite victim whose return progresses through stages of zombification. It's a relationship dramedy (romzomdramedy?) about being able to move forward instead of dwelling on the past, using a zombie's form to represent the pain and uselessness of being unable to let go. Nothing revolutionary from a metaphor standpoint, but DeHaan and Plaza are the reason you're watching (plus support from John C. Reilly, Molly Shannon, Anna Kendrick and more).

Chris: I have a massive crush on Aubrey Plaza, but even that wasn't enough to make me enjoy this film. It just felt a little too lopsided. Still, it has its moments.

Hounds Of Love

Now Streaming on Hulu

Matt: Ben Young's Hounds Of Love is one of my favorite movies of 2017 that I'll never watch again. Emma Booth and Stephen Curry play lovers who abduct, abuse, and murder teenage girls due to husband John's (Curry) serial killer obsession. Evelyn (Booth) is manipulated by the man she loves, becomes destructively jealous when he plays with his toys, but always comes back when charms are turned back on. You're in for one hell of a harrowing, perverse, downright dismantling true crime watch, but Young's talent behind the camera *demands* to be witnessed. Tremendous work on technical and performance fronts – especially as Curry and Booth dance their psychologically monstrous Natural Born Killers tango – devastating on all thematic accounts. Happy f#&king Valentine's Day!

Chris: One of the most unpleasant movies I've ever seen, and I don't mean that in a negative way. This movie is Brutal with a capital B. (And hey, I just realized this is the first week where I've actually seen all the movies Matt recommended!)

Thirst

Now Streaming on Starz

Chris: One of my dreams is to one day see Park Chan-wook direct an adaptation of Dracula, in the same style as his film The Handmaiden. For now, though, I'll have to make due with Thirst, his sexy, strange vampire flick from 2009. Catholic priest Sang-hyun (Song Kang-ho) agrees to be infected with a deadly virus in order to help find a vaccine. Unfortunately, things go very wrong, turning Sang-hyun into a vampire. As the film progresses, he ends up turning Tae-ju (Kim Ok-bin), the wife of one of his childhood friends, into a vampire as well, kicking off a whirlwind of blood, death and sex.

Matt: A Park Chan-wook vampire flick? Every bit as good as it sounds. It'll quench even the thirstiest bloodsucker fans. [Nailed it, Matt.]

The Duke of Burgundy

Now Streaming on Hulu

Chris: I suppose you could argue that The Duke of Burgundy isn't technically a horror movie, but director Peter Strickland's style, which recalls giallo and other Italian cinema of the past, has a distinct horror vibe. The story focuses on two women, played by Sidse Babett Knudsen and Chiara D'Anna, embroiled in a BDSM relationship. But who is the dom, and who is the sub? The script is loaded with twists to keep you guessing, but beneath all the mystery and style is a surprisingly tender romance

Matt: Peter Strickland's erotic drama is one of those cinematic oddballs you marvel over its inception. How did it get made? I have no idea, but I'm glad it did. Obscure, sensual, and so very welcome.

The Shape of Water

Now Streaming on HBO Go

Chris: Guillermo del Toro's weird, romantic Oscar winner The Shape of Water has earned a reputation as being "that movie where a woman fucks a fish-man." And yes, that's technically what happens. But there's so much going on here, with del Toro celebrating otherness, in all its form. He populates his film with marginalized outsiders, all looking for some sort of connection. Sally Hawkins is incredible as a mute cleaning woman who finds herself drawn to an amphibian man being held captive at the secret government facility she works at. She decides to bust him out, leading to a strange yet sweet story that's hard to forget.

Matt: In a matter of words, GDT's Creature From The Black Lagoon. The "fish fucking" movie as Film Twitter likened it to. A truly beautiful tide of emotions that balances fantastical romance with GDT's magnificent relationship between man and creature. One of the more fulfilling Best Picture wins.

Basic Instinct

Now Streaming on Amazon Prime Video and Hulu

Chris: Paul Verhoeven's infamous erotic thriller opens with a murder scene that puts slasher movies to shame, and only gets more twisted. Yes, this movie is mostly remembered for that infamous Sharon Stone scene, but there's a lot more going on here. Is it dated? Is it problematic? Oh yes, but it's also slick, and sleek and pulpy as hell. Michael Douglas is a detective investigating a string of brutal murders that may or may not have been committed by a crime novelist (Sharon Stone). The two quickly fall into a sexual relationship, which is probably a bad idea.

Matt: You all know there's an entire movie around that now iconic Sharon Stone leg-uncross scene from Basic Instinct, right? Give it a watch sometime!

Interview with the Vampire

Now Streaming on the Roku Channel

Chris: Neil Jordan's Interview with a Vampire takes Anne Rice's somewhat clunky novel and reworks it into a glorious gothic masterpiece, brimming with elegance, horror, and yes, sex appeal. Many (including Rice herself) scoffed at the idea of Tom Cruise playing the vampire Lestat, but Cruise is pretty damn great here, bringing a foppish arrogance to the part that's perfect to the character. Cruise's Lestat turns Brad Pitt's lonely Louis into a vampire, and the two are stuck together through time, complete with not-so-subtle homoeroticism baked in. A Vampire Chronicles TV series is in the works right now, but I doubt it will come close to capturing the style and grace of this film.

Matt: Sexy Tom Cruise and sexy Brad Pitt playin' sexy vampires. Do with that what you will.