Romance is admittedly not the first thing one associates with Halloween. But if you’re too old to trick or treat or too late to get a decent costume off the rack for the grownups’ Halloween party, why not take in a movie? Think about it: what’s nicer than snuggling up to your sweetie while watching a scary movie?
I’ve compiled a list of flicks in no particular order for your viewing pleasure. Chances are you’ll find at least one of them at the local video/dvd store. So pop some corn, light some candles and pour some wine. Have a Happy Halloween! (Or just a fun scary night in).
1. Dracula (1931)
Bela Lugosi played the first, and for some, the only Dracula. Unlike today’s gore-filled flicks, this movie relied on shadows and suggestion. As per the book, Dracula comes to England and is soon enthralled by Mina Harker. A classic.
2. Dracula (1979)
Swept ashore during a violent storm, a handsome count is the only survivor of a mysterious shipwreck. Frank Langella famously played Dracula on stage and makes a truly romantic count. This time around, his love isn’t Mina Harker but her friend Lucy Seward. Watch for the acid-like love scene. Also starring Laurence Olivier as the indomitable Van Helsing.
3. Wolf (1994)
Publishing executive Jack Nicholson takes a drive in the country and hits a wolf. He leaves the car to check if it’s dead. Guess what? It’s not. Michelle Pfeiffer plays the love interest caught in the middle between two corporate wolves – one of them real.
4. Sister, Sister (1987)
This southern-fried Gothic thriller stars Judith Ivey and Jennifer Jason Leigh as two sisters who operate a bed and breakfast out of their spooky mansion. Along comes Eric Stolz, who falls for the disturbed younger sister (played by Jennifer) This upsets big sister, who fears the revealing of family secrets.
5. What Lies Beneath (2000)
I liked this movie but thought it fell apart in the last 15 minutes. Others may feel differently. Harrison Ford thinks wife Michelle Pfieffer is losing it when she claims their house is haunted.
6. Dead Again (1991)
A priest asks his PI buddy to take on the case of an amnesiac woman troubled by nightmares that seem to be rooted in an old murder case. Kenneth Branagh and Emma Thompson are simply wonderful together, as always.
7. Wind Chill (2007)
Emily Blunt shakes off the high-strung “Devil Wears Prada” fashionista to play a nameless girl stuck in a snowbank with a nameless guy after a car forces them off the road. What’s worse: freezing to death or being stalked by spirits? Pick one.
8. Mad at the Moon (1992)
This is something different… a werewolf western. Jenny Hill is coerced by her mother to marry quiet Miller Brown, even though she loves his brother James. A love triangle develops when James moves in with the not-so-happy couple to protect the bride when Miller starts to howl at the full moon. Stars Mary Stuart Masterson and Hart Bochner.
9. Cat People (1982)
Instead of werewolves, we have werecats, big cats with sharp teeth and claws, not the cuddly kind. Nastassja Kinski discovers her family’s feline legacy but falls in love anyway. There is also a somewhat different and way more subtle 1942 flick starring Simone Simon. (Subtle as in no skin or gore.)
10. Psycho (1960)
Marion Crane steals for love but picks the wrong motel to spend the night in. Oops. This movie was the “Jaws” of its time, scaring people out of the shower and into the bathtub. A classic.