While the thought of a fancy dinner with a bottle of red wine sounds perfect for a Valentine's Day date, that romantic date idea is far from what Dr. Hannibal Lecter in The Silence of the Lambs was thinking when he said, "I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice Chianti." The Academy Award-winning The Silence of the Lambs was released on Valentine's Day 25 years ago for unexplainable reasons, but the very unromantic film did not suffer from its odd release date. The Silence of the Lambs not only won the top five Oscars (Best Picture, Director, Actress, Actor, and Screenplay), but the psychological thriller about serial killers starring Anthony Hopkins and Jodi Foster has proven that even at 25-years-old, the Jonathan Demme-directed film can still give people nightmares.
The first time I watched The Silence of the Lambs in its entirety was with my high school boyfriend. Although it's a far cry from an ideal date movie, having someone you care about sit alongside you while Buffalo Bill and Hopkins' Hannibal Lecter mutilate bodies can be relatively comforting.
Even though the entertainment world has a slew of more romantic movies to watch this 2016 Valentine's Day with your loved one, why not honor the anniversary of one of the best films of all-time by watching it on February 14? Actually, while you're at it, here are the top 14 scary movies you should watch this Valentine's Day with your significant other — whether they are placed in the thriller, horror, or parody categories.
1. Silence Of The Lambs
The original release date not only warrants a The Silence of the Lambs viewing, but Foster portrays a type of heroine that is often unseen in many films. And nothing is sexier than a realistic portrayal of a strong and complicated female lead. Plus, the police officer crucified with his skin stretched and the "It rubs the lotion on its skin" scenes lend themselves to plenty of completely warranted, fear-induced cuddles.
2. My Bloody Valentine
A true slasher film, the original My Bloody Valentine film (not the 2009 3D remake) was released in 1981. Not shockingly, the film takes place around people in the town of Valentine Bluffs wanting to celebrate Valentine's Day with a dance — to deadly consequences. While an obvious choice to suggest for a date movie on Feb. 14, people have been giving obvious presents on Valentine's Day for years (candy, teddy bears, jewelry) and it doesn't take away from the film's horrifying gore.
3. Shaun Of The Dead
If you and your loved one are way more into laughing than screaming, then Shaun of the Dead — with its whip-smart British hilarity — is for you. The comedy is a loving homage to zombie thrillers and while you shouldn't expect everyone to get out alive, this Simon Pegg and Nick Frost film is much more lighthearted than many other options on this list. And, if you don't have a romantic partner, Shaun of the Dead is the ultimate bromance/friendship film as well.
4. Let The Right One In
Feeling even more international? This Swedish film about a 12-year-old and the child vampire he falls in love with was so critically praised that a U.S. remake, entitled Let Me In starring Kodi Smit-Mcphee and Chloë Grace Moretz, was created. However, I suggest going with the subtitled original film, translated in English to Let the Right One In , this Valentine's Day. Not only was the original film written by the man who wrote the book it was adapted from, but something about the stark, snowy setting lends itself to the haunting imagery and content of the film. Let the Right One In is the perfect mix of horror and love to leave you with a lasting uneasy feeling this Valentine's Day.
5. The Abominable Dr. Phibes
What's more romantic than a man seeking revenge by killing the nine doctors who he considers responsible for his wife's death? Vincent Price being said man, that's what! A personal favorite of mine, The Abominable Dr. Phibes is a campy cult classic from 1971 that is beyond creepy as a disfigured Price kills in a plethora of disturbing ways, but it's also (mostly) intentionally hilarious. The tagline is "Love means never having to say you're ugly," (playing off of the famous Love Story quote) so clearly, this is one of the best horror movies to watch of all-time, let alone on Valentine's Day.
While I'm on the subject of cult films, another fantastic but more modern bizarre classic is about a deadly vagina. Teeth features a young woman whose vagina has — yep, you guessed it — teeth that exact revenge when she is being sexually taken advantage of (which happens quite often in the film). Part commentary on sexual abuse against women, part ridiculous horror film, Teeth is great for an empowering laugh this Valentine's Day with either your loved one or some of your best girl friends.
David Fincher's Se7en is along the same lines of The Silence of the Lambs with megastars Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman tracking a psychopathic serial killer who uses the seven deadly sins as a reason to chose its victims. (Oh hey, Season 5 of American Horror Story .) The infamous "What's in the box?" scene really makes you want to hold the one you love tight.
Candy is often a gift given at Valentine's Day, so why not check out this classic horror movie about the urban legend of Candyman? The movie is only a year younger than The Silence of the Lambs and it tells the tale of a slave who was killed for falling in love with his owner's daughter. Watch it this Valentine's Day — just don't get cocky and say "Candyman" five times in the mirror.
9. The Cabin In the Woods
A spoof of the genre of scary movies, Joss Whedon's The Cabin in the Woods does have some truly frightening, if not stereotypical horror tropes. But for the irreverent couple who loves horror films, the setup of the film will be a pure delight. Get cozy and thank your stars that you're not stuck in a cabin in the woods. Bonus: A pre- Thor Chris Hemsworth stars!
A young outsider, May, whose only real friend is a doll, starts to enter into romantic forays with a man she has a crush on, portrayed by Jeremy Sisto, and her lesbian coworker, portrayed by Anna Faris. The ending is so unbelievably creepy that you will definitely want someone to hold onto while watching.
11. Blue Velvet
Nothing says "I love you" like Isabella Rossellini singing "Blue Velvet" into the night while Kyle MacLachlan and Lauren Dern watch on. But perhaps the most romantic part of David Lynch's film noir is Dennis Hopper's sociopath character, who makes a habit to get high from inhaling gas and sexually abusing Rossellini's Dorothy. The film is ranked as one of the American Film Institute's Top 10 Mystery films and it will leave you with a lasting terrifying impression. I was so thankful to have my partner around for when I first watched Blue Velvet.
When it comes to relationships, nothing can break them apart as quickly as an affair. Watch Beyonce take on Ali Larter as she tries to ruin Queen Bey's already-troubled marriage to Idris Elba in this Lifetime original-esque movie Obsessed. Yes, it's definitely guilty pleasure fodder, more in the lines of Fatal Attraction than The Silence of the Lambs, but that makes this stalker flick perfect for a light — yet badass — Valentine's Day night.
13. The Honeymoon
If you are celebrating this Valentine's Day as an engaged person (like my fiancé and I will be) or you're planning on getting married or engaged soon, then Honeymoon is the scary film for you this Feb. 14. A young couple goes on their honeymoon, complete with sexy time, but then the bride — Game of Thrones' Rose Leslie, who is crush-worthy for both men and women of varying sexual orientations — starts sleepwalking and getting mysterious marks on her body. There is obviously no better way to prepare for your upcoming nuptials than with this film.
14. Don't Look Now
A couple traveling to Italy after the death of their daughter may not sound like it's the perfect scary movie for Valentine's Day, but think again. Donald Sutherland and Julie Christie provided one of the most controversial sex scenes in film history in 1973's Don't Look Now, so that should warm you up this Valentine's Day. But the iconic red coat and the bone-chilling ending will leave you unsettled (to say the least) and grasping for answers. Great sex and a great thriller? This one is a win-win.
Now, stop reading and choose the best scary film for you and your significant other this Valentine's Day and get to some terrified embraces.
Images: Orion Pictures; Giphy (14)