There's a reason that watching horror movies on a date has become a cliché—because it works! Research has shown that dates that inspire thrills can help deepen emotional connections, and at a faster rate. Fictional anxiety inspires viewers to be more vulnerable, lowering social walls and allowing them to be more open. Let's be honest though, the biggest draw is the cuddling opportunities the jump scares present.
Of course, I wouldn't suggest you go out and pick any old horror movie for your next date night. Anything too gory or disgusting is going to ruin the mood. You're going to want a movie that generates conversation and lets you exchange opinions. And, of course, you want to have your date grabbing your arm without having them running to turn on the lights.
Fortunately for the lovers (of horror and otherwise) out there, the perfect movie has just hit theaters. Lisa Frankenstein follows teenage Lisa (Kathryn Newton) trying to adjust to life after her mother's murder. The outcast finds unexpected companionship when the corpse (Cole Sprouse) she frequently visits in the cemetery comes back to life. On their journey to happiness, they just have to find a way to outsource a few body parts… If you need more convincing, you can check out my early review of the film here.
If you can't make your way to the theater this weekend or you'd rather just have a quiet night in, then you're in luck. I've compiled a list of the perfect date night horror movies just for you! Rest assured, I've field tested all of these options myself, so you're sure to woo your boo.
A slasher classic that redefined the genre, Scream follows teenage Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell) as a masked killer taunts and brutalizes her and her friends.
This movie is going to make you want to put your phone down, really opening the door for you to be present on your date. Plus, it's got some good jump scares, a fair amount of laughs, and a pinch of sexy. Sounds like the perfect formula to me.
Proceed with caution on this choice: it's not for the faint of heart. But I can pretty much guarantee your date isn't going to want to be alone after watching, and their face will probably stay firmly buried in your bicep.
When six women set out for a spelunking trip, their fun adventure turns into a nightmare as group tensions give way to a fight for survival. They're not alone in the cave system, and now deadly humanoid predators lurk behind every dark tunnel.
The Shape of Water
A good choice for a beau who doesn't like getting too scared, The Shape of Water is more of a cozy horror fare in line with Creature from the Black Lagoon.
This unconventional romance will convince any date who's on the fence that you're a perfect partner. This film is set in the 1960s and follows a mute janitor who forges a special bond with an amphibious creature locked away in a secret research facility.
Essential viewing for a good sapphic date night, Jennifer's Body sees a high school it-girl become a deadly succubus after she's mistakenly sacrificed as a virgin to Satan. Now her geeky best friend has to stop her from killing boys.
The Cabin in the Woods
Playing with horror cliches and beloved tropes, this film is not lacking in terrifying baddies, well-placed humor, or hot people (you think I mean Chris Hemsworth, I'm talking about Bradley Whitford).
The Cabin in the Woods follows a group of college kids who head out together for a cabin getaway. As they start dying one by one, it soon becomes clear that there's a lot more going on with the cabin than they imagined.
Bride of Chucky
The fourth installment in the Child's Play franchise, this movie offers some real couple goals. Or at least it offers some campy and darkly comedic laughs.
Chucky (Brad Dourif) is a serial killer possessing the body of a children's doll, and in this film audiences see him finding a way to bring his lover, Tiffany (Jennifer Tilly), down to his level.
Fright Night (2011)
A remake of the 1985 original, this movie brings an extra edge to the story of a vampire (Colin Farrell) moving in next door. Can teenage Charley (Anton Yelchin) stop him before he hurts someone he loves? And will “famous” vampire hunter Peter Vincent (David Tennant) come through for him in the end?
With Toni Collette playing Charley's mom and Imogen Poots playing Charley's girlfriend, the movie really does have an incredible cast. The film has the perfect balance of genuinely scary beats and moments of levity, mixed in with a dash of friskiness.
In the late 70s, a group of filmmakers set up in rural Texas with big dreams of making a hit porno. Unfortunately, the elderly couple renting out the barn for them isn't as harmless as they seem.
The phenomenal cast of this movie includes Mia Goth, Jenna Ortega, Brittany Snow, Kid Cudi, and Martin Henderson. I feel like I shouldn't have to point out the obvious reasons this might be a good watch for date night…
The Lost Boys
This movie may be a staple for a queer date night (as any Joel Schumacher movie is), but it also has a great appeal for people who are just really into mullets.
Two teenage boys and their mother start fresh in Santa Carla, California, but their new home isn't as welcoming as it may seem. The nightlife is overflowing with a gang of vampires determined to take these newcomers for their own. Dripping with homoeroticism and nostalgia, this movie is great for anyone who likes bad boys who bite. And if you're into women, Jami Gertz is sort of there.