Monday, February 11, 2013

A Love that Kills

There's a certain comfort instilled in me that even though I am now in a relationship I still find Valentines Day to be a useless holiday that in all actuality is just a Thursday to everyone else. I'm nauseated by on screen romance and am often fit with impulsive giggling whenever I have to watch two actors awkwardly gaze into each others eyes and say lines that only writers could make up. My favorite love story is Leaving Las Vegas, so I believe you get a sense of exactly what I'm looking for in a love story. There are exceptions such as Benny & Joon. But generally any love film I own results in either one or both of the characters dying.

Love is a devouring emotion, and I don't really need proof to convince people of that. Therefor it's really only a fitting story-line for any horror film. And as bitter I may be I'll even admit that love and horror have been happily together since the Silent Film era. The plot of Phantom of the Opera is romantic (later abandoning its horror roots to become a musical romance, eck). The ever present vampires, new and old have always offered a Casanova side to their prey. And as of last week now zombies are contaminated with the emotion. It's a sub plot in a lot of films and if not there's at the least a happy or non happy couple lurking about somewhere in the script. But I wanted to take focus to those that have it at the heart of the film. For Valentines Day here are my Top Five Horror Love Stories:

#5 May (2002)

At the surface May doesn't appear to be a classic boy meets girl love story, but it's the film that desires the most of human connection. It's hard to say what the exact intention of the film is, as the film trades off comedy to romance to horror without a thought. And the intention of May herself is unclear; is she looking for love, a boyfriend, or just wants to be loved in herself? Her sexual exploits with her co-worker Polly weren't really under union terms, and her and Adam never really developed far past the friendship stage. But May takes her rejection further past the real nature of her friends and the ends the film in a heartbroken, albeit gory revenge that finally gives May what she's been longing for.

#4 Bride of Frankenstein (1935)

The classic horror love story about a monster and his bride that portraits the unrequited love to a tragic end. Bride of Frankenstein has an old school romanticism popular to its time. Not present in modern horror as they're unfortunate is to mimic the watered down love stories that are plagued in current romantic comedies and teen dramas. There's a quiet humility to the ending of Bride as essentially "We Belong Dead" may be the most tragic but beautiful love lines of film. A no more appropriate reaction than when the Monster finds out his Bride doesn't share the same feelings he does. And as brief as his time with her was there is an irreparable sadness as the monster destroys her, himself and the doctor, as his small light of not being alone the rest of his life is blackened in an instant.

#3 Fatal Attraction (1987)

Fatal Attraction serves as a lure to the darker desires of the human conscious. When a married man has an lustrous affair with a colleague it goes awry when she refuses that the affair is over and then dangerously pursues his family. Of few films Fatal Attraction really does have the proof that it literally scared dishonest lovers back into fidelity, as history recounts the public's reaction to what was considered a 'shocking' film at the time. Glenn Close's Alex is a smart play as the classic tantalizing mix of alluring and deadly isn't at first present, she subtly displays normality and then carefully unravels to insanity. Douglas is of course a great co-star and the two have a strong chemistry in their more explicit scenes. And despite his character faults at the beginning of the film you gain a sympathy as Alex begins to take it too far, where the horror inevitably occurs. The bunny in the boiler among the worst and more iconic references.

#2 Midnight Son (2011)

There's an illimitable amount of praise I can have for Midnight Son as I've said everything under the sun about it (and yet you still haven't seen it have you?). But really it is a beautiful depiction of what a modern day vampire romance should be. With Jacob's condition based in reality and his love interest Mary addicted to drugs. What I really do appreciate is the build of the initial relationship in Midnight Son, as it is a repressed appetency the characters struggle with. But not in the sense that Jacob can't be with Mary because he desires her as an appetite but rather pushes away as his weirdness is always a factor. The chemistry is tight and the film never achieves corny love level as is often fit with this sub-genre. And of course as said with my review I absolutely love the final shot.

#1 Let the Right One In (2008)

Let the Right One In is of the few films that has a real genuineness. The premise itself simple as it focuses to a bullied twelve year old Oskar who falls in love with Eli, a child vampire who's been about killing people in the area. The film discusses the horrors of growing up and then offers a sweet love story that can only exist in this manner. There's a acceptance in which they can see past the differences without thought or reason and accept each other simply for who they are. Of course outside the tender half of the film we are offered a vicious little creation of a vampire, in her own right she's intimidating and appropriately scary. Maybe it's because it occurs innocently between twelve year old's or isn't sappy in any way but Let the Right One In is a love story horror I can appreciate.

HM: Candyman (1992), a grad student writing a thesis on legends comes across a one armed ghost that appears in the mirror when the name is said five times. Play Misty for Me (1971), Clint Eastwood's directorial debut about a radio DJ's one night stand being a dangerous stalker. Bride of Chucky (1998), the eighties killer doll reunites with his real life girlfriend to reek hell on a young couple in love.

If your reading post your own.

1 comment:

Carrie Green said...

Love this list, I wish that I had rented one of these films rather than wasted two hours seeing the latest Bruce Willlis Die Hard film (made the last sequel look good, Bruce appeared to only have showed up for a paycheck) for Valentine's Day. Oh, well...