While watching horror movies with your significant other may bring you closer together, physically and emotionally, being in one is another story. Most relationships in horror end poorly with at least one party usually being dead by the credits. Then again, some films use the genre to present complex relationships that are either hard to define or abundant with issues. No matter how complicated these relationships may get, boy do we love watching them.
8. The Bride/Frankenstein’s Monster – The Bride of Frankenstein (1935)
You know when you’re both dead and re-animated, this isn’t going to be your average relationship. While the majority of the film revolves around the creation of the titular character, it is not until she finally arrives that we see how much of a mistake her creation has been. Upon seeing her “husband”, the Bride lets out the most piercing scream on film. She hides behind Henry Frankenstein as if he is her protector too scared to deal with the creature. The creature is so happy to finally have a friend and yet, she wants nothing to do with him. Today horror fans see the monster and his bride as an icon of horror couples, but when we look back at the original film, it becomes obvious it was a lot more complicated than that.
7. Christine Daae/The Phantom – The Phantom of the Opera (1989)
This movie is a hidden gem. Christine Daae is a modern actress auditioning for a Broadway role. But when a light falls and hits her head, she wakes up in Victorian London as a different version of herself. Robert Englund dons Freddy Krueger-esque prosthetics to take on the titular role and trades musical romanticism for gory obsession. The Phantom lures the young Christine to his lair, sleeps with her, and names her his bride, giving her a ring she cannot remove. As the Phantom explains:
“You love the music; I am the music. Our souls are one. Now, you are married to the music… You cannot serve two masters. Do not see another.”
With that she is bound to him unwillingly. She later sees him for the monster he is and sets fire to his lair before escaping and re-awaking in modern-day. She is invited to the home of one of the play’s producers where it is revealed he is the same Phantom. She destroys him once and for all but as he so poignantly reminds us, “love and music, they’re forever”.
6. Sidney Prescott/Billy Loomis – Scream (1996)
Talked about trouble in paradise. From the beginning of the film we’ve got dead parents, adulterous parents, intimacy issues, trust issues, and murder. And that’s mostly laid out in the first 20 minutes. By the time we get to the end of the film, Sidney (Neve Campbell) and Billy’s (Skeet Ulrich) relationship just got a whole messier. Halfway through the film Sidney has turned on her bf and fears he may be the Ghostface killer. But after he spends a night in prison, she takes him back, feeling silly that she ever doubted her love. After finally agreeing to have sex with Billy, Sidney learns that he was the killer all along. Oh and he and his best friend murdered her mom. Talk about a turn for the worse.
5. Mina Harker/Dracula – Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992)
When reincarnation plays a role in your relationship you know things are going to get messy. The relationship between Mina (Winona Ryder) and Dracula (Gary Oldman) is actually predated by Dracula and his bride, Elisabeta. Before Dracula got all blood sucky, his wife believed he died in battle and jumped from their castle, killing herself. Enraged by this, the Count turns on God and becomes the creature of the night he is now.
Now enter the Victorian version of Elisabeta, Mina. Mina is drawn to the mysterious foreign count, even though she is engaged to Jonathan Harker (Keanu Reaves). Soon, Mina realizes she does love Drac, even though she agrees to marry Jonathan. Mina convinces Dracula to turn her so that she may be with him for eternity. In the end though, it is only when Mina kills Dracula that they can both find their peace.
4. Helen Lyle/Candyman – Candyman (1992)
Helen Lyle’s seduction by the mysterious Candyman (Tony Todd) is what makes for one of the most memorable “couples” in horror cinema. Helen (Virginia Madsen) is slowly drawn in by this alluring figure and his request for her to be his victim. Talk about confusing. That and, well, he sort of makes it look like she is murdering everyone that he actually is. The entire film becomes a constant struggle between Helen’s need for justice and to understand the Candyman myth, as well the chance to give herself over to the darkness. And with that smooth voice, Candyman makes it very hard to resist.
3. Tiffany Valentine/Charles “Chucky” Lee Ray – Bride of Chucky (1998)
Oh Tiffany and Chucky… what a pair. These two homicidal nut jobs have managed to stay together through it all. But don’t let that fool you. They constantly bicker and it’s Chucky (Brad Dourif) himself who murdered Tiffany (Jennifer Tilly) and put her in a doll as well. Now that Chucky is back in a human form, thanks to Nica Pierce in 2017’s Cult of Chucky, the couple can be human again, even if that means things are a little different. Namely, Chucky is now a Nica (played by Brad Dourif’s real-life daughter Fiona Dourif). I guess the couple that slays together stays together, no matter what.
2. Veronica Quaifel/Seth Brundle – The Fly (1986)
When an eccentric scientist falls for a science journalist, what could possibly go wrong? A lot apparently. Seth Brundle’s (Jeff Goldblum) experiments lead to his transformation into the Brundlefly. As he transforms over the course of the film, he becomes aggressive and physically begins to change into a gruesome creature. Oh, and his girlfriend Ronnie (Geena Davis) learns she is pregnant she has nightmares of giving birth to a giant maggot. If that’s not enough to makes things rough, at the end of the film, Seth Brundle wants to use his teleportation pods to fuse Ronnie and their unborn child with himself into one entity. Yeah… there was no way this was going to end well.
1. Clarice Starling/Hannibal Lecter – Silence of the Lambs (1991)
Probably one of the most complicated relationships on film of all time, the rapport and relationship that develops between FBI trainee Clarice Starling (Jodie Foster) and serial killer Hannibal the Cannibal (Anthony Hopkins) is part of what makes this film so fantastic. From their first meeting, Lecter is nothing but well-mannered and respectful.
Throughout the film, we know Hannibal is a terrible person, but he is not presented as the villain of the film, that role goes to Buffalo Bill. Because of this, the audience is allowed to like Lecter. Lecter sees something in Clarice and respects her. After Lecter escapes, Starling tells her friend Ardellia that Lecter wouldn’t come after for revenge as he would consider it rude. Even with Lecter’s final phone call to Clarice he tells her “I’ve no plans to call on you, Clarice. The world is more interesting with you in it.” Their relationship is one that is hard to categorize in the film, but it’s complicated nature is what makes it so darn interesting.
Wow love and relationships get a whole lot more complicated when horror is involved. Which of these relationships is your favorite? Let us know what you think over on Twitter, Instagram, Reddit, and in the Horror Fiends of Nightmare on Film Street Facebook group!