Cool autumn nights seem like the perfect time to put on a dark romantic movie, but the truth is we'd watch these macabre love stories any time of the year.
From monsters to murder, these movies all have a compelling romance at the center, though we can’t always guarantee a happy ending. Here are 10 dark romance movies you can stream tonight.
The Addams Family
In addition to being creepy, kooky, mysterious, and spooky, the Addams Family have been a beloved part of pop culture for generations. This 1991 adaptation of the New Yorker comic strip sees the family reunited with Uncle Fester (Christopher Lloyd) 25 years after he disappeared in the Bermuda Triangle. The family is overjoyed to be back together again, but all may not be what it seems. Meanwhile, a group of con artists scheme to get their hands on the Addams fortune.
Over the years, The Addams Family and its 1993 sequel have become Halloween classics. Apart from the general bizarreness of the family, what really makes these movies is the love between Gomez (Raul Julia) and Morticia (Angelica Huston). After years of marriage and two children, the passion between these two has never waned. We couldn’t find a better example of couple goals if we tried.
Cruel Intentions is a high school romance movie with a dark twist. The film is a modern adaptation of the 1782 novel, Dangerous Liaisons, shifting the setting from the world of the French nobility to that of rich prep-school kids in New York City. Step-siblings Kathryn (Sarah Michelle Gellar) and Sebastian (Ryan Phillippe) make a bet on whether or not Sebastian will be able to seduce Annette (Reese Witherspoon), the virgin daughter of their school’s headmaster. If he doesn’t succeed, Kathryn gets Sebastian’s 1950s sports car; if he does, Kathryn will have sex with him.
Sebastian begins pursuing Annette, but a hitch arises in his plan when he starts to fall in love with her. What makes Cruel Intentions so dark is that it relishes just how evil some of its characters are, especially Kathryn. Sarah Michelle Gellar’s performance is so devious that more than 20 years later, she’s still one of the most iconic high school mean girls in movie history.
A cult classic and one of the most beloved dark comedies of all time, Heathers tells the story of Veronica Sawyer (Winona Ryder). Veronica is friends with a trio of the most popular and powerful girls in her school, the Heathers, but she often feels like the odd one out. When the mysterious and alluring J.D. (Christian Slater) comes to town, Veronica finds a kindred spirit.
At first, J.D. seems like exactly what Veronica has been waiting for, a way to rebel against the monotony of 80s suburban life, but when one of the Heathers winds up dead, all hell breaks loose. Veronica’s fun new relationship spirals out of control as she finds herself in the middle of a murder spree. Filled with witty dialogue and send-ups of 80s high school stereotypes, Heathers is the perfect dark romance to watch this Halloween season.
Little Shop of Horrors
Little Shop of Horrors is definitely a rare breed. From the same songwriting team that brought us The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast, this musical is based on a low-budget early 1960s sci-fi movie. It follows florist shop worker Seymour (Rick Moranis) who finds himself the owner of a mysterious Venus flytrap-like plant that has a taste for human blood. The plant brings him and the shop a lot of positive attention, so Seymour is forced to find ways to keep the plant fed without getting caught.
Despite being a movie that centers around a man-eating plant, Little Shop of Horrors also has a saccharine-sweet love story. Seymour pines for his coworker Audrey (Ellen Greene), a kind woman who yearns for the white picket fence life but always finds herself dating the wrong guys. As the flower shop gets more successful, Seymour and Audrey spend more time together and grow closer. Their duet “Suddenly Seymour” is an all-time favorite among Broadway fans.
Seeking A Friend for the End of the World
You know you’re in for a wild ride with Seeking A Friend for the End of the World based on its title alone. As an asteroid hurtles towards Earth, humanity finds itself with only three weeks left to live. Dodge (Steve Carell) has just been left by his wife and his neighbor Penny (Keira Knightley) accidentally reveals to him that she’d been having an affair. Dodge soon discovers a letter from his first love Olivia telling him that he was the love of her life.
Dodge tells Penny that he will help her get home to England in time to say goodbye to her family if she helps him find Olivia, and the two set out on a journey to Dodge’s hometown in Delaware. Along the way, they encounter a bizarre cast of characters preparing for the apocalypse in their own ways. The pair also grow closer as they continue on. Seeking A Friend for the End of the World is an unexpectedly charming story about our ability to find connections when everything around us is crumbling.
The Nightmare Before Christmas
You know the age-old question: is Nightmare Before Christmas a Halloween movie or a Christmas movie? We’re still not sure, but either way, this Tim Burton classic is a great love story. Jack Skellington (Chris Sarandon) is the Pumpkin King of Halloween Town but yearns for something more than the same spooky celebrations he organizes every year. He finds that something more when he stumbles upon the bright lights and warm atmosphere of Christmas Town.
Jack sets out to bring Christmas to Halloween Town, which morphs into a misguided quest to kidnap Santa Claus. Meanwhile, Sally (Catherine O’Hara) admires and yearns for Jack from afar. As Jack’s plans start to spiral out of control, she uses her psychic abilities to help him. The scene where they finally declare their love for each other has become both beloved and iconic.
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Screenwriter Charlie Kaufman is known for his mind-bending stories that use science-fiction and surrealist tropes to comment on some of the most real parts of our lives, and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is his version of a love story. In the world of the movie, technology exists that lets people erase their memories of others. After they break up, Clementine (Kate Winslet) erases her memories of Joel (Jim Carrey). When Joel discovers this, he also sets out to have his own memories of her erased.
As Joel has his memories erased, he relives his relationship with Clementine backward. He begins to realize how much he still loves her despite their messy breakup and tries to fight the erasing process as it happens. Eternal Sunshine was praised upon its release and has become a favorite among movie lovers for its unique approach to themes of love and memory.
Grosse Pointe Blank
What does a hitman do when he’s invited to his high school reunion? This is the issue facing Martin (John Cusack) in Grosse Pointe Blank. He finds himself on assignment to kill a whistleblower near his hometown, so he decides to attend the reunion, where he reconnects with his high school sweetheart Debi (Minnie Driver). As their romance blooms, things are complicated as Martin is being followed by another hitman who is trying to kill him as well as two NSA agents.
Despite the violent premise, Grosse Pointe Blank is a kind of comedy of errors. Martin routinely ignores his assignment in favor of wooing Debi, who initially refuses to believe that he’s actually a hitman.
Based on a 2010 novel of the same name, Warm Bodies is Romeo and Juliet in the zombie apocalypse. R (Nicholas Hoult) is a zombie who spends his days wandering around an abandoned airport and craving human brains. One day, he encounters Julie (Teresa Palmer), a surviving human who is on a foraging mission to find medical supplies, and his heart beats for the first time since he became a zombie. After he eats her boyfriend’s brain and gains his memories of Julie, R begins to fall in love with her.
R’s affection for Julie leads him to rescue her from a zombie attack and bring her to an airplane where she can be safe. Over time, the two bond through listening to records and playing games. R also finds that his growing love for Julie seems to be turning him back into a human. But can their love overcome the literal zombie apocalypse?
Barry (Adam Sandler) is not the type of person you’d expect to be the leading man in a romance movie. He’s socially awkward, has rage issues, and is deeply lonely due in large part to his seven overbearing sisters. He’s also in the midst of attempting to pull off a con-job by buying ridiculous amounts of pudding to acquire a million frequent flyer miles. Oh, and he’s being stalked by the henchmen of a phone sex line operator.
Still, Barry manages to form a connection with his sister’s coworker Lena (Emily Watson). Despite all the chaos in his life, Barry finds that he is finally free of the loneliness he’s been dealing with for so long. Punch-Drunk Love is a surprisingly touching love story that also introduced the world to Adam Sandler’s impressive dramatic acting chops.
Featured still from The Nightmare Before Christmas via Touchstone Pictures