Horror movies get all the attention around Halloween, but not everyone sees the fun in getting scared. Thankfully, there's an underrated canon of romantic comedies that celebrate the spooky season too. So if you're more of a lover than a frightener, settle in with a bowl full of candy or your favorite spiced apple cider, and enjoy a different kind of Halloween viewing party with these eight spooktacular romances.
"Warm Bodies" (2013)
She was a girl, he was a zombie. Can we make it any more obvious? This 2013 riff on "Romeo and Juliet" stars Nicholas Hoult as a zombie, who develops a crush on a human survivor named Julie (Teresa Palmer). That hilariously subversive set-up allows the movie to squeeze in lots of laughs around its surprisingly sweet central romance. Plus "Warm Bodies" doubles as a moving metaphor about the way it can sometimes feel like we’re sleepwalking through our own lives — and the power we have to change that.
"Practical Magic" (1998)
"Practical Magic" may have flopped with critics when it first hit theaters, but it's since been reclaimed as one of the best, most unusual romantic comedies of the ’90s. Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman star as modern-day witches haunted by a family curse that dooms their lovers to untimely deaths. With the help of their kooky aunts (Stockard Channing and Dianne Wiest) and some midnight margaritas, the two sisters must figure out how to forge their own romantic paths in life — all while dealing with an evil undead ex who comes back to haunt them. With Aidan Quinn on hand to provide some swooning romance, "Practical Magic" is also a lovely celebration of sisterhood and female solidarity.
"Shaun of the Dead" (2004)
If bromances are more your thing, look no further than "Shaun of the Dead." The outrageously funny zombie comedy, from director Edgar Wright and his co-writer/star Simon Pegg, centers on a London slacker who suddenly finds himself in the middle of a zombie apocalypse. While Pegg's titular Shaun gets a conventional love story with his ex-girlfriend Liz (Kate Ashfield), "Shaun of the Dead" is even more so about the unbreakable bond between Shaun and his best friend Ed (Nick Frost). You know what they say: bros before zo(mbies).
"Bell, Book and Candle" (1958)
Transport back to the beatnik era with this swinging 1950s comedy. Kim Novak stars as Gillian Holroyd, a glamorous witch living in Greenwich Village. Looking to add some excitement to her life, Gillian casts a love spell on her stuffy neighbor Shep (James Stewart). The opposites-attract pair are up to all sorts of zany antics on the way to true love. And though this enchanting film is actually set at Christmas time, that doesn't stop it from being a great Halloween watch too — especially for fans of 'Bewitched," the TV show it inspired.
"Teen Witch" (1989)
For a different kind of witchy love story, try the 1989 cult classic "Teen Witch." When nerdy high schooler Louise (Robyn Lively) discovers she's secretly a witch, she casts a spell to catch the eye of the hottest guy in school (Dan Gauthier). Yet as Louise's magic-induced popularity grows, she learns some important lessons about being true to yourself. Beyond its sweet teen love story, "Teen Witch" also delivers some glorious 1980s fashions, an iconic rap scene, and a kitschy tone that makes it truly unforgettable (for better or for worse).
"Corpse Bride" (2005)
Perfect for romance fans of all ages, "Corpse Bride" is a stop-motion musical fantasy adventure in the style of "The Nightmare Before Christmas." Mild-mannered Victor Van Dort (Johnny Depp) is all set to marry his true love Victoria Everglot (Emily Watson), only to find himself unintentionally entangled with a reanimated corpse named Emily (Helena Bonham Carter). Filled with co-director Tim Burton’s signature whimsically macabre style, this unusual love story hops from the land of the living to the land of the dead and back again — proving that even though the path to wedded bliss is seldom easy, it's definitely worth it.
"Little Shop of Horrors" (1986)
Another musical romance perfect for Halloween is "Little Shop of Horrors." With catchy songs from "The Little Mermaid" composers Alan Menken and Howard Ashman, this horror-comedy tells the tale of nerdy florist Seymour Krelborn (Rick Moranis), his stylish co-worker Audrey (Ellen Greene), and the giant man-eating extraterrestrial plant that comes to dominate their lives. Equal parts goofy, scary and sweet, "Little Shop" is a beloved staple for musical theater lovers everywhere. And the good news for romance fans is that this iconic film adaptation delivers a far happier ending than the one in the original stage show.
"The Mummy" (1999)
Though "The Mummy" isn't a traditional rom-com or a traditional Halloween movie, it's got a perfect blend of horror, romance, and comedy, plus some swashbuckling action too. Rachel Weisz stars as a 1920s Egyptologist on the hunt for an ancient lost city, while Brendan Fraser is the roguish American adventurer ,who becomes her guide. The duo light up the screen with their electric chemistry, while the film is filled with creepy (but still PG-13 appropriate) horror movie imagery involving flesh-eating scarab beetles and all-powerful mummies. So think outside the sarcophagus this spooky season, and use this classic summer blockbuster for an evening of fun, romantic Halloween viewing.
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