We’re clearly obsessed with the month of Halloween (OCTOBER, it’s OCTOBER – we know, we swear, we keep forgetting) and the wonderful things that come along with it — like having an excuse to sit down with your favorite creepy films. Sometimes, though, you don’t have the stomach for an out-and-out murderfest, but still want your spooky Halloween vibes. Well, we’ve got the fix for you. Below are five of our favorite romantic* Halloween movies for your low-key scary and/or date night pleasure.
*romantic only in the literal sense. We don’t endorse dating somebody who wants to kill people, is already dead, wants to be dead, or is the personification of death. Standards, people.
1. Sweeney Todd
Obviously, if nearly every Tim Burton movie were available on Netflix, nearly every Tim Burton movie would be on this list. Creepy love stories that give you the warm and fuzzies but also make you deeply uncomfortable about said warm-fuzzies are kind of his MO, which makes them perfect for Halloween.
Sweeney Todd is based on the classic musical by the same name, about a barber-slash-serial-killer and the piemaker a floor below him who, erm… repurposes all the bodies. Tim Burton’s version especially highlights the twisted, semi one-sided, pseuo-romantic relationship between Sweeney Todd and Mrs. Lovett. Just make sure you’re not eating when you turn this on.
2. Corpse Bride
Another Tim Burton classic, Corpse Bride tells the story of a murdered bride who is accidentally wed to a terrified, but still living groom-to-be while he’s nervously practicing his vows. It’s right in that Burton-y sweet spot of truly uncomfortable and really lovely and the PIANO MUSIC, GUYS. Sosososo good.
“Dear diary, my teen angst bullshit has a body count…”
Not necessarily a Halloween or horror movie, but frankly Heathers should be on every list of movies to watch EVER. Easily the best and most distinctive teen movie to come out of the ’80s, it follows Veronica Sawyer as she navigates the truly social scene of high school, and the even-more-dangerous-than-she-realizes bad boy she falls in love with.
Super dark, super quotable, you’re going to love it TOO MUCH.
4. Sleepy Hollow
ANOTHER Tim Burton. We know we’re getting repetitive, but seriously, he’s the king of weirdly romantic, slightly scary movies. Sleepy Hollow is no exception, centering itself around the love story between Ichabod Crane and Katrina Van Tassel as they deal with the Headless Horseman.
Warning: if you’re not into blood, you should probably tap out of Tim Burton’s live-action movies. It doesn’t look real, and is very bright red and cartoony, but it makes us a little queasy, so, y’know. Now you know.
5. Meet Joe Black
Kind of a weird choice, we know. But it’s a totally underrated film and you’ve got to check it out! It tells the story of Death (aka young Brad Pitt aka SWOON CITY, ya’ll) coming to visit a family when the patriarch isn’t ready to die. He’s adorable and out of sorts and awkward and totally falls in love with the man he’s supposed to be killing’s daughter, and it’s just all kinds of good. And also totally Halloween-y, because the personification of Death is nothing if not grim.
BONUS: Bates Motel
Not a movie, but a TV show you FOR SURE need to check out. It’s currently streaming on Netflix, and has one season left to air. It’s a prequel to Psycho, following the evolution of serial killer Norman Bates in his teen years, and his relationship with his mother — who, really, is the most important part of the show.
Vera Farmiga deserves easily, like, four dozen Emmys for her truly compelling performance. Whether the romance is between Norma Bates and the smoldering Sheriff, Norman’s brother and Norman’s best friend, or (shudder) between Norma and Norman is up to debate, but it’s totally a must-see.
Now, get ready to open your hearts and cover your eyes.