There’s nothing like a good horror movie to get the heart pumping. This could be why the genre is often sought out on date nights. Still, depending on the situation or a significant other’s preferences, too much of a good scare can spoil a romantic evening.
However, the chills and thrills shouldn’t be put aside altogether. There are plenty of movies out there that are perfect for the occasion. They still have some frightful elements, but not so much that a person’s date is running for the door. Additionally, many of these films include a little romance of their own.
10 Halloweentown (1998)
Halloweentown is a beloved Disney Channel movie on par with Hocus Pocus, so it has some spooky bits. However, for the most part, it’s a family-friendly movie that revolves around Marnie Piper (Kimberly J. Brown), a witch raised as an average child alongside her two siblings, Sophie (Emily Roeske) and Dylan (Joey Zimmerman).
Despite their mother’s best efforts to raise them in a typical home, their grandmother, Splendora Agatha “Aggie” Cromwell (Debbie Reynolds), has different plans. This takes the trio on a magical journey into another realm known as Halloweentown, where all sorts of monsters live. However, not everything is as it seems, and they soon must stop an evil creature from kidnapping all the town’s supernatural residents.
9 The Curse of Bridge Hollow (2022)
Netflix’s The Curse of Bridge Hollow ups the ante a bit regarding terror, so it has some reasonably scary moments, mainly since it includes a paranormal Jack-o-lantern that brings Halloween decorations to life. As a result, they run amuck and terrorize the citizens of Bridge Hollow.
Still, compared to a regular horror film, it’s relatively tame. Nonetheless, the premise is intriguing and has enough humor that a couple looking for a good laugh can still enjoy the experience, especially if they’re Marlon Wayne and Halloween fans. After all, nothing brings on the creepy holiday spirit like an evil curse meant to make every day All Hollow’s Eve.
8 Earnest Scared Stupid (1991)
Earnest Scared Stupid is a cult classic that fans of the horror genre can appreciate if they’re in the mood for some light frights and a lot of humor. Jim Varney’s Earnest P. Worrell steals the show as he battles against an evil troll bent on stealing children’s souls by turning them into wooden figurines to feed himself and his offspring.
However, what makes this movie so unique is the sheer absurdity of it all. There’s no other way to describe a narrative that uses one of the most bizarre but iconically lethal movie weapons ever — milk. Even better, Earnest is an underdog-type hero since he’s viewed as the village idiot by all of his friends and acquaintances.
7 Scooby-Doo (2002)
The Scooby-Doo franchise doesn’t need an introduction. Regardless, the 2002 live adaptation is definitely a must-watch on date night. It perfectly transplants the members of Mystery, Inc. out of the realm of animation and brings them into reality by giving them real-world problems. In short, their differences cause the gang to disband.
Nevertheless, these difficulties make the movie perfect for a romantic occasion — the film is a story of redemption and forgiveness, so it’s likely to give viewers some warm fuzzy feelings. Either way, Scooby-Doo captures the magic of the cartoons and riffs on pop culture, so it’s entertaining and fun despite dealing with ghosts and the paranormal.
6 Hocus Pocus (1993)
Hocus Pocus is another one of those movies that should be on anyone’s radar when trying to figure out something faintly eerie to watch with their significant other. The film is not only a Halloween-themed classic that includes witches, a living human-flesh-bound book, a talking cat, a reanimated corpse and a 300-year-old curse, but it also touches on the many facets of affection.
Yet, despite all that, Hocus Pocus is still approved for all ages. It’s a Disney movie, after all. So, the film’s lighthearted and bouncy, with a few fantastic musical numbers that any couple might sing for days.
5 The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
The Nightmare Before Christmas might be the ideal movie for the Fall and Winter seasons because it combines aspects of Halloween with Christmas. As a result, you left with one cozy and heartfelt film that’s great to watch while snuggled up on the couch next to the special someone.
Moreover, it’s a musical about overcoming unrequited love that has creepy (but cute) undertones, so it’s a win-win. Granted, overall, The Nightmare Before Christmas isn’t a perfect movie. However, who cares if it’s flawless if the picture still brings people together over their shared love of a sweet narrative with some dark nuances?
4 Beetlejuice (1988)
For an ’80s movie about the afterlife, Beetlejuice has some romantic bits. Michael Keaton’s titular character might diminish some of those sentiments through his crude and outlandish behavior. However, Adam (Alec Baldwin) and Barbara Mailand (Geena Davis) certainly make up for it. After all, they’re a cute couple just trying to find their way after meeting an untimely demise.
Still, their love for one another makes Beetlejuice worth watching on a memorable evening. Moreover, the contrasting differences between them and Charles (Jeffrey Jones) and Delia Deetz (Catherine O’Hara) slightly turn the movie into a romantic comedy where two distinct couples depict different opposing models concerning relationships.
3 Coraline (2009)
Coraline does an excellent job with suspense without being overly thrilling. It’s low-key in some spots but captivatingly charged in others, especially once Coraline Jones (Dakota Fanning) discovers The Beldam’s (Teri Hatcher) true nature. However, it’s not strictly romantic in any way. That’s not to say it doesn’t engage with ideas connected to love; Coraline‘s just more focused on familial devotion than anything else.
Still, depending on a couple’s family dynamic, that might not be bad. As a result, Coraline might be a film best reserved for a date night with the kids. However, the only thing to remember is that the movie can be a bit much for some children.
2 Haunted Mansion (2023)
Although it’s not exactly a horror movie, Haunted Mansion is definitely more terrifying than most, especially since it has some scenes that fall into the jump scare category. Nevertheless, the film does have enough emotional appeal to make it a nice inclusion for an intimate rendezvous, depending on a couple’s mood – it’s a tad of tear-jerker.
This is because of the circumstances where the main protagonists, Ben Matthias (LaKeith Stanfield) and Gabbie (Rosario Dawson), find themselves: both are widows brought together by a heavily haunted estate. However, don’t fret; Haunted Mansion has a satisfying and happy ending, but a box of tissues might be necessary before getting there.
1 The Addams Family (1991)
There’s no way around it; for the ultimate date night movie experience, look no further than The Addams Family. After all, Gomez and Morticia Addams are pop culture’s best example of a healthy relationship. They both love each other profoundly and respectively. The pair complement each other at every turn and support one another, so there’s no better film.
Every incarnation of The Addams Family demonstrates this quite well, but there’s just something about Raul Julia’s and Anjelica Huston’s portrayals of Gomez and Morticia that’s hard to beat. Their love is dark and earnest and, more importantly, so fascinating that one can’t help but try and strive for a comparable scenario with their significant other, and rightfully so.