Wearing Your Heart On Your Sleeve, Literally.

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Many of our favorite horror films of the past and present center around couples. Certain pairs have the know-how to survive. Others are doomed from the opening credits. Let’s analyze their skills, shall we?

Poltergeist– Directed by Tobe Hooper

Poltergeist

Steven (Craig T Nelson) and  Diane Freeling (JoBeth Williams) move their three children into a brand new  home. The family is filled with love and affection and hope until weird things begin to happen. Daughter Carol Ann is seduced by a demon that speaks only to her through the television set. Come to  find out that their house was built on a cemetery. Spirits that are rightfully cranky, torture and attempt to kidnap Carol Ann. Steven and Diane go through not one, but two kidnapping attempts. Just when you think everything is hunky dory, the house implodes on itself and all hell, pretty much literally, opens up in the back yard. Thankfully, with the power of love for their kids, Steven and Diane save the family… at least for the time being. Turn off the damn television and talk to each other, why don’t you?! These parents are big WINNERS.

Scream– Directed by Wes Craven

scream

Sidney (Neve Campbell) and Billy (Skeet Ulrich) are high school gf/bf whose town is being ravaged by a ghost faced killer. Theory has it that if they live by horror genre rules,  they just might survive. Their friends keep  falling victim as they break the rules. Somehow Sid survives, but not before breaking one of  the cardinal rules; staying a virgin. Once these two sleep together, the killer goes after her. Although, how can you stay alive if your boyfriend is the killer? Awkward and DOOMED. Sid survives most likely because,  well, who wouldn’t want revenge after all your friends are dead at the hands of the boy you loved and trusted? She’s pretty handy with any weapon that crosses her path and he’s just a whack-job teenage boy. Girls are more mature at that age.

The Babadook– Directed by Jennifer Kent

babadook

Not your traditional couple, a mother and son are plagued by a monster from a scary bedtime story. After Amelia (Essie Davis) loses her husband in a car accident on her way to give birth to her son, Samuel (Noah Wiseman), she carries the resentment towards his high strung personality. Samuel is one oddball kid. His irrational tantrums are only exacerbated by  the appearance of a strange book starring an eerie creature named Mister Babadook. As the film progresses, Amelia’s battle with the dark force is in exact parallel to her stress level in dealing with being a single mother. Once again, love prevails and self actualization is the key to keeping both “monsters” at bay. Huge WINNER.

The Shining– Directed by Stanley Kubrick

The shining

Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson) hauls his subservient wife Wendy (Shelley Duvall) and psychic son Danny (Danny Lloyd) to an empty hotel in the middle of the mountains. Isolation mixed with feelings of self loathing… and perhaps the element of murderous spirits, make this marriage a DOOMED one from the start. Power to Wendy for getting her son out of this situation and escaping an ax-wielding Jack. Wendy is light on her feet and scared as hell. She possesses both the fight and flight response at the appropriate times. High five for raising such a bright, albeit creepy, son who has the wherewithal to walk backwards in his own snowy footprints. Sorry, Jack. You’ve been outwitted  by a child. 

Only Lovers Left Alive– Directed by Jim Jarmusch

oLLA

Adam is a depressed indie rocker tired  of fame. Eve is his ever faithful lover.  When her younger, out of control sister appears on the scene, life as they know it  becomes threatened by truth and a new found reality. These two stand the test of time. Hundreds of years to be precise. Perhaps some of the last few vampires on earth, each understands the other’s longings, tiresome thoughts, and fears for the future. Cleverness, intelligence, passion, and uniqueness keep these two strong in the end. That, and being a freaking vampire. Coolness factor turned on it’s end. Relationship WINNERS.

Rosemary’s Baby– Directed by Roman Polanski

rosemarys baby

Rosemary (Mia Farrow)and Guy Woodhouse (John Cassavetes) move into a new apartment and meet an innumerable amount of weirdo neighbors. Rosemary becomes pregnant, which should be a joyous occasion for husband and wife, but in this case, Mommy has suspicions about the who, what, and when of this conception. Struggling through illness and an oddly nonchalant husband, Rosemary is among the DOOMED relationships on this list. You can’t win in a marriage where your spouse is chummy with a group of Satanists and your kid is the spawn of the Devil.

A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night– Directed by Ana Lily Amirpour

AGWHAAN

Arash (Arash Mirandi) meets a girl (Sheila Vand) late one night when she rescues him form a sticky situation. The two start an alluring relationship based upon escapism and very few words. The twist in this love story is she’s a vampire! So few films use a female protagonist and make her the judge of good and evil. Arash and The Girl are both like minded in leaving behind their dead end environment (no pun intended). On a journey to right the wrongs in this dark and empty ghost town (again, no pun intended) These  two choose love over hate in the end. Throw in the mix of some incredible music and the film being shot entirely in black and white and you’ve most definitely got a WINNER.

Well, what have we learned here?

1.The power of love, children (Satan’s spawn excluded), and supernatural powers that you can control, help a lot when contending with an all consuming darkness.

2. Ladies… only stand by your man until he becomes a hazard to your health.

3.Couples that fight evil (or angst) together, stay together. Teamwork makes the heart grow fonder.

Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone…

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