Guillermo del Toro’s win for “The Shape of Water” in the Golden Globes has created quite a stir on the internet, especially to fans of the monster romance genre. If you haven’t seen the film yet, it’s basically about a woman who finds herself in a whirlwind romance with an amphibious humanoid creature. Yup, you heard that right.
This movie may be all sorts of weird. I mean, a human falling in love with an actual monster? *cue overly dramatic gasp* For once, the ‘monster’ in question isn’t some inhumanly beautiful sparkling vampire or buffed up werewolf but something actually quite frightening and strange. However, this genre of paranormal romance in film has been around for a while now, and if you ever search “monster romance” on Tumblr or Twitter, you’d be surprised as to how many people are into it. Some are even commending Del Toro for making their fish man romance dreams into a reality.
But before “The Shape of Water,” there have been many creature features that preceded it, which yes, involved a whole lot of loving between a human protagonist and a being that’s a little weirder than your typical vamp or werewolf. So let’s binge watch these old but classic films that will make us think twice about these odd romantic pairings.
The monster: A mysterious Italian girl who turns out to be a shapeshifting mutant
The love interest: A young tourist going on a soul-searching trip in Italy
If you’ve ever felt like going to a foreign city to have some alone time, and fantasized about falling in love with a local, then this is the movie for you. Well, sort of. Think “Before Sunrise,” but set in Italy and with a weirder stranger to connect with. The story is about Evan, a young man who travels to Italy after he lost his mom to cancer. He meets Louise, whom he’s wary of in the beginning but later on falls in love with her. Of course, that’s when he discovers that she’s actually some crazy type of mutant reptile who has lived for 2,000 years.
Warm Bodies (2013)
The monster: R, a brain eating zombie
The love interest: Julie, a human trying to survive the zombie apocalypse
“Warm Bodies,” based on a novel of the same name, is a love story between a zombie and a human, with a lot of references to the classic Romeo and Juliet tale (yes, there is a balcony scene). A lot of people were skeptical about the film in the beginning considering it didn’t come out much longer after “Twilight,” but it turned out to be a critical success. The movie revolves around the idea that love can change people, like, literally change them and even cure zombies and turn them back into humans. Plus, it is just me or is zombified Nicolas Hoult even cuter?
Edward Scissorhands (1990)
The monster: Edward, a corpse-like man with scissors for hands
The love interest: A regular teenage girl named Kim
“Edward Scissorhands” is about a man named Edward, who, obviously has scissors instead of hands. Duh. He is an artificial human created by an inventor (think Victor Frankenstein’s iconic creature but a lot less scary and intimidating), who died before he could attach hands to him. Edward lives alone in the mansion after the inventor dies, and is discovered by a local Avon lady who takes him in as her own. Conflicts arise as Kim, the daughter of the family who takes him in, develops an attraction for him. People soon grow terrified of what he can do with his “hands.”
The monster: Candyman, a local legend who kills the people who summon him
The love interest: Helen, a graduate student studying urban legends
You know how it is in most horror films. Curiosity kills the cat. In this movie, curiosity (and her need to finish her graduate thesis) led Helen into discovering Candyman, the vindictive ghost of a slave during the Civil War. Candyman is also responsible for the deaths happening in her town since his spirit can be summoned while playing a mirror game similar to Bloody Mary. Helen then finds out that Candyman fell in love with a white woman when he was alive—and she looks exactly like her.
Life After Beth (2014)
The monster: Beth, a girl who turns into a zombie after being brought back from the dead
The love interest: Beth’s boyfriend, Zach
Devastated by his girlfriend’s sudden death, Zach tries to make sense of their relationship, and how it was already falling apart, only to discover his should-be-dead-but-not-quite girlfriend is in her home, living life as if nothing happened. But things get really weird when Beth begins to rot and crave human flesh.
The Fly (1986)
The monster: A scientist-turned-mutated fly
The love interest: Veronica, a journalist
Some science experiments have great outcomes (ehem, Captain America), while others, not so much. In an attempt to prove that his invention works, scientist Seth tries to teleport himself, unknowingly with a fly inside the pod. This in turn merges his body with the fly, with cravings for sweet things. Then he starts to mutate into a human-fly thing. Fair warning: This movie, despite having some romance in it, is kind of really gross.
The monster: A new bride who starts to mutate after a walk in the forest
The love interest: Her clueless husband who has no idea what to do with her
Talk about a vacation gone wrong. Newlyweds Paul and Bea planned a romantic honeymoon at a cabin in the forest, only for it to end up with Bea getting impregnated by some unknown creature in the woods. Both have their love tested when Bea starts going a bit nuts, physically, mentally and emotionally.
By Bea Amador