It's that time of year again, folks. The time when boyfriends and girlfriends, husbands and wives, Welshmen and sheep all buy each other chocolates and flowers that cost ten times the price than they would any other day. Everyone wants to declare their love for each other, leaving us singletons feeling hopelessly alone and unwanted. I think in my 22 years on this Earth I've received one #ValentinesDay card — and that was only out of pity. But you know what? It's OK, because I've lined up a bunch of alternative love stories for us to watch with a tub of ice cream and some tissues. In fact, these films will make you feel extremely glad to be single. The movie world is filled with clichéd, feel-good romantic movies, so let's explore the darker side of love.
5. 'The Piano Teacher'
Before Austrian auteur Michael Haneke made his genuinely touching love story, Amour, he opted for a slightly less conventional romance with The Piano Teacher. It's the tale of a seriously messed-up woman named Erika who gets her sexual kicks from slicing her vaginal regions with a razor blade and urinating beside couples having sex in their car. She also sleeps beside her controlling mother every night, which is a bit odd when you're pushing 40.
Everything changes when she teaches the piano to a sexy young student though, as they begin a dangerous love affair that will change them both forever. It's a disturbing masterpiece which makes Fifty Shades Of Grey look like Winnie The Pooh thanks to Haneke's restrained directing style and Isabelle Huppert's sensational performance. The Piano Teacher is an unpredictable, gripping affair with an ending that will leave you gasping for air.
4. 'The Loved Ones'
This gory Aussie thriller will remind you why you never bothered going to the prom. Everything goes wrong when a shy girl nicknamed Princess musters up all the courage to ask #XavierSamuels to the prom and he politely turns her down. Little does he know that Princess is a complete and utter psychopath, and her family could give the Sawyers from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre a run for their money. Princess and her crazy dad decide to have a prom of their own by kidnapping Xavier and torturing him at their home. It's a pretty entertaining horror film that manages to keep the thrills and spills coming despite its limited premise.
Lovers of slow-burn horror will adore Lucky McKee's May. It's the sad, twisted tale of a hopelessly shy and awkward girl called (you guessed it) #May. The poor girl won't say boo to a goose so she gets very hot under the collar when a nice young man keeps bumping into her in the laundry room. Sparks fly and they embark on an escalating relationship until he realizes that May's a total weirdo. Needless to say, things do not end well. The less you know the better, but I can guarantee that watching May on Valentine's Day will make you glad to be single and friendless.
One of my favorite horror directors is a little-known Belgian called #FabriceDuWelz. I fell in love with him as soon as I saw #Calvaire (or, The Ordeal as some may call it), which is the opening chapter to Du Welz's "Mad Love" Trilogy. Horror regular, Laurent Lucas plays a desperate actor who seems to attract unwanted attention. Everyone he meets seems to fall in love with him, including an old lady at a care home as well as a staff member there. When his car breaks down in a foggy forest, he stumbles upon a deranged old innkeeper who, of course, falls in love with him and keeps him prisoner. It's an intensely scary film that features a choking atmosphere of dread and spine-tingling surrealism. As with May, the less you know about this shocker, the more you'll be rewarded.
Alleluia is the second part to Fabrice Du Welz's "Mad Love" trilogy and is arguably the most twisted romance of them as it's inspired by true story. Laurent Lucas returns, however this time he is the psychopath along with lover, Lola Dueñas who embark on a passionate killing spree. Based on the Lonely Hearts Killers who murdered 20 women in the 1940s, the idea is that Laurent seduces single women and then they both kill her to get her money. There's a very raw, grainy feel to this film, which makes for terribly disturbing viewing. The performances by the two main stars are nothing short of spellbinding and there are a number of surreal scenes that will leave you deeply unsettled, including an erratic nude dance around a bonfire. #Alleluia will have you singing "Hallelujah" for being single.
So, there's no need to feel lonely on Valentine's Day. Who the hell wants to be in a relationship when you can end up as crazy as these people? What's your favorite twisted horror to watch on February 14th?