Personally speaking, I'm sick of reading about "the 20 romcoms on Netflix guaranteed to get you in the mood" – so, in the spirit of thinking outside the box, here's something a little different: your anti-Valentine's Netflix guide.
Each of these movies is about as romantic as a root vegetable, because really, you can do better than Silver Linings Playbook this year. So, invite your date round to your place, fire up the Netflix, and give him or her something a little different. The good news? If you do get lucky after watching one of these movies, you're a boss. A hero. You've got game.
If not, you at least saw a great film. Every cloud, right?
1. The Babadook
The Babadook is the kind of film that will make you swear off ever having kids. Amelia is a widow struggling to raise her troublesome son. Samuel is obnoxious, temperamental, highly punchable. You will hate him and have every sympathy for her... at least, to begin with.
When Amelia discovers a children's book about a top hat-wearing, bird-like monster known as The Babadook, and all hell breaks loose. Gradually, the film toys with your perceptions of the two lead characters, until suddenly it's Samuel who has your pity. Truly one of the most terrifying horror flicks in years, The Babadook will leave you traumatized.
2. The Descent
A group of women, a series of underground caves, and a bloodthirsty hunter. What could possibly go wrong? Except, you know, everything. There's not much that needs to be said about The Descent beyond the fact that it's one of the most downright terrifying horror movies ever made. Guaranteed to drive your date right into your arms.
3. Kill Bill Vol. 1 & 2
A yellow tracksuit. A sword made at the hand of a legendary swordsmith, so sharp it could "cut God". A group of elite assassins known as the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad. A duel in a snowy Japanese garden. And a revenge mission bloodier than anything outside of Korean cinema.
Quentin Tarantino rarely puts a foot wrong, but every moment of this two-part martial arts epic is dripping in style, black humor and the thrill of vengeance. With The Bride (Uma Thurman) in the driving seat and Lucy Liu's formidable Tokyo mafia boss O-Ren Ishii among her targets, both volumes of Kill Bill are truly killer.
If your date doesn't love this film, decapitation by sword should be given some serious consideration.
4. Love (Gaspar Noé)
Love is the most sexually explicit film on Netflix. But despite promising and delivering plenty of sex – real, not simulated, in a way that leaves nothing to the imagination and will make you glad you never saw it in 3D – Love is just as memorable for its visceral, sometimes violent portrayal of a relationship.
This is not a romantic movie, and if you watch it with your date you may find yourselves arguing over the pros and cons of monogamy once the credits roll. Proceed with caution.
5. Mad Men
You may think Mad Men is an odd inclusion in this list, not least because it makes absolutely everything about the sixties, from chain-smoking to playing the perfect housewife, look outrageously good.
But there's a subtle feminist commentary burning away beneath all that cigarette ash, and your differing views about whether or not Don Draper is a God among men or just a fool who can't keep his pants zipped could make things awkward with your other half.
The '60s were cool, but cheating on a woman like Betty Draper is so not.
I almost included Lars von Trier's Nymphomaniac in this list, but then I decided that the Danish provocateur's other recent masterpiece, Melancholia, would be a better fit.
In Melancholia, Kirsten Dunst's Justine and her sister Claire must deal with the strong possibility that a gas planet will collide with Earth, bringing with it the death of all life. Justine believes the collision is a good thing, because life is inherently evil. Claire, unsurprisingly, disagrees.
The premise of this movie may be unrelentingly bleak, but what better way to get you laid than with the threat of Earth's imminent destruction?
For those without Netflix... 'It Follows'
The bad news? It Follows is the story of a teenager being hunted by a demon after having sex. The demon literally follows her everywhere (clue's in the title). The good news? You can pass the demon on by having sex with somebody else, so if you're spending Valentine's with somebody you don't intend to see again, this could be the one for you.
Being a horror film, it goes without saying the characters make dumb decisions, but the hazy aesthetic, soft electronic soundtrack and a handful of great performances – especially from Maika Monroe as the teen attempting to shake her demon – make It Follows a surprisingly smart, left-field horror flick.
It Follows is available to buy on iTunes, DVD, Blu-ray and Amazon Video.
And on HBO Now... 'Gone Girl'
The first few months are always the best. You love the way she plays with her hair, or how he laughs at his own jokes. And then something happens. A turning point. You don't know exactly when, but suddenly you hate the way he laughs at his own jokes. You roll your eyes when she plays with her hair like that.
Perhaps that assessment of relationships only applies to the super-cynical, but Gillian Flynn, author of the New York Times bestselling thriller Gone Girl, is among the super-cynical, and David Fincher's twisty, black-hearted adaptation of the novel will make you seriously reconsider the merits of marriage.
In Gone Girl, both Nick (Ben Affleck) and Amy (Rosamund Pike) have become villains in their own relationship. They no longer love the little things they loved before. This film will toy with your sympathies and keep you guessing until the gloriously twisted end. It also features a sex scene so graphically bloody that your Valentine's Day sex drive will promptly vanish into the night.