I’ve already covered the phenomenon of people who fall in love while trying not to die in a horror movie in a much earlier post. My motivation for doing so, as a horror geek, was a celebration of a pattern that occurs in many horror movies. The mandatory inclusion of a love interest is not necessarily something I enjoy, however.
Think of all the time spent on love stories in horror movies that could be spent kicking some vampire ass, shooting zombies in the head, watching the annoying fat jokester friend of the group die horribly or following the main character through their research at the local courthouse to determine just who is haunting their house. Ok, maybe not the last one.
Besides, any pop psychologist with a WebMD bookmark will tell you that these people are just horny because they think they’re about to die. And how many of these couples who fall in love over the course of a few hours will stay together? If they make it to the sequel one of them is likely to die in the first reel. Hell, even Dana Barrett had a kid by someone else before getting back together with Dr. Peter Venkman in Ghostbusters 2. If even Bill Murray couldn’t hold onto a woman then I don’t hold out much hope for whatever CW star is in the latest slasher. These horror love stories? Not stable.
So what is my favorite love story in a horror movie? The one between Juliette Lewis and George Clooney in From Dusk ‘Til Dawn. The one where she gets googly eyed after suffering from Stockholm syndrome and the horrible deaths of her entire family and he says, sorry toots, no dice. The love story that didn’t happen. It’s even more romantic because Clooney sends her on her way without even banging her first. She was so grateful that she survived the night she might have let him put it in her butt! Or at least do it with the lights on, since she was a religious fanatic.
But for whatever reason, maybe because ol’ George is a friend of Dorothy in real life according to some blind item scholars, he doesn’t even take an “I’m so glad we’re not dead” roll in the hay. Aside from being the kindest thing that character may have ever done in his whole life, the decision to split up at the end leaves plenty of running time for the point of From Dusk ‘Til Dawn: kicking some vampire ass.