The point of horror is not merely to terrify, but also to elaborate on the various aspects of the human condition — from alternative psychology and social commentary to the power of hope. In many ways, this genre can be considered to be close to the heart, quite like romance, although both of them affect viewers in very different ways.
Still, this relationship cannot be discarded simply because they have the opposite impact. It can be argued that it’s possible to reexamine them as versions of each other, given their focus on character development, mood, and emotion. Which horror movies are the most likely candidates to be visualized as romance, though?
Jack Torrance is an abusive man, both towards his wife and little boy. This much is clear from their interactions together, but when locked up in a desolate hotel with no human around for miles, his mind begins to fray at the edges, leading to one of Kubrick’s arguably best works.
Instead, could the pair have spent their time alone trying to mend what’s left of their marriage? Sure, Jack’s writing career needs the front burner, but that doesn’t mean he necessarily has to devolve into a maniac. He and Wendy could potentially rebuild the fiery love they once shared for each other.
Jay is horrified to discover that she has been cursed with a demon hellbent on taking her life because her beau transfers it to her after they have sex for the first time. Her journey is riddled with people who don’t acknowledge her fears until they are consumed by the supernatural presence.
It Follows can also be envisioned as the tale of a young woman who experiences the joys of physical pleasure in a sex-positive manner. No judgment, no questions, only someone who prefers casual flings to long-term relationships. In fact, the antagonist in the romantic version of the film could easily be society and its conventions.
Pet Sematary is an excellent example of Stephen King’s horror style: it incorporates everything from family dysfunction to First Nations mythology to zombie children. The poor Creeds endure hardship after hardship, the deaths starting with their beloved cat and moving further and further into their family.
One interesting way to romanticize the script would be to make both adults single, and with one child each, finally meeting each other in the sleepy town of Ludlow, where they start a new family, Brady Bunch-style, and learn a pleasant lesson or two about true undying love. It’s quite helpful that the children are young enough to not require screentime that is better reserved for the adults in love.