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Joslyn

Does anyone know any good movies with no romance in them?

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A thriller would be nice, and maybe a little bit of horror. Maybe an ethereal vibe or a fantasy but still in the thriller category or adventure.

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I don't watch many thrillers. Too scary for me! ;):D
If you're ok with more straightforward action Mad Max fury road has no romance. Very spectacular effects and great characters.

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There is always the classic Cujo, but I think it is more than a little bit of horror (though it is so dated the horror is minimised)...and the ending is standardly disappointing as they didn't follow the book. Paranormal Activity series is low on the romance (none in 3, and a bit of teen mush as a sideline in 4).

Urban Legends series is another one low on the romance, the first one probably has the least....just a few scenes at the beginning showing couples before they all start dying off (though the murderer could be said to be driven by love/revenge, so it depends how sensitive you are to supposed romantic-obsessive-dedication murder motivations....I guess you could put Cry Wolf in the same 'twisted love motivations that are sort of fake' category too).

I don't remember there being any romance in The Haunting in Connecticut. A sort of cheesy horror is Jeepers Creepers (the first one) has no romance as the story is about a brother and sister. The sequel Jeepers Creepers 2 (how imaginative a name...) has a like one couple, so a teensy bit of couple stuff, and a lot of homophobic semi-naked men, so homophobic jokes and slurs are present. 

If you want to get strange there is Upstream Color which can be viewed as a story about human connection, but I know some people who watched it were convinced some of the scenes were romantic (but I think they are just some very allo people reacting to a very weird movie).

 

I'll post more if I think of them, but I am trying to give you the at least semi-decent ones, unlike Keanu Reeves' honestly fairly bad serial killer flick 'The Watcher' which has no romance, but also a sad lack of good editing which really detracts from the wooden performances. 

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There's this thread on AVEN. 
Though I'd disagree that Die Hard With a Vengeance and Kingsman: The Secret Service are entirely free pf romance.

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I'm a big horror/thriller fan, so here are some personal recs. It's been a while since I've seen some of these so please let me know if I've forgotten about romance in any of them!

 

Thrillers without romance

 

Alien (1979)Sci-fi/thriller/horror and an absolute classic. The crew of a spaceship unwittingly bring a hostile alien life-form on board and try to survive as it hunts them down.

 

Pitch Black (2000): Another sci-fi/thriller/horror, and a long-time personal favourite in part because the relationship between the main male and female character is so clearly not ever romantic. A transport ship crashes on a planet where they find an empty colony. While trying to find a way off the planet they discover that the planet is also inhabited by other creatures, and have to learn to trust each other and work together to survive.

 

Sunshine (2007): Sci-fi/thriller and one of my all-time favourite films. The sun is dying, and the first attempt to re-ignite it with a nuclear bomb failed. Humanity's last hope is sending a spaceship to try one more time with the last of their nuclear material. I love how this film handles characterisation and conflict: no caricatures, no cheap miscommunications, no overused tropes, it's just a genuinely great film.

 

The Girl with All the Gifts (2016): Horror/thriller with an interesting and refreshing take on the zombie apocalypse premise. I only saw this for the first time recently, and really enjoyed it. 

 

Snowpiercer (2013): Post-apocalyptic sci-fi. What's left of humanity lives on a train circling the world, where the wealthy elite brutally oppress the lower class passengers. It's not a subtle metaphor, but it is a good film.

 

The Silence of the Lambs (1991): Another absolute classic. Crime/thriller, where a young detective asks for help from an imprisoned serial killer - Hannibal Lecter, psychiatrist and cannibal - to try to track down another serial killer. Brilliantly creepy stuff, really sets the standard for crime/thrillers.

 

Hanna (2011): Action/thriller. A teenage girl has been raised all her life to be a ruthless assassin, and sets off on a mission across Europe. Reccing this one with a caveat, see spoilers below:

Spoiler

During the film the protagonist forms a close relationship with another young girl, and at one point they kiss. I personally read this as an example of the protagonist struggling to navigate how to form connections to other people, rather than anything actually romantic. But the scene could also be read as the protagonist developing a crush on the other girl, so if that squicks you out, avoid it.

 

Straight-out horror without romance:

(Note that these have some pretty dark themes and explicit violence. PROCEED AT YOUR OWN RISK, and ask me if you want details about specific squicks or triggers in any of them.)

 

Case 39 (2009): Mystery/horror. A social worker rescues a young girl from abusive parents, but it turns out the girl might not exactly be what she seems. Not the most amazing film overall but a solid popcorn horror.

 

Goodnight Mommy (2014): Mystery/horror. The mother of two young boys returns home after having reconstructive cosmetic surgery, but something seems off about her behaviour. I can't say much more without spoilers, but this is a super creepy film with plenty of psychological tension.

 

These three horror films are particularly dark and brutal, so I won't actually summarise them here. But if you're into full-on graphic horror without romance getting in the way, you could try Martyrs (2008), Haute Tension (2003), or À l'intérieur (2007).

 

Thrillers where nothing explicitly romantic really happens, but because two of the main characters are a man and a woman, we're probably expected to assume the relationship is romantic or has the potential to become romantic:

(I personally do NOT read these as romantic relationships (partly as a "fuck you" to the expectation that we're supposed to) but if that kind of amatonormativity squicks you out, proceed with caution with these.)

 

28 Days Later (2002): Sci-fi/horror, and another of my absolute favourite films of all time. Zombie apocalypse film where the protagonist wakes up from a month-long coma to discover humanity has been overrun by a "rage" virus that makes people rip each other apart. Again what I love about it is the characterisation, particularly how each person in the story reacts and evolves to survive their situation.

 

Aliens (1986): Sequel to Alien, with a bit more action than just sci-fi/horror. Contact is lost with a distant space colony and the military sends a team to investigate. Great sci-fi film with sooo many memorable scenes and lines.

 

Blood Diamond (2006): Adventure/thriller which is very much tied into real-world politics and events. Primarily about how people and resources are exploited by the diamond trade in Africa, following the story of multiple groups fighting for possession of a particularly large diamond. A really powerful movie which touches on several serious topics.

 

Message from the King (2016): Crime/thriller. A man comes to Los Angeles from South Africa to look for his missing sister, who seems to have gotten into trouble with local drug/crime syndicates. He works his way through clues and contacts trying to discover what's happened to her. Chadwick Boseman is amazing as a vigilante force for justice.

 

10 Cloverfield Lane (2016): Mystery/horror. A woman has a car accident and when she wakes up, finds herself trapped in an underground bunker with a survivalist who tells her there's been an apocalyptic chemical attack and they can't go outside. Another solid popcorn thriller.

 

Thrillers in which references to or appearances by romantic partners occur, but where romance is generally incidental to the plot:

 

Memento (2000): One of the all-time great mystery/thriller films. Told from the perspective of a man with short-term memory loss, in a narrative style that is confusing at first but a fascinating way to reveal a story. The protagonist is trying to find his wife's killer but the film is very much about the mystery, not their romance.

 

Minority Report (2002): Sci-fi and action/thriller, set in a future where a "Pre-crime" police division stops violent crimes before they happen, based on the visions of three psychic humans. The protagonist goes on the run after a vision appears of him committing a murder in the future. The protagonist is estranged from his wife but this is only really relevant to his backstory and motivations. Solid popcorn sci-fi.

 

Event Horizon (1997): Sci-fi/thriller/horror, fairly heavy on the horror and gore. A crew is sent to investigate a spaceship that was thought lost while testing a new kind of propulsion system, but mysteriously reappears months later. They discover that wherever the spaceship went, it may have brought something back with it. Characters experience hallucinations of people they care about suffering, which in one case include's a character's dead wife. Solid popcorn horror.

 

I Am Legend (2007): Post-apocalyptic sci-fi/horror where an infection killed most of the human race, and turned those who survived into monsters who can only live underground or in the dark. The protagonist is trying to survive and find a cure, and there are occasional flashbacks to memories of his wife and child. Solid take on the zombie/apocalypse genre.

 

The Babadook (2014): Horror/thriller. A single mother has a son who is convinced a supernatural monster hiding in their house, and coming to get them. Strange things start to happen as it turns out her son may not be wrong. Some references are made to the mother's dead husband. Generally a well-liked horror film.

 

Hush (2016): Thriller/slasher. A deaf woman living out alone in the woods is stalked by a murderer trying to get into her home. Her boyfriend does show up in the film, but the extent of their on-screen relationship is that they don't want each other to die. I know I keep saying this but: Solid popcorn slasher.

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This is a little old but the movie Ender's Game has no romance in it, the book is phenomenal as well!

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There's no movie to pop into my mind right now, but I know a great book. "A Drop of Night" by Stefan Bachmann ^_^. 

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On 7/4/2018 at 12:48 AM, eatingcroutons said:

28 Days Later (2002): Sci-fi/horror, and another of my absolute favourite films of all time.

Yay! I forgot to mention this one in my own post as for many many years, way before knowing about aromanticism, I would tell everyone that it was my favourite romantic movie. Technically it is still my favourite romantic* movie.

*romantic in this way being used in the way that that Asexual gets quoted about saying that Tron is the most erotic film. So not at all in the common understanding, but still a deeply effecting movie. 

 

on the same sort of early 2000s UK splash gore with interesting premise is the soldier vs werewolf movie Dog Soldiers (also 2002). It has been awhile since I watched it, and there is a token female character dropped into a platoon of men who are assumed to be quite starved for life outside of their duties so there might be some noticeable undertones in some interactions, but from what I remember they are more scared/bravado/sexual/hate sort of thing rather than possibly romantic.

 

EDIT: so I went and watched the movie again (it is awesome 😜) and the first 2 minutes 30 seconds does have a couple on a camping adventure, but it is not overtly romantic and it doesn't take long for the screaming to start - and really you can skip those first few minutes even though it does introduce a sort of key point you can still understand the story without it. As for later in the movie there are some very overt sarcastic comments but they are definitely not romantic (definitely the scared/bravado/sexual/hate sort of thing)

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Coming back to this thread to recommend a horror short called Creswick which I absolutely loved (and is free on YouTube!) and also to list a few more thrillers I've seen since my last post. General warning that, being thrillers, a lot of these contain dark/disturbing content. Again feel free to ask me about specific squicks or triggers.

 

Thrillers without romance:

 

Frailty (2001): Psychological thriller. Two boys are raised by their father to believe they have a God-given mission to "destroy demons" (murder evil people) based on messages from angels. Many years later, one of them works with the FBI to try to stop his brother, who has become a serial killer called "God's Hand". Really solid psychological thriller.

 

Cam (2018): Psychological thriller. A camgirl trying to make the top 50 on a popular site finds herself targeted by increasingly creepy and disturbing behaviour, apparently by rival camgirls. Recommended with caveats: Firstly that there is a lot of sexual content (the film depicts sex work in a very matter-of-fact way), and secondly that some of the protagonist's viewers make romantic-coded overtures (but it's very obvious that she only plays along for material benefits). 

 

Thrillers in which references to or appearances by romantic partners occur, but where romance is generally incidental to the plot:

 

Searching (2018): Thriller told entirely through depictions of computer/social media use. A father tries to find his missing daughter and discovers she was keeping quite a few secrets from him. Starts out with several introductory scenes where the father is very much in love with his wife, but the actual plot all takes place after the wife has died of cancer. I really enjoyed the way this was told, and the complexities of human relationships it depicted.

 

Calibre: Psychological thriller. Two friends go on a hunting trip in a remote area, and find themselves trapped trying to cover up a horrific accident. The male protagonists flirt with women, and one regularly refers to his pregnant fiance, but these are background elements rather than the focus of the plot. One of those films where you feel forced to watch and squirm as everything goes horribly but inexorably downhill.

 

The Commuter: Action/thriller. An ex-cop is forced into cooperating with an increasingly high-stakes criminal conspiracy while on the train home from work, and tries to find a way to resist without risking the lives of others on the train. He has a wife and a child but their main purpose in the film is to be threatened as hostages by the bad guys - the action and plot all takes place on the train. Standard popcorn film.

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