Anti-Valentine’s Day is for the people who are sick and tired of the commercialization of showing your partner(s) you love and care about them. For some, it comes off as fake and forced as there are 364 days to also show your partner(s) that exact same sentiment. For others, it’s a day to say no to forced romance and engage with non-romantic things out of spite. Obviously, there are many ways someone can celebrate Anti-Valentine’s Day, but here are a few films that can tick a few boxes. 

Crimson Peak (2015)

Crimson Peak seems like a normal gothic romance from the vision of Guillermo del Toro starring Mia Wasikowska, Jessica Chastain, and Tom Hiddleston. 

The film, set in 1901, tells the story of an aspiring novelist Edith Cushing. Her father, a wealthy businessman, is protective of his daughter. Especially when Thomas Sharpe enters the picture. 

Edith and Thomas are smitten by each other, but her father disproves the union. 

Soon, Mr. Cushing is murdered, and Edith takes her chance and runs away with Thomas, much to the dismay of his sister, Lucille. The trio retires to the Sharpe estate, Crimson Peak, a mansion that has definitely seen better days. Edith finds herself becoming very ill, seeing spirits and questioning her sanity. Despite all this, it is here where Edith uncovers the truth of her father’s murder and the secrets of Crimson Peak.

On paper, it’s a gothic romance with elements of horror. The stunning settings, costumes, and mannerisms all scream gothic romanticism. However, by the end of it, you’ll be left mortified by the horrors of human design.

The Imitation Game (2014)

The Imitation Game stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Kiera Knightley. This film is loosely based on the book Alan Turing: The Enigma by Andrew Hodge.

Set during World War II, this film follows Alan Turing, the man known as the father of computer science. He is recruited by the British government to intercept Enigma, the Nazi code machine. Through this, Turing navigates the pains of group work, pressure from the government, and trying to hide his sexuality from the government. 

This film is for those who do not want to engage in any romance during their Anti-Valentine’s Day celebrations. Romance is the farthest thing on anyone’s mind in this historical drama. The story, performances, and sprinkles of exaggerated truths make this film an interesting watch and will most likely spark a few google searches to fact-check. This film is definitely for history buffs, computer enthusiasts, and the general cinephile. 

Promare (2019)

Promare is a firey number. This 2019 film from Studio Trigger uses giant robots to defend Earth from the effects of a global warming. 

30 years prior to the start of the film, a freak event of mass spontaneous human combustion kills half of the world’s population. In the aftermath, some people gained pyrokinetic powers. They became known as Burnish. 

In the present, Galo Thymos is a firefighter who makes it his mission to put out Burnish fires. In the midst of fighting a fire, he meets Lio Fotia, the leader of the biker gang, Mad Burnish. The duo soon learns that the world is about to explode and they have to figure out how to prevent the apocalypse. Setting their differences aside, the two team up to fight off the apocalypse. The question is: Can they?

This film is another one for those who do not want to engage with anything romantic during their Anti-Valentine’s Day celebrations. The stunning visuals, killer soundtrack, and action sequences make the film a definite must-watch for mecha and animation fans. 

Pinocchio (2022)

This 2022 film takes the story of Pinocchio and gives it a twist only Guillermo del Toro can create. While many people grew up with the Disney version, this version is much more thought-provoking and intense than its predecessors.

The film takes place in Italy during World War 2, and Gepetto, in a griefful rage, builds the small wooden boy and wishes him to live. A blue fairy grants Gepetto’s wish in true monkey paw fashion. Soon after, a circus owner and a Mussolini commander take interest in the boy and want him for themselves. Now, the young Pinocchio must navigate the pains of falling into roles the circus owner, Mussolini, and Gepetto want for him. 

This is a true coming-of-age story with twisted elements that make it a solid Anti-Valentine’s day choice, for it focuses more on sticking up for yourself and following your own beliefs instead of those that are forced upon you. 

Marriage Story (2019)

The widely acclaimed film Marriage Story depicts the pains that come with divorce. Taking from his own experience, director Noah Baumbach translates the demoralization that comes with divorce.

The film follows a director and an actress played by Adam Driver and Scarlett Johanson at the end of their marriage. They go through counseling, character assassinations, and legal battles throughout most of the film. In the background, their son is in the middle of all of this watching his family fall apart. Much like the watcher, there is nothing the child can do but watch as his parents split. 

The film does an excellent job of showing what divorce can do to a family through a compassionate, realistic lens. The duo delivers excellent performances that have viewers questioning if marriage is even worthwhile. It’s a film that reminds viewers that love ends. Perfect for Anti-Valentine’s Day.

Interested in more anti-holiday films? Check out some anti-holidays recommendations.