(TC) 10 Most Touching Paranormal Romance Films, Ranked

Fall has finally arrived, blowing summer away and putting moviegoers in the mood for watching some mysterious flicks like Practical Magic. Some prefer films with an emphasis on horror or the supernatural, but one popular selection is the category of paranormal romances.

Paranormal goes beyond the typical ghost stories. The subgenre has also been known to incorporate other genres with its works, ranging from sci-fi to fantasy. In a spectral setting, there have been quite a few paranormal romance movies that have delivered touching stories alongside spooky thrills.

The Lake House

Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock sit together in The Lake House (2006)

A 2006 Hollywood remake of the 2000 South Korean film Il MareThe Lake House reunited Speed leading actors Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock. The story centers on the bond between Kate (Bullock) and Alex (Reeves), two residents of the same lake house who begin to exchange love letters… Despite there being a two-year time difference on each side.

Where The Lake House shines is by emphasizing the patience and meaning of connection. Even if the timing may not be perfect, those that have been scorned by love once before do have the ability to love again.

The Age of AdelineThe Age of Adeline (2015)

Blake Lively proved her dramatic chops with 2015’s The Age of Adaline. She plays the titular character, who becomes ageless after being resurrected from a fatal car crash. 107 years into her timeless journey, Adaline falls in love with a man named Ellis (Michael Huisman).

The film’s performances reflect the storyline nicely, especially with Lively’s heartfelt portrayal of Adaline. She is a character frozen in the fear and vulnerability of having to run against the clock to preserve her secret, only thawing when she allows her heart to love and truly be happy.

Just Like Heaven

Just Like Heaven (2005)

Adapted from the 1999 French novel If Only It Were True, the 2005 rom-com Just Like Heaven is quite angelic. David (Mark Ruffalo) a recently widowed architect, falls for an ER physician named Elizabeth (Reese Witherspoon), only it’s not her… it’s her ghostly spirit.

Through this paranormal/human hybrid, David and Elizabeth can understand one another on a more cerebral level. The fuck that their paths were always meant to cross from the beginning of the story is pure destiny, creating a rather heavenly ending.

Warm Bodies

R and Julie talking and smiling in Warm Bodies

Based on Isaac Marion’s 2010 novel, Warm Bodies is one of the best adaptations of Romeo and Juliet, both humorous and charming in its delivery. The 2013 movie adds a zombified twist to Shakespeare’s timeless romance, seeing the relationship between human girl Julie (Teresa Palmer) and zombie boy R (Nicholas Hoult).

How Warm Bodies differs from other Romeo and Juliet adaptations is through its leading man R, with the focus revolving around his zombie/human perspective. Similar to BeastlyWarm Bodies also presents the narrative in which the protagonist is accepted by his love interest no matter his flaws.

Beastly

Adapted from Alex Flinn’s 2007 novel of the same name, Beastly is a modernized reboot of the beloved fairytale Beauty and the Beast. Handsome yet arrogant rich boy Kyle (Alex Pettyfer) falls in love with fellow classmate Lindy (Vanessa Hudgens), who may just be able to break the monstrous curse on him.

Physical appearance can be used as an armor for those that are either vainglorious or insecure. Although catapulted by unfortunate circumstances, Beastly highlights the depths of breaking down guards and exposing vulnerabilities to become one’s true self, embracing the differences of others along the way.

The Time Traveler’s Wife

The Time Traveler's Wife (2009)

Before the 2003 novel, The Time Traveler’s Wife was adapted into a 2022 HBO series, a live-action film was released in 2009. Starring Eric Bana and Rachel McAdams, the movie centers on a man named Henry (Bana) who suffers from a genetic paranormal disorder, and his relationship with a woman named Clare (McAdams).

Due to Henry’s constant time traveling, his relationship with Clare is not ideal. However, the foundation of the union is unshakable. Henry’s presence is kismet for Clare, solidifying the romance despite the many struggles they face throughout the story.

TwilightTwilight (2008)

Based off of Stephanie Meyers’ book series of the same title, Twilight is an unforgettable 2000s romance. The debut film would spawn four sequels and become one of the most lucrative film franchises of all time. The biggest draw for fans was the love story between vampire Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson) and high schooler Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart).

What makes Twilight a touching paranormal romance wrapped in a sparkling package is the union of its protagonist. Both of them are misfits in their rights but managed to synchronize with one another, no matter the obstacles.

About TimeAbout Time (2013)

The Time Traveler’s Wife would not be Rachel McAdams’s only film with the same premise. She also starred in 2013’s About Time, playing the love interest of Domhall Gleeson, whose character Tim has time-traveling abilities.

The element of time travel is almost secondary to the story’s core of both romantic and familial love, using this gift for bettering matters of the heart and mind. As the central romance is simultaneously idyllic and imperfect, About Time is a poignant story that reminds its audience to value and appreciate the love they have in their lives.

Ghost

Ghost (1990)

Ghost was a definitive romance of the 90s, with Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore’s steamy pottery session becoming a constantly re-created movie scene. After investment banker Sam (Swayze) is unexpectedly killed, he returns as a ghost to protect his girlfriend Molly (Moore) from his murderer.

Incorporating the murder mystery and psychic elements shape the story beyond a romance, but the corner of Ghost is the love between its protagonists. While Sam can never come back to life, his ghostly presence allows both him and Molly to have closure within the tragedy.

The Shape of Water

The Shape of Water (2017)

Guillermo Del Toro’s 2017 film The Shape of Water was beautiful and ambitious in its execution. The story revolves around a mute cleaning lady named Eliza (Sally Hawkins) and the humanoid Amphibian Man (Doug Jones) who is imprisoned at the secret government facility where Eliza works.

Even though The Shape of Water has little dialogue, it was an exorbitant benefit to the unique film’s love story. Both Eliza and Amphibian Man have been silenced throughout their entire lives, with very few positive interactions. Through their blossoming yet unusual relationship, love speaks the loudest volumes.

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