There must be something truly appealing with the dark, disturbing and the spine chilling effect of gothic films.
Every day we predictably live our lives in the safe confines of our home. The promise of mystery, fear, and melancholia brings a consistent source of entertainment value to gothic movies. Although, gothic films are known for a very formulaic structure. Gothic movies answer our what-if and quench our deep-seated desire to be fearful. The similar plotlines and the steady stream of visual nightmare from the ominous mood, to the presence of the supernatural, are distinct elements of gothic films.
Emerging from early adaptations of 19th-century gothic novels, tales such as Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, Tod Browning's Dr. Jekyll, and Mr. Hyde and James Whale's Dracula were classic books that strongly influenced gothic movies. Gothic literature came to rise, at a time when the reign of conventional religion is beginning to collapse. When the assurance of eternal life felt short in providing purpose to people's lives. They sought relief in superstitions, and the supernatural such as vampires, zombies, and werewolves.
Among the most seductive traits of gothic culture are the mixture of fantasy, horror, and romance. The eerie setting such as the isolated mansion, dilapidated castles, and misty forest brings an air of gloom and fright to its audience. Meanwhile, the characters are often conflicted mad scientist, maidens in distress, sexually repressed villains and a collection of a protagonist who is in the brink of insanity.
Halloween is still a few months away, but the season of fright is evergreen. If you're looking for tales that touch the heart and frightens the soul, here are contemporary movies that fall under the Gothic Romance category. Gothic Romance is a subgenre that provides a feminine appeal. The main plot is an articulation of women's fear and distrust towards men dominated society. Among the most outstanding gothic romance are:
1. Bram Stoker's Dracula (1992)
There is an extensive list of Dracula movies released throughout the years. This one follows the story of a novel written by Bram Stoker. What sets it apart from the rest is how Count Dracula, is more motivated by romance instead of bloodlust. He kills his victim to avenge the death of his wife. Directed by Francis Ford Cappola, this film is celebrated with its excellent interpretation of the classic Dracula, and it's marvelous gothic ambition.
2. Sleepy Hollow (1999)
Directed by Tim Burton, Sleepy Hollow is a great demonstration of gothic horror and romanticism. This movie follows the story of Ichabod, played by Johhny Depp, as he solves the murders of a series of beheading in the secluded town of Sleepy Hollow. Crafted with top-notch visuals and spooky supernatural elements, this film is a top contender in the Dark Romanticism genre.
3. The Phantom of the Opera (2004)
Considered as one of the most popular adaptations of Gaston Leroux's classic novel. This musical incorporates an exquisite mixture of goth aesthetic and grand melodious numbers. In this movie, the Phantom played by Gerard Butler is a mysterious musician who haunts the Paris Opera. When the Phantoms, finds himself obsessively enamored with the beautiful Christine, he attempts to woo her but she ended up being attracted to Raoul. This notable film is as goth as it can get with its a lavish costume, explicit sexual tension and chilling secret passageways.
4. Interview with the Vampire (1994)
Based on Anne Rice best-selling romantic horror novel, Interview with the Vampire is among the greatest gothic movies created in recent history. It follows the story of a 200-year old vampire who felt consistently conflicted with his bloodsucking nature. This film is in all sense of the world a classic gothic. Glistening with dark desires and despair, this movie delves beyond the horrors of being a vampire but instead focuses on the crises of immortal existence.
5. Ex Machina (2014)
If science fiction and goth romance procreated the result would be the movie Ex Machina. The plot centers around Caleb Smith, a programmer who was deceived by his boss, Nathan, in becoming a human component to evaluate the capabilities, of a dazzling AI named Ava. As Caleb and Ava begin to fall for each other, Nathan threatens their attempts to escape. Considered as a gothic romance in the modern age, this movie is everything a goth film should be: haunting, provocating and weirdly suspenseful.
These are movies the incorporate darker and frightening themes of fantasy. Also known as Gothic Fantasy, these subgenres offer similarities such as the presence of the supernatural and morally ambiguous heroes. The element of fantasy allows a more lighthearted and even a humorous touch on the usual somber mood of gothic films. One of the most iconic gothic fantasy films is Pans Labyrinth, Snowman and the Huntsman, and Maleficent.
6. Crimson Peak (2015)
Romance rarely takes a sweet appearance on gothic movies. On this film, love becomes a traumatizing obsession that brings out the monster in all of us. In this movie an aspiring writer, Edith ends up with Thomas, who brings her in a spiral of lies, mystery, and madness. Directed by Guillermo del Toro, Crimson Peak infuses elements of a dark fairytale with his unique imaginative approach. It's a stunning thriller filled with creepy visuals. Overall, an engaging film that will delight your desire for grim, dark and broody aesthetic.
7. Women in Black (2012)
Women in Black is Daniel Radcliffe's first post-Harry Potter film. On this movie, he is no longer an orphan boy trying to defeat an evil wizard. This time, Radcliffe plays the role of a young lawyer who was sent off to an isolated village only to discover that his destination is haunted by vengeful ghost spreading terror in the quiet little town. Set in an old, dilapidated and crumbling Victorian house, the scare factor relies mainly on the creepy production design and the heart-throbbing sound effects.
8. Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children (2016)
This film offers the gothic elements expected from a Tim Burton movie. The plot is a whimsical masterpiece filled with quirky details, take for example the evil Barron wishes to kill the peculiars and munch on their eyeballs. The movie follows the story of Jake, who finds himself transported in a place called Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children. Here he meets a group of strange kids and their powerful enemies. This is proof of Burton's ability to transform dark themes and grotesque imagery into a child-friendly picture that can keep both the young and the old entertained.
9. Adam's Family (1991)
Who would have thought that gothic movies could ever blend well with comedy? Defying the odds is the classic favorite The Addams Family. This movie showcases the whimsical Addams family as they attempt to salvage their family fortune from an evil attorney. Emphasizing on dark and wicked themes. The entertainment factors come from the deadpan approach in tackling disturbing ideas.
10. Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events (2004)
The themes of gothic movies may seem like a distant form of child-friendly entertainment however, a number of dark themes, and humorous juvenile goth had been invading the big screen for ages. A great example would the movie adaptation of Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events, this movie shares the tale of the recently-orphaned Baudelaire siblings. After hearing the sad news of their parent's death, the Baudelaire siblings were left under the care of an evil Count Olaf, who plots murderous attempts to steal the children's inheritance. It's a great gothic film for budding goth geeks, although the story entails death, grief and abuse it has a way of softening the edges to make it more appealing for the younger audience.
Investing in humanity's natural fear and thrill for the unknown, Gothic Horror, is the oldest form of the horror genre. It captivates the audience by manipulating the atmosphere creating a mysterious and melancholic vibe. These movies are often set in a certain time period or era where people's practices were peculiar and believed to be barbaric compared to modern times. If you're searching for classic scream marathon. Here are the most distinguished Goth Horror flicks:
11. The Others (2001)
Not all horror movies require buckets of blood and special effects to feel scary, and that exactly what the film The Others bring to the table. Starring Nicole Kidman, she plays the role of Grace, a young mother who patiently awaits the arrival of her husband in her elegant Victorian mansion. One day, three of her servants disappears, after replacing them with new ones a series of ominous events begin to take place. The Other prides itself for being horror movie gem, focusing on intelligent storytelling and high caliber tension. This movie brings together the most alluring traits of a gothic movie and that is melancholia and fear.
12. The Conjuring (2013)
People watch horror flicks with confidence knowing that the suspense and fear can only go as far as the end credits. The beauty of The Conjuring lies in following the traditional formula of a haunted house base horror movie. However, the idea that it is based on a true story makes it a little more terrifying than usual. This movie was based on the investigation of real-life paranormal experts Ed and Lorraine Warren. They were called to help a family plagued with demonic presence, only to realize that they are about to face the most unnerving case of their lives.
13. From Hell (2002)
This horror movie is a spinoff of the story of Jack the Ripper. As a series of gory murders begin to victimize the prostitutes of East London, investigators discovered that the serial killer might have an extensive medical background. Starring Johnny Depp and Heather Graham, From Hell, offers fantastic visual, impressive casting and a truly gothic setting that provides a petrifying overall impact.
14. Sweeny Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007)
The oddly satisfying combination of gore and musical numbers in a single gothic film makes Sweeny Todd a highly-rated Tim Burton movie. Fueled with revenge, a man unjustly imprisoned opens a barber shop where his customers are never heard of again. Made with extravagant production design this Tim Burton film definitely stands out as a genuinely authentic horror movie masterpiece.
15. The Orphanage (2007)
One may think that this is just another haunted house horror story, but what makes it impressively unique is the simplicity of it all. There are no monsters or excessive blood but the story relies on creating a connection with human emotion. Anyone who admire goth movies, know that beneath the layers of mystery, supernatural, fear and macabre lies deep-seated anguish fueling every storyline. The Orphanage tells the story of Laura, an orphan who decides to go back to rebuild the orphanage where she came from together with her husband, Carlos and her son, Simon. Afterward, Simon's personality begins to change and a series of terrifying revelations start to unfold. Deemed as one of the scariest horror movies of all time, The Orphanage is a unique gothic film that focuses on technique and storyline to catch the viewer's attention.