Gothic Movies to Watch Absolutely

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Gothic movies is not yet a film genre with a specific identity. Gothic movies have greatly inspired the horror film genre, adding scary and supernatural elements. The structure of the gothic movies is a mix of gothic literature, melodrama and German Expressionism.

Gothic movies is not a well-established genre and adds gothic images, stories, themes and characters to films. These aspects are usually found in the broader classification of horror. Gothic draws us in with fear, both as a story and as an aesthetic; it does so, however, largely not with characters or stories or language, but with supernatural occurrences. Cinema corresponds to the gothic interpretation in the production of images that develop the supernatural phenomenon.


Gothic movies became part of silent cinema, adapting gothic fiction. The Gothic novels that strongly influenced cinema were those of the 19th century: Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Robert Louis Stevenson’s Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and even Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Many silent gothic movies have been lost or are short films. In the aftermath of the First World War, fear of war drove gothic movies. Robert Wiene’s The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920), while not based on a gothic plot, used the German Expressionism that inspired gothic cinema. Dr. Caligari’s Cabinet has become a turning point in gothic movies.

Other gothic movies are Frankenstein (1931) by James Whale, Dracula (1931) by Tod Browning, Dr. Jekyll and also Mr. Hyde (1931 ) by Rouben Mamoulian, three films that were fundamental for the development of gothic movie. 

Gothic romance film is a gothic movie with a love story. Between 1940 and 1948, the gothic romantic film proliferated in Hollywood, made by famous directors and stars. The best known films of the period are Rebecca (1940), Suspicion (1941) and Gaslight (1944). Much lesser known films were Undercurrent (1946) and Sleep, My Love (1948). The plot structure was similar in all of these films: a naïve young woman meets a good-looking older man to whom she is both attracted and repulsed.

In the gothic romance films of the 1940s there is a house in which part of it cannot be used or is closed completely. In the films, the forbidden area is an allegory for the heroine’s repressed psyche, just as the opening of the area is a moment of purification in the film. Also, the style of the house in such films creates spatial disorientation and discomfort. 


Nosferatu (1922)

It’s a horror movie1922 German expressionist gothic FW Murnau and Max Schreck as Count Orlok, a vampire who takes advantage of the girlfriend (Greta Schröder) of his real estate agent (Gustav von Wangenheim) and brings havoc to their community. He is considered one of the greats a must-see film and has gone through a century keeping its charm and expressive power perfectly intact. 


Dracula (1931)

Dracula is a 1931 American gothic horror film directed by Tod Browning from a screenplay by Garrett Fort and starring Bela Lugosi as Dracula. It is based on the 1924 stage play Dracula by Hamilton Deane and John L. Balderston, which was adapted from Bram Stoker’s original 1897 Dracula. Lugosi plays Count Dracula, a vampire who emigrates from Transylvania to England.

Frankenstein (1931)

It’s a movie science fiction horror film 1931 American James Whale, produced by Carl Laemmle Jr. and adapted from a 1927 play by Peggy Webling, which was based on Mary Shelley’s 1818 novel Frankenstein. Webling’s play was adapted from John L. Balderston and also the film’s screenplay written by Francis Edward Faragoh and Garrett Fort.


The Old Dark House (1932) 

It’s a gothic movie by James Whale, a lesser known but really interesting horror. Adapted from the short story Benighted by writer JB Priestley. The story’s themes of post-war disillusionment persist in Whale’s adaptation and develop a decidedly disturbing picture of decomposing class structures inevitably leading up to World War II. Karloff reunited with Whale on this film as well. 

Bride of Frankenstein (1935)

Elsa Lanchester plays Bride of Frankenstein in the 1935 gothic horror film of the same name. One of the most popular sequels ever made, Bride of Frankenstein has did well where all excellent sequels excel and also intensified one of the most special facets of the first film into something even bigger and even bolder. Makeup artist Jack Pierce kept the quirkiness of his initial style for the monster and produced an equally memorable companion for him. Paired with the success of Bela Lugosi’s Dracula performance and also Whale’s adaptation of The Invisible Man, the director’s Frankenstein films have been a major part of Universal’s output.


Rebecca (1940)

Rebecca is a movie psychological thriller 1940 American Alfred Hitchcock. It was Hitchcock’s first American work, as well as his first film under contract to producer David O. Selznick. The film’s screenplay by Robert E. Sherwood and Joan Harrison, and also the adaptation by Philip MacDonald and Michael Hogan, were based on the 1938 story of the same name by Daphne du Maurier.


The Spiral Staircase (1946)

Those who have a passion for gothic horror films will surely love Richard Siodmak’s screen adaptation of the novel Some Must Watch by Ethel Lina White. It is a well-crafted gothic mystery film that was a breakthrough success. The black-gloved girl killer’s pursuit would never be seen until the 1960s, and the focus on the killer glaring at his victims comes astonishingly close to the innovative POV design that birthed the slasher category in films like Halloween.

Dracula (1958)

Dracula is a 1958 British gothic horror film directed by Terence Fisher and written by Jimmy Sangster based on the 1897 story of the same name by Bram Stoker. The first in the Hammer Horror film franchise to star Christopher Lee as Count Dracula, the film also stars Peter Cushing as Dr. Van Helsing, as well as Michael Gough, Melissa Stribling, Carol Marsh and John Van Eyssen. In the United States, the film was retitled Horror of Dracula to avoid complications with Universal Pictures’ previous US film Dracula from 1931.

House Of Usher (1960)

)gothic horror film from 1960 by Roger Corman, adapted from a series of short stories by Edgar Allan Poe in the 1960s in what became known as the director’s “Poe cycle”. It is the film that set the tone for the rest of the Poe film adaptations that followed. Starring Vincent Price as Roderick Usher, Mark Damon as Phillip Winthrop, and Myrna Fahey as Madeline Usher, the film brings to the screen one of the best gothic scares Poe ever created. The cinematography and script of the film reinforce the feelings of fear and make this film one cult classic.

The Pit and the Pendulum (1961)

It’s a 1961 horror film directed by Roger Corman, starring Vincent Price, Barbara Steele, John Kerr and Luana Anders. Richard Matheson’s screenplay for the film was loosely based on Edgar Allan Poe’s 1842 short story of the same name. Set in sixteenth-century Spain, the tale concerns a young Englishman who goes to a forbidden castle to investigate the mysterious death of his sister. After a series of horrific discoveries, terrible deaths and supernatural events, the boy must face his brother-in-law.


The Innocents (1961) 

A gothic movie that takes fear to the next level is the arthouse film by Jack Clayton. This gothic movie uses black and white cinematography to an eerie level where viewers are left wondering what lurks in the dark. Adapted from the Henry James novella The Turn of the Screw, the film is co-written by Truman Capote, best known for his novel In Cold Blood. Dealing with the themes of repressed sexuality and perversion, the film plays with the power of cinema and with several specific components of its language: this makes it a timeless classic. 

The Haunting (1963) 

It’s a gothic movie by Robert Wise that plays with different styles, much appreciated. Adapted from the original The Haunting of Hill House written by Shirley Jackson tells the story of a haunted house, a student of the paranormal, a clairvoyant, a mentally unstable female protagonist and the owner of the mansion. This gothic movie deeply analyzes a woman with repressed sexuality. Cinematographer David Boulton ensures that the fear is kept at an optimum level by using long takes, low/high angle shots, as well as the use of image warping lenses. No surprise that Martin Scorsese defined this Robert Wise film as the scariest horror I’ve ever seen.

The Masque Of The Red Death (1964)

It is a gothic horror film by Roger Corman, based on a story by Edgar Allen Poe, considered by many to be the king of gothic horror. One of the scariest short stories ever is The Masque Of The Red Death. Roger Corman directs this story by developing the ideal cinematic gaze for a tale of terror, as well as casting the legendary Vincent Price as the dastardly royal prince.

On a mountain in medieval Italy, an old woman meets a red-cloaked individual shuffling the Tarot cards. The figure offers her a white rose, which then turns mottled and red with blood. Prince Prospero, a Satanist, goes to the city he rules and meets 2 starving villagers, Gino and Ludovico. The old woman dies, tainted with a lethal disease known as the Red Death. Upon finding her, Prospero orders the city burned and kidnaps Gino, Ludovico, and Ludovico’s daughter Francesca.

Rosemary’s Baby (1968)

Rosemary’s Baby is a 1968 American psychological horror film also written and directed by Roman Polanski, and starring Mia Farrow, John Cassavetes, Ruth Gordon, Sidney Blackmer, Maurice Evans, Ralph Bellamy, Patsy Kelly, Angela Dorian. The film tells of a pregnant young wife in Manhattan who suspects that her elderly next-door neighbors are participants in a satanic cult and are also manipulating her into using her baby for their evil rituals. It is based on the 1967 book of the same name by Ira Levin.


Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975)

It is a mystery movie1975 Australian gothic Peter Weir, and starring Rachel Roberts, Dominic Guard , Helen Morse, Vivean Gray and also Jacki Weaver. It was adapted by Cliff Green from the 1967 book of the same name by Joan Lindsay. The story chronicles the disappearance of several female students and their professor on a field trip to Hanging Rock, Victoria on Valentine’s Day in 1900, and also the subsequent impact on the region. Picnic at Hanging Rock was a major success, as well as helping to attract the global attention of the then emerging Australian New Wave of cinema.

Suspiria (1977)

Suspiria is a 1977 Italian gothic horror film by Dario Argento, who co-wrote the film with Daria Nicolodi, partly based on Thomas De Quincey’s 1845 essay Suspiria de Profundis. The film stars Jessica Harper as an American ballet student who transfers to a popular dance academy but realizes, after a string of vicious murders, that the academy is a front for an evil conspiracy. It also includes Stefania Casini, Flavio Bucci, Miguel Bosé, Alida Valli, Udo Kier, as well as Joan Bennett, in his latest film work.

The Changeling (1980)

horror gothic movie Peter Medak that brings together many gothic clichés and pleases fans of the genre with a narrative focused on the supernatural and also a ghostly feeling of fear. Starring George C. Scott as the protagonist John Russell, this film features challenging staircases, haunted rooms, mysterious sounds, creepy children’s toys, séances, and an empty, scary mansion. 

Near Dark (1987)

Near Dark is a 1987 American neo-Western scary movie co-written and also routed by Kathryn Bigelow (in her solo directorial launching), as wellstarring Adrian Pasdar, Jenny Wright, Bill Paxton, Lance Henriksen and also Jenette Goldstein. The story adheres to a boy in a tiny Oklahoma community that comes to be included with a family members of nomadic American vampires.

The Orphanage (2007)

It’s a gothic movie supernatural horror of 2007 and the launch role of the Spanish director JA Bayona. The film stars Belén Rueda as Laura, Fernando Cayo as her husband, Carlos, and Roger Príncep as their son Simón. The story follows Laura, who returns to her youth residence, an orphanage. Laura wants to transform the place into a residence for disabled children, but after an argument with Simón, the child disappears into thin air.


Romantic Gothic Movies to Watch 

Suspicion (1941)

Suspicion is a charming 1941 romantic and noir gothic movie directed by Alfred Hitchcock and starring Cary Grant and Joan Fontaine in couple. Also includes Sir Cedric Hardwicke, Nigel Bruce, Dame May Whitty, Isabel Jeans, Heather Angel and also Leo G. Carroll. The film is based on the short story Before the Fact (1932) by Francis Iles. For her role as Lina, Joan Fontaine won the Academy Award for Best Actress in 1941. This is Hitchcock’s only Oscar-winning performance in a film.

In the film, a naïve woman marries a playboy after initially rejecting him. He ends up poor, a casino gambler, as well as immoral in the extreme. The woman thinks he is also a murderer, who is trying to eliminate her.

Gaslight (1944)

Gaslight is a 1944 American gothic romantic thriller film directed by George Cukor and also starring Charles Boyer, Ingrid Bergman, Joseph Cotten and also Angela Lansbury in her film debut . Adapted by John Van Druten, Walter Reisch and also John L. Balderston from Patrick Hamilton’s play Gas Light (1938), it tells of a girl whose husband gradually tricks her into thinking she is going insane. 

Undercurrent (1946)

It is a 1946 American noir gothic romantic film directed by Vincente Minnelli and starring Katharine Hepburn, Robert Taylor and Robert Mitchum. The screenplay for the film was created by Edward Chodorov, based on the short story “You Were There” by Thelma Strabel, and presumably also included anonymous contributions from Marguerite Roberts. Ann Hamilton likes her partner Alan Garroway however their relationship is dogged by her brother Michael. A dark mystery seems to lurk around the brothers’ relationship and Ann’s curiosity will eventually lead to its discovery.

Sleep, My Love (1948)

Sleep, My Love is a film noir 1948 American Douglas Sirk. It includes Claudette Colbert, Robert Cummings and also Don Ameche. Alison Courtland, a wealthy New Yorker, has no idea how she ended up on a train bound for Boston. When she calls her husband Richard the policemen eavesdrop and hear that she had indeed intimidated him with a weapon.

The Enchanted Cottage (1945)

It’s a 1945 American romantic gothic movie starring Dorothy McGuire, Robert Young and Herbert Marshall, with Mildred Natick. It is based on the 1923 play by Arthur Wing Pinero. The film was first adapted for a silent film in 1924, starring Richard Barthelmess and May McAvoy. A third adaptation appeared in 2016.

The film is set during World War II. When pilot Oliver Bradford (Robert Young) is wounded in battle, he hides from his family members, including his mother, after his future wife is also shaken by his severe physical disfigurement and avoids him. He resides in bitter solitude in the New England beach house he had rented for his honeymoon, while blind concert pianist John Hillgrove who lives nearby befriends him.

The Heiress (1949)

It is a 1949 American romantic gothic drama film directed by William Wyler, from a screenplay written by Ruth and Augustus Goetz, adapted from their 1947 stage play with of the same title, itself adapted from an 1880 Henry James novel Washington Square. The film stars Olivia de Havilland as Catherine Sloper, an uneducated girl who falls in love with a good-looking boy despite the arguments of her psychologically abusive father who thinks the man is a gold digger. Montgomery Clift plays Morris Townsend and Ralph Richardson plays Dr. Sloper.

Crimson Peak (2015)

Crimson Peak is a 2015 gothic romance film directed by Guillermo del Toro. The film stars Mia Wasikowska, Tom Hiddleston, Jessica Chastain, Charlie Hunnam and also Jim Beaver. The story, set in Edwardian England, follows an ambitious writer who takes a trip to a remote Gothic castle in the English hills with her new husband and brother. There, he must discover the secret behind the supernatural visions that haunt his new home.



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