9 Gothic Horror Films You Need to See

A look at 9 awesome Gothic horror movies

The appeal of the Gothic horror film ebbs and flows, like any subgenre. The earliest Universal films locked the two key Gothic horror properties in Frankenstein and Dracula to forge their initial spate of films and those two titles — along with Henry James’ The Turn of the Screw and to a lesser extent, Bronte sister novels like Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre — have been cornerstones of the sort of cinema lovers of all things ornate and romantic and lurid thrive on. In the 1950s and ’60s, Hammer Horror studios had great success re-inventing those Universal films with a lush color palette and the popularity of those more visceral films inspired filmmakers all over Europe to follow suit, adding sex and blood to fevered tales of Victorian-era graverobbing, tragic vampires, malevolent ghosts, doomed romances and almost pornographic levels of atmosphere and dread.

RELATED: Read Our Review of The Limehouse Golem

With the Gothic, it’s all about foreplay, the crescendo, the build up to the peak, with those treasured explosions of violence and surrender being the reward. Now, with films like the mesmerizing The Limehouse Golem and the absolutely first rate The Lodgers coming to screens, it seems the Gothic horror film is making a return. It never went away, of course. Even the recent Annabelle: Creation traded more on romantic atmosphere and feminine suspense than cheapjack shock. Maybe audiences are tired of the in-your-face cinema and pop culture landscape and are pining for something more artful, more dreamlike, more sensual…

Here then are nine remarkable examples of the Gothic horror film done right, with some of them standing as classics and others as overlooked gems worthy of more affection.

Have a look…