An author of Speculative Fiction, speculates about fiction.

My favourite Gothic movies

I love movies almost as much as I love writing. Most of the time, they become interchangable as I watch a movie that sparks some idea that ends up as a story (NOT Fan Fiction. I’m sorry, but I had to stipulate that). Anyways, as I’m sure you’ll have guessed by now, I’m seriously into my dark imagery. Gormenghast by Mervyn Peake is among my favourite reads, and I can’t think of anything more incredibly Gothic than that. Anyways, as I sometimes so, I’m going to talk about the movies that have inspired me ove the years or, more specifically, the Gothic ones.

Now, you might disagree as to whether these films are truly in the classical Gothic tradition. But I’m talking about the darkness, here. That feeling of dread or shivery exultation you get from reading a good ghost story, or experiencing something dark that you can’t help but like. So, without much further ado, here are my favourite Gothic movies…

Nosferatu

Let’s start with the oldest first. As well as being one of the first Vampire movies I ever saw (not because I was old enough to be there, but because it was on TV) this is one that still bloody petrifies me. The fact that it has no sound, and the camera angles/use of shadow just make the whole thing so ethereal. Take a look at what I mean, and turn off the sound. I don’t know why people insist on adding stupid music to clips of Nosferatu. Talk about missing the point!

Dark City

This probably isn’t in the true Gothic feel, being more of a sci-fi movie, but the imagery is certainly dark enough. There’s also a deep sense of being trapped and a feeling of futility to the protagonist’s fight. How can he possibly escape the labyrinthine avenues and alleyways of Dark City when the villains can warp the world around him. You might also see a bit of a similarity between the villains and Max Schreck’s character from Nosferatu. Oh, and it has Keifer Sutherland in it. What more can you possibly ask for? Apart from JENNIFER CONNELY! Schwing!

The Crow

And now to my favourite of this group. I have seen this movie so many times that the VHS (remember those?) warped from the heat and the DVD has lost its shine. James O’Barr’s utterly psychotic graphic novel is the inspiration for this film, and not a lick of the depth seems to be lost. The dialogue is dumbed down for the masses, since the comic was written in almost constant poetry, but parts of the original come through in Brandon Lee’s lines. It also has one of the creepiest villains this side of the Joker. This film, out of this sall selection, probably hits the Gothic feel the most. Eric’s return from the  dead to seek his revenge on Shelley’s murderers is always secondary to the love story, the power of which literally resurrects him from the grave. Take a look at the trailer, which focusses more on the action, and so does it no justice whatsoever. But you’ll get the idea.

 

This is what it looks like inside my head a lot of the time, folks 🙂 Greaveburn at the very least has been influenced by the kind of camera shots and colourscapes you see in these films. And since I tend to write my stories as I see them, and so as cinematically as possible, I think you’ll see where I get my obsession with dark imagery from.

Anyway, it’s been nice sharing with you as always, especially these three favs of mine. Let me know if you have any other suggestions. There’s always a chance you might put me onto a gem I haven’t seen 🙂

 

Thanks for reading.

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5 responses

  1. Great choices! Especially Dark City. Totally didn’t expect that. Great movie but I don’t know many that have seen it.

    February 18, 2012 at 3:19 am

    • Neither do I. No one seems to have heard of it. Wierd, since I think it’s brilliant. Glad you enjoyed the post, Conrad 🙂

      February 18, 2012 at 11:21 am

  2. I’ll have to check out some of the films on your list as the only film I’ve seen on there is ‘The Crow’ which I totally loved as a teenager and I’ve not seen for years! (Any film with a bit of Edgar Allan Poe and a tragic accident resulting in the death of its lead actor was strangely appealing to me as a moody teenager.) After my year of reading at home comes to an end you’ll be glad to hear that ‘Gormenghast’ will be one of the first books I check out, especially as the illustrations that accompany the story look great. I also want to check out another of Peake’s ‘Letters from a lost Uncle’ which seems totally random and off the wall. Looking forward to ‘Greaveburn’ if these are some of the influences and inspiration behind it.

    February 19, 2012 at 8:23 pm

    • Cheers! I hope you enjoy reading it! Just do me a favour and read Gormenghast AFTER Greaveburn. Peake’s books are incredible and I dont think mine can stand up to it 🙂

      February 20, 2012 at 9:11 am

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    June 27, 2012 at 6:43 am

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