10 Best Gothic Horror Movies and Where to Stream Them

Gothic horror is a genre that appeals to something so innate that it’s been around since the early 1800s. Haunted houses, ghosts, mysterious husbands, remote mansions surrounded by windswept moors… there are thousands examples of the genre in literature and cinema, and the phenomenon continues today. It was natural that cinematic techniques would begin to bring in new elements and play with the genre as cinematography, set design and symbolism became prominent.

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There’s something about gothic horror that draws people in, and there are plenty of standout films that let you explore gothic worlds.

‘Crimson Peak’ (2015)

This Guillermo del Toro masterpiece, now on Netflix, stars Mia Wasikowska, Tom Hiddlestonand Jessica Chastain as they move through a house filled with classic gothic elements (a secluded haunted house with a dark history and taboo relationships) with At Guillermo del Toro’s signature commentary and creative elements (a writer grappling with his art, a house slowly sinking into red clay).

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From the stunning cinematography to the characters themselves, crimson woodpecker is a prime example of modern gothic horror.


The Others (2001)

This English film made in Spanish explores the psychological mindset of a post-war housewife who believes her house is haunted. With intense suspense and drama, misdirection abounds in this subversive horror film. the Alejandro Amenabar-directed film was critically acclaimed, and by Nicole Kidman performance as a leader earned particular praise.

In 2020 (not even twenty years after its release), a remake was planned, which could allow a whole new generation to enjoy the eerie, dreamlike atmosphere despite any other thoughts fans of the original might have. Until then, however, it can be purchased from most streaming sites, such as HBO Max, Vudu, or iTunes.

Rebecca (1940)

The first couple of Alfred Hitchcock the films are tinged with gothic, and Rebecca is a gothic horror classic that almost everyone is familiar with.

Based on Daphne du Maurier tale, the film uses Hitchcock’s signature style to create an extremely sensational story of an unnamed woman who marries a man haunted by the memory of his late wife. Slowly the woman begins to uncover the truth of who she is married to and who Rebecca is, her hold on her husband being strong even in death. A mix between Jane Eyre and The Wuthering Heightsthe story is ripe with potential for psychological drama, which Alfred Hitchcock decided to take it. The film can be found through Roku’s TVTime channel. Plus, the 2020 remake is on Netflix.

The Innocents (1961)

Pianos playing alone, spooky songs, women sitting in lakes, unique tracking shots through a claustrophobic house… at Jack Clayton the film has all the makings of an exemplary scary film. It’s a classic setup – a woman takes a job as a governess for two children and suspects the house she’s moved into is haunted by the spirits of two former lovers – but the film is intentionally ambiguous as to whether it’s real or merely symbolic of her own repressed illicit sexual feelings.

The cinematography makes for some genuinely chilling scenes, and the film’s slowness only accentuates its feelings of isolation, fear, and slowness in understanding the real themes. Check it out on Hulu’s premium service.

“Interview with the Vampire” (1994)

Neil Jordan’s Interview with the Vampirebased on by Anne Rice book of the same title, boasts an iconic cast of the 90s, with Tom Cruise and brad pitt depicting the tumultuous relationship between the vampires Lestat de Lioncourt and Loius de Pointe du Lac through the centuries. While Lestat savors the power and bloodlust of vampirism, Louis is ashamed and hates himself for choosing to become one.

With an 11 year old Kirsten Dunst directing the performance that received her first Golden Globe nomination as Claudia, a girl they turn into an immortal vampire, Interview with the Vampire exemplifies both the vampire genre and gothic horror and is available on Netflix.

“Get Out” (2017)

Available for rent or purchase on most streaming services, Jordan Peele get out is a fantastic choice for movie night. Somewhere between psychological horror and science fiction, this acclaimed film is a modern and timely example of gothic horror, dealing with race relations in a very poignant way. When Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) visits his white girlfriend’s wealthy family, he struggles to escape as stranger things happen to the few black people present.

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It is revealed that the family have found a way to implant their consciousness in people whose physical characteristics they like. While they’re keen to note that they don’t care about race, it’s hard to ignore that they only do this to black people.

“The Phantom of the Opera” (1925)

The Paris Opera, a lake under the cellars, a prima donna trained to sing by a mysterious voice… these are all hallmarks of Gothic romance and horror. While the original book by Gaston Leroux and Andrew Loyd Webber The hit Broadway musical is fantastic and conveys the atmosphere wonderfully, the 1925 silent film is an underrated adaptation experience. At a time when cinema was relatively new, trying to adapt something as atmospheric as The Phantom of the Opera was ambitious, and the art direction is still interesting: the plot is intriguing even without the sound.

Full of shadowy figures projected against firelit walls, by Lon Chaney self-applied makeup like the Phantom and the grandeur of the Paris Opera, this first adaptation of the iconic story paved the way for so many more. Watch it with a premium subscription to Amazon Prime Video!

“The Birds” (1963)

Alfred Hitchcock’s films often included horror elements, especially those common in gothic horror. The birds the fact most overtly, with the setting up of a woman trapped in an unknown location, the unexplained attacks by flocks of birds and the mysterious man who seems to be at the center of it all add up to an exciting film which has become a horror classic since its release in 1963.

Available for free on Peacock or for rental on Amazon Prime Video, The birds is a classic masterpiece that everyone should have on their to-do list.

“Hunger” (1983)

david bowie, Susan Sanderonand Catherine Deneuve star in a quirky, gory vampiric drama in which John (david bowie), struggling with the fact that he’s not as immortal as he thought, brings Sarah home (Susan Sanderson), gerontologist, to help him age quickly. While the gerontologist is transformed into a vampire by his companion, Miriam (Catherine Deneuve), and must deal with the consequences, John is placed in a coffin to remain there forever and slowly age to death. A physical relationship between Miriam and Sarah develops, detailing a clear power imbalance.

Tony Scott’s Cult classic is one anyone can pay to watch on Apple TV or Amazon Prime, but it received mixed reviews upon release. Still, its premise is different enough to merit a watch.

‘Sleepy Hollow’ (1999)

Available for purchase on Amazon Prime or Apple TV, sleepy hollow is enough to give anyone nightmares. Tim Burton is a master of gothic horror, and it would be remiss not to mention this film. Combining dark humor, elements of horror and lighthearted gothic romance, sleepy hollow launches into a tale of the legendary Headless Horseman.

Inspirations from classic horror movies like Frankenstein in the manufacture and by Basil Rathbone Sherlock Holmes in by Johnny Depp performance is undeniable. However, the film goes beyond simple homage to make these elements something unique.

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