Gothic: The Dark Heart of Film

Gothic horror and romance tales feed on our darkest fears and desires, and conjure the creatures of the night into being.

Gothic horror and romance tales feed on our darkest fears and desires, and conjure the creatures of the night into being. image

The sensational tales of 18th and 19th century writers like Horace Walpole, Mary Shelley, Bram Stoker and the Brontës, have defined popular culture, inspiring some of film and television’s most memorable characters, from Dracula and Frankenstein to Cathy and Heathcliff. The technology of film always did fulfil a deep-rooted Gothic fantasy, by capturing the spirits of the living, conjuring ghostly and disembodied forms, and re-animating the dead. Now the undead creatures of the Gothic imagination return to our screens again and again, shape-shifting and breeding new genres. Over the coming months, and four compelling themes, the BFI’s spellbinding nationwide season lifts the lid on this dark storehouse of the imagination, which found its heart in Britain, and came to life on film. You can look into this dark heart of film through the collection here, and also discover the contents of a mysterious black box.

I love the idea of decent, upstanding citizens stripping away layers of mystery to discover the craziness and horror at the heart of things. Charlie Higson (author and actor)

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The Company of Wolves image

Angela Carter and Neil Jordan's magical, radical take on Little Red Riding Hood.

Things We Leave Behind image

Directed by Andrew Brand

For whom does the bell toll? A man discovers a dreadful secret among his late father's belongings.

Dead Hungry image

Directed by Will Bridges

A hungry zombie finds love while terrorising teenage campers in this gruesome but fun twist on the zombie movie.

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