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.
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.
A witchfinder traverses 17th-century England executing those he suspects of witchcraft.
Angela Carter and Neil Jordan's magical, radical take on Little Red Riding Hood.
David Lynch's moving true-life tale of the severely deformed Joseph Merrick and his rescue from the hell of a Victorian circus sideshow.
A silent silhouette animation of the classic fairy tale.
A terrifying encounter in a Gothic cathedral. The League of Gentlemen's Jeremy Dyson and Mark Gatiss collaborate on a twisted tale.
A group of guests assembled at a country house swap uncanny and supernatural stories in this classic Ealing chiller from 1945.
Directed by Andrew Brand
For whom does the bell toll? A man discovers a dreadful secret among his late father's belongings.