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. In 2013 the BFI’s spellbinding season lifted the lid on this dark storehouse of the imagination, which found its heart in Britain, and came to life on film. Delve into a dark heart of film here.
Thriller2016109 minsDirector: Juan Carlos Medina
Bill Nighy plays the arch detective investigating a series of grisly murders around the music halls of Victorian London, in this pungent Gothic mystery.
Drama201792 minsDirector: David Lowery
David Lowery's haunting exploration of love and loss, with Rooney Mara and Casey Affleck is a high-point of recent independent American cinema.
Horror195882 minsDirector: Terence Fisher
Hammer's 1958 version of Stoker's Gothic novel was the most exciting to date, boasting lavish costumes and sets, a vibrant score and red, red blood.
Horror197291 minsDirector: Don Sharp
The greatest zombie-biker, toad-worshipping-Satanists horror in British cinema is an undisputed cult classic brimming with exciting action and fantastical mayhem.
Horror195783 minsDirector: Terence Fisher
Meddling with nature has devastating consequences in Hammer's first Gothic horror, a visceral take on Mary Shelley's novel.
Horror197795 minsDirector: Dario Argento
Dario Argento’s phantasmagoric gothic nightmare blends operatic violence, disorienting dream logic and hyper-real visual to create a horror classic.
Horror196896 minsDirector: George A. Romero
Landmark film from 'zombie godfather' Romero, whose makeshift heroes fight for their lives against a new and terrifying enemy.
Period drama194794 minsDirector: Marc Allégret
Valerie Hobson stars as the scheming governess with designs on taking over the Fury estate, in this atmospheric Gothic melodrama
56 minsDirector: Gerry Levy
A fairground showman (Warren Mitchell) exacts a terrible revenge upon the hooligans who terrorise him in this haunting tale of mystery and magic
Horror200411 minsDirector: Stephanie Sinclaire
What's under those floorboards? A man is driven to murder in a modern retelling of Edgar Allen Poe's ghoulish story shot by the legendary cinematographer Jack Cardiff.