As you may have noticed, it’s Gothic Horror month here at the Midnight Society. Up until recently, I had no idea what gothic horror actually was, or how many of my favorite movies and novels fell under it’s genre umbrella (is that a thing?). In case you’re wondering, study.com defines gothic horror as:
The term Gothic fiction refers to a style of writing that is characterized by elements of fear, horror, death, and gloom, as well as romantic elements, such as nature, individuality, and very high emotion. These emotions can include fear and suspense.
I know what you’re thinking…some of YOUR favorite movies and books are gothic horrors too! No? Well fear not. I’m about to rec your socks off.
I’m not sure about you, but I can’t even think gothic horror/romance without Kami Garcia’s BEAUTIFUL CREATURES flashing through my brain. The book is just dripping with scenery, southern voice, and delicious morsels of creepiness. Another YA novel that always felt like it had a bit of gothic flare is one of my all time faves, A GREAT AND TERRIBLE BEAUTY by Libba Bray. If you haven’t read that series, buy it now…I’ll wait.
Now what kind of horror writer would I be if I didn’t mention FRANKENSTEIN by the Queen herself, Mary Shelley or DRACULA by Bram Stoker. Oh, and THE PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY by Oscar Wilde. (Side note: Has someone written us the YA version of that with a secret snapchat account or something??)
If you turn your attention to the small screen, I offer PENNY DREADFUL. This show has psychics, Dorian Gray, werewolves, vampires, Frankenstein, and consumption. It is ammmmazing.
If you’re looking for a few movies, all you need to do is turn your eye to the God of Gothic, Guillermo del Toro. One of the most incredible foreign films I’ve ever seen is THE ORPHANAGE. It is a slow-brewing, intense horror that messes with your mind until the last possible second. It is utterly enthralling. And there’s a kid in a cloth sack mask, so there’s no shortage of scares.
Another example of del Toro’s genius would be last year’s release of CRIMSON PEAK. We have moaning hallways, haunted houses, doomed romances, and Charlie Hunnam. I mean…come on. What more do you need in a movie?
There are SO many other movies I could talk (gif) about, but I have some writing to do! So here’s a quick list of some more awesome gothic horror movies: Gaslight, The Others, Skeleton Key, Sleepy Hollow (movie, not show), Jane Eyre (swoon), Dark Shadows, and pretty much any Tim Burton / Johnny Depp movie.
I know I left some great books and movies off the list. What are some of your favorites?