Gothic Film

Theatrical Masks

Gothic films are described as films that draw from the Gothic tradition in literature. This means that they have dark and sometimes supernatural elements like the Gothic novels of the 18th and 19th centuries such as Mary Shelley's Frankenstein (1818) and Bram Stoker's Dracula (1897). The tragic theme of forlorn love is re-current in Gothic literature and film. Here I will focus on contemporary Gothic films. Many Gothic artists, musicians and film directors are Surrealists and rely on their subsonscious to produce their art. A lot of people seem to think that Goths like horror movies...as for myself I despise gore but do love all things dark. I think that there is a big difference between things that are dark and things that are evil.



Goth Actors

The following film stars have been related to the Goth scene either because of the films they choose to star in, their fashion sense, their art or the people they associate themselves with:



Marilyn Manson

Starred in Party Monster, The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things, Rise, Lost Highway, Jawbreaker. Dated Rose Mcgowan, Dita Von Teese and Evan Rachel Wood.



Angelina Jolie

Angelina Jolie

In Angelina's first marriage to Jonny Lee Miller she wore black leather pants and a white top with his name scrawled on the back in Jolie's own blood. In an interview with the Boston Globe, Jolie explains why she and Thornton wear vials of each other's blood around their necks. "Some people think a big diamond is really pretty," she says. "My husband's blood is the most beautiful thing in the world to me." The couple also sign their wills in blood the same year, and for a first-anniversary present, Jolie buys Thornton his-and-hers cemetery plots in his native Louisiana. People magazine once noted in a fun facts section of the magazine that as a child, Angelina Jolie wanted to be an undertaker and studied embalming.



Christina Ricci

Christina Ricci

Starred in Addams Family Values, Sleepy Hollow, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Casper, Penelope, Pumpkin and Mermaids.


Evan Rachel Wood

Starred in Running with Scissors, True Blood and Thirteen. Dated Marilyn Manson.


Helena Bonham Carter

Starred in Fight Club, Frankenstein, Alice in Wonderland, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Corpse Bride, Big Fish, Henry VIII, Lady Jane, Howards End, A Room with a View, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Sixty Six and Hamlet. Married to Tim Burton.



Lily Cole

Lily Cole

Starred in The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus. Set to star as Alice in Marilyn Manson's Phantasmagoria: The Visions of Lewis Carroll.


Winona Ryder

Starred in Dracula, Edward Scissorhands, Beetlejuice, Heathers, A Scanner Darkly, The Crucible and Girl, Interrupted and dated Johnny Depp.



Fairuza Balk

Fairuza Balk

Listens to Joy Division and starred in Return to Oz, The Craft and The Island of Dr. Moreau.


Rose Mcgowan

Listens to Cocteau Twins and PJ Harvey, dated Marilyn Manson and starred in Jawbreaker, Charmed, The Doom Generation and Marilyn Manson's Coma White video.


Maila Nurmi aka Vampira

A Finnish-American actress who created the campy 1950s character Vampira. She portrayed Vampira as TV's first horror host and in the Ed Wood cult film Plan 9 from Outer Space.


Cassandra Peterson aka Elvira

The host of Elvira, Mistress of the Dark.


Theda Bara

A very popular Edwardian silent film actress as well as a Goth fashion icon. She is known for her dark eye shadow. Her femme fatale roles earned her the nickname "The Vamp". She starred in Lady Audley's Secret, Carmen, Sin, The Devil's Daughter, A Fool There Was, Cleopatra, The Siren's Song and more.


Musidora

A popular French silent film actress. She became famous for her vamp roles in such film serials as Les Vampires and Judex, in which she developed a persona comparable to that of Theda Bara. In addition to acting she directed and wrote many of her films.


Morticia Addams

The Addams family goddess played by Carolyn Jones and later Anjelica Huston.


Cassandra Peterson aka Elvira

The host of Elvira, Mistress of the Dark.



David Bowie

David Bowie

Starred in The Hunger, Labyrinth, Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me, The Man Who Fell to Earth and Basquiat.


Jennifer Connelly

Starred in Labyrinth, Dark City, Waking the Dead, Requiem for a Dream, House of Sand and Fog, Of Love and Shadows, The Adventures of the Rocketeer.


Natalie Portman

Starred in Leon: The Professional, Goya's Ghosts, V for Vendetta, Garden State, The Other Boleyn Girl, Mars Attacks, Beautiful Girls, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, Snow and the Seven, Closer, Star Wars.


Pauley Perrette

Starred in My First Mister and plays a Goth girl on NCIS.


Viggo Mortenson

Starred in The Lord of the Rings (Aragorn), The Portrait of a Lady, The Reflecting Skin, The Prophecy, Crimson Tide, and Psycho. Featured in the Goth magazine Carpe Noctumn in regards to his dark art.



Johnny Depp

Johnny Depp

Starred in Edward Scissorhands, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, Sleepy Hollow, Alice in Wonderland, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Pirates of the Caribbean, The Libertine, From Hell, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, The Ninth Gate and Chocolat.


Links:


Goth Film Directors

The following is a list of the artists who help create beautifully dark films:


Jan Svankmajer

Jan Švankmajer

Czech surrealist stop-motion animator. His works have greatly influenced other artists such as Tim Burton, Terry Gilliam, The Brothers Quay, Shane Acker, Sir Tijn Po, and many others. Some of his films include Alice, Faust, Little Otik, Lunacy, Conspirators of Pleasure, Punch and Judy, Jabberwocky and The Fall of the House of Usher.


Brothers Quay

Brothers Quay

American identical twin brothers who are surrealist stop-motion animators and film directors. The Quay's films are influenced by those of Jan Švankmajer. Their films include: The Piano Tuner of Earthquakes, The Epic of Gilgamesh, or This Unnameable Little Broom, Street of Crocodiles, The Cabinet of Jan Švankmajer, Stille Nacht II: Are We Still Married and Punch And Judy (Tragical Comedy or Comical Tragedy). They also directed an animated sequence in the film Frida.


Fred Stuhr

American film and art director. His films include: The Sober and Prison Sex music videos for TOOL and The Three Little Pigs music video for Green Jellÿ.


Adam Jones

Adam Jones

Welsh-American musician, songwriter, make-up artist, visual artist and animator. He is the guitarist in the band TOOL. His stop motion animation can be seen in their Sober video (on which he collaborated with Fred Stuhr), Prison Sex, Stinkfist, Ænema, Schism, Parabola and Vicarious. The techniques and style of Tool's music videos, particularly Sober and Prison Sex, borrow heavily from the work of The Brothers Quay. Adam also worked as a sculptor and special effects designer for such films as Jurassic Park and Terminator 2: Judgment Day.


Robert Morgan

Robert Morgan

“One of the most visionary filmmakers working today. Imagine a fusion between the sensibilities of Salvador Dali, David Cronenberg, Ingmar Bergman, Tim Burton and the Quay Brothers, and you’ll have a partial idea of the sheer brilliance of this man’s work.” - Mitch Davis, Rue Morgue Magazine

An English filmmaker who is, in his own words, obsessed with monsters and things that hide under rocks. He lives in a haunted house in London. His films include: The Cat with Hands, Monsters, The Man in the Lower-Left Corner, The Separation and Over Taken.


David Firth

David Firth

An English Surrealist stop-motion and cartoon animator, musician, actor, voice actor, filmmaker, video artist and broadcaster. Firth's work often contains dark imagery and tends to explore topics such as depression and mental illness. Some of his animations are based on his own dreams. He is often regarded as one of the most popular and preeminent Internet animators. Firth composes electronic music under the pseudonym of Locust Toybox. He is currently working on his first animated feature film, currently titled "The Meadow Man". His Films include: Salad Fingers, Spoilsbury Toast Boy, A Black And White Cartoon About Roof Tiling, Burnt Face Man and many more.


David Lynch

An American Surrealist filmmaker and visual artist. Lynch's films are known for their nightmarish and dreamlike images and meticulously crafted sound design. Dreams and dreamlike imagery are often used within his works, relating to the "surrealist ethos" of relying on the subconscious to provide visual drive. His films include Twin Peaks, Dune, Eraserhead, Blue Velvet, The Elephant Man, Lost Highway and Mulholland Drive.


Marilyn Manson

American singer-songwriter, musician, artist, poet, producer, actor, writer and film director. He is currently working on his directorial debut, Phantasmagoria: The Visions of Lewis Carroll. In this film which he wrote, he plays Lewis Carroll, author of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.


Neil Gaiman

Neil Gaiman

English author of science fiction and fantasy short stories and novels, graphic novels, comics, audio theatre and films. Gaiman wrote the 1996 BBC dark fantasy television series Neverwhere. He cowrote the screenplay for the movie MirrorMask with his old friend Dave McKean for McKean to direct. He also cowrote the script for Robert Zemeckis's Beowulf with Roger Avary. Some of his original works have been adapted to film such as Stardust and the stop-motion film Coraline. Other movies in the works are an adaptation of The Graveyard Book and Death: The High Cost of Living who's executive producer will be Guillermo del Toro. He lives near Minneapolis, Minnesota in an "Addams Family house". He is engaged to Amanda Palmer of The Dresden Dolls. He is friends with Tori Amos and the godfather of her daughter Tash. She has made numerous references to him in her songs. Amos has penned the introduction for his novel Death: the High Cost of Living, and posed for the cover.


Dave McKean

English illustrator, photographer, comic book artist, graphic designer, filmmaker and musician. Directed the movie MirrorMask and a number of television intros and music videos as well as several short films, such as The Week Before. His artwork can be seen in The Sandman comics by Neil Gaiman who he often collaborates with. He also has done cd covers for Tori Amos, Download, Front Line Assembly, My Dying Bride, Paradise Lost, Skinny Puppy and Stabbing Westward.


Mark Romanek

Mark Romanek

American music video director who has also moved into directing theatrical films. He has directed some beautifully dark music videos such as: The Perfect Drug and Closer for Nine Inch Nails and Bedtime Story for Madonna. For The Perfect Drug video he used many elements from the work of the artist Edward Gorey. Mark's videos he directed for Nine Inch Nails were the inspiration for some of the scenes in the movie The Cell.


Chris Cunningham

Chris Cunningham

English music video film director and video artist. His music videos include: Frozen for Madonna, Come To Daddy for Aphex Twin, All Is Full of Love for Björk, Only You for Portishead and 36 Degrees for Placebo.


Anthony Lucas

An Australian director, writer, producer, animator and Production Designer. His films include: The Steampunk animation The Mysterious Geographic Explorations of Jasper Morello (which was inspired by the works of Edgar Alan Poe and Jules Verne), Holding Your Breath, Slim Pickings and My Rabit Hoppy.


Guillermo del Toro

Mexican director, producer, screenwriter and designer of horror films with a dose of fantasy. His films draw heavily on sources as diverse as weird fiction, fantasy and war. His films include: Pan's Labyrinth, Mimic, The Orphanage, Cronos, Hellboy, Blade II and The Devil's Backbone. The Orphanage is a complex and good movie. However I didn't like Pan's Labyrinth. Although I liked it's darkness and some of the ideas in it.


Anne Rice

The following films were adapted from books written by the American author Anne Rice: Interview with the Vampire, The Queen of the Damned, Exit to Eden and The Feast of All Saints. Her work has been very influencial to film and music. Many bands have created songs influenced by her writing and some bands have even taken their band names from her wrtings. Here are some of the bands or singers that have been influence by Anne Rice: Savage Garden, Malice Mizer, Last Minute, Atreyu, Sting, Concrete Blonde, Steve Vai, Cradle of Filth, The Damned, Theatres des Vampires, Aiden, Santa Sabina, Talamasca and Versailles.


Tim Burton

Tim Burton

American film director, film producer, writer and artist. Tim Burton is very active in the field of stop motion animation. One of Burton's first films, Vincent, is a six minute stop motion animation about a young boy who wants to be Vincent Price. Several of his early live-action films such as Pee Wee's Big Adventure and Beetlejuice made use of stop motion. In 1993, Burton produced the all-stop motion animation The Nightmare Before Christmas. His movies include: Beetlejuice, Edward Scissorhands, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Sleepy Hollow, Corpse Bride, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Big Fish, Pee-wee's Big Adventure, Batman, Batman Returns, Planet of the Apes, Mars Attacks, Ed Wood, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Alice in Wonderland. He is married to Helena Bonham Carter. I am actually not a fan of many of his movies although I think they are very creative, dark and beautiful. My favourites of his films are Alice in Wonderland and Batman Returns.


Terry Gilliam

An American-born British screenwriter, film director, producer, animator and actor. Terry renounced his American citizenship after George Bush became president. I too left the country soon after. His films include: 12 Monkeys, Brazil, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, The Brothers Grimm, The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, Time Bandits, Jabberwocky and The Fisher King.


Jhonen Vasquez

American cartoonist, comic book artist and writer. He is the creator, head writer, original character designer and voice actor for the animated cartoon Invader Zim. He also directed Mindless Self Indulgence's "Shut Me Up" music video. He created the comics: Johnny the Homicidal Maniac, Happy Noodle Boy, I Feel Sick, Fillerbunny, Everything Can Be Beaten, Jellyfist, Bad Art Collection and Squee. The Gothic magazine Carpe Noctem first published his comics.


Matthew Barney

Matthew Barney

An American filmmaker, Video artist, sculptor and photographer. His early works were sculptural installations combined with performance and video. Between 1994 and 2002 he created the Cremaster Cycle, a series of five films described by Jonathan Jones in The Guardian as "one of the most imaginative and brilliant achievements in the history of avant-garde cinema." He is married to Björk.


Floria Sigismondi

Floria Sigismondi

An Italian born Canadian Surrealist filmmaker, music video director, photographer and installation artist. Floria started her career as a fashion photographer and then became a music video director. Her very innovative, but also very disturbing video works, located in sceneries she once described as "entropic underworlds inhabited by tortured souls and omnipotent beings", attracted a number of very prominent musicians. Her films incorporate images derived from hallucinary dream-states. Apart from her art exhibitions, she is best known for writing and directing The Runaways, starring Kristen Stewart and Dakota Fanning. Sigismondi has also directed music videos for Marilyn Manson, David Bowie, Björk, The Cure, Christina Aguilera, The White Stripes, Sigur Rós, Muse, Interpol, Incubus, and commercials for Old Navy, MAC, Adidas and Eaton's. Her trademark dilating, jittery camerawork, noticeable as early as her video for Manson's The Beautiful People, has been replicated by a great number of directors since. Her parents were opera singers. Floria's videos that she directed for Marilyn Manson inspired scenes in the movie The Cell.


Tarsem Singh

Tarsem Singh

An Indian born film director, producer and screenwriter. His films include: The Cell, The Fall and Immortals. He also was the second unit director on The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.


Links:

View my complete list of Gothic Film Directors on the IMDb



Playlist of Short Gothic Film Videos:




Gothic Film Links


Films with Goths as Main Characters


Films inspired by Gothic Novelists and artists


Films for Kinder Bats (Young Gothlings)


Some Films I Like

Since there are thousands of Gothic films, I thought I would just list some of my favourites. Not all of the below films are considered Gothic but I think many Goth people would like the films I have listed - hey it's my website.