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The Most Memorable Goth Characters From Movies

Updated January 23, 2020 7.8k votes 963 voters 21.0k views15 items

List RulesVote up the figures forever enshrined in your dark heart.

Goths have been a source of curiosity, outrage, self-expression, and fear since the 1970s. Inspired by the New Romantic fashions and Edwardian era, the goth umbrella is wide but cohesive, with various genres reaching beyond the traditional modern subculture represented by some of the best goths in movies today. 

Goth representation began long before this concrete subculture developed. Gothic literature has existed since the late 18th century, and some of the media's most beloved goths made their first appearance on the silver screen. From 1915 to today, the best goth characters - including a fair number of comic-book goths - have sent our cultural environment to darker and more romantic depths, and the best goth characters in movies prove that. 

  • Type of goth: Romantic meets extreme body modification.
    Aesthetic: Tim Burton's platonic ideal.
    Signature quote: "I am not complete."
    General outlook on life: Hack away until you make something beautiful. 

    Edward Scissorhands (Johnny Depp) inspired an entire generation of spooky kids to paint their faces white and tape sharp blades to their fingers. Mostly nonverbal and skittish in human interactions, Edward can only communicate and obtain social value through his profoundly skilled yet highly cursed scissorhands.

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  • Type of goth: Cyberpunk.
    Aesthetic: Form-fitting leather and studs. 
    Signature quote: "Lie still. I've never done this before... and there will be blood." 
    General outlook on life: Human relationships are disappointing. 

    Lisbeth Salander (Rooney Mara) is known for her antisocial behavior, as well as her dogged determination to find and punish predatory men by any means necessary. Her world-class hacking skills and extraordinary memory abilities elevate her to a nearly superhuman status. 

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  • Type of goth: Evil fairy.
    Aesthetic: Imposing vampire bat.
    Signature quote: "The princess shall indeed grow in grace and beauty, beloved by all who know her. But, before the sun sets on her 16th birthday, she shall prick her finger on the spindle of a spinning wheel and [perish]."
    General outlook on life: If she's not having fun, no one is.

    She’s known as the "Mistress of All Evil," a foil to the good fairies, Flora, Fauna, and Merryweather. Maleficent is the fairy godmother who makes Princess Aurora ill and punishes her with eternal sleep for not being invited to her christening. 

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  • Type of goth: Industrial.
    Aesthetic: Extreme body modification.
    Signature quote: "Pain has a face. Allow me to show it to you."
    General outlook on life: When you have been failed by God and mankind, wipe out everything in your path. 

    Pinhead’s demeanor was an unusual departure from the typical horror villain. Reserved and articulate, his previous humanity adds to his unnerving cool affect. In an interview, Clive Barker, Pinhead's creator, describes the character as "a cross between an administrator and a surgeon who is responsible for running a hospital where there are no wards, only operating theaters."

    The cold callousness of the reigning Cenobite is incredibly goth.

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