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The Best Gothic Horror Movies 

Ranker Horror
Originally by
Updated October 8, 2019 6.3k votes 711 voters 30.3k views 52 items

Gothic horror (also commonly referred to as gothic fiction) is a genre of literature or film that typically combines horror, fiction and romance. The first recorded work of gothic fiction was in 1764 when author Horace Walpole wrote his classic book A Gothic Story. Gothic fiction will pull on a pleasant sense of terror within the emotions and throw in some romantic emotions into the mix. Two other long-standing components of a gothic horror work of art are parody and melodrama. Some of the most well known literary works of art were part of gothic horror, including most of Edgar Allen Poe’s works as well as Mary Shelley’s (hi there, Frankenstein's monster).

This list features the best gothic horror movies, including: Bride of Frankenstein, Dracula, The Devil’s Backbone, Eyes Without a Face, What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?, The Haunting, Phantom of the Opera, Hour of the Wolf, and Vampyr.

Vote up your favorite horror flick today, or add a gothic horror film you love that isn't already on the list.
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Max Schreck, John Gottowt, Alexander Granach

Released: 1922

Directed by: F. W. Murnau

Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens is a 1922 German Expressionist horror film, directed by F. W. Murnau, starring Max Schreck as the vampire Count Orlok. The film, shot in 1921 and released ...more

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Nicole Kidman, Christopher Eccleston, Michelle Fairley

Released: 2001

Directed by: Alejandro Amenábar

The Others is a 2001 horror-thriller film written, directed and scored by Alejandro Amenábar. It stars Nicole Kidman and Fionnula Flanagan. It won eight Goya Awards, including awards for ...more

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3
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Johnny Depp, Christina Ricci, Christopher Walken

Released: 1999

Directed by: Tim Burton

Sleepy Hollow is a 1999 American fantasy horror adventure film directed by Tim Burton. It is a film adaptation loosely inspired by the 1820 short story The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington ...more

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4
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Boris Karloff, John Boles, Colin Clive

Released: 1931

Directed by: James Whale

Frankenstein is a 1931 horror monster film from Universal Pictures directed by James Whale and adapted from the play by Peggy Webling, which in turn is based on the novel of the same name by ...more

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5
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Claire Bloom, Lois Maxwell, Julie Harris

Released: 1963

Directed by: Robert Wise

The Haunting is a 1963 British psychological horror film directed and produced by Robert Wise and adapted by Nelson Gidding from the novel The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson. It stars ...more

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6
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Boris Karloff, Walter Brennan, Billy Barty

Released: 1935

Directed by: James Whale

Bride of Frankenstein is a 1935 American horror film, the first sequel to Frankenstein. Bride of Frankenstein was directed by James Whale and stars Boris Karloff as The Monster, Elsa Lanchester ...more

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7
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Bela Lugosi, Tod Browning, Carla Laemmle

Released: 1931

Directed by: Tod Browning, Karl Freund

Dracula is a 1931 vampire-horror film directed by Tod Browning and starring Bela Lugosi as Count Dracula. The film was produced by Universal and is based on the 1924 stage play Dracula by ...more

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8
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Laurence Olivier, Alfred Hitchcock, Joan Fontaine

Released: 1940

Directed by: Alfred Hitchcock

Rebecca is a 1940 American psychological thriller-drama film. Directed by Alfred Hitchcock, it was his first American project, and his first film produced under contract with David O. Selznick. ...more

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Deborah Kerr, Michael Redgrave, Pamela Franklin

Released: 1961

Directed by: Jack Clayton

The Innocents is a 1961 British supernatural gothic horror film directed and produced by Jack Clayton, and starring Deborah Kerr, Michael Redgrave and Megs Jenkins. Based on the novella The Turn ...more

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Jack Palance, Pamela Brown, Nigel Davenport

Released: 1973

Directed by: Dan Curtis

Dracula is a 1973 television adaptation of Bram Stoker's 1897 novel Dracula written by Richard Matheson and directed by Dark Shadows creator Dan Curtis, with Jack Palance in the title role. It ...more
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Vincent Price, Barbara Steele, Charles Victor

Released: 1961

Directed by: Roger Corman

The Pit and the Pendulum is a 1961 horror film directed by Roger Corman, starring Vincent Price, Barbara Steele, John Kerr, and Luana Anders. The screenplay by Richard Matheson was based on ...more
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Bette Davis, Joan Crawford, Robert Aldrich

Released: 1962

Directed by: Robert Aldrich

What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? is a 1962 American psychological thriller film produced and directed by Robert Aldrich, starring Bette Davis and Joan Crawford about an actress who holds her ...more

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Joan Bennett, Alida Valli, Udo Kier

Released: 1977

Directed by: Dario Argento

Suspiria is a 1977 Italian horror film directed by Dario Argento, co-written by Argento and Daria Nicolodi, and co-produced by Claudio and Salvatore Argento. The film stars Jessica Harper as an ...more

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Conrad Veidt, Lil Dagover, Hans Heinrich von Twardowski

Released: 1920

Directed by: Robert Wiene

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari is a 1920 German silent horror film, directed by Robert Wiene and written by Hans Janowitz and Carl Mayer. Considered the quintessential work of German Expressionist ...more

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Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, Alan Rickman

Released: 2007

Directed by: Tim Burton

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street is a 2007 musical slasher film directed by Tim Burton. It is an adaptation of Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler's Tony Award-winning 1979 musical ...more

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Lon Chaney, Norman Kerry, Mary Philbin

Released: 1925

Directed by: Lon Chaney, Edward Sedgwick, Rupert Julian, Ernst Laemmle

The Phantom of the Opera is a 1925 American silent horror film adaptation of Gaston Leroux's 1910 novel Le Fantôme de l'Opéra, directed by Rupert Julian and starring Lon Chaney, Sr. ...more

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Rosemary's Baby is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Gothic Horror Movies
dee123 added Mia Farrow, Tony Curtis, John Cassavetes

Released: 1968

Directed by: Roman Polanski

Rosemary's Baby is a 1968 American psychological horror film written and directed by Roman Polanski, based on the bestselling 1967 novel of the same name by Ira Levin. The cast includes Mia ...more

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Vincent Price, Jane Asher, Hazel Court

Released: 1964

Directed by: Roger Corman

This film is a 1964 British horror film directed by Roger Corman and starring Vincent Price. The story follows a prince who terrorizes a plague-ridden peasantry while merrymaking in a lonely ...more

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Fredric March, Wallace Beery, Miriam Hopkins

Released: 1931

Directed by: Rouben Mamoulian

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is a 1931 American Pre-Code horror film directed by Rouben Mamoulian and starring Fredric March. The film is an adaptation of The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, ...more

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Vincent Price, Mark Damon, Myrna Fahey

Released: 1960

Directed by: Roger Corman

House of Usher is a 1960 American horror film directed by Roger Corman and written by Richard Matheson from the short story "The Fall of the House of Usher" by Edgar Allan Poe. The ...more

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21
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Sean Connery, Christian Slater, Ron Perlman

Released: 1986

Directed by: Jean-Jacques Annaud

The Name of the Rose is a 1986 film directed by Jean-Jacques Annaud, based on the book of the same name by Umberto Eco. Sean Connery is the Franciscan friar William of Baskerville and Christian ...more

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22
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kotbayun added Jessica Chastain, Tom Hiddleston, Charlie Hunnam

Released: 2015

Directed by: Guillermo del Toro

Crimson Peak is a 2015 American gothic romance film directed by Guillermo del Toro. In the aftermath of a family tragedy, an aspiring author (Mia Wasikowska) is torn between love for her ...more

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23
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dee123 added Sergi López, Maribel Verdú, Ivana Baquero

Released: 2006

Directed by: Guillermo del Toro

Pan's Labyrinth is a 2006 Spanish-Mexican dark fantasy film directed by Guillermo del Toro. It was produced and distributed by Esperanto Films. In the Falangist Spain of 1944, the bookish young ...more

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dee123 added Daniel Radcliffe, Ciarán Hinds, Janet McTeer

Released: 2012

Directed by: James Watkins

The Woman in Black is a 2012 British horror film directed by James Watkins and written by Jane Goldman, based on Susan Hill's novel of the same name. It was produced by Hammer Film Productions. ...more

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25
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Reza Badiyi, Herk Harvey, Candace Hilligoss

Released: 1962

Directed by: Herk Harvey

Carnival of Souls is a 1962 independent horror film starring Candace Hilligoss. Produced and directed by Herk Harvey for an estimated $33,000, the film did not gain widespread attention when ...more

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