Goth Movies – 16 That You Must Watch

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Who doesn’t like movie Sundays? Where the only thing you do is put on Netflix, or a few DVDs, grab a coffee, and mong out in front of the television all day.

Well, if you want some movies that are a bit more gothic then you should give these ones a shot on your next time though.

The Guest

A new entry in the goth cannon, this is one for the soundtrack. From the dark wave masters Clan of Xymox, to Front 242 and Hoicco, the score is pretty much a love letter to the goth scene in all shapes and forms.

From the director of You’re Next and the best sequences on the horror anthologies V/H/S (Tape 56) and V/H/S/2 (Phase 1 Clinical Trials), this film features a man who arrives to a house, and explains that he was with the family’s son when he was killed in Iraq. He eventually becomes a valued house guest, but of course, things aren’t what they seem.

As well as the great soundtrack, the film also has some amazing performances. The ending of the film may get a too actiony-horror for some people’s tastes, but if that is your sort of jam, you are going to love this.


It’s hard to not just fill out these kinds of lists with movies from Burton, but it is Beetlejuice which really stands out, all thanks to the character of Lydia. Her “I myself am unusual and strange” is a line sampled by many different songs.

Featuring a pair of ghosts who wish to keep a couple out of their home, and summoning a massive malicious prankster.

Where the film shins is it’s sense of quirky, morbid humour without actually being a black comedy. It’s not so much dark, as happy about death.

Ghost World

For when you want something about the ups and downs about being a creative person. And potentially a potent look into your school life, wherever it’s the current life, or the past one.

Christina Ricci steals the show here, with her detached, Daria-like way of looking at the world. For a plot? It’s about progressing from one stage of life to the other, even when you aren’t really attached to the past or the future.

What we do in the Shadows

Another movie that has become an instant modern day classic. What We Do in the Shadows filmed as an old style 80’s documentary, this film follows the exploits of a clan of vampires all living in a house. Think the British series Being Human, mixed with the Office, complete with it’s own style of humour that mixes the problems of everyday living with the supernatural.

The best thing is that the humour grows organically from the very strong characterisation. It feels that the script was written by taking a bunch of characters, putting the in a room together, and seeing what happens.

Rocky Horror Picture Show

Everyone seems to know the Rocky Horror picture show, even if they haven’t actually seen it.

I’ve always personally seen the rocky horror picture show as a kind of less mainstream version of Moulin Rouge. That is, it’s a great, fun, sing along musical that actually everyone can enjoy if you know of it.

Best enjoyed with some friends and some wine. Once you’ve seen it, you’ll understand the cult and want to go to your own live screening.

The Nightmare before Christmas

The second of the three Tim Burton movies, it is time to talk about the best movie for both Halloween and Christmas.

The macabre look at the different holidays is perfect with it’s slight goth trappings, and the standard goth humour of spooky things not realising that what they do are spooky (see also, The Adamms Family).

Plus just like Rocky Horror Picture Show it is also just a fun movie to sing along to, even when you aren’t watching it.

(Note: Technically, although his name is always attached to it, this isn’t really a Tim Burton movie. He just produced it. BUT his style is everywhere in it, that it may as well be.)

The Gene Generation

Ever wanted to see a corny-bad art house movie, with fast cuts and cliche Cyberpunk costumes, this is the movie for you.

The best way to enjoy this movie is by having some like minded friends around with a few beers. The plot concerns an assassin who targets “DNA hackers”, people who can hack the bodies of people, often with fatal results.

The soundtrack, however, contains such greats as VNM Nation and Combichrist, which means that even with the terrible fun of the movie, there is at least an appreciation of good music.

The Craft

Ah, the classic goth-movie set within an High School.

Take one new girl in an all catholic high school, falling into a crowd of witches.

One great thing about this movie is that it represents a kind of new breed of movie, which The Craft directly inspired and can be seen in others such as The Faculty. That of a High School Drama movie, but with horror elements and several more shades of darkness in them than your typical teen affair.

Edward Scissorhands

And the last Tim Burton movie on the list.

What is there to say about why Edward Scissorhands is a classic other than the obvious of the main character.

This feels like a fairytale that could have only come from the mind of Tim Burton. A robot is made, but the creator dies before he gets a chance to attach hands, leaving the poor thing with a variety of knives and scissors on his hands. However, he manages to find some uses for his predicament in a small town while also falling in love.

The Crow

This one is a hard one to watch. Not because of the thematic content, or anything else, but because of the knowledge that you are watching not just an actors last movie, but he movie that killed him.

While making the crow, there is a scene where the main actor, Brandon Lee, is to be shot. However, in a pivotal scene in the movie, the crew had forgotten to make sure that a gun to be used was completely free of obstructions. The gun fired, fatally killing Brandon Lee.

The spectre of Brandon Lee unfortunately covers the whole movie while you are watching it, a tale of a man coming back from death to get revenge for his murder and the murder of his fiancée.

While watching this movie, after Brandon Lee, you will be taken aback by the beautiful and stunning cinematography that prevails throughout the whole movie.

May The Film

Less well known than many of the other entries on this list, but an absolutely essential movie to see.

May is a basic retelling of the Frankenstein story, following the life of the delightfully kooky and strange May as she realises that if you can’t find a friend, you should just make one.

This is very much a slow burn movie, that is held up by the acting of the amazing and very under appreciated Angela Bettis. In a way, it’s kind of like a very weird and slightly depressing romantic comedy kind of thing until the last segment of the movie.

Certainly, put it on if you have never seen it before.

Interview with the Vampire

The Anne Rice novel, lovingly filmed, so much so that Anne Rice, who initially had her reservations over the movie and changed her mind after seeing the final product.

With a framing story of a newspaper reporting talking to the title vampire, this is the film that got a generation into vampires well before the days of Twilight.

It’s also more star studded that you might realise, with Brad Pitt, Kirsten Dunst and Tom Cruise all featuring in it.

A stunning tour-de-force, with some amazing direction and great thrills, the subtle horror in this movie is only overshadowed by the framing and sheer ambition of the directors, Neil Jordan’s, vision.


I’m pretty sure that everyone knows the image of Pinhead, a large bald man with multiple pins in his skull. He is the main antagonist of this movie. And that’s a key word right there, not villain. Although the later sequels (which really aren’t worth watching) tend to turn him into a more typical slasher villain, in this he really isn’t a villain. “You opened the box. We came.” There is no morality involved.

Hellraiser features a strange box which when opens up, summons Pinhead, and assorted other demons, to give the opener pleasure beyond their wildest dreams. It’s just that this pleasure is from the demon’s own idea of immense pain.

As with everything else based on the works of Clive Barker, expect lots and lots of body horror

The Matrix

The first movie to really mix a great plot and grounded philosophy with amazing action sequences, The Matrix is a definer for many other movies that play with a similar kind of style.

Brining the world of leather and trench coats to the main stream, the film still stretches with a large sense of style.

The soundtrack is also fill of some classic rock as well, complete with Marilyn Manson, Rob Zombie and Ministry.

This is also a great cross over film, which is perfect for putting on around everyone for the pure nostalgia reasons.

Such a great film, it’s great that they never made any sequels to it and ruined the original premise.

Donnie Darko

A love letter to the 80’s, without the mind-bending plot, themes of time-travel and destiny and understated horror, this film would just be the perfect portrait of what it was like living in the decade as a teenager.

With a soundtrack featuring the greats of Tears for Fears, Echo and the Bunny Men and Joy Division, it is a movie to play with a great sound system (if you manage to track it down playing at a cinema, even better).

Also featuring great acting from Jake Gyllenhaal, and his sister Maggie, you will want to watch this movie more than once to unravel everything that happens in it.

House of 1000 Corpses

And lastly, it is time for one of the true horror entries on the list.

House of 1000 Corpses, Rob Zombie’s directional debut, features the standard set up plot of two couples being kidnapped along the way down some backwards Texas roads by a clan of serial killers.

Shot like a feature length music video, without a focus on the music, this movie has just the right mix of camp and serious to make it a classic for all halloween and other spooky evening parties.

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