Sometimes we want a little romance in our horror movies. So, we turn to gothic films — both the classics and their contemporaries — for a fix of dark, dreamy, but no less scary escape and entertainment. Here's a rundown of some of our favorite gothic horror movies. — Sharon Knolle
A high-strung Victorian governess (Deborah Kerr) believes her two young charges are possessed by the ghosts of two former servants in The Innocents, a psychological adaptation of Henry James's "Turn of the Screw." Is she imagining things or are the children really under the spell of evil?
The brooding, massive, labyrinthine Hill House is a major character in the subtle horror classic The Haunting. Paranormal researchers, including sensitive, shy Eleanor (Julie Harris), slowly unravel as Hill House's many ghosts make their malevolent presence known. Avoid the terrible 1999 remake!
In the spooky Spanish film The Orphanage, a woman buys the orphanage where she grew up, intending to raise her sickly adopted son Simón and other handicapped children there. She's troubled when Simón makes an unseen friend, Tomás, and becomes inconsolable when Simón disappears.
The Haunted Palace
Based on an H.P. Lovecraft story: The Haunted Palace stars Vincent Price as a man who inherits a palatial house from his great-great-grandfather, who he learns was burned to death by angry villagers. Soon, he begins to take on the sinister characteristics of his ancestor, to whom he bears a remarkable resemblance.
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
Johnny Depp is at his grim best in Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street as the Victorian barber who swears vengeance on society after being falsely imprisoned. He cuts his hapless customers' throats, and his macabre partner (Helena Bonham Carter) turns them into meat pies in this Oscar-nominated adaptation of the Broadway musical.
Set after World War II, The Others relates the story of a widow (Nicole Kidman) who takes her two children to a remote country house in England. She is vigiliant about protecting them from the sun, to which they are deathly allergic. The house has its secrets, and she's not sure she can trust her creepy Irish housekeeper (Fionnula Flanagan).
The Hound of the Baskervilles In this version of The Hound of the Baskervilles, Peter Cushing stars as Sherlock Holmes, and Christopher Lee is Sir Henry Baskerville, who is under the curse that's claimed the rest of his bloodline: death by an unearthly black dog who roams the moors. It's one of many classic movies from horror specialists Hammer Films, the revered British production company that was founded in 1934 and recently relaunched in 2007.
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