For today’s post, I have decided to do a list of films that have a Victorian Gothic vibe about them. It will not be a countdown, just a list of nine films that fit this vibe for those who, like myself, adore the Victorian Gothic feel!
~Bram Stoker’s Dracula~
~My favorite filmed version of the classic novel has always been the 1992 Francis Ford Coppola masterpiece. It is a lovely visual feast for the senses! I adore the addition of all of the high romance with Mina and Dracula. It feels all very Phantom of the Opera inspired, which would make sense for a Gothic Romance film made when the musical was so popular on Broadway (and still so new). There are all the Victorian Gothic essentials here!
~I do know that this film is actually set after the turn of the century, so technically during the Edwardian era, however, it has some major Victorian Gothic vibes! The sweeping mansion and horrifying secrets both perfectly fitting the bill. The costuming is also very much of the Victorian Gothic trends, especially once they are at the moldering mansion!
~This one is that film where Johnny Depp investigates the Jack the Ripper killings. Heather Graham starred as Jack’s final victim here too, which I thought was an awesome addition. The two really play off of one another well and I loved the explanation given about who Jack was! The show of opium dens and usage of absinthe and laudanum are both accurate to this Victorian Gothic aesthetic!
~Anyone who knows me knows I adore Tim Burton and this will not be his only entry on this list! The story of Victor and Emily is set in Victorian Gothic London and the Afterlife. It shows how death-obsessed the Victorians were, as well as how much more fun those people had when they were dead than when they lived! It is a perfect example of what I call “Tim Burton’s Victorian Gothic Faerytales!”
~This is another instance of a film set in an era that is not technically Victorian, as it takes place in 1799. Yet, like the one above, the Victorian Gothic vibes are seriously heavy here. I love seeing Ichabod Crane as an investigator instead of a schoolmaster! Added bonus, Christina Ricci and Johnny Depp have serious chemistry.
~This is the final Tim Burton entry here. It is based on the popular Penny Dreadful of the same name. I love this dark and gory musical romp! Once again, Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter play off one another to absolutely delightful results. I have had friends call this a musical for people who do not like musicals (I do not know how valid that is, as I love musicals). If you love Victorian Gothic feels and aesthetics, this is one to check out!
~This film starring John Cusack is a great murder mystery that aptly pops Edgar Allan Poe into the mix. He ends up helping to investigate murders that are based on his stories! I loved how it even went there to explain one reason why he may have ended up dead! After all, we still do not know how he died exactly.
~The Tomb of Ligeia~
~The 1960s Poe films directed by Roger Corman are such great fun! I am a huge Vincent Price fan, so I really love watching them. This is my favorite of those films, unsurprisingly as I do truly adore this particular Poe tale! It hits all the right Victorian Gothic notes to fit on this list!
~The Phantom of the Opera~
~I am specifically referring to the 1980s film that starred Robert Englund as the titular Phantom, Erik! This one takes the original setting of Paris and swaps it for London, giving us a truly Victorian Gothic take on one of my favorite tales. The costumes and sets really feel like a mix between The Phantom of the Opera and Jack the Ripper! This has to be one of my all-time favorite takes on the tale put to celluloid!
~I hope you have enjoyed this list. Can you think of any other films that give off these vibes? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!