Last week the British Film Institute launched their Gothic project; the longest running season of film screenings and events ever held. The season commences in August, with the BFI Monster Weekend at the British Museum among other events. The full programme is yet to be announced, but here are some recommendations of films to see during the season…
Robert Wise’s 1963 haunted house movie is a genuinely unnerving experience. Locating the horror both internally and externally, The Haunting hurls its 1999 remake into the shade.
The quintessential Hammer Horror movie, Dracula introduces Christopher Lee as Bram Stoker’s vampire count. The film is an excellent introduction to Hammer, as well as exhibiting the key traits of Gothic.
Another haunted house film, The Innocents is deeply unsettling. Based on Henry James’ The Turn of the Screw, Jack Clayton’s film is a masterclass in psychological horror.
The Cabinet of Dr Caligari
The Cabinet of Dr Caligari is one of the finest examples of German Expressionism. The 1920 silent film is far reaching in its influence. As important as the visuals is the truly Gothic narrative of The Cabinet of Dr Caligari.
The British Film Institute’s Gothic season runs from August 2013 to January 2014. For more information on screenings and events can be found here.