Dark movies: 20 films with the darkest atmosphere

A month came out of the fog, took out a thriller from his pocket – something like a children’s rhyme for this selection of the darkest films should sound like. Shadows rush about on the semi-dark screen, and in the ominous atmosphere, gradually embracing the viewer, an inevitable threat is felt. But not only thrillers can play on mystical and very real human fears: the detectives presented below, gothic fantasy and, of course, horror films do an excellent job with this.

Disappeared (2021)

Edmond Murray returns from a business trip and learns from his ex-wife that his son has gone missing. The police are confused and are considering all versions of what happened – from the flight to the kidnapping . However, soon for unknown reasons, the case is curtailed. Then Edmond himself takes up the investigation. He has to do the impossible to uncover the mystery of the disappearance of a child.

What do you think, is it worth filming a sequel, and what should be in it?

Original title:  
My Son

Genre:
Drama, thriller, crime

Actors:  
James McAvoy, Claire Foy, Tom Cullen…

Country:  
UK, France

Rating:  
Myreleasedate – 5.6, IMDb – 6.0

Age limit:  
16+


Devil in the Details (2020)

In a fresh detective film with a gloomy atmosphere, several stars of world cinema played at once. In the center of the plot are two servants of the law – a seasoned cop Dickey and his young colleague Jim. Together they investigate a series of mysterious murders. The handwriting of a maniac operating in the present is reminiscent of Dickie’s unsolved crimes from five years ago. However, there is not enough evidence, the investigation stands still, until one day the heroes still go on the trail of one suspect. It’s just that it won’t be easy to take it.

Original title:  
The Little Things

Genre:
Detective, crime, thriller

Actors:  
Denzel Washington, Rami Malek, Jared Leto…

Country:  
USA

Rating:  
Myreleasedate – 6.4, IMDb – 6.3

Age restrictions:  
18+


Pact of Silence (2020)

Rayburn guards the protected park. He is doing this business in memory of his daughter, who loved animals . Five years ago, she went missing when her father went out for a drink. The man is very upset by the loss and blames himself for what happened. One day, the body of a teenager is found in the park. The forester goes to the morgue for identification, but another girl turns out to be the victim. From the cops, he learns that an arrow was found at the crime scene, which means that someone opened a real hunt for people in these forests. The hero decides to track down the maniac himself, believing that this way he will get closer to unraveling the mystery of the disappearance of his child.

Original title:
The Silencing

Genre:
Thriller, detective, crime

Actors:
Nikolai Coster-Waldau, Caleb Ellsworth-Clark, Josh Cruddas …

Country:
Canada, USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.2, IMDb – 6.5

Age restrictions:  
18+


Tall Green Grass (2019)

For fans of thrillers, the Americans tried, as always, and made a very gloomy movie, to which the king of horror himself had a hand Stephen King , who wrote this story in collaboration with his son. The heroes of the film – brother and sister – go to San Diego, where a pregnant girl after giving birth must give the baby up for adoption. On the way, Cal and Becky stop the car at the side of the road. They are attracted by the crying of a little boy lost in the tall thick grass. Without hesitation, the heroes enter the grassy field and lose each other. But the real nightmare awaits them somewhere in the depths of this sinister place.

Original title:  
In the Tall Grass

Genre:  
Horror, thriller, fantasy

Actors:  
Laysla De Oliveira, Avery Whitted, Patrick Wilson…

Country:  
Canada, USA

Rating:  
Myreleasedate – 5.8, IMDb – 5.4

Age restrictions:  
18+


Apostle (2018)

The events of the film take place in 1905. On a remote island live members of a religious community that practices dark rituals. The cultists decide to kidnap the girl, the daughter of a wealthy father, to cover the cost of provisions. After all, the last harvest did not bring anything to the inhabitants of the island. However, the kidnapped Jennifer has a brother, Thomas, who was considered dead, but suddenly “rose from the dead” and is ready to save his sister and punish the villains.

Original title:  
Apostle

Genre:  
Horror, fantasy, thriller, drama, detective

Actors:  
Dan Stevens, Lucy Boynton, Michael Sheen …

Country:  
UK, USA

Rating:  
Myreleasedate – 6.2, IMDb – 6.3

Age limits
16+


Ritual (2017)

The next film occupies a special place in the top of the darkest films, because the scary atmospheric horror film was named by critics as one of the best horror films of 2017. Four childhood friends go on a hiking trip through the Swedish forests to pay tribute to a friend who has died. Deciding to take a shortcut, they go deeper into the forest and stumble upon a dilapidated structure that looks like a hermit’s hut. Here the heroes find ancient pagan runes and a strange effigy made of straw. And it would be better for tourists to get out of this place as soon as possible, because something sinister is already watching them!

Original title:  
The Ritual

Genre:
Horror

Actors:  
Rafe Spall, Arsher Ali, Robert James Collier…

Country:  
UK, Canada

Rating:  
Myreleasedate – 6.2, IMDb – 6.3

Age Limits
18+


Golem (2016)

A detective thriller with an unpredictable ending and a gloomy atmosphere of Victorian London introduces the viewer to an experienced Inspector Kildare. The city is shaken by a series of bloody murders, and not the first disfigured body of an innocent victim is found on the streets. The inspector is trying to track down a maniac who leaves his autograph at the crime scenes. But who or what is it? A mythical creature summoned by black magic, or an ordinary person?

Original title:  
The Limehouse Golem

Genre:
Detective, crime, thriller

Actors:  
Douglas Booth, Olivia Cooke, Sam Reed …

Country:  
United Kingdom

Rating:  
Myreleasedate – 6.3, IMDb – 6.3

Age restrictions:  
18+


Witch (2015)

A dark horror film starring the popular Anya Taylor-Joy takes us to the Middle Ages . In search of a better life, a farming family of parents and seven children leave their old places and start a farm on the edge of a forest in New England. However, life in the wilderness is not immediately set – livestock is dying, crops are rotting. And soon the youngest child goes missing. It seems that something otherworldly and dangerous lives in the forest and has been watching the poor family since their arrival.

Original title:  
The VVitch: A New-England Folktale

Genre:  
Horror, thriller

Actors:  
Anya Taylor-Joy, Ralph Ineson, Kate Dickey…

Country:  
Canada, USA

Rating:  
Myreleasedate – 6.5, IMDb – 6.9

Age restrictions:  
16+


House of the Damned (2014)

The film is set in 1899. An inexperienced Oxford graduate comes to practice at a provincial hospital for the mentally ill. The director of the institution introduces the young man to the local order. Unlike other psychiatric clinics, here patients move freely and even help the staff with cleaning and cooking. At first, the hero is inspired by innovative methods of treatment, but as he gets to know this place, the doctor begins to guess that the walls of the hospital hide some kind of dark secret.

Original title:  
Stonehearst Asylum

Genre:  
Thriller, drama

Actors:  
Kate Beckinsale, Jim Sturgess, Ben Kingsley …

Country:  
USA

Rating:  
Myreleasedate – 7.2, IMDb – 6.8

Age restrictions:  
18+


Dark Shadows (2012)

Oh, and Barnabas Collins, a rich and powerful womanizer, managed to contact the witch Angelique Beauchard! Not having achieved reciprocity, the woman dooms the hero to terrible torment. Turning a medieval major into a vampire , she buries him alive. Centuries later, in 1972, by a lucky chance, Barnabas gets out. His estate fell into disrepair, and the family business went under. By joining forces with his descendants, he is going to return the former greatness to his family. Among the dark gothic films, this fantasy is one of the best to watch at night, under the howling wind or the sound of rain.

Original title:  
Dark Shadows

Genre:  
Fantasy, romance, comedy

Actors:  
Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, Helena Bonham Carter …

Country:  
USA, Australia

Rating:  
Myreleasedate – 6.6, IMDb – 6.2

Age restrictions:  
12+


Woman in Black (2012)

The young lawyer Arthur Kipps, on behalf of the management, is sent to put in order the affairs of the deceased mistress of the old mansion . The estate is located on salt marshes and remains completely isolated during high tides. At the funeral of an elderly lady, the hero sees a woman dressed in all black, but the locals avoid talking about the mysterious person. Arthur will have to stay alone in a creepy haunted house and face real horror from the past.

Original title:  
The Woman in Black

Genre:  
Horror, fantasy, thriller, drama

Actors:  
Daniel Radcliffe, Kieran Hinds, Janet McTeer …

Country:  
UK, Canada, Sweden

Rating:  
Myreleasedate – 6.5, IMDb – 6.4

Age Limits
16+


Raven (2011)

A dark detective thriller with a high rating and a mystical plot about how the already printed stories of Edgar Allan Poe were embodied in reality by someone’s evil mind. Terrible murders take place in Baltimore, each of which repeats the plot from the writer ‘s books . Together with Detective Fields, a worried and frightened Edgar is trying to get on the trail of the killer, especially since his beloved woman may become the next victim.

Original title:  
The Raven

Genre:  
Thriller, crime, detective

Actors:  
John Cusack, Luke Evans, Alice Yves …

Country:  
USA, Spain, Hungary, Serbia

Rating:  
Myreleasedate – 7.0, IMDb – 6.4

Age restrictions:  
16+


Road (2009)

The Apocalypse on Earth destroyed almost all life, and monstrous cataclysms destroyed human civilization. Those who survived the catastrophe were divided into cannibals and their prey. On the road, between the destroyed settlements, covered with ashes, father and son go, despite illnesses, hunger and fear. Two wanderers strive to get to safe and warm places by the sea .

Original title:  
The Road

Genre:  
Drama

Actors:  
Viggo Mortensen, Cody Smith-McPhee, Charlize Theron, Guy Pearce…

Country:  
USA

Rating:  
Myreleasedate – 7.2, IMDb – 7.2

Age restrictions:  
18+


Sweeney Todd, Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007)

Our selection of gloomy films will continue with an interesting musical horror story from the director and great original Tim Burton. One day, while walking around the city with his family – a beautiful wife and daughter, hairdresser Benjamin Barker meets a treacherous judge . The scoundrel immediately falls in love with the barber’s wife, then sends Benjamin to hard labor, and he takes his wife as his wife. Twenty long years pass, our hero comes out of prison , full of anger and despair. He is heading to London to take revenge, and his revenge will be merciless.

Original title:  
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

Genre:
Musical, horror, thriller

Actors:  
Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, Alan Rickman …

Country:  
USA, UK

Rating:  
Myreleasedate – 7.7, IMDb – 7.3

Age restrictions:  
18+


Brothers Grimm (2005)

The Brothers Grimm make a living by taking advantage of people’s belief in all sorts of evil spirits. They drive fictional baboons, witches and other mythological creatures out of towns and villages. However, a new case forces the charlatans to face real evil. Someone is kidnapping girls and children from a small settlement on the edge of the Marbaden Forest. The mayor finds the brothers and sets a condition for them – either the guys will go to the guillotine, or they will deal with a witch living in the wilderness.

Original title:  
The Brothers Grimm

Genre:
Horror, fantasy, action

Actors:  
Matt Damon, Heath Ledger, Lina Headey, Monica Bellucci …

Country:  
USA, Czech Republic, UK

Rating:  
Myreleasedate – 7.0, IMDb – 5.9

Age restrictions:  
12+


Mystery Forest (2004)

In the deep forests of Pennsylvania at the end of the 19th century, there is a secluded settlement. People here live according to their own rules, the main of which is not to enter the forest thicket surrounding their village. Sentinels are posted along the perimeter, making sure that the monsters living beyond the dividing line do not violate the border and attack the settlers. But one day, the inquisitive and freedom-loving Lucius decides, despite the taboo, to go with his girlfriend to the forest.

Original title:  
The Village

Genre:
Thriller, romance

Actors:  
Bryce Dallas Howard, Joaquin Phoenix, Adrien Brody …

Country:  
USA

Rating:  
Myreleasedate – 7.2, IMDb – 6.5

Age restrictions:  
12+


Vidocq (2001)

The plot of the film takes us to Paris in 1830. Suddenly, the famous private detective, the former convict Vidocq, disappears. However, his ardent fan, who hopes to write a biography of the detective, does not like to sit back after the disappearance of the detective. He learns that Vidocq’s last job was to hunt down a mysterious glassblower, a murderer who hides his face behind a mask. The young man begins his own investigation.

Original title:
Vidocq

Genre:
Fiction, fantasy, action

Actors:
Gerard Depardieu, Guillaume Canet, Ines Sastre …

Country:
France

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.2, IMDb – 6.5

Age restrictions:
16+


From Hell (2001)

London, 1888 A brutal murder of a prostitute has been committed in the most criminal area of ​​the city . Inspector Fred Abberline is investigating. In addition to deduction, a man has the gift of divination. However, even this does not help to get on the trail of the killer and stop the atrocities. Moreover, someone influential from the highest circles of society constantly confuses the investigation. Abberline begins to suspect that the government of England is involved in the crimes.

Original title:  
From Hell

Genre:
Horror, thriller, detective

Actors:  
Johnny Depp, Heather Graham, Ian Holm…

Country:  
USA, Czech Republic, UK

Rating:  
Myreleasedate – 7.5, IMDb – 6.8

Age restrictions:  
18+


Brotherhood of the Wolf (2001)

The French scientist Gregor de Fronsac and his Indian partner Mani arrive at a picturesque place called Zhevadan. Their goal is to hunt down and destroy the mysterious beast that is terrorizing the local population. In fact, everything turns out to be much more complicated than ordinary hunting, and partners, against their will, are entangled in the intricacies of political games and secret conspiracies.

Original title:  
Le Pacte des loups

Genre:
Horror, Action, Thriller

Actors:  
Samuel Le Bian, Vincent Cassel, Emily Decienne…

Country:  
France

Rating:  
Myreleasedate – 7.4, IMDb – 7.0

Age Limits
16+


Sleepy Hollow (1999)

The protagonist of the cult thriller Constable Ichabod Crane travels to the small gloomy town of Sleepy Hollow to catch the killer, whose victims were beheaded. Local residents are sure that the criminal – the headless horseman – comes from the other world. But Ikabot does not believe in fairy tales. He is sure that everything can be explained with the help of a scientific approach. However, soon the skeptic will have to reconsider his views, because the city is really terrorized by an alien from hell.

Original title:  
Sleepy Hollow

Genre:  
Thriller, fantasy, horror, detective

Actors:  
Johnny Depp, Christina Ricci, Miranda Richardson…

Country:  
Germany, USA

Rating:  
Myreleasedate – 7.9, IMDb – 7.3

Age restrictions:  
16+


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Jared Lambert/ author of the article

I’ve been writing about movies, TV shows and anime for over 3 years, and you may have seen my reviews on Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic.

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