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The Best Southern Gothic Movies Of All-Time

The Best Southern Gothic Movies Of all-Time

“What are the best Southern Gothic movies?” We looked at 183 of the top Southern Gothic films, aggregating and ranking them so we could answer that very question!

The top 30 films, all appearing on 3 or more “Best Southern Gothic” movie lists, are ranked below by how many times they appear. The remaining 150+ movies, as well as the sources we used, are in alphabetical order on the bottom of the page.

For more Gothic entertainment, make sure to check out our sister website, Book Scrolling, for articles on the Best Southern Gothic Literature as well as the Best Gothic Horror Novels!

Happy Scrolling!



Top 30 Southern Gothic Movies



30 .) Beasts of the Southern Wild (2012)

 Beasts of the Southern Wild (2012) Lists It Appears On:

  • IMDB
  • Letterboxd
  • Mubi

Hushpuppy, an intrepid six-year-old girl, lives with her father, Wink in ‘the Bathtub’, a southern Delta community at the edge of the world. Wink’s tough love prepares her for the unraveling of the universe – for a time when he’s no longer there to protect her. When Wink contracts a mysterious illness, nature flies out of whack – temperatures rise, and the ice caps melt, unleashing an army of prehistoric creatures called aurochs. With the waters rising, the aurochs coming, and Wink’s health fading, Hushpuppy goes in search of her lost mother.

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29 .) Down By Law

 Down By Law Lists It Appears On:

  • Letterboxd
  • Reddit
  • Wikipedia

A disc jockey, a pimp and an Italian tourist escape from jail in New Orleans.

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28 .) Eve’s Bayou (1997)

 Eve's Bayou (1997) Lists It Appears On:

  • All Movie
  • IMDB
  • Wikipedia

The story is set in 1962 Louisiana. The big Batiste family is headed by charming doctor Louis. Though he is married to beautiful Roz, he has a weakness for attractive women patients. One day Louis is flirting with married and sexy Metty Mereaux, not knowing that he is observed by his youngest idealistic daughter Eve, who is there by accident. Eve can not forget the incident which is traumatic for her naiveté, and shares a secret with older sister Cisely. Lies start to roll…

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27 .) Hush…Hush, Sweet Charlotte (1964)

 Hush…Hush, Sweet Charlotte (1964) Lists It Appears On:

  • IMDB
  • Taste Of Cinema
  • Wikipedia

An aging, reclusive Southern belle plagued by a horrifying family secret descends into madness after the arrival of a lost relative.

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26 .) Stoker (2013)

 Stoker (2013) Lists It Appears On:

  • ASFF
  • Readers Digest
  • Wikipedia

After India’s father dies, her Uncle Charlie, who she never knew existed, comes to live with her and her unstable mother. She comes to suspect this mysterious, charming man has ulterior motives and becomes increasingly infatuated with him.

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25 .) Suddenly, Last Summer

 Suddenly, Last Summer Lists It Appears On:

  • All Movie
  • Wikipedia
  • Wikipedia

The only son of wealthy widow Violet Venable dies while on vacation with his cousin Catherine. What the girl saw was so horrible that she went insane; now Mrs. Venable wants Catherine lobotomized to cover up the truth.

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24 .) The Gift (2000)

 The Gift (2000) Lists It Appears On:

  • IMDB
  • Reddit
  • Wikipedia

When a local woman disappears and the police can’t seem to find any leads, her father turns to a poor young woman with psychic powers. Slowly she starts having visions of the woman chained and in a pond. Her visions lead to the body and the arrest of an abusive husband, but did he really do it?

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23 .) The Long, Hot Summer (1958)

 The Long, Hot Summer (1958) Lists It Appears On:

  • All Movie
  • IMDB
  • Wikipedia

Ben Quick arrives in Frenchman’s Bend, MS after being kicked out of another town for allegedly burning a barn for revenge. Will Varner owns just about everything in Frenchman’s Bend and he hires Ben to work in his store. Will thinks his own son, Jody, who manages the store, lacks ambition and despairs of him getting his wife, Eula, pregnant. Will thinks his daughter, Clara, a schoolteacher, will never get married. He decides that Ben Quick might make a good husband for Clara to bring some new blood into the family

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22 .) The Man in the Moon (1991)

 The Man in the Moon (1991) Lists It Appears On:

  • Flavorwire
  • IMDB
  • Mubi

Maureen Trant and her younger sibling Dani share a strong connection, but local boy Court Foster threatens to throw their bond off balance. Dani and Court meet first and have a flirtatious rapport — but when he meets Maureen, he falls hard and they begin a passionate affair. The new couple try to keep their love hidden from Dani, but she soon learns the truth, disavowing her sister. But a heartbreaking accident later reunites the girls.

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21 .) The Skeleton Key (2005)

 The Skeleton Key (2005) Lists It Appears On:

  • IMDB
  • Taste Of Cinema
  • Wikipedia

A hospice nurse working at a spooky New Orleans plantation home finds herself entangled in a mystery involving the house’s dark past.

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20 .) The Young One (1960)

 The Young One (1960) Lists It Appears On:

  • BFI
  • Taste Of Cinema
  • Wikipedia

A jazz musician seeks refuge from a lynch mob on a remote island, where he meets a hostile game warden and the young object of his attentions.

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19 .) Written on the Wind (1956)

 Written on the Wind (1956) Lists It Appears On:

  • Readers Digest
  • Taste Of Cinema
  • Wikipedia

Mitch Wayne is a geologist working for the Hadleys, an oil-rich Texas family. While the patriarch, Jared, works hard to establish the family business, his irresponsible son, Kyle, is an alcoholic playboy, and his daughter, Marylee, is the town tramp. Mitch harbors a secret love for Kyle’s unsatisfied wife, Lucy — a fact that leaves him exposed when the jealous Marylee accuses him of murder.

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18 .) Mud (2012)

 Mud (2012) Lists It Appears On:

  • ASFF
  • IMDB
  • Letterboxd
  • Wikipedia

Two teenage boys encounter a fugitive and make a pact to help him escape from an island in the Mississippi.

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17 .) Sling Blade (1996)

 Sling Blade (1996) Lists It Appears On:

  • All Movie
  • IMDB
  • The Anadromist
  • Wikipedia

Karl Childers is a mentally disabled man who has been in the custody of the state mental hospital since the age of 12 for killing his mother and her lover. Although thoroughly institutionalized, Karl is deemed fit to be released into the outside world.

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16 .) Sweet Bird of Youth (1962)

 Sweet Bird of Youth (1962) Lists It Appears On:

  • All Movie
  • IMDB
  • Taste Of Cinema
  • Wikipedia

Gigolo and drifter, Chance Wayne, returns to his home town as the accompaniment of a faded movie star, Alexandra Del Lago, whom he hopes to use to help him break into the movies. Chance runs into trouble when he finds his ex-girlfriend, the daughter of the local politician Tom ‘Boss’ Finley, who more or less forced him to leave his daughter and the town many years ago.

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15 .) Angel Heart (1987)

 Angel Heart (1987) Lists It Appears On:

  • All Movie
  • BFI
  • Flavorwire
  • Taste Of Cinema
  • Wikipedia

The down-and-out private detective Harry Angel is ordered, by a mysterious man named Louis Cyphre, to go on a mission to find a missing person. His routine failure soon leads to a bloody spar with himself as Harry Angel goes on a supernatural journey into his own soul.

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14 .) Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958)

 Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958) Lists It Appears On:

  • All Movie
  • IMDB
  • Mubi
  • The Culture Trip
  • Wikipedia

Brick, an alcoholic ex-football player, drinks his days away and resists the affections of his wife, Maggie. His reunion with his father, Big Daddy, who is dying of cancer, jogs a host of memories and revelations for both father and son.

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13 .) Frailty (2001)

 Frailty (2001) Lists It Appears On:

  • Flavorwire
  • IMDB
  • Letterboxd
  • Taste Of Cinema
  • Wikipedia

A man confesses to an FBI agent his family’s story of how his religious fanatic father’s visions lead to a series of murders to destroy supposed “demons.”

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12 .) Southern Comfort (1981)

 Southern Comfort (1981) Lists It Appears On:

  • BFI
  • IMDB
  • Reddit
  • Taste Of Cinema
  • Wikipedia

A squad of National Guards on an isolated weekend exercise in the Louisiana swamp must fight for their lives when they anger local Cajuns by stealing their canoes. Without live ammunition and in a strange country, their experience begins to mirror the Vietnam experience.

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11 .) Cape Fear (1991)

 Cape Fear (1991) Lists It Appears On:

  • All Movie
  • BFI
  • Flavorwire
  • Letterboxd
  • Taste Of Cinema
  • Wikipedia

Sam Bowden is a small-town corporate attorney. Max Cady is a tattooed, cigar-smoking, bible-quoting, psychotic rapist. What do they have in common? Fourteen years ago, Sam was a public defender assigned to Max Cady’s rape trial, and he made a serious error: he hid a document from his illiterate client that could have gotten him acquitted. Now, the cagey, bibliophile Cady has been released, and he intends to teach Sam Bowden and his family a thing or two about loss.

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10 .) The Beguiled (1971)

 The Beguiled (1971) Lists It Appears On:

  • BFI
  • Flavorwire
  • IMDB
  • Taste Of Cinema
  • Wikipedia
  • Wikipedia

Offbeat Civil War drama in which a wounded Yankee soldier, after finding refuge in an isolated girls’ school in the South towards the end of the war, becomes the object of the young women’s sexual fantasies. The soldier manipulates the situation for his own gratification, but when he refuses to completely comply with the girls’ wishes, they make it very difficult for him to leave.

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9 .) The Beguiled (2017)

 The Beguiled (2017) Lists It Appears On:

  • All Movie
  • ASFF
  • IMDB
  • Mubi
  • Readers Digest
  • Wikipedia

During the Civil War, at a Southern girls’ boarding school, young women take in an injured enemy soldier. As they provide refuge and tend to his wounds, the house is taken over with sexual tension and dangerous rivalries, and taboos are broken in an unexpected turn of events.

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8 .) The Night of the Hunter (1955)

 The Night of the Hunter (1955) Lists It Appears On:

  • All Movie
  • Flavorwire
  • Readers Digest
  • Taste Of Cinema
  • The Anadromist
  • Wikipedia

In the Deep South, a serial-killing preacher hunts two young children who know the whereabouts of a stash of money.

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7 .) Baby Doll (1956)

 Baby Doll (1956) Lists It Appears On:

  • All Movie
  • Flavorwire
  • IMDB
  • Mubi
  • Reddit
  • Taste Of Cinema
  • Wikipedia

Based on a play by Tennessee Williams, “Baby Doll” centers on Archie Lee Meighan (Karl Malden), a failing cotton gin owner who is married to Baby Doll (Carroll Baker), a 19-year old childlike beauty whose father arranged the marriage for financial reasons. As Archie awaits the arrival of Baby Doll’s 20th birthday, the day that they are supposed to consummate their marriage, he faces interference from business rival Silva Vacarro (Eli Wallach), who plots to seduce Baby Doll away from Meighan.

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6 .) Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil (1997)

 Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil (1997) Lists It Appears On:

  • All Movie
  • IMDB
  • Letterboxd
  • Reddit
  • Taste Of Cinema
  • The Anadromist
  • Wikipedia

A visiting city reporter’s assignment suddenly revolves around the murder trial of a local millionaire, whom he befriends.

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5 .) Deliverance (1972)

 Deliverance (1972) Lists It Appears On:

  • All Movie
  • Den Of Geek
  • IMDB
  • Letterboxd
  • Readers Digest
  • Reddit
  • Taste Of Cinema
  • Wikipedia

Intent on seeing the Cahulawassee River before it’s turned into one huge lake, outdoor fanatic Lewis Medlock takes his friends on a river-rafting trip they’ll never forget into the dangerous American back-country.

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4 .) A Streetcar Named Desire (1951)

 A Streetcar Named Desire (1951) Lists It Appears On:

  • All Movie
  • BFI
  • Den Of Geek
  • IMDB
  • Letterboxd
  • Mubi
  • Readers Digest
  • Taste Of Cinema
  • Wikipedia

Disturbed Blanche DuBois moves in with her sister in New Orleans and is tormented by her brutish brother-in-law while her reality crumbles around her.

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3 .) To Kill A Mockingbird (1962)

 To Kill A Mockingbird (1962) Lists It Appears On:

  • BFI
  • Den Of Geek
  • IMDB
  • Letterboxd
  • Mubi
  • Taste Of Cinema
  • The Anadromist
  • The Culture Trip
  • Wikipedia

Scout Finch, 6, and her older brother Jem live in sleepy Maycomb, Alabama, spending much of their time with their friend Dill and spying on their reclusive and mysterious neighbor, Boo Radley. When Atticus, their widowed father and a respected lawyer, defends a black man named Tom Robinson against fabricated rape charges, the trial and tangent events expose the children to evils of racism and stereotyping.

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2 .) Winter’s Bone (2010)

 Winter's Bone (2010) Lists It Appears On:

  • ASFF
  • BFI
  • IMDB
  • Letterboxd
  • Readers Digest
  • Reddit
  • Taste Of Cinema
  • The Anadromist
  • Wikipedia

17 year-old Ree Dolly sets out to track down her father, who put their house up for his bail bond and then disappeared. If she fails, Ree and her family will be turned out into the Ozark woods. Challenging her outlaw kin’s code of silence and risking her life, Ree hacks through the lies, evasions and threats offered up by her relatives and begins to piece together the truth.

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1 .) Wise Blood (1979)

 Wise Blood (1979) Lists It Appears On:

  • BFI
  • Den Of Geek
  • Flavorwire
  • IMDB
  • Mubi
  • Readers Digest
  • Reddit
  • Taste Of Cinema
  • The Anadromist
  • Wikipedia

A Southerner–young, poor, ambitious but uneducated–determines to become something in the world. He decides that the best way to do that is to become a preacher and start up his own church.

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The 150+ Additional Best Southern Gothic Movies



 

# Movie Lists
(Films Appear On 2 List Each)
31 A Love Song for Bobby Long (2004) IMDB
Wikipedia
32 Beautiful Creatures (2013) All Movie
IMDB
33 Big Fish (2003) IMDB
The Culture Trip
34 Black Snake Moan Reddit
Wikipedia
35 Cookie’s Fortune Reddit
Wikipedia
36 Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood (2002) IMDB
The Culture Trip
37 Driving Miss Daisy (1989) IMDB
The Culture Trip
38 Fried Green Tomatoes (1991) IMDB
The Culture Trip
39 Gone with the Wind (1939) IMDB
The Culture Trip
40 Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles (1994) IMDB
Wikipedia
41 Killer Joe Flavorwire
Wikipedia
42 No Country for Old Men (2007) ASFF
Wikipedia
43 O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000) IMDB
The Anadromist
44 Reflections in a Golden Eye Mubi
Wikipedia
45 Selma (2014) IMDB
IMDB
46 Steel Magnolias (1989) IMDB
The Culture Trip
47 Swamp Water (1941) BFI
Wikipedia
48 The Fugitive Kind Mubi
Wikipedia
49 The Heart is a Lonely Hunter (1968)
Taste Of Cinema
Wikipedia
50 The Killer Inside Me Letterboxd
Wikipedia
51 The Loss of a Teardrop Diamond (2008) IMDB
Mubi
52 This Property Is Condemned Mubi
Wikipedia
53 Two Thousand Maniacs! (1964) IMDB
Wikipedia
54 Undertow All Movie
Mubi
(Films Appear On 1 List Each)
55 12 Years a Slave (2013) IMDB
56 Adaptation
The Anadromist
57 Adventures of Captain Fabian Wikipedia
58 All Dogs Go to Heaven Wikipedia
59 All the King’s Men (2006) IMDB
60 American Horror Story (2011– ) IMDB
61 An American Haunting (2005) IMDB
62 As I Lay Dying (2013) IMDB
63 Beloved (1998) IMDB
64 Cabin in the Cotton
The Anadromist
65 Cape Fear (1962 film) Wikipedia
66 Child of God (2013) IMDB
67 Coal Miner’s Daughter (1980) IMDB
68 Cold Mountain (2003) IMDB
69 Corrina, Corrina (1994) IMDB
70 Crazy Heart (2009) IMDB
71 Crazy in Alabama (1999) IMDB
72 Crimes of the Heart (film) Wikipedia
73 Dark Waters (1944 film) Wikipedia
74 Deceiver
The Anadromist
75 Django Unchained (2012) IMDB
76 Edward Scissorhands Wikipedia
77 Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas (1977 TV Movie) IMDB
78 Fences (2016) IMDB
79 Forrest Gump (1994) IMDB
80 Free State of Jones (2016) IMDB
81 George Washington (film) Wikipedia
82 Get Out (I) (2017) IMDB
83 Ghosts of Mississippi (1996) IMDB
84 God’s Little Acre (film) Wikipedia
85 Great Balls of Fire! (1989) IMDB
86 Hart of Dixie (2011–2015) IMDB
87 Hatfields & McCoys (2012) IMDB
88 Hidden Figures (2016) IMDB
89 Hurry Sundown
Readers Digest
90 In the Electric Mist Wikipedia
91 Inherit the Wind (1960) IMDB
92 Inherit the Wind (1999 TV Movie) IMDB
93 Jezebel (1938) IMDB
94 King Creole (1958) IMDB
95 Lee Daniels’ The Butler (I) (2013) IMDB
96 Lil Abner (1959)
Den Of Geek
97 Lone Star Mubi
98 Louisiana Story (1948) IMDB
99 Loving (2016) IMDB
100 Macon County Line (1974)
Den Of Geek
101 Madhouse (1981 film) Wikipedia
102 Marnie Mubi
103 Mercy Street (2016–2017) IMDB
104 Mississippi Burning (1988) IMDB
105 Monster
The Anadromist
106 Monster’s Ball Letterboxd
107 Mudhoney
Readers Digest
108 Nat Turner: A Troublesome Property (2003) IMDB
109 October Sky (1999) IMDB
110 Pretty Baby (1978) IMDB
111 Pretty Poison Mubi
112 Psycho Mubi
113 Queen (1993) IMDB
114 Rainmaker
The Anadromist
115 Raintree County (film) Wikipedia
116 Reflecting Skin (1990)
Den Of Geek
117 Return to Boggy Creek Wikipedia
118 Ride with the Devil (I) (1999) IMDB
119 Roots (1977) IMDB
120 Roots (2016) IMDB
121 Ruby Gentry Wikipedia
122 Ruby in Paradise Mubi
123 Rumble Fish Wikipedia
124 Searching for the Wrong-Eyed Jesus All Movie
125 Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954)
Den Of Geek
126 Sheriff All Movie
127 Shotgun Stories Wikipedia
128 Shy People Wikipedia
129 Sister, Sister (1987 film) Wikipedia
130 Some Folks Call It a Sling Blade (1994) IMDB
131 Songcatcher (2000) IMDB
132 Sparrows Flavorwire
133 Sweet Dreams (1985) IMDB
134 Sweet Home Alabama (2002)
Den Of Geek
135 That Evening Sun (2009) IMDB
136 The Adventures of Huck Finn (1993) IMDB
137 The Adventures of Huck Finn (2012) IMDB
138 The Andy Griffith Show (1960–1968) IMDB
139 The Apostle
The Anadromist
140 The Apostle (1997) IMDB
141 The Ballad of the Sad Cafe Mubi
142 The Birth of a Nation (2016) IMDB
143 The Bleeding House Wikipedia
144 The Burning Plain Mubi
145 The Color Purple (1985) IMDB
146 The Fox and the Hound Wikipedia
147 The Glass Menagerie (1950) IMDB
148 The Glass Menagerie (1987) IMDB
149 The Haunted Mansion (film) Wikipedia
150 The Help (2011) IMDB
151 The Intruder (1962)
Den Of Geek
152 The Legend of Boggy Creek Wikipedia
153 The Long Walk Home (1990) IMDB
154 The Muppet Musicians of Bremen Wikipedia
155 The Neon Bible (film) Wikipedia
156 The Night of the Iguana Mubi
157 The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia (film) Wikipedia
158 The Notebook (2004) IMDB
159 The Paperboy (2012 film) Wikipedia
160 The Princess and the Frog (2009) IMDB
161 The Rosa Parks Story (2002 TV Movie) IMDB
162 The Secret Life of Bees (2008) IMDB
163 The Sound and the Fury (1959 film) Wikipedia
164 The Sound and the Fury (2014 film) Wikipedia
165 The Sugarland Express Wikipedia
166 The Sunset Limited Mubi
167 The Tarnished Angels Mubi
168 The Town That Dreaded Sundown (1976)
Den Of Geek
169 The Yearling (1946)
Den Of Geek
170 Their Eyes Were Watching God (2005 TV Movie) IMDB
171 Tobacco Road (film) Wikipedia
172 Toys in the Attic (1963 film) Wikipedia
173 Treme (2010–2013) IMDB
174 True Blood (2008–2014) IMDB
175 True Detective (2014)
Taste Of Cinema
176 Ulee’s Gold Mubi
177 Walk the Line (2005) IMDB
178 Walking Tall (1973)
Den Of Geek
179 What’s Eating Gilbert Grape?
The Culture Trip
180 Where the Heart Is (2000) IMDB
181 Wichita (2014 film) Wikipedia
182 Wild at Heart (1990) IMDB
183 World Premiere (2003– ) Episode: American Horror Story: Coven (2013) IMDB


14 Best Southern Gothic Film Sources/Lists



Source Article
All Movie Theme – Southern Gothic | AllMovie
ASFF ASFF – 5 to See: Southern Gothic – Aesthetica Short Film Festival
BFI 10 great southern gothic films | BFI
Den Of Geek 13 Unintentionally Scary Southern Horror Films | Den of Geek
Flavorwire 10 Evocative Southern Gothic Films – Flavorwire
IMDB southern gothic, movies and tv series that take place in the south, civil …
Letterboxd Best Southern Gothic Movies, a list of films by TheLion1905 …
Mubi Southern Gothic – Movies List on MUBI
Readers Digest 10 Southern Gothic films you need to watch – Reader’s Digest
Reddit Favorite Southern Gothic style movies? : movies – Reddit
Taste Of Cinema The 20 Best Southern Gothic Movies « Taste of Cinema – Movie …
The Anadromist American Gothic Films: An Incomplete List | The Anadromous Life
The Culture Trip 10 Movies To Make You Fall In Love With The Southern States
Wikipedia Category:Southern Gothic films – Wikipedia

 

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