Noirvember: 10 Films That Blend Horror and Noir

Film Noir theaters screen

If you are mourning the spooky season's loss, we have a surprise for you. Every November is Noirvember, when movie fans celebrate and dive deep into the Noir genre. What better way to celebrate this month-long holiday than by looking at how Noir has evolved?

What is Noir? Where Does the Horror Come In?

As a genre of crime film, Noir is characterized by its moral ambiguity, bleak outlooks, and cynical approaches to the darker aspects of humanity. Specifically, it's formed around the classic period of film from the 40s and 50s, taking roots in German Expressionism, which often dealt with tough, intellectual topics as a reaction against realism to show the inner, emotional reality of being human.

What better way to showcase that then than through horror? Noir takes the stressors of fate and destiny and pushes them to an evocative edge. Horror expresses the inner world through depictions of dark subject matter to provoke the mind and create reactions. It's a match made in hell.

Our Top 10 Films To Watch This Noirvember

For the cinephiles with a soft spot for horror, the loosely defined genre of the 40s has since taken shape and blurred the lines between Noir and horror. Here are some essential must-watches this month:

The Invisible Man (1933)

H.G Wells' The Invisible Man takes on the silent era's sinister adaptation of uncanny terror, starting the traditional blend of horror and Noir. It contains Noir actor Claude Rains as the invisible man himself, and due to his scientific experiments, drives him to madness, thus influencing future generations of horror films.

The Leopard Man (1943)

Psychology wasn't entirely explored in the same ways we now explore it, but in terms of mood, The Leopard Man definitely takes the cake. As a riveting mystery horror film, its artful and intelligent commentary on psychology is considered one of the first films to explore the minds of serial killers before the idea of serial killers entered the public consciousness.

Dementia (1955)

Find yourself waking up in strange hotels, experiencing hauntings, and having memory loss? Then you're in the perfect setting for horror and Noir to blend. Dementia is a film layered with surrealism and symbolism, commenting on the cynical nature of abuse and trauma. It's become a cult classic among many classic film lovers; it tackles topics of sanity and is ahead of its time.

Psycho (1960)

After Alfred Hitchcock's failure in adapting the French thriller Les Diaboliques, he one-uped his competitors by bringing out Psycho, the slow-burn horror that cemented him in film forever. As a riveting crime film, it originally caught its audience off guard and is now the most iconic film in all of horror.

Suspiria (1977)

An unknown film from the 70s, Suspiria takes surprisingly violent turns and had difficulties making its way to the United States due to its content. Eight minutes of the film were cut out just to be given an R-Rating! Primarily focused on gore, its setting and visual style take inspiration from Noir, providing memorable devilish thrills.

Wolfen(1981)

Wolfen's remarked as an under-appreciated classic of the 80s, as it originally had to compete with two other werewolf-themed movies, The Howling and An American Werewolf in London. Grisly murders and the limelight of urban New York it's less showy but more classically aligned with the crime settings famous in Noir.

The Thing (1982)

The oddball of this list, The Thing, contains a lot of Noir elements, surprisingly, despite its liberties. The sci-fi elements of The Thing were originally supposed to be filmed in black and white as a tribute to the original film but maintained the bleakness of the plot through its shadows and steel blues.

Angel Heart (1987)

Angel Heart's reported as being one of the notable neo-noir films of the 80s. Investigations, satanic plot twists, drawn-out mysteries, and its mood makes it a psychological masterpiece of its time.

The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

Although it can be argued that The Silence of the Lambs is more of a thriller than a horror-noir blend, Hannibal Lecter has become an iconic boogeyman. It's a distinct take and has some influences from Noir that make it pretty notable. Besides, it won Best Picture, so watch it.

The Crow (1994)

Ahh, The Crow. The revenge tale with a real-life tragic ending. It's a classic film, a gothic noir with a supernatural aspect to it that takes inspiration from the style of graphic novels, imbued with visual style. It's an artistic classic that's beautiful and haunting.

Cemetery Man (1994)

Originally in Italian as Dellamorte Dellamore, Cemetary Man has some late 80s early 90s campy elements and cinematic effects to it, but it is ideologically sound. Infused with the polarity between love and death, it is B-rated but rewarding in its own right.

Seven (1995)

Lastly, the movie Seven is known to be a piece of the mid-90s that's enveloped in David Fincher's world, encompassing Noir and horror without the black and white. It's grimy, violent, and extremely nihilistic, but it has an excellent crime serial killer story to make it perfectly nightmarish.

So, if you want to explore the Horror-Noir genre more and bring it to life, why not look at what Horror Dome can provide for you for all of your Halloween masks needs? 


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