From 'Night of the Hunter' to 'Winter's Bone,' here are nine films that ooze southern Gothic

From 'Night of the Hunter' to 'Winter's Bone,' here are nine films that ooze southern Gothic ...

The Deep South is a place of strife and disintegration in Southern Gothic. Old stone walls are transformed into old plantation estates. Families living in the exact areas their ancestors lived will be haunted. The supernatural is scarcely to be blamed. In The Beguiled (1971), Clint Eastwood abandons his cowboy hat to cause embarrassment and sexual frustrations, while Jennifer Lawrence braves the Ozarks to save her family in Winters Bone (2009).

Religious fanaticism taints holy words in old and modern Southern Gothic cinema. Although it may be obvious at this point, a sense of terror simmers throughout many of the following titles. Chilled tea and homemade gumbo are always served with a nasty surprise.

Night of the Hunter (1955)

Harry Powell (Robert Mitchum), a greedy serial murderer, acts as a minister, planning his destiny. His righteous path is splintered on his knuckles, separating right and wrong, and wrong and good and evil. Yet, when he discovers stolen money, he turns his attention to a new family. John (Billy Chapin) and Pearl (Sally Jane Bruce) know where the money is going.

A small town and a haunted house are all there in this Southern Gothic film, with sharp edges that make dark space appear more like a void. An old lady is followed by a line of stray children she cares for, reminding Mother Goose of the big, bad wolf that is Powell.

HushHush, Sweet Charlotte (1964)

Children can be cruel, merrily singing, Chop, chop, Sweet Charlotte. She has tormented her family for decades, and her only hope might be the arrival of her cousin Miriam (Olivia de Havilland). As strange events happen, Charlotte may not be able to protect herself from a greater danger.

Bette Davis is the one who brings to life a Southern belle who is constantly retaliated for her anger and defiance. She unleashes a shotgun at the bulldozers. The audience recognizes Charlotte's outburst as evidence of her own unholy intentions. What if Charlotte is only playing the part she believes they want her too?

The Beguiled (1971)

McBurney, a wounded Union soldier, is rescued by an all-girl school in Mississippi's rural and woodsy areas. The school has kept them safe from the active American Civil War, but it has also suppressed many of the students' and faculty's sexual desires. He claims he has no interest in attracting the attention of those around him. But he is also a liar. Start by explaining how he became injured in the first place.

Miss Farnsworth (Geraldine Page), the school's head, does not like the presence of a man, although she reluctantly takes care of McBurney's injuries. Edwina (Elizabeth Hartman), a repressed school teacher, cant help but begin to fall for him, and she's not the only one. Hallie (Mae Mercer) is a slave on the property, caring for the garden and the house, knowing many of the

Angel Heart (1987)

Harry Angel (Mickey Rourke) is a private investigator who is not afraid of chickens but rather of getting hurt when he snoops. He soon requests his services, seeking a person who he meets, but they end up being murdered. Historically, humans were the culprits, but noir films, like Southern Gothics, never took off.

The Reflecting Skin (1991)

Seth (Jeremy Cooper) lives with his family on the American prairie in the 1950s. Along with friends, Seth discovers ways to make life miserable for widower Dolphin Blue (Lindsey Duncan) early on. It's a funny way to start the film. When a friend is killed and Seth's older brother becomes obsessed with the widower, the boy understands the vampire must be stopped.

The vast plains of Sweet Charlotte are hidden behind golden lights and wheat fields, reeking of homophobia. Many strange moments include a black Cadillac driving on the long, unwinding road while adult twins making clucking noises on a walk. Secrets are revealed, effectively causing his family turmoil. While the children in Sweet Charlotte are horrified enough, Seth accepts no consequences.

The Skeleton Key (2005)

Caroline (Kate Hudson) decides to take on the role of at-home caretaker at a plantation home owned by Violet (Gena Rowlands), who's husband Benjamin (John Hurt) has a severe stroke. Should there be a need, Caroline understands that Benjamin is afraid of his wife. She then follows a gruesome tale of hoodoo and racism.

The past has no intention to lie down quietly. Two Black servants that were enslaved at the estate supposedly haunt a room. What is on the other side, grabs Carolines attention, as the skeleton key in her possession does not open it. She just must avoid the demented Southern belle's eyes.

Winters Bone (2010)

Ree (Jennifer Lawrence) and her poverty-stricken family discover that their deadbeat father has gone missing. The environment isn't nearly as dangerous as the people she encounters during her search for her father, including a drug addicted uncle (John Hawkes) and the wife (Dale Dickey) of a local criminal prosecutor who will strike her with violence. The female cast is superb, giving Ree a glimmer of hope.

Mud (2013)

Mud (Matthew McConaughey) self-exiles on a small island, using a boat stuck high up in a tree as a hideout. They become caught up in a love affair gone wrong. Mud is now helping his on-and-off-again girlfriend Juniper (Reese Witherspoon), who is putting the two boys in danger. The venomous bite of a cottonmouth on the island is fatal.

This is a more serious story than the one he played in his other Southern Gothic, True Detective. The youngster has to go through a parents divorce, a crush on a girl who will never forgive him, and Mud is the ultimate man to be. When the boys follow Muds orders by discovering, buying, or stealing items he needs, it's almost like they have gone through a series of trials.

What Josiah Saw (2021)

Eli (Nick Stahl) and Mary (Kelli Garner) have not been together for decades. The Graham family's oldest sibling lives with their father, Josiah (Robert Patrick), and the two have no intentions of going back. The film, though, is a slow burn that explodes into violence.