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18 Movies You Must See If You Desperately Love Tim Burton

For all of you fans of bleak love stories.

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1. A Series of Unfortunate Events

Paramount Pictures

What's it about? Unlike the Grinch, a villain who you end up loving by the end of the movie, Count Olaf is one of Jim Carrey's most despicable characters. Driven by greed and cruelty, the Count takes in the three Baudelaire family orphans with the sole purpose of stealing their parents' fortune, even if he has to kill them trying.

Watch it if: You want something visually similar to Burton's films and with an incredibly tragic story.

2. Pan's Labyrinth

Warner Bros.

What's it about? Just like the director of Sleepy Hollow and Alice In Wonderland, Guillermo del Toro has made a name for himself thanks to his surreal worlds. His creatures are as famous as the films they star in and Pan's Labyrinth is no exception. Set at the end of the Spanish Civil War, Ofelia finds herself in a fantastic world in which a faun helps save her mother and brother from the cruel hands of the film's villain, Captain Vidal.

Watch it if: You love fantasy universes and bittersweet endings.

3. Only Lovers Left Alive

Sony Pictures

What's it about? Love is not like they say, and after centuries of being together, vampires Adam and Eve decide to spend some time apart. Everything changes when Adam begins toying with suicidal thoughts. Anticipating the tragedy ahead, Eve must return to her beloved and make him see there are still reasons life is worth living.

Watch it if: You believe in everlasting love.

4. The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus

Sony Pictures

What's it about? Heath Ledger's final film could easily be Wonderland's side B. Written and directed by Terry Gilliam, the plot centers around Doctor Parnassus and the deal he made with the devil by giving away his daughter's soul in exchange for immortality. After the deal is sealed, he recruits a stranger to help him save his daughter and win the souls of five people in an imaginary world.

Watch it if: You're looking for a more adult version of Alice Through The Looking Glass.


5. Tale of Tales

01 Distribution

What's it about? Italian filmmaker Mateo Garrone drew inspiration for this movie from the same stories that sparked the imagination of the Grimm brothers: The Pentamerone by Giambattista Basile. Spanning three stories, this fantasy film is filled with kings, queens, ogres, witches, and gore.

Watch it if: You'd love to see a Burton-style fairy tale.

6. The Addams Family

Paramount Pictures

What's it about? Just like Edward Scissorhands, the members of the Adams family are misunderstood freaks in the eyes of society. They don't quite fit in, but they do have a lot of love for one another. The movie is about the return of their lost brother Lucas and the predicament of being true to themselves or exposing themselves to the external world.

Watch it if: You liked the family's dynamics and the comic touch of Dark Shadows.

7. The Brothers Grimm


What's it about? Long before Tim Burton's dark and quirky stories, we had those of the Grimm Brothers. This movie explores those ~life experiences~ that inspired them to create iconic short stories such as Rapunzel and Sleeping Beauty. Of course, no fairy tale is complete without a good villain, this time supplied by Monica Bellucci.

Watch it if: You liked Eva Green's character in Dark Shadows and want something that feels a little like Sleepy Hollow.

8. The Rocky Horror Picture Show

20th Century Fox

What's it about? If Beetlejuice had a child with a Broadway hit, The Rocky Horror Picture Show would be the result. This cult film tells the story of Brad and Janet, a couple newlyweds who end up in the castle of Dr. Frank N. Furter. A series of eccentric characters, including the very seductive Rocky, will put their marriage at risk.

Watch it if: You love spooky musicals.


9. Let the Right One In

Magnolia Pictures

What's it about? After moving into a new apartment, Eli makes friends with Oskar, a 12 year-old boy. Little by little they get to know each other and Oskar finds out Eli is stranger than she looks: she drinks blood and can only go out at night. The film culminates with Eli's true identity being revealed, putting her friendship in jeopardy.

Watch it if: You hope that every Lydia finds her Beetlejuice.

10. The Book of Life

20th Century Fox

What's it about? This movie was inspired by the traditional Mexican celebration of the Day of the Dead. Catrina and Xilbalba, two spirits who rule over different afterlife kingdoms, decide to make a bet on the outcome of a love triangle on Earth: one between Maria, Manolo and Joaquin. Determined to win no matter what, Xilbalba cheats to tilt the balance in his favor, turning the kingdom of the dead upside down in the process.

Watch it if: Your favorite part of Corpse Bride is the underworld.

11. Crimson Peak

Universal Studios

What's it about? The latest creation by Guillermo del Toro might have not been a blockbuster but no one can deny this film's eerie beauty. In a Burtonesque setting, Edith Cushing (modern goth queen Mia Wasikowska) arrives at a mansion in Cumbria after her father's death. There she discovers her new husband's dark secrets and a past that might put her own life in danger.

Watch it if: You're in the mood for a bit of gory horror.

12. Casper

Universal Studios

What's it about? Impossible love is one of the most recurrent topics in Burton's films, but no movie portrays it like Casper. Christina Ricci moves to a haunted mansion with her dad only to meet a group of ghosts with unfinished business. Among them is Casper, a kind and cute ghost who will soon become her friend (and a bit more).

Watch it if: Your favorite couple of all Burton movies is Victor and Emily from Corpse Bride.


13. Monster House

Sony Pictures Entertainment

What's it about? DJ is a 12-year-old boy who starts spying on his neighbor, the feeble Mr. Nebbercracker. Little by little, strange things begin to happen and on the night of Halloween, DJ and his best friend Chowder find out what a haunted house truly is.

Watch it if: Frankenweenie reminded you of your childhood and you were left wanting more.

14. Bram Stoker's Dracula

Sony Pictures

What's it about The story of Dracula is as classic as Sleepy Hollow. Although it's not visually similar to Tim Burton, Francis Ford Coppola's own style turned this movie into a classic. With Gary Oldman, Keanu Reeves and Winona Ryder as part of the cast, this is Gothic romance classic you don't want to miss.

Watch it if: You like vampires, love and bloody endings.

15. Nosferatu

20th Century Fox

What's it about? the first vampire to make a stir in the movie world was featured in Nosferatu, a film from 1922. It tells the story of a married couple who, in true Dracula style, get caught up in the legal affairs of a count of Transylvania — who then turns out to be an infernal beast. To be fair, rather than Dracula's classic figure, Nosferatu is closer to the misunderstood Edward Scissorhands and tries hard to redeem himself.

Watch it if: You like marginalized characters and black and white cinema.

16. Bride of Frankenstein

Universal Studios

What's it about? One of Burton's main premises is that any person (or monster) is capable of love. In line with this message, Bride of Frankenstein is a bloodcurdling love story. While Dr. Frankenstein tries to repeat his experiment and bring a new creature to life, the monster will have to deal with the town's hatred. This is one of the greatest horror movies from the Golden Age to date and it's still relevant thanks to its disheartening ending.

Watch it if: You're a helpless romantic.

17. The Hunger

Metro Goldwyin Mayer

What's it about? Long before Sweeney Todd gave us a couple with a genuine taste for blood, there was Catherine Deneuve and David Bowie. This duo starred in one of the best vampire movies ever, featuring a couple of hedonists and love-seekers in search of their sickly nectar.

Watch it if: Your life is missing some bloody romance.

18. Stoker

Fox Searchlight Pictures

What's it about? The tragic story of the Stokers is further stained by the sudden death of Richard, the father of the family. Coming back home for the funeral, India (Mia Wasikowska) discovers a bizarre relationship between her mother and her uncle, just as she's beginning to realize she carries a dark power within her.

Watch it if: You like complicated family relationships, à la Tim Burton.