Tonight's selection isn't a horror movie, but is the epitome of what is considered "gothic horror." Surprisingly, this is the only movie of Alfred Hitchcock's that ever won the Academy Award for best picture. I know - that's hard to believe. And nobody writes these types of thrillers like the great, Daphne du Maurier.
It's in the mold of Gaslight, but this changed the way Hitchcock made films.
Rebecca (1940) is the classic Hitchcock gothic thriller and a compelling mystery (and haunting ghost story) about a tortured romance.
The film creates a brooding atmosphere surrounding the tragic courtship, marriage and relationship of a naive, plain and innocent young woman (Joan Fontaine) to a brooding and overburdened widower - an aristocratic, moody patriarch (Laurence Olivier) who lives in an estate named Manderley.
The AVClub writes:
Shot like a horror film and featuring Olivier as one of the least sympathetic heroes in the Hitchcock canon, Rebecca's smart extrapolation on themes inherited from gothic thrillers and Brontë novels allows the director to begin with a suspenseful romance that barely keeps its subtext under the surface, and smuggle in a story of one woman's immersion into the sexual expectations of her era.