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Macabre

Macabre Painting

Few films are truly worthy of being called macabre and the definition alone and synonyms really don’t live up to it either:

ma·ca·bre
/məˈkäbrə/ (I personally pronounce it as meh·kobexpert discussion of pronunciation)

Adjective
Disturbing and horrifying because of involvement with or depiction of death and injury: “a macabre series of murders”.

Synonyms
gruesome – ghastly – lurid – horrible – grisly – terrible

To me, macabre runs much deeper than words can describe, though I’ll try. It’s a sense of melancholy and true horror that’s ultimately inexplicable. The smell of death in the air that isn’t necessarily rot, but a cold breeze after it rains, dead leaves in fall, and old dust of a room years sealed off and forgotten.

There’s a desolation and pensiveness to it that’s poetic. It’s ritualistic like burying something dead and digging it up again a long time after to see it again and how it’s “changed”. It’s not just horror, but sadness and something more.

I’ll attempt to list the films that I think truly managed to encapsulate the feeling of macabre (in no meaningful order):

This was a difficult list to make. If anyone has any suggestions for additions or removals to this list, please post them in the comments below.

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Black

Crypt Keeper at Halloween Love
I ♥ Halloween. I am the creator, editor, and keeper of Halloween Love. Although you'll find new creeps about helping me to maintain these macabre archives of dread. Reach me at black@halloweenlove.com.