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    15 of the best dark/gothic academic shows and movies on Netflix

    There are plenty of great Dark Academia shows and movies on Netflix for fans of the genre or those just curious about it. Tweed jackets, elbow patches, twisted voyages of self-discovery—these are the elements at the center of Dark Academia, an aesthetic that has proven itself in films and television based on specific themes. It’s not just the guys in beige prep school clothes, peering from behind the rows of books; It is learning that is taken to extremes of fervor, violence, and oftentimes extremes. Dark Academia as a genre often prides itself on beautiful Gothic imagery, compelling and dramatic stories, and an emphasis on clichéd characters.


    Netflix has a plethora of movies and TV series that will tempt viewers to reach for their jackets, scarves, and bookbags. With the recent release of Netflix Original Movies and Series, Dark Academia’s popularity has only increased, and the streaming giant has raised the bar when it comes to creating and adding – TV series and movies that perfectly fuse the moody settings and themes of the genre. Whether viewers love mysteries set in the 19th century, supernatural capers involving spell books, or secret societies full of sinister intrigue, there’s plenty to choose from on Netflix to satisfy any Dark Academic.

    Related: The best Netflix shows of 2022

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    Pale Blue Eye (2022)

    Christian Bale as Augustus Landor in The Pale Blue Eye

    One of the most disturbing Dark Academia movies on Netflix is Pale blue eyeAdapted from the novel by Louis Bayard. Set in 1830, the film follows a detective named Landon (Christian Bale) investigating the murder of a student at West Point Academy. There, he meets an outcast named Edgar Allen Poe (Harry Melling), who helps with the investigation. Poe’s work influences many of Dark Academia’s works, so it’s interesting to see him as a character in one, especially with Melling’s committed performance, and the gothic sense of action keeps the tension high until the intriguing reveal of Pale blue eyeThe real killer.

    The Magicians (2015-2020)

    Assortment of magicians team

    For fans of mixing magic with their scholastic pursuits, witches It will take them on an enchanting and unsettling adventure accompanying Quentin Coldwater, a student at Brakebills College of Magical Education, as he learns about the world of magic. Together with his group of grad school friends, Quentin attempts to not only learn how to use magic himself as a wizard but to use it to collectively prevent imminent dangers to the Foundation and humanity. The series is based on the novels by Lev Grossman.

    Enola Holmes (2020)

    Enola Holmes holds a newspaper and looks at Sherlock Holmes in Enola Holmes

    The spirited and energetic younger sister of Sherlock Holmes, the famous consulting detective, finally embarks on her exciting adventure in enola holmes, Starring Millie Bobby Brown as Holmes’ titular brother. She is well versed in martial arts, physics, astrology, history, and methods of deduction, and puts all her amazing skills to work discerning the whereabouts of her missing mother, without the help of her famous older brother. Although her educational background is formidable, she is not based on formal training and thus is left out despite her immense effectiveness.

    Enola Holmes 2 (2022)

    Sherlock speaks to Enola in Enola Holmes 2.

    The Dark Academia Netflix movie franchise continues Enola Holmes 2. The sequel finds Enola trying to launch her own detective business as she begins to research the disappearance of a young factory worker. Brown continues to be both charming and heroic in the role, ensuring she gets a great new franchise all at once Weird things finish. The new movie also has the added bonus of including more of Henry Cavill’s Sherlock Holmes work, with great chemistry shared between him and Brown. The film continues to take influence from the work of Arthur Conan Doyle while also being its own thing.

    Related: Will there be an Enola Holmes 3? All we know

    A Series of Unfortunate Events (2017-2019)

    The cast of Netflix's A Series of Unfortunate Events

    Based on the popular book series, A series of bad events It focuses on the tragic story of three orphaned children – Klaus, Violet and Sunny Baudelaire – as they try to discern the truth about their parents’ untimely death. Their only remaining guardian, the mercurial Count Olaf, inspires nothing but family comfort. As Olaf schemes to obtain the siblings’ fortune, they are forced to outsmart him, though his disguises and elaborate plans make it increasingly difficult. The show is based on a series of novels by engineer Lemony Snicket (Daniel Handler).

    Queen’s Gambit (2020)

    A set of Anya Taylor Joy in the queen's maneuver with the chess pieces and looks into the camera

    Exciting miniseries Queen’s maneuverAnd Become the toast of Netflix — and the makers of chess sets — chronicles real-life chess prodigy Beth Harmon (Anya Taylor-Joy) who, after being orphaned by her parents, overcame an excruciating struggle with addiction to become the greatest female chess player the world has ever seen. One of the world’s oldest and most intellectually rigorous competitive games, the chessboard becomes a parallel to Harmon’s life as she navigates its intricacies. However, not everything is black and white, as she soon discovers on her journey to self-realization and triumph.

    Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey (2020)

    Justin Cornwell as young Geronicus in Netflix's Jingle Jangle A Christmas Journey

    A Christmas musical show that ignites the holiday spirit in a unique and elegant way, Jingle Jangle: The Christmas Journey It follows Jeronicus, a fictional toymaker as he works to put together some of his most intimidating creations of his career, only to be betrayed by his ambitious apprentice. Years later, when the cheerful Jeronicus had given up hope of completing his great work, his granddaughter appeared in his workshop and inspired his ability to create. He rediscovers the spirit of the season and finds new meaning with his family just in time for Christmas.

    The Haunting Of Bly Manor 2020 movie with subtitles

    A woman turns in terror from The Haunting Of Bly Manor

    From TV Horror Filmmaker Mike Flanagan, Bly Manor haunting It has been hailed as one of the scariest Dark Academia shows on Netflix. The series is a follow-up to Flanagan Haunting Hill House It features a lot of the same cast from that show. Based on the work of writer Henry James, the show follows a young nanny who is hired by a man to look after his orphaned niece and nephew on Bly Farm. Once there, the young woman finds strange events that point to dark secrets. Like other Flanagan shows, Bly Manor haunting It will keep viewers on the edge of their seats.

    Related: Bly Manor Haunting: Every Ghost in the Show Explained

    Peaky Blinders (2013-2022)

    The Peaky Blinders family walking together on the street

    Based on the real-life Shelby family, who built a gambling and smuggling empire from the ashes of war and ruined England, Poor disguise It showcases the raw talent and resourcefulness that can result from an education found on the gritty streets of Birmingham. The popular series follows main protagonist Tommy Shelby on his rise through the hierarchy of his family and the criminal hierarchy in Birmingham. In the end, his influence and power reached far beyond what he could ever dream of; To the English aristocracy, where his street smarts collide with the book of gentlemen he learns with startling results.

    The Irregulars (2021)

    Cast irregulars

    When famed consulting detective Sherlock Holmes can’t solve a case, a group of misfits living on the gritty streets of Victorian London are called upon to lend their talents to its mysterious machinations by his esteemed partner, Dr. John Watson. This is Holmes as never before seen by fans, and the quirky characters as unique as the series’ supernatural Capers help solve it. Viewers will enjoy helping the Irregulars solve their mysteries as much as the intriguing location, which teeters between the criminal underworld and the royal palace.

    Guillermo del Toro’s Cabinet of Curiosities (2022–)

    Guillermo del Toro's intriguing cabinet

    Oscar-winning director Guillermo del Toro has played with the Dark Academia genre before V.I crimson crest; and other projects, but he has a lot of fun cuddling in this quirky Netflix series. Guillermo del Toro’s intriguing cabinet is a horror anthology series comprising eight separate stories told with a gothic feel set within modern settings. Other filmmakers such as Vincenzo Natali, Ana Lily Amirpour, and Jennifer Kent take on some other stories. The anthology also features actors like Andrew Lincoln and Dan Stevens. While it may not be as influential as some of Guillermo del Toro’s best films, it’s a solid anthology series for fans of the director.

    Rebecca (2020)

    Armie Hammer, Lily James, and Sam Riley in Rebecca.

    One of the overlooked Dark Academia movies on Netflix is ​​2020 Rebecca, an updated adaptation of the novel by Daphne des Mauriers made famous in the 1940s by Alfred Hitchcock. This remake from director Ben Wheatley stars Lily James and Armie Hammer as a newlywed couple who arrive at the husband’s home as the new wife finds herself grappling with the memory of his first wife. The movie doesn’t align with Hitchcock’s version, however, and Lily James gives a strong performance that complements a fine mix of Dark Academia and black films.

    Related: Every Lily James TV Show Ranked From Worst to Best

    Chilling Adventures of Sabrina (2018-2020)

    Sabrina in Chapter 19, Part Two

    Based on the popular “Sabrina the Teenage Witch” comic book series, the Chilling Adventures of Sabrina is a darker coming-of-age story about a young woman who juggles homework and love while perfecting her gifts for magic. As Sabrina Spellman (Kiernan Shipka) tries her best to live a normal life as a half-human, half-witch, dark forces begin to threaten not only her, but her friends, lovers, and family (which, like a much lighter 90s TV series about Sabrina Spellman, (featuring Aunt Hilda and Aunt Zelda).

    The Umbrella Academy (2019-2023)

    The Umbrella Academy dice number theory

    When their father dies unexpectedly, a group of orphans – all born on the same day – come together after years of separation to discern the secret of his death. In another life, they were superheroes, but after spending so long harboring grudges, they’ll have to learn how to be a family again as adults, even as their powers threaten to further divide them. Umbrella Academy It may focus on themes of abandonment, loss, and personal accountability, but there’s plenty of fun amidst the gloom thanks to the main characters’ likable idiosyncrasies.

    Ares (2020)

    Initiators of bowing in ares season 1

    When the possibility of joining Ares, a secret society from the Dutch Golden Age, arises, an ambitious and inquisitive college student decides to accept the invitation and leave her difficult home life behind. She joins other “novices” at an elaborate initiation ceremony, but being part of Amsterdam’s elite proves troublesome when the novices begin to disappear, and she begins to unearth a dark secret at the heart of prestigious society. Brimming with action, plot twists and stunning visuals, this Dutch series is packed with horror and drama in an elegant and provocative way.

    Next: The 13 best foreign series to watch on Netflix, according to Rotten Tomatoes

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