7 Movies like The Pale Blue Eye you must watch

By Lori Meek
Published: January 31, 2023 (Last updated: January 10, 2024)

We discuss 7 Movies like The Pale Blue Eye you must watch. Add these handy recommendations to your watchlist. 

Based on a novel by Louis Bayard, The Pale Blue Eye landed on Netflix this month after a brief cinema stint. The film directed by Scott Cooper imagines a drunkard detective teaming up with the world-famous writer Edgar Alan Poe (played by Harry Melling) to solve a series of gruesome murders at the Military Academy. Stunning visuals and the compelling mystery contributed to the gothic thriller’s success with critics and fans alike.

If you’ve enjoyed this movie and would like to check out more gritty period pieces that may or may not feature a fictionalized version of Mr. Poe, make sure you check out some of the below titles. 

7 Movies like The Pale Blue Eye you must watch

The Raven (2012)

Set in the 19th century, this gothic thriller is probably the closest title to The Pale Blue Eyes in both style and narrative. John Cusack plays the troubled author during his last days as he’s trying to help the police capture a serial killer inspired by his work. This film is an intriguing murder story and offers a fictionalized explanation of what caused Poe’s mysterious death

Perfume: The Story of a Murderer (2006)

Based on the bestselling namesake novel by Patrick Süskind, this period thriller centers on a killer with an enhanced sense of smell on a quest to create the perfect perfume. Unfortunately for his victims, extracting their scent usually results in their deaths. Ben Whishaw stars in the title role, while the late Alan Rickman appears as a nobleman trying to protect his daughter from the fragrance-obsessed murderer. 

Murder on the Orient Express (1974)

Adapted from an Agatha Christie novel, this 1974 Oscar winner stars Albert Finney as famed Belgian sleuth, Hercule Poirot, who finds himself forced to solve a murder while traveling on a luxurious train. While this 70s British classic is not as dark as others on the list, it’s a very worthy whodunit including murders, intrigue, and a twist you probably won’t see coming (unless you’ve already read the book.)

The Prestige (2006)

Also featuring a Christian Bale performance, this thriller centers on the deadly rivalry between two talented magicians. Just like The Pale Blue EyeThe Prestige is set in the 19th Century and explores dark themes of revenge, obsession, and murder. While there’s no murder investigation, the film includes an ongoing mystery and a series of mind-bending twists. 

Nightmare Alley (2021)

Guillermo del Toro’s Nightmare Alley is based on a novel of the same name by writer William Lindsay Gresham. Centered on the cat-and-mouse game between a renowned psychic and the psychologist who’s trying to expose him, this noir thriller earned four Oscar nominations for its gripping atmosphere and storyline. 

From Hell (2001)

This atmospheric thriller starring Johnny Depp is set in during Jack the Ripper’s reign of terror. Based on a namesake graphic novel and directed by the Hughes Brothers, From Hell follows a Whitechapel inspector as he investigates a series of gruesome murders plaguing the streets of 19th Century London. 

The Black Dahlia (2006)

This 2006 film is a period crime thriller set against the backdrop of Elizabeth Short’s unsolved murder. Directed by Brian De Palma, the movie stars Josh Hartnett and Aaron Eckhart as two detectives tasked with finding out what really happened to the brutally murdered young woman the press dubbed The Black Dahlia. 

Do you have any other recommendations for movies like The Pale Blue Eye? Let us know!

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