So, for anyone who hasn’t heard, there’s a full solar eclipse crossing the United States this Monday the 21st. Eclipses are seen in many cultures as omens of change, and in some, of evil.
Those views have passed on to portrayals of them in books, TV, and movies. While they’re really only a bit more common in movies than they are in real life, they’re no less dramatic most of the time and often serve as a plot point or occur during a major scene.
Without further ado, here’s four movies where you’ll find an eclipse watching over the events.
1. Hellboy (2004)
One of the themes of this movie is finding your purpose in life. Hellboy’s purpose, it turns out, is to unlock a door that uses a total solar eclipse as it’s pathway to allow a bunch of Lovecraftian god-beings through time and space to our world. The other theme is that you can choose your own purpose if you don’t like the one you’re given. The movie starred the impeccable Ron Perlman (Pacific Rim, Sons of Anarchy) as the title character. It also starred John Hurt (Harry Potter) and Selma Blair (The Fog) and was written and directed by Guillermo Del Toro. It’s worth seeing if you haven’t already and love superhero movies.
2. Little Shop of Horrors (1986)
Really, who couldn’t use a few guys following you around, livening up your day with a little Shoo-de-bop-bop? Yes, this is a musical, but it is also horror, being about a carnivorous talking plant that slips between dimensions during a total eclipse to arrive on our world. It’s discovered and taken home by a nerdy florist, who then ends up finding love and success with the plant’s help. It stars Rick Moranis (Honey I Shrunk The Kids, Spaceballs) and features a small role by comedic genius Steve Martin (The Jerk, Father of the Bride). If you like mixed-genre movies, definitely hit this one up, it’s a classic.
3. Dolores Claiborne (1995)
While more of a drama-thriller than outright horror, there’s no denying this piece, originally written by the master Stephen King, can get under your skin at times. A blend of past and present, a big city journalist must return to her small hometown when her mother, played by Kathy Bates (American Horror Story), is accused of murdering the wealthy woman she works for. As the story unravels, dark family secrets are revealed, culminating in a flashback which occurred during the solar eclipse of 1963. While not usually listed among the best adaptations of King’s work, it has graced a few lists, and is hardly counted among the worst. If you’re a fan of King, it’s worth giving a shot.
4. Pitch Black (2000)
Any list of movies that have or feature eclipses has to include Pitch Black. The sci-fi-action-horror flick stars Vin Diesel (Fast and the Furious, Guardians of the Galaxy) as the main character, a convict who’s transport ship crashes on a remote planet en route to delivering him to prison. They find the ruins of an outpost whose occupants have all fallen victim to vicious nocturnal predators. Before the crew can figure out how to fix their ship though, an eclipse begins. One that’s due to last for a full month. Then it becomes a race to get the outpost’s ship functional before they all get devoured.
Have I missed any other good ones? Leave your suggestions in the comments below so we don’t forget when the next eclipse comes around in 2024.