* In the 70s, there was a quite radical change in horror movies. The films became incredibly DarkerAndEdgier, at least in comparison with the 60s. Many believe that this is due to the decade of the 70s in RealLife was plagued by financial and social problems, the country was depressed and strongly this was reflected in the films, that lost much of their innocence to become more violent, graphic, bloody and dark, with ''Film/TheExorcist'' and ''Blood Freak'' being the most common examples.
* ''Film/{{Unforgiven}}'' is very DarkerAndEdgier film of the Western, even compared to the Creator/SergioLeone's SpaghettiWestern films, is more dark.
* ''StarTrekIntoDarkness'' was particularly dark, even after the previous film's destruction of Vulcan, with a villain whose attacks on Starfleet recalled al-Qaeda terrorism and [[spoiler:the revelation of a semi-fascist xenophobic warmongering faction within Starfleet]].
* The ''Film/HarryPotter'' films became increasingly dark and serious, but this is evidenced most in the last three sequels, both in terms of cinematography and subject matter. The first two films were full of warm golds and reds, while the later films favour cold blues and Deathly Hallows is almost black and white. To further hammer this fact in, "Hedwig's Theme", which introduces each film, sounds slightly shriller and more discordant in each consecutive film. But after Voldemort was defeated in the last film, the vivid colours of the first movies return.
** At some points in the final three films the action, which is easy to see when watching in a dark cinema or room, is hard to see in a bright room with sunlight shining in.
* ''Franchise/StarWars'':
** ''Film/TheEmpireStrikesBack'' is darker than ''Film/ANewHope'', especially the [[DownerEnding Cliffhanger ending]] and the big revelation.
** ''Film/RevengeOfTheSith''. This sequel manages to be the darkest of all prequels, and probably the darkest of the entire saga so far. (Notably, it is the first and so far only ''Star Wars'' film to garner a PG-13 rating). This is where you know the plot of the FallenHero, TheBadGuyWins this time and this is the first in the series that blood shown graphically (note when Anakin is almost killed).
* Christopher Nolan's ''Film/BatmanBegins'', ''Film/TheDarkKnight'' and ''Film/TheDarkKnightRises'' compared to the Joel Shumacher movies (''Film/BatmanAndRobin'' especially) and (to a far lesser extent) the Tim Burton ones.
** Creator/TimBurton's ''Film/BatmanReturns'' compared to [[Film/{{Batman}} the 1989 film]] which [[SeinfeldIsUnfunny started the curve]] away from the campy 1960's TV Series.
** ''BatmanReturns'' becomes so dark it becomes a StealthParody since Burton couldn't really replicate the feel of the original Batman books and his characterization of Batman almost completely removes his most notable trait: ThouShallNotKill.
* ''{{Babe}} 2: Pig in the City'' is very much this trope compared to the original. The original was about a little pig on a farm who was taken in by the female sheepdog and was mostly lighthearted. TearJerker here and there, but the darkest element was when Babe's parents are herded to the slaughterhouse. In ''Babe 2'', there's a hotel with illegal pets, animal control, a vicious bulldog that nearly hangs him trying to kill Babe, and one of those little wheelchair dogs who [[spoiler:almost dies]]. Terrifying for some kids.
* While many versions of ''Franchise/ThePhantomOfTheOpera'' go in [[LighterAndSofter the opposite direction]], [[Film/ThePhantomOfTheOpera1989 the 1989 film]] turned the story into a bloody slasher flick, with [[Creator/RobertEnglund Robert]] "[[Franchise/ANightmareOnElmStreet Freddy Krueger]]" [[Creator/RobertEnglund Englund]] in the title role. This movie is much more in keeping with [[Literature/THePhantomOfTheOpera the original novel]]'s tone as far as the titular character's obsession with Christine goes, to the point of his being quite willing to kill for her, but even ''then'' it's still a [[LighterAndSofter gentler version of the story]] compared to the original novelization.
* Richard Kelly wrote a [[http://richard-kelly.net/multimedia/scripts/Holes-Script72.pdf screenplay]] for Louis Sachar's lighthearted BlackComedy, ''{{Holes}}'', that went in this direction. Instead of searching for buried treasure at a juvenile delinquent summer camp, the movie would have had the boys searching for nuclear weapons in a post-apocalyptic Texas. One scene has [[TroublingUnchildlikeBehavior Stanley visiting a prostitute.]] The studio instead used the screenplay written by Sachar himself.
* A common trend in films about KingArthur, which is a pretty downbeat legend to begin with.
** ''Film/{{Excalibur}}'' combines MagicalRealism with [[OverdrawnAtTheBloodBank gritty, bloody]] violence, reaching a peak of dark edginess in an early scene in which a knight in blood-stained armour tricks the wife of his nemesis into having sex with him. There are plenty of impalings and crow-pecked corpses to go around as well.
** Robert Bresson's ''Lancelot du Lac''. What it lacks in gore and DungAges ambiance, it makes up for by being extremely dour, mechanical and joyless, Bresson films are wont to be.
** The [[{{Demythtification}} "historical"]] film ''Film/KingArthur'' from 2004 has the Knights of the Round Table turn out to be just a pack of Roman mercenaries fighting evil Saxons in a cold, windswept wasteland of an England.
* ''Film/JamesBond'' films:
** ''Film/LicenceToKill'' is by far the darkest of the series to that point. It starts with Colombian drug lord Franz Sanchez feeding Bond's longtime friend and ally to a shark (after raping and killing his new bride), followed by Bond resigning from MI6, going rogue, and killing every member of Sanchez's organization in increasingly graphic ways.
** The Daniel Craig Bond films, starting with ''Film/CasinoRoyale'' are darker and more realistic than previous Bond films, going deeper into Bond's pathos and doing away with most of the wisecracks, gadgets and slapstick. ''Skyfall'' also goes in for DeconstructorFleet, DentedIron, ''serious'' questions about everyone's sanity, and [[spoiler: TheBadGuyWins by killing M although his victory is indirect as he is killed by Bond before M kicks the bucket]].
* The second ''HomeAlone'' film is much less lighthearted than the first, taking place in New York rather than a Chicago suburb, and with Kevin using much more dangerous traps against the Bandits. Also, when they catch him, Harry [[MoralEventHorizon fully intends to murder Kevin.]]
** The third film takes it even further, with the villains no longer being petty house robbers, but a group working for a terrorist organization, searching for a lost computer chip. One scene involves one of the villains tying up an elderly neighbor in a garage and leaving the door open ... on a snowy December day. She's barely conscious when she's found.
* Even the classic ''Film/ETTheExtraTerrestrial'' was not immune to this trope. When E.T. first became a hit in theaters, Creator/StevenSpielberg and E.T. screenwriter Melissa Mathison came up with a treatment for a sequel: ''[[OddlyNamedSequel2ElectricBoogaloo E.T. II:]] [[FreudWasRight Nocturnal Fears]]'', in which Elliot and his friends are kidnapped by [[TheGreys evil albino offshoots]] of E.T.'s species. Fortunately, E.T. returns to Earth and rescues them, but not until after the kids have all been [[ColdBloodedTorture tortured]]. They thought better of it.
* ''Film/MontyPythonsTheMeaningOfLife''
* ''Film/TronLegacy'' is much more grim than the [[Film/{{Tron}} 1982 original.]] When you got programs violently shattering into data, genocide, a brutal dictator, and brainwashing programs to invade the real world, you got more than just the suits and the environment that's darker than the first Tron.
** Even the 1982 Original was a D&E risk on Disney's part, their second attempt after Film/TheBlackHole. Recall that 5 years earlier, they released PetesDragon, which was one of their most saccharine entries. The classic had a few nasty deaths (including an InvoluntaryBattleToTheDeath), ColdBloodedTorture, and some heavy-duty religious themes. Then, there's the infamous DeletedScene that's just shy of a full-blown sexual encounter...
** The ''animated series'' entry, ''WesternAnimation/TronUprising'' manages to get even more Grimdark. Scenes of mass murder, witch hunts over the Renegade, a HeroWithBadPublicity. And Tron himself tries to ''kill his apprentice'' in cold blood for intervening in a rampage of revenge against the man who tortured him. It's saying a lot about the franchise when one of the LighterAndSofter entries is a [[VideoGame/TronTwoPointOh first-person shooter]] that was [[CanonDiscontinuity exiled from canon]].
* ''The Black Hole'' itself qualifies on its own. Released in 1979 it was controversial for being {{Disney}}'s first PG-rated film, and featured numerous violent and disturbing sequences the likes of which no Disney film had ever shown before. Even the resident "funny robots" were not actually that funny and were played straight. Although it took a few years, the move towards more adult fare exhibited by Black Hole, Tron, a rather adult comedy called Trenchcoat and others eventually led Disney to establish the [[Creator/TouchstonePictures Touchstone brand]] for releasing films in the PG, PG-13 and R-rated realm, while reserving the main Disney brand for (mostly) G or the occasional PG film. This later went by the wayside however, as the Disney brand came to be used for dark, PG-13 rated films like ''Film/PiratesOfTheCaribbean''.
* Speaking of ''Pirates of the Caribbean'', the sequels. The second film pits Jack against a threat he can't talk his way out of and, in the process, puts more emphasis on his morally ambiguous side, with him resorting to genuinely shady stuff to escape his DealWithTheDevil. The third opens with Cutler Beckett presiding over a mass execution - and becoming the first Disney villain to kill a child onscreen. Elizabeth and Will both have to join in the speed chess game just to keep up, with Elizabeth getting the big ShootTheDog moment of [[spoiler:leaving Jack to face the Kraken so the others can escape.]]
* The Franchise/{{Godzilla}} franchise jumps between this and LighterAndSofter. No film has ever topped [[Film/{{Gojira}} the original]] but some try pretty hard. ''Film/MothraVsGodzilla'' was bleaker than the goofy ''Film/KingKongVsGodzilla'', ''Film/GodzillaVsHedorah'' had people melting and one of the biggest body counts of all the franchise after the kid-centered ''Godzilla's Revenge''. ''Film/TerrorOfMechagodzilla'' was DarkerAndEdgier than ''Film/GodzillaVsMechaGodzilla'' which featured violence but had a very pulpy story; ''Terror'' [[spoiler: even deals with the issue of suicide.]] ''Godzilla 1985'' dealt with a possible World War III and was politically heavy, ''[[Film/GodzillaVsBiollante Biollante]]'' was just a tad bit lighter but very dark still. ''Film/GodzillaVsDestoroyah'' dealt with [[spoiler: Godzilla dying, Jr. dying, and Godzilla possibly undergoing a nuclear meltdown that would destroy the Earth]]. ''[[Film/GodzillaMothraKingGhidorahGiantMonstersAllOutAttack GMK]]'' was even bleaker than ''[[Film/GodzillaVsMegaguirus Megaguirus]]'' thanks to an even more vicious Godzilla terrorizing Japan. And then there is ''Film/{{Godzilla 2014}}'', which has Godzilla returning to being a terrifying force of nature, [[RevisitingTheRoots much like the original film]]; Creator/GarethEdwards has stated that he wants Godzilla's rampage to evoke September 11th in terms of destruction, realism and terror, and he has cited ''Film/CloseEncountersOfTheThirdKind'' and ''Film/ApocalypseNow'' as heavily informing the tone of his movie.
* ''Film/GIJoeTheRiseOfCobra'' had EVERYONE wearing black and a knives and bullets always finding their way into enemy eye sockets. Then we have the Baroness display her [[MostCommonSuperPower cleavage]] and the buxom Scarlett wearing a sports bra while on a treadmill. Not to mention a guy's face is literally DISSOLVED by his own nanites!
** The sequel, ''Film/GIJoeRetaliation'', was darker and less cartoonish than the original, even featuring the [[DecoyProtagonist death of]] [[spoiler: Duke, the hero of the first movie]].
** The the original animated TV series, despite being about a paramilitary group assigned to combat a terrorist organization, was nonetheless intended to be child-friendly, i.e. ATeamFiring galore, and despite the fact Scarlett was armed with a crossbow, she'd never consider using it to actually, you know, kill anyone. Perhaps reflecting the post-9/11 attitudes that A Team Firing is unrealistic and cheesy, the GI Joes of the live action film (and recent-vintage animated reprises and the comic books) are depicted as you'd expect a paramilitary force fighting terrorists would be - ruthless killers each with double- and triple-digit body counts. Even Scarlett.
*** The original ''WesternAnimation/GIJoeTheMovie'' is way darker than the animated show. Its revealed Cobra are led by an ancient race of reptilian beings, most of the familiar cast are held prisoner by giant alien plants for the entire film, we follow a new team of rookies as they struggle to replace the Joes, Cobra Commander devolves into a giant snake with 100 eyes, Roadblock goes blind, Duke DIES (and is revived thanks to ExecutiveMeddling adding unconvincing ADR).
* The ''Film/{{Transformers}}'' series in general. Robots are getting ripped apart, blown up, or their faces bifurcated. The added sex (and not much else) is supplied by Megan Fox.
** Although amputation, decapitation and on at least one occasion, crucifixion, were all features of the 80s transformers comics.
** And the third film cranks it UpToEleven, with [[spoiler: humans being assassinated]], as well as having [[spoiler: Sentinel Prime launch a full scale Decepticon assault on Earth, complete with scenes of carnage.]]
* ''Film/RedRidingHood'', as seen in the [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7NfwUkXQrHE&feature=player_embedded trailer]]. [[OlderThanTheyThink The original]] wasn't exactly what modern readers would call kid friendly either though.
* ''Film/{{Ghostbusters}} II'' might not be as good as the first movie, but it sure is darker than the first, involving an ancient god in a painting looking to be reborn in a baby, people's emotions manipulating and being manipulated by pink slime under the city, and [[spoiler:our heroes (temporarily) being put in an insane asylum at the beginning of the DarkestHour]].
* ''[[Film/BackToTheFuture Back To The Future Part II]]'' compared to the first movie. Why? 3 reasons. 1, the alternate 1985. 2, in the alternate timeline, [[spoiler:[[JerkJock Biff]] marries Lorraine after killing George]]. And 3, [[spoiler:[[AbsentMindedProfessor Doc Brown]] is institutionalized in the alternate timeline]].
* RussellCrowe's 2010 ''Film/{{Robin Hood|2010}}'' film.
** This version and ''Film/RobinHoodPrinceOfThieves'' when compared to [[Film/TheAdventuresOfRobinHood the Errol Flynn version]] or the [[Disney/RobinHood Disney one]].
* Rob Zombie's remake of ''Film/{{Halloween 2007}}'' and [[Film/HalloweenII2009 its sequel]] fits this trope. While the originals were fairly dark in their own right, Zombie amps it UpToEleven by creating a darker, gritter world filled with {{rap|eIsASpecialKindOfEvil}}ist {{orderlies|AreCreeps}}, [[ILoveTheDead necrophiliacs]], AbusiveParents (namely Michael Myers'), and a barrage of characters who [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking swear like sailors]]. Even Michael himself kills in a more violent, brutal manner. Not everybody was fond of these changes.
* ''Film/SnowWhiteAndTheHuntsman'' compared to almost any other adaptation without a doubt. From the trailers alone, we can already see that this movie is way more violent, with epic-scale battles and soldiers smashing each other to pieces left, right and center, has very scary-looking creatures, and throws in a few nasty twists such as the Queen really being a much older woman that sucks the life out of much younger women to preserve her youth. Oh, and if that weren't enough, almost the entire film and its settings are very dull and colourless, whereas in most other versions, the kingdom and most parts of the forest are much more colourful and presented as nice places to live. Here? Not so much.
* ''Film/SnowWhiteATaleofTerror''. Even more so than the original fairytale.
* ''BillAndTedsExcellentAdventure'' was a relatively tame (by today's standards, at least) family-friendly comedy involving two {{Idiot Hero}}es being granted a TimeTravel device to research historical figures (including {{Bowdlerise}}d versions of {{Napoleon|Bonaparte}} and BillyTheKid) in a RaceAgainstTheClock to pass a history test. Contrast this with ''BillAndTedsBogusJourney'', which would quite likely [[WhatDoYouMeanItsForKids scare the original film's target audience shitless]]. Unlike in the previous film where their biggest threat was Ted's dad sending him to military school, ''Bogus Journey'' has a legitimate, politically-driven BigBad who builds [[RobotMe robot versions]] of the protagonists who hunt down and ''actually kill them''. This leads the film into a BackFromTheDead storyline where the two meet [[TheGrimReaper Death himself]], wander around Sand Dimas as ghosts, get sucked into Hell via occult magic where they encounter a rather convincing {{Satan}} and crawl through a fire-and-brimstone lit [[AirVentPassageway air duct maze]] where they encounter [[UpToEleven exaggerated]] versions of their childhood traumas. There's also numerous homages to R-rated sci-fi and horror films amongst other added horrors, a subplot involving plenty of {{Squick}}y incest jokes, drastically harsher and more frequent profanity (including a PrecisionFStrike at one point), and some HoYay dialogue. All this in a film that came out a mere 2 years after the original; hardly the most ample time for its audience to prepare for it.
* In [[http://spinoff.comicbookresources.com/2012/07/25/captain-america-sequel-will-be-darker-edgier-co-director-says this article]] about the upcoming ''Film/CaptainAmericaTheFirstAvenger'' [[Film/CaptainAmericaTheWinterSoldier sequel]], the co-director uses this exact pair of comparative adjectives.
** Kevin Feige has said the goal of Phase 2 is to diversify the content of the MCU rather than just making traditionally superhero films. To that end, he said ''Film/CaptainAmericaTheWinterSoldier'' will be more of an edgy political thriller than a superhero flick.
*** The movie also looks to have a more serious tone than the first movie. MovieSuperheroesWearBlack seems to be in effect, with Cap wearing a darker, more practical outfit rather than his colorful costume from ''Film/TheAvengers'', and TheFalcon wearing dark military gear rather than his red costume from the comics.
** At the time it was released, ''Film/IronMan'' was this in comparison to the hammier, {{Narm}}ier Marvel films like ''Film/GhostRider'' and ''Film/FantasticFour''. In fact, director Creator/JonFavreau has stated that the success of ''Film/BatmanBegins'' was what motivated the studio to take the movie more seriously than its competitors' past comic book outings.
* Josh Trank's upcoming ''Film/FantasticFour'' ContinuityReboot is said to be this, with MarkMillar claiming the tone is partially influenced by ''Film/{{Alien}}'' in places.
* ''FreeWilly 2'' & ''3''. Compared to the first movie, in which the only tearjerker was Willy almost dying. The second had Jessie nearly drowning and getting incinerated by an oil tanker fire. While the dangers there were unintentional, the third amps it up by having human villains not capture the whales, but try to kill them and sell their meat to underground markets. Willy's not exempt from this either since in the climax of the film, he actually almost kills the captain of the whaling ship for attacking him, [[PapaWolf his mate and their unborn child.]]
* If ''Film/DirtyHarry'' was a dark enough already, the fourth installment ''Film/SuddenImpact'' made the series much darker. For one thing the movie has Harry Callahan going after [[RapeAsDrama a gang of rapists who brutalized and raped a female artist and her sister, leaving the latter all but catatonic]]. It's also considered by many to be the darkest, dirtiest, and most violent of the series as well.
* ''{{Rambo}} IV''. Even for the GrandFinale, certainly manages to be the sequel darker than all his predecessors. There [[{{Gorn}} is much more blood]] [[BloodierAndGorier and extreme violence]], at UpToEleven, and, has BigBad, who could be in a top 5 list of the most monstrous villains in film history.
* Death Wish 5. Every single murder is gorn.
* The new 2013 ''MortalKombat'' movie is so DarkerAndEdgier, it ''actually seems like a parody'' of how to take an existing goofy franchise and turn it Darker And Edgier.
* ''{{Casino}}''. It is far more violent, darker, edgier and downbeat than {{Goodfellas}}. And its killings are far more stomach churning. So yea, this is UpToEleven compared with the earlier sequel.
* ''MenaceIISociety''. It's much more violent, sad, downbeat, darker and edgier than ''BoyzNTheHood''. This film has almost no lighter moments.
* ''Film/{{Alien 3}}'' is a much darker film compared to the one that preceded it. In fact is like riding a train to downer land. ''Film/{{Aliens}}'' was a fairly standard action film with an overall happy ending ([[TropesAreNotBad and that isn't a bad thing]]). Its sequel however has an air of hopelessness that just pervades the entire thing. Two major characters [[SuddenSequelDeathSyndrome are killed right at the start]] and another one is damaged beyond repair, the film is set on a grimy prison planet populated by murderers and scum, there is almost nothing to fight the alien off with so more characters, [[AnyoneCanDie even likeable ones]], die left and right ([[SurprisinglySuddenDeath often with no build-up]]), and [[spoiler:even Ripley is killed off at the end because it's the only way she could stop The Company from bringing the Alien gestating inside her back with them.]] Sure things get better with "Resurrection", but that doesn't exactly raise spirits either (due to quality rather than tone)
* The events and the characterisation of the family members in the ''Film/TheAddamsFamily'' films are '''significantly''' darker than they were in the [[Series/TheAddamsFamily TV series]], although still not as dark as some of the original Creator/CharlesAddams single-panel cartoons.
* Creator/ChristopherNolan has said while ''Film/ManOfSteel'' isn't a "dark movie", as Superman isn't a dark character, it is "more serious and realistic." Still, it is by far the most violent Superman movie to date. It is however, somewhat LighterAndSofter than Nolan's ''Film/TheDarkKnightSaga''
* ''IndianaJonesAndTheTempleOfDoom'', with its [[HijackedByJesus Satanic?]] ReligionOfEvil, HumanSacrifice by BeatStillMyHeart, child slavery, a villain that actually says that he is trying to commit global genocide (unlike the first film, where the Nazis are just said to be trying to TakeOverTheWorld) and generally dark and oppressive tone is this to the preceding ''Film/RaidersOfTheLostArk'' and largely responsible for the creation of both the USA PG-13 rating and the British 12 (yep, ''Doom'' was released as ''PG'', and that's after they were forced to change the original title, ''Indiana Jones and the Temple of '''Death'''''). Making it worse, the movie is the only one in the franchise where Indy has a KidSidekick and there are other child characters, which probably led parents to think that it was actually [[WhatDoYouMeanItsNotForKids more child-friendly]] back when it was released.
* ''Film/TheWolverine'' is more serious than the previous X-Men movies, presenting the story as a noir crime drama.
* Not only is ''[[Film/MissionImpossible Mission: Impossible II]]'' the darkest in the series, but like ''Film/LicenceToKill'', it came close to getting an R rating.
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