The Bat signal has well and truly been lit, as The Batman finally descends into cinemas, and fans of the Caped Crusader have a real treat on their hands with this latest DCEU movie. If you thought Christopher Nolan and Zack Snyder gave us dark, gritty interpretations of Gotham’s masked hero, Matt Reeves has well and truly stepped it up a notch with The Batman.
This new iteration of the Dark Knight is a violent and intelligent detective movie, set against the grimy, dirty backdrop of the most terrifying Gotham City we’ve ever seen in live-action Batman movies. The story, the setting, and the general atmosphere of the whole film weave together so wonderfully, it got us thinking about other movies which fit the same vibe.
If you have seen The Batman, like us, you probably left the cinema with a hankering for more dark, twisted entertainment. So, if you liked The Batman, we think you’ll love these five movies which have a similar story, mood, or aesthetic to the new Matt Reeves thriller movie.
The five movies you need to check out after The Batman:
- A Fistful of Dollars
If you’re anything like me, you have longed for a Batman movie in the mould of David Fincher’s classic ‘90s detective movie Se7en. Well, we finally got exactly that with The Batman! From the foreboding backdrop of a city where it never stops raining, and danger lurks round every corner, to the dynamic of two detectives cracking a case together, the influences of Se7en on The Batman are clear to see.
Much like Paul Dano‘s interpretation of The Riddler, Fincher’s movie also features a sadistic, sinister serial killer who likes to leave clues for the law enforcers hunting him. But, what you’ll get with Se7en, that you don’t necessarily get from The Batman, is one of the most gruesome twists in all of movie history!
The idea of horror merging with the world of Batman is not a new concept; just think back to the terrifying imagery of Scarecrow’s hallucinogenic nightmares in Batman Begins. We know Batman villains like to hatch evil plans and put people in dangerous situations, but in The Batman, Paul Dano’s new take on The Riddler really ramps up the peril with his array of deadly traps.
Much like the twisted mind of Jigsaw in the Saw horror movie franchise, we see The Riddler kill his victims through various barbaric methods. Indeed, seeing a corrupt chief of police eaten alive by rats, or forcing a crooked district attorney to solve riddles with a bomb around his neck, are the kind of wicked games that would make Jigsaw proud.
This Korean crime thriller is renowned for its incredible fight choreography, not least of all its hallowed corridor fight, which has influenced the likes of the Daredevil TV series since. The graphic violence and intense, claustrophobic depiction of hand-to-hand combat in The Batman, is clearly cut from the same cloth as Park Chan-wook’s Oldboy.
While both these movies may, at their core, be about finding answers, the narratives of the two are actually very different. While The Batman is a neo-noir hunt for a serial killer, Oldboy is a twisting and turning mystery centred on revenge. Just make sure you watch the Korean version, which is one of the greatest international movies of all time, and try to avoid the American remake!
David Fincher makes our list again here, with his chilling movie based on a true story Zodiac. The truth is, no one does serial killer movies quite like Fincher, and Matt Reeves understandably leans on this influence with The Batman. And, it’s not just the hunt for an elusive psychopath that allows us to draw comparisons between the two movies.
You only have to look at the costume of The Riddler, and that of the Zodiac Killer, to see that the concept of Paul Dano’s raw, minimalist, militarian character design was borne of the same school of thinking as Fincher’s interpretation of the real-life criminal.
You can watch Zodiac with a subscription to streaming services Netflix and Prime Video.
a fistful of dollars (1964)
I know what you’re thinking – how can a Western be similar to a Batman movie? But, a story of one mysterious man, stepping in to protect a whole town of people from evil sure does sound familiar, doesn’t it? Well, that’s the basic premise of this classic Spaghetti Western and the protagonist there, simply named The Stranger, has similar murky moral boundaries to Robert Pattinson‘s edgy Bruce Wayne.
What surprises me though, with this comparison, is that The Batman actually rather cleverly uses sound design to evoke the same vibes you’d expect from a Clint Eastwood Western movie. If you listen carefully, every intimidating step that Pattinson’s bulky Batman takes has the unmistakable thud, and even the jangle of spurs, that stereotypically you would hear in a cowboy movie just before a good old-fashioned stand-off.