These fictional eclipses are almost as good as the real thing

Danielle Wiener-Bronner

Early this morning, parts of the world were plunged into temporary darkness thanks to a total solar eclipse. People on the Faroe Islands and the Svalbard Islands, located close to Scotland and Greenland, respectively, got the full view. Others in Europe, Asia and Africa could see a partial eclipse, but those of us in North America got zilch. So it goes. The photos are pretty phenomenal:


But being left out of the fun of an actual, real-life, “once-in-a-generation opportunity" doesn’t mean we can’t have a little eclipse-fun of our own. For starters, we're going to listen to “Total Eclipse of the Heart” all day. And here are some other options to pay homage to the event:

Total Eclipse of the Heart


Obviously, “Total Eclipse of the Heart” isn’t actually about an eclipse. Really, it’s about vampires. Jim Steinman, who wrote the goopy power ballad, explained in a 2002 interview with

I actually wrote that to be a vampire love song. Its original title was 'Vampires in Love' because I was working on a musical of 'Nosferatu,' the other great vampire story. If anyone listens to the lyrics, they're really like vampire lines. It's all about the darkness, the power of darkness and love's place in dark.


You thought “Once upon a time I was falling in love, but now I'm only falling apart,” was a lyric about jilted lovers, right? Nope. Speaking of vampires….

The Twilight Saga: Eclipse


Maybe Stephenie Meyer was aware of the secret history of “Total Eclipse of the Heart” when she titled the third installment of her wildly successful vampire series Twilight “Eclipse”?

The Strain

In the first season of The Strain, the FX series adapted from Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan’s novel, a dystopian New York City is overcome by a virus that turns people into vampires. In episode 6, “Occultation,” a solar eclipse turns the city dark during the day, wreaking vampire-fueled havoc.


Aside from the scary vampire takeover, FX’s rendition of an eclipse over New York City looks pretty cool.


Little Shop of Horrors

The plant at the center of “Little Shop of Horrors,” Audrey II, gets her hunger for blood during an unexpected eclipse, also over New York City.


2001: A Space Odyssey

The epic film by Stanley Kubrick opens with an eclipse:


What better way to kick off perhaps the most acclaimed space fantasy film ever?



Paul, the young, legally blind hero of this young adult novel, is told by his family that he lost his vision because he stared directly into a solar eclipse. As the novel unfolds (spoiler alert) we learn along with Paul that he was blinded by his violent older brother. Less cool than an eclipse.

Total Eclipse

This early Leonardo DiCaprio vehicle features the star as a young Arthur Rimbaud to David Thewlis's Paul Verlaine. The based-on-a-true-love-story flick shows the unfolding of the forbidden relationship between the two lovers in 19th century France.


Not much about eclipses in this one, but we do see Leo ruminating sadly in shadows.


Danielle Wiener-Bronner is a news reporter.

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