Crimson Peak: not as feminist as promised

Crimson Peak Edith Scared

I would have liked to see Crimson Peak in theaters the night it opened, but for a variety of reasons I didn’t get a chance to watch it until Halloween, which is a pretty good day to watch a Gothic film anyway!

I avoided reading any reviews of the film before watching it so I could be as unbiased as possible when forming my opinions on it, but I did have a few small preconceptions floating in the back of my mind: quotes from Del Toro I had read before the film opened about how Crimson Peak would be “feminist” and would turn some gender conventions on its head. Continue reading

Warm Weather Gothic Films

Hanging Rock 2

As the temperatures continue to rise and the hours of sunlight stretch further into the evening, I’ve found myself thinking about the “seasonality” of the Gothic. Gothicism, in all its forms, has a pretty established association with cold, dreary weather. Extremely bad weather is a hallmark of Gothic novels (see #7 on this list); similarly, Gothic movies usually make use of desolate autumn/winter landscapes and storms to heighten the foreboding tone. Even goth fashion is so ill-suited for hot weather that it has inspired a whole blog on the topic (where each photo submission gets a ranking of “gothiness” and “sweatiness”). Continue reading

Does the Byronic Heroine Exist?

Vanessa IvesLord Byron 1

“Can women have Byronic personalities?”

As seemingly random and specific as it sounds, I’ve actually wondered this on a few occasions. When I went through a big Byron phase a while ago, I was arguably more fascinated with his life and influence on (Gothic) pop-culture than I was by his writings. I found it amazing that an individual could change the landscape of Western culture and media– for centuries to come– almost entirely because of his unique personality. Romantic individualism personified.

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Gothic Films in the Criterion Collection, pt. II

Last week we looked at Gothic Films in the Criterion Collection made before 1950. Let’s now explore what the collection has to offer from the second half of the century!

The Night of the Hunter, 1955. Dir. Charles Laughton (USA).

CC The Night of the Hunter

The Night of the Hunter—incredibly, the only film the great actor Charles Laughton ever directed—is truly a stand-alone masterwork. A horror movie with qualities of a Grimm fairy tale, Continue reading

Gothic Films in the Criterion Collection

The Criterion Collection was founded to distribute “important classic and contemporary films.” So which Gothic films has the prestigious distributer deemed “important”? Let’s take a look at some of the Gothically-leaning films in the Collection (and also admire the awesome DVD cover art that’s created for each film). You’ll be pleasantly surprised to learn that there are actually quite a few of these films– so many that I only have room to feature films from the first halve of the 20th Century (next half will come later). Enjoy!

The Phantom Carriage, 1921. Dir. Victor Sjöström (Sweden).

CCPhantom Carriage

The last person to die on New Year’s Eve before the clock strikes twelve is doomed to take the reins of Death’s chariot and work tirelessly collecting fresh souls for the next year. Continue reading

A Roundup of Gothic Film Festivals in 2015

Every year there are more genre film festivals starting up and, it seems, even more shutting down. There is no permanent list of horror and gothic-themed film festivals due to this turnover rate, so I’ve compiled this list of festivals with definite event dates for 2015. Whether you’re planning to submit a film or attend the festival as a spectator, I hope this helps you navigate some of the gothic and horror film festivals this year!

Screen shot 2015-01-27 at 10.44.02 AM Continue reading