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'twas A Dark And Stormy Night

918 words - 4 pages

The Gothic style of the arts carries with it a specific charm and allure that breaks from the darkness, the repulsion of some of its more amoral subjects and twists then into mystifying shadows that swallow the shallow subconscious - consume it with the intrigue of mystery and suspense of constructed horror. Though visions of the true Gothic nature have fallen out of fashion in more recents years, with the rise of teen subgenres in writing and popcorn flicks to appease the masses in the theatres that threaten to consume the popular mindset - it cannot be said that the fascination with certain Gothic elements have been bushed from center stage. Rather, even as the Gothic art-piece, the novel, the film, in its purest of forms has become a thing harder and harder to seek, the fingerprints of the genre still ghost across pages and through each still frame, hidden in a hundred small touches on the surface.
Mood, the drawing temptation of atmosphere, sets a scene with its spell, curves finely tuned instruments to the senses that draws or repels those who seek to observe. Horror, whether in novelette or on a silver screen, must create these moments of tension in order to provide a wanted experience. In Gothic literature, the words crafted moments of intense feeling, darkened corridors flickering with candlelight, casting leaping shadows onto dim stone, set apart by a deep, penetrating cold that could be felt down to the bones. Scenes began with storms, shows of power, of nature, immediately filling the reader with a cold dread and a level of fright - the characteristic strike of the lightning behind a looming castle upon a hill, cliche now to use - but then! - oh what a staple to the Gothic art. Moods taken from such novels, however, can manifest themselves in more subtle, tuned ways, that need nothing so bold as the dredges of rain pouring. Seen common in film, the simple shot of the long, vacant corridor flickering with little light, asking the mind to question the shadows. Shots taken from rooftops onto quiet forests and long, winding roads - the feeling of desolation penetrating to the core, such as in the movie Sleepy Hollow. These little things that are spun from horror, holding their roots when literature faltered into the darkness from the Romantic.
Atmosphere may paint the mind fantastical scenes of dripping maws and sharpened teeth, but there are more notable conventions yet that have survived the tests of time rather than just the characteristically dismal and haunting horrored scenes of Gothic tension. Developed in a time for the turn of enlightenment in science, the Gothic novel twisted itself within these ideas and sculpted ideas considered otherwise otherworldly and...

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