Sunday, January 1, 2012

2012: Year of the Gothic

And it’s long overdue. There has been a renaissance among traditional horror creatures the past few years. Vampires, even the sparkly ones, are all over cinemas with that wretched teen romance series that shall not be named (call it Gothic Ultra Lite) and television with HBO’s deliriously hyper sexual True Blood; the zombie invasion continues unabated with the wildly popular AMC series The Walking Dead leading the pack; and 2010 saw Universal’s flawed but valiant effort at re-imagining The Wolfman as a lean, mean killing machine.

The first half of 2012 will see a trio of Gothic tinged releases from major studios, hopefully reviving the Gothic tradition at the movies for awhile so we may be seeing more lonely isolated houses, midnight rides through misty graveyards, and dysfunctional, agoraphobic families with enough skeletons in the closet to put Dynasty and Dallas to shame.

First up is the UK’s Hammer Films long awaited big screen adaptation of Susan Hill’s classic ghost story The Woman in Black. Yes, that Hammer Films. A stage production of The Woman in Black has been terrifying London audiences for more than twenty years. Hammer’s version offers Daniel Radcliffe his first adult leading film role which should bring the Potterheads out in droves. Watch for it in US theaters on February 3rd.

March 9th brings us John Cusak as Edgar Allan Poe in the action packed detective mystery The Raven, wherein the killer recreates scenes from Poe’s classic stories. Overall, this film may stretch the borders of Gothic a bit, but judging from the production design evident in the trailer, the Gothic eye candy appears to be in visual overdrive.

Dark Shadows fans are chomping at the bit to catch the first glimpses of Johnny Depp as Barnabas Collins in Tim Burton’s version of the cult classic 1960s TV series, but the studio isn’t teasing with a trailer anytime soon. Fan boards have recently pointed out that Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland didn’t offer a trailer until close to that film’s release. In that case, we may not see anything until a few weeks prior to the Tim Burton’s Dark Shadows still confirmed May 11th release. Until then we have to make due with this ensemble photo taken on the first day of shooting last spring.

As we all know, Hollywood has a hard time coming up with anything new, so I’m anticipating a slew of imitators to begin arriving during the second half of 2012, but for the sake of originality, might I suggest an adaptation of Diane Setterfield’s intriguing 2006 Gothic pastiche, The Thirteenth Tale?

Here’s to a very Gothic 2012!

No comments:

Post a Comment