Modern day Goth has evolved from the 80’s punk ties being first coined by a band manager Anthony Wilson of ‘Joy Division’. He described the band as ‘Gothic compared to the pop mainstream’ the scene eventually started taking on a more ‘Gothic’ look, dressing in darken clothing, mimicking the tall shadow filled buildings of the Gothic Period.
Goth transformed from its musical sub-culture to a way of rebelling against the average daily grind of society. Today it has people from all cultures, careers and musical genre. It has become as mainstream has the Harley Davidson bikers now who are Doctors and Lawyers amongst them.
The core of Goth in its relation to horror was represented in ‘The Crow 1994’ with the now deceased Brandon Lee where the main character spawned make-up of long running veins of black vertically on his eyes and dark black hair with clothes to match. This tied the two together nicely and it stuck.
Gothic horror originally was coined as Gothic Fiction with it’s know start with a novel by an English author named Horace Walpole with his ‘The Castle of Otranto’ 1764. His work can be scene and emulated by such greats as Bram Stoker, Ann Radcliffe and the drug delusion and disease infested Edgar Allan Poe.
Goth really comes from the type of architecture called Gothic, which flourished during the medieval period. It can be dated back to 12th century France and late into the 16th century but obviously never lost its appeal. Gothic architecture is known for its high peaks, pointed arches, ribbed vaulted ceilings and flying buttresses. Their windows were often stained glass as in churches and cathedrals with long corridors and hallways. This is what primarily led to the dark eerie shadows cast down from their stained glass mimicking the blood of Christ as the reds cast streams of pooled red color on the floors and walls.
Dress of the day was bleak with earth tones and darkened color. Primary reason was to hide the stains of dirt and filth which was common since bathing and cleanliness was not high on the list, one of the main factors of the onslaught of bubonic plague otherwise known as the Black Death. These dark times of depression and death can still be felt in the architecture today.
After the coined term of Gothic to Goth, the dark images of ‘The Crow’ launched the Goth era into the main stream. Out casts who found themselves with-out an image quickly adopted the dark imagery and began the Goth look phenomena. Horror seemed to go hand and hand with this dark depressing look and lifestyle. Goth finally found a sub culture in society a place where the ‘different’ can finally find a sense of companionship, certainty and a sense of belonging.
Their clothing is what separates them from the ‘norm’ of society, it is always dark, depressing and with a touch of outrageousness. Tall black boots, skin tight black pants, long black dresses and chains to accessories with are just a few examples. The vampire scene also follows closely to the Goth scene; the two are often confused but closely related. Both cultures wear similar dress but the main separation is usually the vampire scene works very hard on keeping themselves sheltered from the sunlight and pride themselves on being as pale as possible.
This mass of certain genre has launched films such as ‘Nosferatu 1922’ ‘Phantom of The Opera 1925‘, ‘Batman 1989’ ‘Edward Scissorhands 1990’ ‘The Crow 1994’ ‘The City of Lost Children 1995’ ‘Sleepy Hollow 1999’ ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas 1993’ ‘Dark City 1998’ ‘Blade 1998’ ‘Queen of The Damned 2002’ ‘Underworld 2003’ to name more than a few.
Tim Burton Directs most his films in a Gothic manner, most obvious are ‘Corpse Bride’ ‘Nightmare Before Christmas’ ‘Batman Returns’ most of his films have this dark Goth feel to them. As his films sold millions, the culture grew. The current director of Avatar James Cameron also tied some the culture together with SciFi Gothic Horrors ‘Aliens 1986’ ‘Terminator series’ and ‘Dark Angel 2000-02’ TV series that helped launch Jessica Alba’s career.
Horror may not be the choice of all Goth’s but it has become synonymous with it.
Goth and Horror