r Wicked Things Horror Blog: My Dreary Modern Gothic Favorites

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

My Dreary Modern Gothic Favorites

These are definitely my dreary modern adaptations of dreary Gothic Horror stories and the Modern Gothic Horror genre in general.

1. Bram Stoker's Dracula - stars Winona Ryder, Gary Olman, and Keanu Reeves. Despite the terrible accents and mediocre acting and slightly inappropriate appearance of the characters in the cast, it was the best adaptation of a Gothic Horror Novel I have seen in a while. The costumes and setting for this film were phenomenal and put us back in the 19th century. The characters were richly illustrated and far more interesting than in many modern adaptations of Dracula-themed movies. I have to say, the film's adaptation of Dr. Van Helsing was good, because he was played by none other than Anthony Hopkins, who of course, is the actor who portrays our beloved and endearing Dr. Hannibal Lecter.

2. Mary Shelley's Frankenstein - At the dawning of Modern Medical Science as we know it, Mrs. Mary Shelley had a dream about a man and a monster. She made it into a novel under a male pseudonym so her husband could get it published for her. That novel was, of course, Frankenstein.

Frankenstein was depicted by Kenneth Branaugh, a very capable actor, who also portrays Nostradamus in the late 90's film titled as such. He does a colorful job of portraying Dr. Frankenstein, not a mad scientist, but one affected by death, who subsequently would like to unlock the secrets of creating life without thinking through the consequences alongside his adopted sister, who later becomes his lover portrayed by none other than Helena Bonham Carter, Tim Burton's life partner and mother of his wee ones who has been cast in interesting and quirky roles such as The Corpse Bride as the title character, as well as the strange and interesting gal, Marla Singer in Fight Club, and I probably shouldn't forget to add possibly her most notable role aside from that of Frankenstein's galpal, Mrs. Lovett in the modern adaptation of the 19th century play, Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street, a remake of the musical put out by Tim Burton.

3. Sleepy Hollow - with Johnny Depp, who has been cast in numerous roles and nailed them all (he can act in any genre and any role) as well as Christina Ricci, who of course took on the role of Wednesday Addams in the Addams Family Movies made in the 90's as a child, was a super adaptation with added elements added when it was created and Tim Burton such as "the witches", Mrs. Van Tassel, her sister, and Katrina Van Tassel, Baltus' daughter, a white witch.

Ichabod Crane also dreams of his mother as a natural witch put to death by his devoutly religious father. Ichabod, who is played by Johnny Depp is cast as not a school teacher, but a curious Constable (detective or investigator), who travels from New York to investigate "The Headless Horseman Murders" with tons of little Steam Punk looking new fangled gadgets and a cubbord of potions in a medical bag complete with an autopsy kit.

He plays the clumsy, awkward Ichabod character well, although, in the Washington Irving book, Ichabod is supposed to be tall and very thin and sort of gawky looking. I guess ugly men in the movies don't sell tickets. Anyway, Christian Ricci was a good witchy temptress and Miranda Richardson was a super evil stepmother, who looked like a pretty, nice lady of the house on the outside to conceal the darkness within.

The witch in the cave also added a nice twist not to mention casting Christopher Walken in the role of the Headless Horseman with his sharpened teeth and wide eyes. The Christopher Lee cameo as the constable that sends Ichabod Crane to Sleepy Hollow was a nice addition.

I also love that its shot in a dreary way, exactly how New England (its supposed to be in Connecticut) looks on a fall day. I live there, in New England.

4. Snow White - A Tale of Terror - The Snow White movie that was designed to most accurately portray that of the original Grimm Brother's terrifying fairytale. Snow White is portrayed by, an excellent choice. She has a natural beauty and innocence she captures on film. Sigourney Weaver surprised me in her ability to be an evil stepmother.

I liked the fact that she started out as a kind person who is trying to take on the role of a new stepmother and purchases a puppy for Liliana (Snow White). She loses her baby and is slowly corrupted by the evil mirror. The dead baby in the swaddling blanket that she refuses to throw away bugs me out and is pretty terrifying and the fact that she tries to feed Liliana Hoffman her father is pretty effed up, too.

Her descent into madness and her increased vanity as a beautiful, aging woman is gradual and twisted by the mirror. Its a natural progression and that makes it more lifelike and realistic, well, on film, anyway. 

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