The Gothic Library is a collection of those dark shadows that represent the highest achievement in the Gothic arts.

The Gothic Library is a collection of those dark shadows that represent the highest achievement in the Gothic arts. Is this somewhat subjective? Why of course. Our Gothic world is seeped in the themes, atmosphere, and conflicted emotions made famous by Shelley, Byron, Poe, Lovecraft, Hawthorne, the Brontë sisters, and many more. Capes swirl, the mist curls around an ankle, and fear clenches the heart. Voices whisper from the darkness, and phantoms haunt the shadowy night. If this is your world, “Enter freely. Go safely, and leave something of the happiness you bring!” ~Dracula, chapter two

Superior Achievement in Dark Film: They Came Back

Posted on Sep 4, 2013

Superior Achievement in Dark Film: They Came Back

Unlike modern zombie films, in which the undead characters wish to digest or otherwise harm the human characters, the 70 million people who return from the dead in They Came Back want simply to re-integrate themselves into society. The recent dead (within the decade) just come back. They want their lives back. This French zombie film, unlike so many others, deals not with the coming apocalypse, but with the crisis of living. When the dead begin to overwhelm this average town, the questions and challenges begin. What do we do with them? Do they get their jobs back? What about pensions? Health benefits? What if families don’t want their deceased back? Lurking underneath these seemingly mundane issues is the darker, more sinister question. What if they are no longer our loved ones? Grief is one of the most intense and horrific emotions that humans experience. What would you overlook if the love of your life returned? Memory lapses, strange behavior at night, blank stares, irrational thought patterns? How far is too far when you love someone? They Came Back is a fascinating discussion on a number of philosophical themes. There is the exploration of the Christian concept of the afterlife. The newly dead have returned to Earth. This should be good right? The Bible give us the example of Lazarus and the afterlife. Our loved ones have risen as the Bible tells us they will. Shouldn’t Christians be thrilled? The reaction however is mixed at best. There is a brilliant scene where shelter workers hand a mother her infant. Instead of the expected reaction of motherly love, the woman is utterly horrified. There is no spark of life, no human essence. Scientists conclude the dead can “mimic human speech and behavior.” They are not really human. What are they? In French, the title is The Revenants, or living dead. There is no connection to the human self in the present. They only know what they once were. The film raises the question of what it means to be human. Are these dead in the afterlife or limbo? What are they exactly? The ending is very ambiguous on the concept of eternity. They cannot exist with living, but where do they go? They have no emotional connection to their lives either past or present. Is living simply breathing? Walking around? A physical self? How much of our humanity centers on emotion, work, and connections with people and the world around us? A wonderful exploration of something far greater than just the walking dead.  ...

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Superior Achievement in Dark Fiction: Willy by Robert Dunbar

Posted on Sep 4, 2013

Superior Achievement in Dark Fiction: Willy by Robert Dunbar

In an isolated school for boys with emotional problems, a disturbed adolescent struggles against a mire of ignorance and oppression. Then he meets Willy … and the other boy – charismatic and strange – saves him. Or damns him. WILLY is a dark psychological thriller by the author of THE PINES, THE SHORE and MARTYRS & MONSTERS. THE PRESS ABOUT ROBERT DUNBAR “The catalyst for the new literary movement in horror.” ~ Dark Scribe Magazine “Substantial amounts of panache and poetic insight.”~ Cemetery Dance Magazine “A vivid literary voice.” ~ Shroud Magazine“Masterful” ~ HellNotes “Never less than brilliant.” ~ The Black Abyss “In a class all his own.” ~ The Aquarian “Breathtaking eloquence.” ~ Dark Wisdom   A modern classic. Available at...

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Superior Achievement in Dark Film: Midnight Son

Posted on Sep 1, 2013

Superior Achievement in Dark Film: Midnight Son

Like literature, horror films are divided into two camps. There are the gore and bloodshed splatter films. Everything from the Saw series to the classics such as Halloween and Nightmare on Elm Street. The other side of the fence are the dark, Gothic films. These films take their cues from Hitchcock and other masters of suspense and atmosphere. Midnight Son is a highly recommended dark film for those looking for something different in your vampires.     This is not a traditional vampire romance or vampire throat-ripper. The film is not a cheap “origin” story nor is it vampire meets girl story. Jacob suffers from a rare skin disorder that prevents him from being in sunlight. He works the night shift and lives after dark painting the sun he has never seen. One day he begins to feel ill and realizes something is going very wrong with his body. Jacob struggles with the changes he is undergoing, dismissing the notion he’s a vampire as movie silliness. He cannot fight what he is becoming however, and it leads to a disturbing lack of a conclusion. How would these creatures live in our world? Jacob accidentally “makes” another and Marcus serves as a foil to Jacob’s moral battle with himself. Jacob’s sort-of girlfriend Mary battles her own demons and we come to understand, as Marcus points out, that “everyone has their thing.” But what if that “thing” is killing to survive? The story unfolds slowly and we see the characters evolve in a delicate dance between reality and the growing insanity of their situations. There are no gruesome “transformation” scenes and very little blood. We never know how Jacob becomes a vampire and there are subtle innuendos throughout the film that he may not be as unique as he feels he is. Questions remain unanswered and no one rides off into the sunset sparkling and happy. Not a film without flaws, but far better than most carrying the horror tag these days.  ...

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