The Gothic emerged in late eighteenth-century British fiction, where its focus on the supernatural, irrational, and morbid offered readers a thrilling alternative to the rational progress offered by the European Enlightenment. The United States, a country founded on utopian ideals, should have been free from the dark clutches of the Gothic, but very soon authors and artists were using this aesthetic mode to express concerns about society, to criticize social injustice, and to explore the human psyche. The films and television programmes here show the range of American Gothic, from gory horror to supernatural suspense, and from the light and comic side of the Gothic to powerful explorations of a nation characterized by its nightmares of colonialism, racism, and violence as much as by its dreams of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
Dr Kevin Corstorphine, University of Hull
- Film Studies, Television Studies, Gothic Studies
Gothic; horror; American Gothic; Stephen King; slasher