That post about the Universal monster film reboots made me realize something: there’s a very real possibility that Gothic horror will end up the next “big thing.”
We’ve already seen huge trends favoring paranormal romance, high fantasy, zombies, and dystopian worlds; now that all these trends…
I hadn’t noticed this trend before. It’s funny how that list of fading trends stated above sort of set the groundwork for a renewed interest in Gothic fiction/aesthetic. It makes sense that the Gothic would be the next big thing.
That said, I get why people would be upset or freaked out by this notion because things do tend to lose a sense of authenticity when they get swept up my the masses as a trend. The quality of work slides and things start to look and feel uniform and pre-manufactured to adhere to a mainstream audience’s palette and projects start getting made by people who probably have no business making them. On the other hand, the Gothic as a trend would bring new people to the genre, people who might not have picked it up otherwise, people who might start to see and interpret things in new ways and, maybe, go on to contribute to it sometime in the future.
Trends come in and fade away and eventually come back again. It’s an endless cycle that probably can’t be avoided. The Gothic was “in” during the Victorian era and then fizzled out around the early 20th century. It had a little comeback in the 40’s and 50’s with pulp fiction and gothic romance novels and arguably monster movies and then it faded away again. Then the 80’s happened with Anne Rice and The Cure and Bauhaus and the 90’s with The Crow, and then it faded again.
Looking back at the pattern of trends, it’s funny how the resurgence of the Gothic and similar tales and motifs tend to go hand in hand with a resurgence comics and superheroes - how they got big just before and during WWII, fell out of favor during the 60’s and early 70’s and then came back during the 80’s and early 90’s and, well, here we are. It’s like we need them both to go hand in hand.
The Gothic has been due for a comeback for a while now, I think. Although we’ll get a surge of strange posers and a wave of mediocre (if not terrible) movies and books and shows, those who truly love the genre will still be here when it fades out of the limelight. We’ll look at all those crappy creations and whine and complain and make fun of them and then go on as we always have.
Also, if it trends, imagine how cheap the clothes are going to be.
It’s already happening to a degree - AHS “Coven” and other stylistic siblings have pushed certain parts of the Gothic aesthetic. Witness the creeping popularity of “witchy” fashion, of dark lipsticks, and so on.
If a new surge of awareness about Gothic happens, I’ll be happy. Especially if the literary roots and the haunted decadence of the visual aesthetic play a big part in it.