In this essay I will discuss the generic features of the Gothic Tradition. I will describe all of the aspects of the tradition and I will support the aspects with examples from well-known Gothic related films such as ‘Dracula’, ‘Vincent’, ‘Nosferatu’, ‘Frankenstein’ and ‘Sleepy Hollow’.
There are many common features in the Gothic Tradition; one of those features involves the use of a sense of atmosphere. In most Gothic films the weather usually is terrible. The weather tends to consist of either a storm or some is lightning. Also the atmosphere would be very dramatic.
There wouldn’t be very much daylight, so it would be dark. A full moon would be out as an extra to give a bigger feel for the atmosphere. An example of this type of atmosphere is well shown in ‘Frankenstein. ‘ In the film ‘Frankenstein’ a storm takes place.
It is very dramatic because the scientist was in need for his creation to come to life. It was very dark and there was a full moon out, which gave the atmosphere a more frightening feel. There was also suspense to whether the creation was going to come to life. Also the film ‘Dracula’ distinguishes a good atmosphere.
In that film it was very dark and dingy. The setting is also another common factor. Most Gothic films set the scene in a castle, a haunted mansion, in an isolated forest or and old area. The features in a scene would include statues such as gargoyles.
The area of these buildings would be uninhabited and isolated. If the scene were set in a castle there would be a laboratory and many secret passages. A good example that perceives a good setting is the film Sleepy Hollow. The scene was set in an isolated forest.
There was the mystical tree, which separated the 2 worlds.Also another good example o f a good scene was well distinguished in the film ‘Frankenstein. ‘ This is because ‘Frankenstein’ has a good scene set in an old castle, which was isolated. There were also some secret passages.
‘Dracula’ also was set in a castle, which was old, enclosed and huge in size. Emotions are another generic aspect of the Gothic Tradition. This emotion could be fear, frustration, panic and trepidation. A great example of this feature is shown in the film ‘Vincent.
‘ ‘Vincent’ the character himself was lonely because he had grief for his dead wife. He had love for his pets and his wife.He had a passion for his creation. With that creation he had malicious intent in mind.
The film was very melodramatic. One more example was in the film Dracula where the vampire had the desire to suck blood from his victims and that was malicious intent. Characterisation is another aspect of the Gothic Tradition. In Gothic films there is usually a villain and a hero fighting for something.
It turns out to be the primal fight between good and evil. There is sometimes a damsel in distress. There usually is a supernatural element. There is always purity and an impurity in a Gothic film.
A good example is perceived in the film ‘Sleepy Hollow. ‘ In that film there was the group who were the heroes and from the mystic tree the headless horseman came as the villain. The white horse was the purity and the headless horseman was the impurity. Another good example was set in the film ‘Dracula.
‘ There was the vampire who was the villain and the boy who was the hero. There was a supernatural element in that film. The final generic feature in a Gothic film would include a theme. The themes commonly would be about good versus evil, death versus life, heaven versus hell, love versus hatred or finally despair versus hope.
An example of this feature is well portrayed in the film ‘Dracula. ‘ There is the evil that is ‘Dracula’ and the good that is the boy. Also in ‘Sleepy Hollow’ it was good versus evil and death versus life. In ‘Frankenstein’ there was despair and hope to whether the creation would live or not.
Finally in ‘Vincent’, there was the love for his wife and the hatred caused by her death.