tue 24/05/2022

gothic

The Essex Serpent, Apple TV+ review - tradition and superstition versus the march of progress

Sarah Perry’s 2016 bestseller The Essex Serpent has been described as “a novel of ideas”, which almost sounds like a warning to anybody wanting to televise it. Happily, director Clio Barnard and screenwriter Anna Symon picked up the gauntlet, and...

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theartsdesk Q&A: Marc Almond of Soft Cell

Soft Cell, the duo consisting of Marc Almond and Dave Ball, announced they were calling it quits in 2018. The two sold out shows at the 02 in London were supposed to be their swan song, waving goodbye to their Soft Cell days. But as their eponymous...

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The Mission, Chalk, Brighton review - the hits, delivered straight, to an enthused crowd

“Play something we can dance to,” heckles a fan. “Fuck off, we are not a dance band,” fires back Wayne Hussey, leader of The Mission. He’s right. They’re not. But still there is dancing.One especially notable aspect of this gig is the total and...

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Disc of the Day Celebrates 10 Years of Album Reviews

Ten years ago yesterday, on Monday 14th February 2011, one of theartsdesk’s writers, Joe Muggs, reviewed an album called Paranormale Aktivitat, by an outfit called Zwischenwelt. It was the first ever Disc of the Day, a new slot inserted into...

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DVD/Blu-ray: The Masque of the Red Death

One hundred and seventy four years ago today, on Tuesday, 2 February 1847, the body of Virginia (“Sissy”) Poe, Edgar Allan Poe's 24-year-old wife, was interred in a vault in a graveyard near the couple's rented cottage in Fordham, in the Bronx; she...

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The Devil All The Time review – a test of faith in a Southern Gothic tradition

There’s no denying the Faulknerian ambition to the construction of Anthony Campos’ latest feature Devil All the Time. It’s a brooding, blood-soaked Semi-Southern Gothic drama spanning two generations through a plot that wrestles with the nature of...

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Lovecraft Country, Sky Atlantic review - Misha Green, Jordan Peele and JJ Abrams take us on horror-driven road trip

The timing couldn’t be more perfect for a series like Lovecraft Country (Sky Atlantic) in the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement. Here we have a spectacular show in which fantasy, horror and America’s racist legacy collide with remarkable...

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Blu-ray: The Man Who Laughs

Batman’s cartoonists cribbed the Joker’s face from Conrad Veidt’s rictus grin, backswept hair and crazed stare in this 1928 silent classic. Director Paul Leni’s film can’t though be reduced to either a supervillain’s footnote, or a prelude to...

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The Croft, Original Theatre online review – give me the remote

With everyone in lockdown, observing physical if not social distancing, a story about isolation can have a particular resonance. And there are few places in the UK that are as isolated as some parts of the Scottish Highlands. Ali Milles’s tartan...

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Francine Toon: Pine review – trauma and terror in the Highlands

Supernatural and Gothic stories have always haunted the misty borderlands between high and popular culture. The finest manage to hover between page-turning genre tales and what counts as respectable or “literary” fiction. This place in a perpetual...

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The Ocean at the End of the Lane, National Theatre review - terrifying, magical coming of age story

This scary, electrically beautiful adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s book about living on the faultline between imagination and reality is a fantastically alternative offering for the festive season. While the parameters of the story are dark, it’s an...

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Knives Out review - marvellous murder mystery

The world’s most successful mystery writer is found dead on the morning after his 85th birthday. In attendance in his Gothic pile are his bickering family, each of whom might wish him dead, and a colourful detective ready to determine whodunnit...

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