Sometimes I think I’m getting tired of gothic tropes. How many ways are there to portray vampires, really? How many times can you quote Baudelaire? Descriptions of characters drinking absinthe grow tired and bitter as wormwood, the same strains of classical music become grating to the ear, and beautiful effeminate decadent men become just another staple of boring parties. It’s enough to make a heroine want to quit the genre.
And then I watch a film like The Masque of the Red Death.
And when I do, I realize I was wrong. I don’t want my works less gothic, I want them more! I want devil-worshippers running a small Italian village into the ground, thinking their orgies of sex and violence will keep them safe from plague! I want innocent maidens forced to undergo tutelage in evil to save the lives of their loved ones! I want technicolor nightmare sequences, I want a cosmology in which the Earth is ruled by anthropomorphic personifications of diseases, and most of all I want Vincent Price!
I guess what I’m saying is that if you’re going to go gothic, go all the way. There’s no sense in using half-measures when only over-the-top will do.