The Gothic Cinema Club: Just What Every Student Needs


Maia Graham, Student Journalist

Whether it be because of a cheap scary movie or the sweep of October madness, the Gothic Cinema Club allows students to explore the horror genre within a fun and relaxed environment. 

If you walk past Mr. Lucia’s room, his preferred genre of choice is thoroughly exhibited. The classroom walls are filled with posters and scattered throughout his bookshelves is the most detailed obsession for horror anyone’s ever seen, including every Stephen King novel ever published and some questionable fan fiction. This year, Lucia plans the ultimate plot for Seton students to finally embrace the genius of horror through the Gothic Cinema Club.

In the Gothic Cinema Club, students dive into the development of horror and its myriad of sub-genres. Trust that there is no shortage of creativity when it comes to retelling an old myth or lack of originality in all the ways incredibly stupid characters will get themselves brutally murdered, but that’s the thrill and beauty of what we call Gothic cinema. Somehow, in its stereotypical predictability, there is always room for interpretation. Think of monsters like Dracula and Frankenstein; they’ve been reborn in media over and over again to unimaginable lengths. However, they always revert back to an original concept or theme. The infinite rabbit hole that is the vampire myth, for example, can be traced back centuries ago, and although it’s hard to believe that such a dark and ancient myth could ever be associated with the brooding and pale, glittery man-children in exhausting “romantic” tales that modern media continues to spew out, its main concept remains unchanged: the idea of a strong creature feeding off the mortal weak.

Now, does one have to be obsessed with creatures and ghouls in order to enjoy gothic cinema? No. Most of the intent behind the Gothic Cinema Club is to get rid of the common misconception that horror is just cheap entertainment. Well, yes, a lot of it is cheap, but alas, entertaining. Horror does have a bad reputation for those gore, slasher movies, and although it is useless to deny that there is some really terrible content out there, there is always something else at play in every single horror movie that makes its unraveling even more satisfying.

Horror develops the ability to recognize sub-text. Although a fervent reader of Gothic literature, Mr. Lucia understands the need for media literacy as well. He says that “teaching kids how to think about media is just as important as teaching them how to think about books.” In looking beyond the surface, one can find hidden political ideologies, religious themes, philosophies, struggles with morality; the list of possibilities is endless. Once you’ve unlocked this can of worms, there is no going back.

There is a uniqueness in the horror genre that ranges beyond its literary category. Horror is often constrained by its bad reputation, but it is so much more. The scary monsters, the old, haunted mansions, and the creeping ghosts that beckon through creaking floorboards are all just the tip of the iceberg.

Horror is a genre that uniquely telegraphs what we are afraid of as people.

— Mr Lucia

Horror is a way to cope with everyday anxieties as you push all your fears and worries away into a creepy monster that gets heroically slayed at the end (fair warning, the monster does have to go through a bunch of victims before its demise, kind of like a perverted way of delivering its last supper); if you come into room 213 after school on any Tuesday, which is when the Gothic Cinema Club usually meets, with a heavy head and a crippling workload, sit back and relax on Mr. Lucia’s old, dusty couch and enjoy the screaming and slashing.

By this time, new entries have successfully skipped the 30s silent films, and unfortunately, the original Dracula played by Bella Lugosi, but his performance can be easily summarized as a prolonged staring contest between himself and any near sight of blood. Just for this Wednesday (switched from Tuesday this week only), the club will see “Lost Boys,” an 80s, rock-and-roll, vampire movie about the preservation of youth, definitely not one you would want to miss.