I know, there is no mansion or castle in this movie…:-), no battlements or a mad woman in the attic. Instead there is a small town creepiness, with creepy characters, which I found much more fascinating! I especially love the setting of a (fictional) small town in the American South. And Keanu Reeves as an abusive husband? Well, he certainly played against his typical role.
Love…love…love…the setting. The grand mansion, now crumbling, from the Antebellum Era of the Old South. The bayous. So mythical and mysterious. The glimpse of its culture, so rich, so different. And the impression that the story itself has its roots in the past history.
Ok…:-), this is a comedy movie for kids…LoL. But I love it. I think it still has all the Gothic elements: the haunted mansion (very obvious…it is the title…LoL), the sinister butler, the brooding master, and a lovely and tragic heroine. And the love story itself is sad. I like the way the love story in this movie is given a kind of historical context, the Old South history, albeit in a lighthearted way.
Watching True Blood, I got the feeling that vampires and the South are somehow connected…:-) (remember that in Interview with the Vampire, Louis de Pointe du Lac (Brad Pitt) was a plantation owner from the South). I mean the bizzare-ness of the vampire phenomenon itself can only makes sense in a place so rich with unique cultures like the South (sorry Twilight fans…haha). Love the novels too! Charlaine Harris is a great writer. And don’t forget all those drawl of southern accents, simply superb!
I just realized that all the movies I posted here use the South as the setting. Hmm…why is that I wonder? Maybe the South with its complex history of the past makes it a ‘perfect’ setting for stories with Gothic(al) elements: the strange-ness, the taboo, the hidden secrets, the unspeakable situation, the mysteries. I just hope it doesn’t lead towards stereotyping the place into a certain categories. Although as a promotional tool for tourism marketing, it will certainly sell.