"'Prestige horror' is a term thrown around a lot these days," says Gretchen Felker-Martin. "From Toni Collette’s anguished howls of grief in Hereditary to the decadently rancid imagery of Brian Fuller’s Hannibal and the stark, frightening themes of (David) Lynch’s Twin Peaks: The Return, horror’s foundational emotions have attained a level of cultural cachet previously reserved for drama alone. The roots of this trend are many and varied, but a not insignificant number can be traced to the beginning of the 'Golden Age of Television,' in particular to David Chase’s mafia masterpiece The Sopranos. With its depictions of ghosts, hauntings, and especially its much-discussed dream sequences, Chase’s show quietly laid the groundwork for much of modern horror’s ultra-personal tone and lived-in aesthetic. Watched with a focus on its supernatural elements, it functions as a visual and thematic skeleton key for many of the most acclaimed works of horror media that followed. The Sopranos is a show that wallows in death, its characters constantly circulating like gray water through a network of cemeteries, funeral parlors, nursing homes, and hospital rooms. Over the course of its eight-year run, as murder followed on murder these morbid fixations bled slowly from the realm of the quotidian into the paranormal."
TOPICS: The Sopranos, HBO, Retro TV