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Trigger warning: This article has a heavy focus on topics of cults, religion, trauma based mind control, and ritual abuse. Images may be disturbing, shocking, and specific. If this topic is triggering to you, please turn back from this page. viewer discretion is strongly advised.
Cultcore is an aesthetic centered around the themes of cults. It often involves imagery that hints towards idealization, religious symbols, mind control, and god complexes. From a media standpoint, Cultcore media is based on stories, real or false, of people following false, unrealistic leaders and ideals and the longing for purity but being corrupted (or any strange cult belief). It can also consist of escaping or overthrowing a cult when it comes to a visual story or the stories in the media. Some cult survivors may use this aesthetic, but non-survivors should not as it may be offensive to survivors.
Cultcore has been criticized for misrepresenting cults and minimizing the extremely negative effects many cults have on members. Cultcore also has been described as a harmful aesthetic as it aestheticizes cults, ritual abuse, and trauma based mind control.
Cultcore visuals include groups of people, usually all in black or white clothing, candles, crosses, light gore, open skies, and rainbows. Cryptic or spiritual figures and settings such as churches and forests are often used. Quotes of phrases, words and especially chants relevant to control, religion, power, corruption are popular.
- Communes in remote locations
- Imagery that has become emblematic of certain cults in history, such as purple Kool-Aid or black Adidas tracksuits
- Light gore
- Disciples - Captain Murphy
- 1969 - Boards of Canada
- MANTRA - Bring Me The Horizon
- Don't you Wanna be a Cult Leader? (from the podcast Idyllia by Kaiti, but it is similar to a song)
- Rosemary's Baby (1968)
- The Wicker Man (1973)
- Children of the Corn (1984)
- Population 436 (2006)
- Martha Marcy Mae Marlene (2011)
- Red State (2011)
- The Sacrament (2013)
- Holy Ghost People (2016)
- The Path (2016)
- Waco (2017)
- Midsommar (2019)
- True Detective (season 1)
- Outlast 2 (2013)
- Far Cry 5
- Kanye Quest 3030
- My Life With The Liars by Caela Carter
- The Liar's Daughter by Megan Cooley Peterson
- Genesis 1 by Poppy