Short Film – No Diggin’ Here.

I have been lucky enough to have this year’s Halloween film, No Diggin’ Here – a film about M.R. James, Aldeburgh and A Warning To The Curious – premiered on the BFI’s website.  It was a Halloween treat that, until I saw it happen in full, I didn’t quite believe, but I count myself incredibly lucky for such an opportunity.  A few weeks back, the … Continue reading Short Film – No Diggin’ Here.

Rurality In Folk Horror And The Films of David Gladwell.

This paper was originally given at The Alchemical Landscape conference at Girton College Cambridge, 07/07/2016. Though more well known for work as a film editor associated with the Free Cinema Movement of the late 1950s, and for cutting work on several films by Lindsay Anderson including If…. (1968) and O’ Lucky Man! (1973), David Gladwell is a director in his own right; a cinematic outsider … Continue reading Rurality In Folk Horror And The Films of David Gladwell.

Wire and Grass: Landscape Binaries in Television and Reality.

At the recent Alchemical Landscape conference in Cambridge, there was some interesting analysis of the portrayal of landscape in the opening sequence of Alan Clarke’s Play For Today episode, Penda’s Fen (1974).  The point in the analysis was to show the subversive nature of the opening in regards to its melding of two potentially differing realities of English landscape; on the one hand, the typical pastoral … Continue reading Wire and Grass: Landscape Binaries in Television and Reality.

The “Urban Wyrd” In Folk Horror.

One of the key criticisms of the Folk Horror Chain is its emphasis, both in argument and in evidence, upon the rural landscape and its various elements.  While the key works of Folk Horror cinema seem to broadly use rural landscape aesthetics and practice to set and conjure their horror, by setting up such a parameter, it does indeed neglect some of the sub-genre’s most … Continue reading The “Urban Wyrd” In Folk Horror.

Technological Hysteria in Nigel Kneale’s The Stone Tape (1972).

The following article contains plot twists. Hysteria and Nigel Kneale’s Baby. A very particular and often quoted segment from Freud’s summations of hysterical patients will be used here to begin the contextualisation our analysis.  Whilst writing about the generalities surrounding such cases of hysteria and eventually compulsion neurosis, Freud came up with a short but rather useful sound-bite to describe every patient he had seen.  … Continue reading Technological Hysteria in Nigel Kneale’s The Stone Tape (1972).

The Uncanny in Häxan: Witchcraft Through The Ages (1922)- Benjamin Christensen.

In one of the first attempts I made at canonising the sub-genre of Folk Horror, I likened the majority of its films to be brilliant but mere fugues on the ideas presented in Benjamin Christensen’s Häxan: Witchcraft Through The Ages (1922).  Outside of Victor Sjöström’s The Phantom Carriage (1921), it was the earliest and most explicit form of the sub-genre that seemed to be surviving … Continue reading The Uncanny in Häxan: Witchcraft Through The Ages (1922)- Benjamin Christensen.

Films On The Strange British Coastline.

While many British films take full advantage of the rural potential that “this spectered isle” can provide, there seems to be another sub-sect to this branch film, often finding its way into British horror cinema.  Of course, this isn’t as clear cut as simply analysing films under the guise of “Rural Horror” or “Folk Horror” but there is a small batch of British horror films … Continue reading Films On The Strange British Coastline.

The Wicker Man (1973) – Defining Of The Folk Horror.

Its geography is stark, rugged and eerily inviting, its characters are sickly happy and lying through their teeth and its narrative is immersive and questioning to the point where its finale is deeply affecting and horrifying. It’s a crying shame that viewers of The Wicker Man (1973) will never fully see the film as its director intended. Having been slashed to bits by the studio … Continue reading The Wicker Man (1973) – Defining Of The Folk Horror.

A Brief History of Occult and Folk Horror.

Article originally published in New Empress Magazine. Being old and generally more battered, silent horror has the unnerving sense of being a genuine piece of documentation.  No doubt unaware of it at the time, Benjamin Christensen’s Häxan: Witchcraft Through The Ages (1922) is a film that so embodies this accidental aspect that viewing it perhaps recalls the feeling of Ash’s discovery of The Book of the … Continue reading A Brief History of Occult and Folk Horror.