The Aural Aesthetics of Ghosts in BBC Ghost Stories – Part 5 (Landscape).

Part 1. Part 2. Part 3. Part 4. Natural Diegesis And Aural Interaction With Landscape. One of M.R. James’ most recognisable writing traits is his emphasis on rural settings.  From his own personal experience, of both exploring the churches of France on holiday bike-rides and living and holidaying in Suffolk and Norfolk, the rural landscape became almost as much of a story trope as the … Continue reading The Aural Aesthetics of Ghosts in BBC Ghost Stories – Part 5 (Landscape).

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.

The Music of Folk Horror – Part 6 (Blood on Satan’s Claw).

Part 1. Part 2. Part 3. Part 4. Part 5. Musical Avant-Garde and Overt Anachronisms in Blood on Satan’s Claw (1971). “I think the other thing that appealed to me was the rural setting.  The nooks and crannies of woodland, the edges of fields the ploughing, the sense of soil was something I tried to bring into the picture” –  Piers Haggard (Gatiss, 2010, BBC). … Continue reading The Music of Folk Horror – Part 6 (Blood on Satan’s Claw).

The Music of Folk Horror – Part 5 (The Wicker Man’s Diegesis).

Part 1. Part 2. Part 3. Part 4. Diegesis in The Wicker Man. Some of the music assessed in the last section raised further questions besides their thematic and narrative content.  Though this element was an important part of the analysis, another aspect almost appeared to be ignored; that of the diegesis of such performances.  For a horror film, The Wicker Man presents the viewer … Continue reading The Music of Folk Horror – Part 5 (The Wicker Man’s Diegesis).

The Music of Folk Horror – Part 4 (The Wicker Man’s Narrative Functionality).

Part 1. Part 2. Part 3. Narrative Functionality. The music of The Wicker Man, while having few boundaries in terms of the effect of its various functions on its narrative content, is split into several different types.  For this section, the specific type of music to be looked at is the folk song; a form that makes several appearance in the film with original compositions … Continue reading The Music of Folk Horror – Part 4 (The Wicker Man’s Narrative Functionality).

The Music of Folk Horror – Part 3 (The Wicker Man’s Folk Aesthetics).

Part 1. Part 2. Tradition Through Folk Aesthetics in the Music of The Wicker Man (1973). The first case study film for this essay is Robin Hardy’s 1973 film, The Wicker Man.  Though it is the latest of the films to be looked at, it has the most complex relationship with its music, formed entirely of its own accord rather than on folk horror practices … Continue reading The Music of Folk Horror – Part 3 (The Wicker Man’s Folk Aesthetics).

The Music of Folk Horror – Part 1 (Sub-Genre Theories).

The Sounds of Sacrifice: The Music of British Folk Horror Films. Introduction. In the late 1960s and the early 1970s, a small group of horror films made in Britain set themselves apart from the rest of the genre, becoming an aptly cult phenomena now acknowledged under the banner of folk horror.  As a newly recognised sub-genre, it can be difficult to assess though, as new … Continue reading The Music of Folk Horror – Part 1 (Sub-Genre Theories).

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.