This November sees the 50th anniversary of one of Hammer Studios’ strongest and most complex films: Roy Ward Baker’s Nigel Kneale adaptation, Quatermass And The Pit (1967). Sometimes known under the title of Five Million Years To Earth, the film takes Kneale’s BBC script from the original broadcast serial and turns it into something far more unnerving than the other films produced by the studio in … Continue reading Quatermass And The Pit (1967) @ 50
I cannot remember when I first read Alan Garner’s The Owl Service (1967); like its inspiration, The Mabinogion, or the Stone of Gronw that sits at the centre of its mystery, it seems to have always been here. It’s an unusual feeling because the novel is not particularly old by standards of literature – it turns fifty on the 21st of August – and yet it … Continue reading Owls and Flowers: Alan Garner’s The Owl Service At 50
At the time of writing this, my book on Folk Horror is a few weeks away from being printed. By the time you read this, however, it should be available to buy. I’ve written about the detail of the book earlier when it was due to be published late last year. However, I wanted to get a few words down again now that it is … Continue reading Folk Horror: Hours Dreadful and Things Strange
As recently announced, I have a book being released in January all about Folk Horror and its many related areas of interest. The book has been in the works for the last year or so though many of the arguments within have been growing now for several years. Though I’ll undoubtedly being doing the usual interview-esque things to coincide with the release in December and … Continue reading Folk Horror: Hours Dreadful and Things Strange (January, 2017)
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.
Salthouse Marshes began life in a strange way. Having chatted about adapting Algernon Blackwood’s The Willows with Robert Macfarlane (who had wanted to re-set it in England), there was always to be a “haunted waterway” film on the cards. But, after constant reading of the narrative of The Willows, the thought of organising the filming on two boats and on celluloid simply proved too intimidating. … Continue reading Short Film – Salthouse Marshes
I thought it would be last my time – The sense that, beyond the town, There would always be fields and farms, Where the village louts could climb Such trees as were not cut down; I knew there’d be false alarms – Going, Going, stanza 1 – Philip Larkin. Above is the opening stanza of Philip Larkin’s 1972 poem, Going, Going. The poem captures the … Continue reading Demise Of The Rural in Requiem For A Village (1976) And “Going, Going” (Philip Larkin).
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.
As the Folk Horror canon expands into more forms of media and territory, the Folk Horror Chain becomes less useful as a tool for looking at thematic material. This is partly due to it being derived as an idea from one medium and one that is explicitly narrative based. Yet, some of its ideas can be loosely translated into the area of reception studies of … Continue reading Questioning Nostalgia In Folk Horror.
With the ideas of the Folk Horror Chain starting to seem incomplete as the sub-genre grows in popularity and is more analysed, it’s about time further facets, themes, ideas and traits were added to the conversation. This will be the first in a number of pieces about other traits not accounted for or addressed in the initial idea of the chain (which itself was only … Continue reading The Ritual Of Craft In Folk Horror.