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
As typical when finishing a book that attempts to build a canon, as I have tried to do with Folk Horror, the signalling of its publishing means a whole host of new potential examples surface and come to light. Though there were things in the Folk Horror book that I simply left out by sheer chance – Edgar Wright’s Hot Fuzz (2007) being a key … Continue reading Folk Horror Curios
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
Late last year, I became obsessed with visiting a certain item in the British Museum. Deliberately choosing to work in or near Bloomsbury, I would often wander into the building in between working, making my way straight to one of the room’s (on the right of the building) with a confidence and determination that clearly unnerved my various tourist companions. I would stride into the … Continue reading Responses: John Dee’s Obsidian Mirror
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)
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.
This presentation was originally given at the Folk Horror Revival day at The British Museum (16/02/2016). My thanks to the fellow admins of the Folk Horror Revival, especially Jim Peters and Andy Paciorek. There’s an overt connection between analogue technology and the narratives surrounding paranormal activity in British horror, especially when made during the 1970s. No doubt there are connections between the interest in such … Continue reading The Ghost In The Grain: Analogue Hauntings of the 1970s
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.
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.