“Wyrd” Wirral – Spirits Of Place (02/04/2016)

This is an edited version of the paper given at Spirits Of Place in Calderstones Park, Liverpool 02/04/2016.  My thanks to John Reppion and Leah Moore for organising the event and for to the other excellent speakers (Gill Hoffs, David Southwell, Gary Budden, Kenneth Brophy, Richard Macdonald, Ian “Cat” Vincent and Ramsey Campbell).  Here’s to the next one. There is strange landmass on the opposite … Continue reading “Wyrd” Wirral – Spirits Of Place (02/04/2016)

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.

The Aural Aesthetics Of Ghosts In BBC Ghost Stories – Part 8 (The Signalman).

Part 1. Part 2. Part 3.Part 4. Part 5. Part 6. Part 7. The Signalman And Aural Paranoia Over Dickensian Technology. “For those who look back on it, the Victorian age seems to be invested with a peculiar quality of difference – heightened by its relative proximity in time – that is reflected in its ghosts.  It was an age shaped, perhaps more than any … Continue reading The Aural Aesthetics Of Ghosts In BBC Ghost Stories – Part 8 (The Signalman).

The Aural Aesthetics Of Ghosts In BBC Ghost Stories – Part 7 (Haunted Objects).

Part 1. Part 2. Part 3. Part 4. Part 5. Part 6. “The Ghost In The Machine”: The Haunting Nature Of Unnatural Diegetic Sound. “M.R. James’ objects are imbued with our deepest fears, deepest terrors and resonances.  The whistle can bring up a storm or bring a monster from the deep.  The crown, that if you touch, its guardian will tear you to pieces.” – … Continue reading The Aural Aesthetics Of Ghosts In BBC Ghost Stories – Part 7 (Haunted Objects).

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 Aural Aesthetics of Ghosts in BBC Ghost Stories – Part 1 (Introduction).

Manifesting The Supernatural: The Aural Aesthetics Of Ghosts In BBC Ghost Stories. Introduction. “When Monty first began to write them, with the intention of inducing a pleasing terror in his listeners, he did so as an avid and discerning reader and connoisseur of the genre, keenly aware of his precedents and of the characteristics, objectives, and limitations of the ghost story as he understood the … Continue reading The Aural Aesthetics of Ghosts in BBC Ghost Stories – Part 1 (Introduction).

The Music of Folk Horror – Part 8 (Conclusions).

Part 1. Part 2. Part 3. Part 4. Part 5. Part 6. Part 7. Conclusions From the analysis of only a handful of British folk horror films, it has been shown that they rely heavily on their music in order to achieve their full cinematic effect.  Altman states the following when discussing genre theory: “Constantly opposing cultural values to counter-culture values, genre films regularly depend on … Continue reading The Music of Folk Horror – Part 8 (Conclusions).

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).