Part 1. Thematic Material of the Folk Horror Chain. “Grendel was the name of this grim demon, haunting the marches, marauding round the heath and the desolate fens; he had dwelt for a time in misery among the banished monsters, Cain’s clan, whom the creator had outlawed and condemned as outcasts.” (Heaney, p.6, 1999). Though the historic and cultural factors around why folk horror was … Continue reading The Music of Folk Horror – Part 2 (Folk Horror Chain and Witchfinder General).
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).
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.
Alone, alone, all, all alone, Alone on a wide wide sea! And never a saint took pity on My soul in agony. He despiseth the creatures of the calm, The many men, so beautiful! And they all dead did lie: And a thousand thousand slimy things Lived on; and so did I. – Samuel Taylor Coleridge, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner. Paul Wright’s debut … Continue reading For Those In Peril (Paul Wright, 2013) – The Reality of Lore.
In contrast to other cineastes that I follow online, I really don’t get out that much. While so many excellent film writers seem to be able to see every relevant new release as it comes (even before if they’re lucky enough to have time and money to get thoroughly into the festival circuit), it’s actually a rarity for me to be able to get into … Continue reading 2013 in Film.
Mythological Introduction by Philip Larkin. A white girl lay on the grass With her arms held out for love; her goldbrown hair fell down her face, And her two lips move: See, I am the whitest cloud that strays Through a deep sky: I am your senses’ crossroads, where the four seasons lie. She rose up in the middle of the lawn And spread her … Continue reading Village Green Repression in Film, Television and Philip Larkin.
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.
Cry of the Banshee (1970) makes no qualms as to what its aims are. Looking at its promotional poster, it would be natural to associate it with Roger Corman’s Poe films; it’s emblazoned with Edgar Allen Poe references, its main star is Vincent Price and its design is a technocolour nightmare. The film itself is about as far from Corman’s dreamlike fantasies as possible in … Continue reading Cry Of The Banshee – Gordon Hessler (1970)
Though 1968 may best be remembered for Romero’s zombies, another film released that same year had a similar impact to the way horror films in the subsequent decade were scored. Rosemary’s Baby, directed by Polish émigré Roman Polanski, has a legacy of imitators that developed from its scoring techniques. Polanski’s tale of the occult in a Manhattan apartment block primarily employs a classical score but large … Continue reading The Horror Score Rebellion – Part 3 (Rosemary’s Baby And Popular Music In 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.