Folk Horror

Naughty_Felid

No longer interesting
Joined
Mar 11, 2008
Messages
6,171
Likes
6,811
Points
294
#5
Hi all

Here's something thats been bothering me recently:

What is the difference (if there is one) between Folk horror and the Fortean?

:confused:

I'm guessing that folk horror takes traditional folk tropes, druids, witchcraft, spirits and creatures, (elves, pixies, etc), and bases a horror film around it. WitchFinder General. A horror film based on Mathew Hopkins and his purge of wise women. Troll Hunter would be one. The Grudge for me would be another.

Fortean Films would take a broader view of the strange and paranormal, and how people interact with the high or minor strangeness.

I'm guessing Donnie Darko, (only seen it once), 23, K-Pax, etc could be classed as Fortean films. Although Donnie has a Pooka in it :)
 

blessmycottonsocks

Justified & Ancient
Joined
Dec 22, 2014
Messages
3,366
Likes
4,979
Points
154
Location
Wessex and Mercia
#10
Hi all

Here's something thats been bothering me recently:

What is the difference (if there is one) between Folk horror and the Fortean?

:confused:
Folk horror is a movie genre covering such brilliant films as Witchfinder General, The Wicker Man and Blood on Satan's Claw.

Of those three, I would say only the third one contains genuine Fortean elements.
 

Coastaljames

Justified & Ancient
Joined
Apr 26, 2015
Messages
2,927
Likes
3,077
Points
154
Location
East Norfolk coast
#12
I've watched, from a distance, this new Folk Horror thing as it's grown. Don't much care for it- despite being interested in a lot of the same things. Seems a bit hip...a bit cliquey. I'm naturally repelled from groups. ANd I'm with Groucho when it comes to clubs...

A good friend of mine was very kind and bought me this -



which I enjoyed very much.

However - the whole "scene" thing is not my cup of tea. And to answer the original question - what is folk horror? Well it seems to be whatever is considereed cool enough to be. Hence my antipathy towards it.
 

mr_nic

Devoted Cultist
Joined
Aug 24, 2009
Messages
152
Likes
249
Points
49
#13
Hmm - as 'Children of the Stones' had such an impact on me as a child, and Witchfinder General / Blood on Satans Claw and later on (thanks to Moviedrome) Wicker Man are among my all time favourite horror films, it seems I've always been a fan of folk horror - albeit without needing to title it.

As for the difference between folk horror and the Fortean, I'd (personally) class films such as Night of the Demon or The Devil Rides Out as straddling both folk and Fortean territory.

Now I've discovered the folk horror youtube channel my afternoon is truly screwed..!
 

XBergMann

Fear not, I mean no harm to your planet
Joined
Jul 22, 2009
Messages
349
Likes
589
Points
109
#14
I would call it Fortean also, because of the tendency for religious and spiritual matters to creep into Forteana. Especially when it comes to mysterious religious rituals of the past.
If you are talking about the original Wicker Man then I would suggest it is definitely Fortean in its imagery harking back to an ancient time of druids, celts and pagans. Where as the hollywood remake with Nick Cage was utter rubbish made even more so by the lack of Britt Ekland in it.

The original film had quite an effect on me when I saw it for the first time as a boy ... although maybe the fact that Britt Ekland's clothes keep falling of had something to do with it
 
Last edited:
Joined
Jul 31, 2004
Messages
4,442
Likes
3,157
Points
184
Location
Norwich.
#16
IMO Fortean implies unexplained and equivocal. Most horror films don't leave things unexplained. Magic is real, Vampires are real. Things that go bump in the night really are poltergeists.

People seem to like a tidy ending so it's rare to find a film that allows ambiguity. I'd propose The Mothman Prophecies as being a truly Fortean film. The nature of Mothman is left unexplained and the Richard Gere character is left frustrated in his search for 'proof' that it even exists.
 

blessmycottonsocks

Justified & Ancient
Joined
Dec 22, 2014
Messages
3,366
Likes
4,979
Points
154
Location
Wessex and Mercia
#23
"- as 'Children of the Stones' had such an impact on me as a child, and Witchfinder General / Blood on Satans Claw and later on (thanks to Moviedrome) Wicker Man are among my all time favourite horror films, it seems I've always been a fan of folk horror - albeit without needing to title it."

Have you seen Ben Wheatley's 2011 movie Kill List?
It felt like a throw-back to the classic folk horror genre, with some blatant hat-tips to The Wicker Man. Definitely worth a look.
Also honourable mention to the movie Wake Wood - another that demonstrates the folk horror genre can exist in the 21st century.
 

blessmycottonsocks

Justified & Ancient
Joined
Dec 22, 2014
Messages
3,366
Likes
4,979
Points
154
Location
Wessex and Mercia
#25
Ah yes! Witchfinder General meets Shrooms.
I enjoyed AFIE too.
Coincidentally I watched another Wheatley film last night - High Rise.
Not folk horror (adaptation of classic Ballard dystopian novel) but hugely entertaining.
 

XBergMann

Fear not, I mean no harm to your planet
Joined
Jul 22, 2009
Messages
349
Likes
589
Points
109
#27
Here's another one that may qualify as folk horror ... Videodrome ... starring James Woods and Debbie Harry

It probably wasn't folk horror on its release in 1983 but the passage of time has allowed it to move into a folk horrorish sphere of influence.

This is what wikipedia says about it ...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Videodrome
 
Last edited:

Ulalume

tart of darkness
Joined
Jan 3, 2009
Messages
3,228
Likes
6,196
Points
219
Location
Tejas
#28
If you are talking about the original Wicker Man then I would suggest it is definitely Fortean in its imagery harking back to an ancient time of druids, celts and pagans. Where as the hollywood remake with Nick Cage was utter rubbish made even more so by the lack of Britt Ekland in it.

The original film had quite an effect on me when I saw it for the first time as a boy ... although maybe the fact that Britt Ekland's clothes keep falling of had something to do with it
Oh, definitely the original. I wouldn't touch the re-make with a barge pole!
 
Top