Folk Horror

Spookdaddy

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I reckon it's a guy who went looking for a needle in a haystack - found it - and is now desperately trying to extract it from a terribly inconvenient place.
 

AmCuriousNJ

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ramonmercado

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The Hole In The Ground: A great example of Irish Folk Horror with chilling versions of two songs which I'll never be able to regard in a humorous light again - There was an old woman And she lived in the wood (Weila Weila Waila) and The Rattling Bog. The hole in the ground is discovered in a wood by Sarah (Seána Kerlake) when she is searching for her son Chris (James Markey). It is a vast pi, too big to really exist and signifies something else, later we see Sarah sinking into the ground itself as she nears the supposed location of the pit. Chris starts to act oddly after this incident and they both meet The Old Woman Of The Wood, Norreen, (Kati Outinen) who roams the roads in search of her son, killed by her in an accident decades ago. Noreen believes that the boy she killed was a changeling, as is Chris.

Chris continues to behave strangely and Sarah begins to suspect that he may in fact be a changeling but she is also conscious of the stress she suffers and the effects of an old head injury. What is real and what are hallucinations start to blur as life becomes increasingly surreal for Sarah as she feels alienated in this new (for her and Chris) rural community. Is she becoming another woman who lives in the woods?

From the outset the woods ooze a feeling of otherness, a road into them seems rather to be a narrow trail into a vast primeval forest making clever use of drone cameras. On the ground the woods in day or night easily instil a sense of dread, easily leading to existential panic at the slightest odd occurrence. Locals know of the changeling legend, even at some levels accept it as a reality but will not openly acknowledge it as a fact. This is perhaps best illustrated by Des (James Cosmo), Noreen's husband.

A worthy addition to the Irish Folk Horror Film Canon by Director (and co-writer) Lee Cronin. 8.5/10.
“The Hole in the Ground” is now available on Irish and UK Netflix and Amazon Prime in the US

“The Hole in the Ground,” an Irish film that’s being hailed as the scariest movie of the year, has been added to Irish and UK Netflix, as well as Amazon Prime in the US.

Over on Rotten Tomatoes, where several critics likened it to 2014's "The Babadook," the Irish production has a “certified fresh” rating of 85 percent,

https://www.irishcentral.com/culture/entertainment/the-hole-in-the-ground
 

blessmycottonsocks

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Watched The Field Guide to Evil on its Sky premier last night.

An anthology of folk horror tales from 8 different countries.

Quite gruesome and very sexually charged at times.

The stories were of variable quality, but more hit than miss in my opinion. Great thing with an an anthology is that, if you're not so keen on the current story, you know another will be along in 15 minutes or so.

Worth a look.

 

GerdaWordyer

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blessmycottonsocks

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Just watched the Swedish movie Draug on Amazon Prime.

A sort of Vikings meets The Walking Dead mash-up, with a hint of psychedelia thrown in.
Starts off as a fairly straightforward 11th century saga, but becomes increasingly horrific and febrile.

Well worth a look.

 
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ramonmercado

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Sacrilege: Four old friends with a complicated relationship head off from Bristol for a weekend at a country lodge. The women ignore the warning signs: 1 a taciturn, creepy groundsman (Rory Wilton) with antlers on the front of jeep; 2 a cannabis grow house in a shed adjacent to their lodge (who would leave it unlocked?); 3 a hitchhiker (Jon Glasgow) invites them along to a Pagan Festival but an old woman (Emma Spurgin Hussey) warns them to leave "before the Ritual is completed". But these twenty somethings act like teens and stay. The Festival itself opens with solemn intonations from a priest (Ian Champion) who asks those present to write down their fears and cast them in a fire. He offers praise to the Goddess, a figure made from twigs and a deer skull with full antlers. But then the party starts and everyone dances and drinks. After wards the women have visions of what they fear most: Trish (Emily Wyatt) bugs; Kayla (Tamarin Payne) a crazed violent stalker; Stacey (Naomi Willow) growing old; Blake (Sian Abrahams) a savage dog. They put it down to the weed they smoked. Then things start to turn strange, the visions become even more disturbing, violent deaths occur.

A worthy addition to the British Folk Horror Canon this film shifts the focus to the South-West of England where seemingly friendly locals turn out to be more than just weekend Pagans. The deaths scenes are quite disturbing as character are spiked through the head and impaled on antlers but even in the opening scene a previous victim bursts into flames. The woods are threatening both at night and by day, looking quite primeval and exuding a sense of threat. But most frightening of all perhaps are the villagers and farmers gathered together wearing animal masks, accompanied by their Wicker Goddess. From the lack of ooo-arrs you know they're not there to drink cider. Some good acting from the four weekenders and Champion as the sinister priest. Writer/Director David Creed does a lot with with a low budget in his directorial debut. 7.5/10
 

blessmycottonsocks

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Just watched The Droving on Amazon Prime.

Another Folk Horror from cult director George Popov (The Hex).
A murder mystery set against the background of the Penrith droving festival (lots of masks, horns, flaming torches and general pagan hedonism. Sort of Wicker Man-lite).

Bit of a slow burner, but worth staying the course for the chilling and thought-provoking finale:

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt9378826/
 
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ramonmercado

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Svaha: The Sixth Finger: South Korea, the Reverend Park investigates fringe Cults, he is paid by Christian and Buddhist organisations to take a closer look at their whackier offshoots. We see him being attacked by nasty nuns from the Agape Convent. He is presently investigating the Deer Hill Buddhist movement, superficially they appear to be a small, alms giving sect. Park sends a spy into them and discovers that they follow an obscure and esoteric form of Buddhism, they worship Generals who are actually Heavenly Kings. They also hold sacred a Buddhist text which is the equivalent of the Christian Book of Revelation and believe 81 Evil Ones will be born, basically Anti-Buddhas, The Cult are determined that these abominations must be killed.

We have already witnessed a strange birth where one twin has bitten another in the womb, both survive but the biter seems to be demonic and is kept in a shed, her cries disturb animals, black goats bleated madly at her birth. Murders are uncovered and it looks as if Cult members are carrying out the prophecies. But there is much more at play in this multi-layered tale of Possession, Syncretic Buddhism, Cults and the quest for immortality. A killer sees the eyeless corpses of his child victims, another dreams of demonic creatures crawling towards him. Gory murders are committed. Snakes emerge from the demonic twins' hut and bite the curious, a claw-like hand emerges from beneath the door, flocks of birds strike the main home. Writer/Director Jang Jae-hyun delivers a worthy addition to the Korean Folk Horror Film Canon. 8/10. On Netflix.
 

MrRING

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This looks like it might fit - Get Duked!
Dean, Duncan and DJ Beatroot are teenage pals from Glasgow who embark on the character-building camping trip — based on a real-life program — known as the Duke of Edinburgh Award, where foraging, teamwork and orienteering are the order of the day. Eager to cut loose and smoke weed in the Scottish Highlands, the trio finds themselves paired with straight-laced Ian, a fellow camper determined to play by the rules. After veering off-path into remote farmland that's worlds away from their urban comfort zone, the boys find themselves hunted down by a shadowy force hell-bent on extinguishing their futures. From writer-director Ninian Doff — making his feature debut after a slew of award-winning music videos and short films for artists including Run the Jewels, Miike Snow, Migos, and Mykki Blanco — comes an anarchic satire of generational politics, hip-hop loving farmers and hallucinogenic rabbit droppings that pits the youth of tomorrow against the status quo of yesterday. Get Duked! stars Eddie Izzard, Kate Dickey, Georgie Glen, James Cosmo and a breakout young cast featuring Samuel Bottomley, Viraj Juneja, Rian Gordon, and Lewis Gribben. Only on Prime Video August 28.
 

ramonmercado

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The Binding: An Italian Folk Horror film which doesn't live up to it's potential due to pacing and the way the plot is revealed. Emma is visiting her Fiance's mother's house in Southern Italy when her daughter Sofia is bitten by a tarantula. It soon becomes obvious that Sofia is stricken by something far more sinister. Folk Magic and Folk Remedies are used in a part of Italy which still maintains part of it's Pre-Christian traditions. Trees are healed but so are people. The illnesses are not always physical or mental but can be of the soul. When a ritual is attempted by an amateur there may be dire results. unleashing Demons. Apart from the terror induced by the appearance of the possessed there are some startling scenes which build the ever increasing sense of unease: trees uprooted, on their sides, the roots like tentacles; a crow eating another bird. The old house, creaks there are whispers, strange events occur. Plenty of positive elements which don't quite gel into the great horror movie this could have been. Definitely worth watching though. Directed by Domenico Emanuele de Feudis, screenplay by Daniele Cosci. On Netfix. 6/10.
 
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ramonmercado

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First Born: A dark tale of a child who attracts entities. Even when Charlie (Antonia Thomas) is pregnant, scratches appear on her body. When Thea is born strange things happen, swings and a seesaw move by themselves. Back home poltergeist effects occur, Charlie is thrown across the room and choked by an entity. Writing appears on the wall. Her partner James (Luke Norris) is estranged from his occultist father Alistair (Jonathan Hyde) but gets him to perform a Ritual to protect Thea, this Ritual has to be repeated every day. Six years later the entities return to threaten not just Thea (Thea Petrie) but Charlie and James. Another more powerful occultist, Elizabeth (Eileen Davies) has to be brought on. The entities are seen as dark shadowy creatures at first but become more visible as monsters later. Dim lighting mixed with flashes and frenetic editing is perhaps overdone. Thea is portrayed as a magnet for supernatural creatures and puts in an amazing performance for a six year old. The way the Rituals are carried out is convincing with great attention to detail. The low budget is all too obvious at times and while First Born is flawed, it's worth watching. Directed by Nirpal Bhogal, Co-Written by Bhogal and Sean Hogan. Showing again on the Horror Channel on Sunday 11th October - 12.35 AM. 6.5/10.
 

blessmycottonsocks

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Tonight's premier on Sky Cinema is 17th century folk horror Fanny Lye Deliver'd.

Reviews have all been positive.

Going to watch it later and post my review tomorrow.
 

blessmycottonsocks

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Was going to leave it till tomorrow, but I was so profoundly impressed with Fanny Lye Deliver'd that I simply had to post a little stream of consciousness review, while I'm still tingling in the minutes following its conclusion.

Initially, I felt it was going to be a slow burner and was preparing myself to describe it as rather more like folk melodrama than folk horror.
The sudden shift from harsh but stable 17th century puritanical domesticity to explicit sex (we had a brief debate as to was that REALLY his willy!) and brutal savagery was utterly jaw-dropping though.

Very loosely based on the life of 17th century Quaker Mary Dyer, Fanny Lye Deliver'd combines being a proudly feminist anthem with a gorgeously evocative depiction of a not-so-Merrie England in the years following the Civil War and, of course, Witchfinder General, to which this could arguably be described as a belated companion piece (indeed, there are strong parallels between the corrupt constable and his brutish assistant and Matthew Hopkins and John Stearne).

Beautifully filmed throughout and with a magnificent score (again reminiscent of Witchfinder General). Don't miss the final titles, accompanied by a wonderful version of Ode to Joy (an ironic choice I presume?) played on sackbuts, crumhorns, hurdy-gurdys and other medieval instruments.

Possibly Charles Dance's finest ever performance and Maxine Peake plays an absolute blinder in the title role.

A hint of anachronism in the language at times ("I'd lose that attitude if I were you") but that simply added to the unsettling atmosphere.

Almost certainly destined to become a cult classic and, for my money, the best movie by far that I've watched this year.

Just wish I had a bottle of mead in the house right now!
 
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GNC

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Fanny Lye was all right, but I got flashbacks to the director's previous film, The Great Ecstasy of Robert Carmichael, which similarly went out of its way to be shocking (with a long rape scene, also featuring an erect penis - stay classy, guy). It was a bit juvenile for me in what passed for the "folk horror", but at least it was an improvement on what he'd done before, the music as you say was fine.
 

ramonmercado

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Equinox: Six part Danish series, 21 years ago 21 high school graduates disappeared during a celebration. Astrid, the sister of one of the disappeared is now a radio presenter and gets a call from one of the three students who didn't vanish. This sets off a quest involving the Spring Goddess Ostara, a Hare King and a still existent Cult devoted to Ostara. Many mysteries and enigmas are encountered, what happened to the students and Astrid's life at the time is revealed through flashbacks. Another realm of existence is accessed through dreams and visions. This is very much an adult Folk Horror drama, just as robust and demanding as The Wicker Man and Midsommar in it's themes and the rituals portrayed; it even has a scene which pays homage to Close Encounters of the Third Kind. The screenplay perhaps isn't as well developed as those classics and does have a couple of plot holes. Nevertheless Equinox is well worth watching. On Netflix. 8/10.
 
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sherbetbizarre

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‘In the Earth’ Review: Ben Wheatley’s Pandemic Horror Movie Will Make You Want to Stay Inside

The result is a micro-budget horror movie every bit as ancient and elemental as its title suggests; a gnarly and largely satisfying nightmare about someone who tries to leave the coronavirus behind, only to wander into the dark heart of an eternal struggle. If Wheatley felt strange that so many other directors were suddenly eager to follow in his footsteps, or found it maddening to imagine that many of those people would think of themselves as pioneers, he’s followed his lifeless Netflix adaptation of “Rebecca” with a return to form that gets so lost in the woods that no one else could ever hope to retrace its steps.
https://www.indiewire.com/2021/01/in-the-earth-review-ben-wheatley-pandemic-movie-1234611397/
 

ramonmercado

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Mixing the Lewes Martyrs with Folk Horror.

ACROSS SUSSEX, PEOPLE WERE BURNED AT THE STAKE. THE LANDSCAPE IS STILL HAUNTED.

C.J. Tudor on folk horror and historical crimes


Outside the small village where we live stands a white chapel. It’s a strange building, not typical of the area. Square and plain. No spire or stained-glass windows. More fitted perhaps to a dusty Midwest town in the US (perhaps with an old couple standing outside, holding a pitchfork!)

Rows of crooked and ancient graves tip and tilt in the overgrown graveyard and at the top of the steep slope is a tall stone memorial. The inscription on it reads:

“Protestant Martyrs Memorial.

Erected to the memory of Richard Woodman and George Stevens of Warbleton,

Margery Thomas and James Morris her son of Cade Street, Heathfield

who with six others, were burned to death at Lewes

by the Roman Catholics June 22 1577.

Because they dared to worship God as the word of God directs.

The noble army of martyrs praise thee o God.”


There are more of these memorials in other churchyards in other small villages around the Sussex area, all commemorating men and women who were horrifically burnt at the stake during the period of 1553-1557, known at the ‘Marian Persecutions’.

When Mary Tudor, daughter of Henry VIII came to the throne in England in 1553 she was pressured to abandon her unshakable Catholic views. Instead, to re-enforce them she had no fewer than 288 Protestants burned as ‘heretics. Seventeen of these martyrs were burned in the small Sussex town of Lewes, just a thirty-minute drive from where my family and I now live. ...

In my new novel, The Burning Girls, the flaming torches of the Lewes procession have been replaced by ‘Blair Witch’ like twig dolls which the villagers of Chapel Croft make every year to commemorate the two youngest martyrs burnt at the stake. The Burning Girls are cast into the fire in their memory. The ghosts of the two girls are also supposed to haunt the old chapel, appearing to those in trouble, forewarning of bad events to come.

When Reverend Jack Brooks and daughter Flo arrive at Chapel Croft, they find themselves confronting ghosts of the villages dark and bloody past both literally and metaphorically. As they investigate the village’s history, they realise that the deaths of two young martyrs are somehow entwined with the disappearance of two teenage girls in the 1990s and the apparent suicide of the previous vicar. ...

https://crimereads.com/across-sussex-people-were-burned-at-the-stake-the-landscape-is-still-haunted/
 

brownmane

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MrRING

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An upcoming documentary on folk horror!
Woodlands Dark and Days Bewitched: A History of Folk Horror
https://woodlandsdarkanddaysbewitched.com/
WOODLANDS DARK AND DAYS BEWITCHED is the first feature-length documentary on the history of folk horror, exploring the phenomenon from its beginnings in a trilogy of films – Michael Reeves’ Witchfinder General (1968), Piers Haggard’s Blood on Satan’s Claw (1971) and Robin Hardy’s The Wicker Man (1973) – through its proliferation on British television in the 1970s and its culturally specific manifestations in American, Asian, Australian and European horror, to the genre’s revival over the last decade.

The film is being produced and directed by Kier-La Janisse for Severin Films, with David Gregory and Carl Daft as Executive Producers. The film includes an original score by Jim Williams (A Field in England) and special animated sequences featuring collage art by filmmaker Guy Maddin (My Winnipeg).


While exploring the key cinematic signposts of folk horror – touching on over 200 films, television plays and episodes as well as early inspirational literature – the film also examines the rise of paganism in the late 1960s, the prominence of the witch-figure in connection with second wave feminism, the ecological movement of the 1970s, the genre’s emphasis on landscape and psychogeography, and American manifestations of folk horror from Mariners’ tales and early colonial history to Southern Gothic and backwoods horror. Finally, the film navigates through the muddy politics of folk nostalgia. The term ‘folk horror’ is a loaded one, and WOODLANDS DARK AND DAYS BEWITCHED explores the many ways that we alternately celebrate, conceal and manipulate our own histories in an attempt to find spiritual resonance in our surroundings.


Over 50 interviewees appear in the film, including Piers Haggard (director, Blood on Satan’s Claw), Lawrence Gordon Clark (director, A Ghost Story for Christmas series), Jeremy Dyson (co-founder, The League of Gentlemen), Alice Lowe (director, Prevenge), Robert Eggers (director, The Witch), Jonathan Rigby (author, American Gothic), Adam Scovell (author, Folk Horror: Hours Dreadful and Things Strange), Andy Paciorek (founder, Folk Horror Revival), Howard David Ingham (author, We Don’t Go Back: A Watcher’s Guide to Folk Horror), Alexandra Heller-Nicholas (Author, 1000 Women in Horror), Kat Ellinger (Editor, Diabolique Magazine), Maisha Wester (Author, African American Gothic) and many more, as well as archival interviews with Robin Hardy (director, The Wicker Man) and Anthony Shaffer (writer, The Wicker Man).
 

MrRING

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I can't get the quote thing to work right... but I think the film is on the festival circuit right now... it looks like it is being produced by Severin Films, so it will likely get to home media sooner rather than later! I really wish there was a trailer for it.
 
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