Folk Horror

ramonmercado

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Sounds like an interesting collection.

THE LETTERS OF SHIRLEY JACKSON
Edited by Laurence Jackson Hyman in consultation with Bernice M. Murphy

The two most revealing documents in this hefty collection of unpublished letters written by the novelist Shirley Jackson were never sent. One was addressed to her mother, and the other to her husband, Stanley Edgar Hyman. Both were written not long before Jackson died in her sleep in 1965, at the age of 48. A third important but technically unsent letter included in this volume wouldn’t have even required postage: Jackson wrote it to herself, possibly sometime in 1963. “One world is writing and one is not,” she observed, “and from the one which is not, it is not possible to understand the one which is.”

Many writers feel that the self who writes exists in a partially unknowable state, separate from the self who goes about her worldly business, talking with friends and colleagues, cooking dinner, ferrying her children around. With Jackson, the division seems especially vivid, and also tripartite, an impression that this collection, edited by her son Laurence Jackson Hyman, solidifies. She had not one but two authorial identities, and they appeared to be polar opposites. Early in her career, Jackson wrote linked, semi-fictionalized accounts of raising her four rambunctious children in the small town of North Bennington, Vt., and sold them for tidy sums to women’s magazines. The publication of these genuinely delightful, humorous pieces in a 1953 collection, “Life Among the Savages,” proved equally successful. Another book, “Raising Demons,” followed in 1957, and the income Jackson earned from her pen often outpaced Hyman’s as a staff writer for The New Yorker and a professor at Bennington College.

At the same time Jackson also regularly published more sinister, enigmatic short fiction in general-interest magazines; her most famous story, “The Lottery,” appeared in The New Yorker in 1948 and generated more reader mail than any work of fiction the magazine had ever published. Also set in a small town much like North Bennington, “The Lottery” has, in print and dramatic form, transfixed and perplexed generations of readers with its depiction of a banal rural morning that segues into ritual human sacrifice. In contrast to the bemused mom she wrote about for the women’s magazines, presiding over a house packed with kids, cats, friends and chaos, the rest of Jackson’s fictional heroines tend to be fragile, isolated girls on the brink of unraveling. Her 1954 novel, “The Bird’s Nest,” features a young woman with dissociative identity disorder, the narration including the points of view of her alternate personalities. Any hope that Jackson’s private writing might convey a more unified sense of self seems quixotic. According to her biographer, Ruth Franklin, even as a teenager Jackson “kept multiple diaries simultaneously, each with a different purpose.” ...

In researching her biography, Franklin discovered a cache of letters Jackson wrote to a fan named Jeanne Beatty, whose taste in books she shared. The two never met. It’s only in reading these letters, written between 1959 and 1963, that it becomes evident how lonely Jackson was. Her confessions and enthusiasms come gushing forth as if she were a teenager who had finally, finally found a best friend. She explains to Jeanne her struggles to craft a “sustained taut style full of images and all kinds of double meanings.” At times, these letters relax into something like stream of consciousness, her habitual lowercase prose flowing from household noises to Jackson’s protean plans for “We Have Always Lived in the Castle”: “oo let us make a orchestra cries david you bang on the wastebasket. her name is jenny. she lives with her sister constance in a big old brown house saturated with family memories and her husband lives there too; they have been married for seven years and her sister constance still calls him mr harrap. they are going to kill him because he is a boor i think.” ...

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/07/11/...son-hyman-the-letters-of-shirley-jackson.html
 

CarlosTheDJ

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We've decided it's high time we properly investigated the work of Ben Wheatley, starting at the beginning.

Down Terrace was first up, I had no idea what to expect but I really enjoyed it. Bonus points for it being set in Brighton and the local references such as 'trouble in Whitehawk' really added a little something for us adopted locals. The first flat I had in Brighton was a stone's throw from the real Down Terrace.

Last Saturday we watched the second instalment, Kill List. Brilliant stuff with incredible performances. Loved it.

Sightseers next.
 

hunck

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We've decided it's high time we properly investigated the work of Ben Wheatley, starting at the beginning.

Down Terrace was first up, I had no idea what to expect but I really enjoyed it. Bonus points for it being set in Brighton and the local references such as 'trouble in Whitehawk' really added a little something for us adopted locals. The first flat I had in Brighton was a stone's throw from the real Down Terrace.

Last Saturday we watched the second instalment, Kill List. Brilliant stuff with incredible performances. Loved it.

Sightseers next.

Sightseers is great - darkly hilarious. Will look out for the others on your recommendation. I've seen High Rise & A Field in England - both worth a watch.
 

ramonmercado

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Sounds like an interesting collection.

THE LETTERS OF SHIRLEY JACKSON
Edited by Laurence Jackson Hyman in consultation with Bernice M. Murphy

The two most revealing documents in this hefty collection of unpublished letters written by the novelist Shirley Jackson were never sent. One was addressed to her mother, and the other to her husband, Stanley Edgar Hyman. Both were written not long before Jackson died in her sleep in 1965, at the age of 48. A third important but technically unsent letter included in this volume wouldn’t have even required postage: Jackson wrote it to herself, possibly sometime in 1963. “One world is writing and one is not,” she observed, “and from the one which is not, it is not possible to understand the one which is.”

Many writers feel that the self who writes exists in a partially unknowable state, separate from the self who goes about her worldly business, talking with friends and colleagues, cooking dinner, ferrying her children around. With Jackson, the division seems especially vivid, and also tripartite, an impression that this collection, edited by her son Laurence Jackson Hyman, solidifies. She had not one but two authorial identities, and they appeared to be polar opposites. Early in her career, Jackson wrote linked, semi-fictionalized accounts of raising her four rambunctious children in the small town of North Bennington, Vt., and sold them for tidy sums to women’s magazines. The publication of these genuinely delightful, humorous pieces in a 1953 collection, “Life Among the Savages,” proved equally successful. Another book, “Raising Demons,” followed in 1957, and the income Jackson earned from her pen often outpaced Hyman’s as a staff writer for The New Yorker and a professor at Bennington College.

At the same time Jackson also regularly published more sinister, enigmatic short fiction in general-interest magazines; her most famous story, “The Lottery,” appeared in The New Yorker in 1948 and generated more reader mail than any work of fiction the magazine had ever published. Also set in a small town much like North Bennington, “The Lottery” has, in print and dramatic form, transfixed and perplexed generations of readers with its depiction of a banal rural morning that segues into ritual human sacrifice. In contrast to the bemused mom she wrote about for the women’s magazines, presiding over a house packed with kids, cats, friends and chaos, the rest of Jackson’s fictional heroines tend to be fragile, isolated girls on the brink of unraveling. Her 1954 novel, “The Bird’s Nest,” features a young woman with dissociative identity disorder, the narration including the points of view of her alternate personalities. Any hope that Jackson’s private writing might convey a more unified sense of self seems quixotic. According to her biographer, Ruth Franklin, even as a teenager Jackson “kept multiple diaries simultaneously, each with a different purpose.” ...

In researching her biography, Franklin discovered a cache of letters Jackson wrote to a fan named Jeanne Beatty, whose taste in books she shared. The two never met. It’s only in reading these letters, written between 1959 and 1963, that it becomes evident how lonely Jackson was. Her confessions and enthusiasms come gushing forth as if she were a teenager who had finally, finally found a best friend. She explains to Jeanne her struggles to craft a “sustained taut style full of images and all kinds of double meanings.” At times, these letters relax into something like stream of consciousness, her habitual lowercase prose flowing from household noises to Jackson’s protean plans for “We Have Always Lived in the Castle”: “oo let us make a orchestra cries david you bang on the wastebasket. her name is jenny. she lives with her sister constance in a big old brown house saturated with family memories and her husband lives there too; they have been married for seven years and her sister constance still calls him mr harrap. they are going to kill him because he is a boor i think.” ...

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/07/11/...son-hyman-the-letters-of-shirley-jackson.html

T o mark the publication of the letters, The New Yorker has put The Lottery online.

The Lottery​

By Shirley Jackson June 18, 1948

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/1948/06/26/the-lottery
 

blessmycottonsocks

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Crone Wood.

A 2017 low budget mash-up of The Wicker Man and Blair Witch, with hints of Midsommer and Children of the Corn thrown in.
The old found-footage, jerky-cam technique has become something of a cliché too so, if it's originality you're after, then maybe best give this a miss.
And yet, there was something quite compelling about the creepily sensual witches, the rural Irish setting was reasonably atmospheric and there's even a catchy folk song celebrating Celticness (great to hear the Cornish get a mention) to boot.
So, whilst not a classic of the genre it does provide a few memorable scenes and, at just 86 minutes, Crone Wood just about succeeds in not overstaying its welcome.
See if you can guess the twist!
5/10.
Just come onto Prime Video.

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt5261772/
 
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Naughty_Felid

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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Hole_in_the_Ground_(film) (2019)

A single mum and her son start over in a rented house by an ancient woodland. Shortly after her son goes temporarily missing in the wood the mother begins to notice that her son is acting differently. Is this a result of her recent breakup, the sleeping tablets she has been prescribed?

Sarah, (the mother), visits a neighbor played by the ever-dependable James Cosmo whose wife Norren went insane demanding that her son was an imposter.

Her son's oddities begin to mount up and... Well, I'll leave the rest.

The film is set in Ireland and perhaps could have used the countryside to better effect as the film Without Name (2016) did. The story is as old as the hills and was done quite well by a cast including the striking-looking Seana Kerslake who played the mother and the very eerie James Quinn Markey who plays the son who was also very good in the Vikings TV show.

As noted by others this isn't an original story but is a good addition to the changling horror genre. 6.5 out of 10.
 

hunck

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We've decided it's high time we properly investigated the work of Ben Wheatley, starting at the beginning.

Down Terrace was first up, I had no idea what to expect but I really enjoyed it. Bonus points for it being set in Brighton and the local references such as 'trouble in Whitehawk' really added a little something for us adopted locals. The first flat I had in Brighton was a stone's throw from the real Down Terrace.

Last Saturday we watched the second instalment, Kill List. Brilliant stuff with incredible performances. Loved it.

Sightseers next.
We watched Kill List at the weekend & really liked it - seriously weird, keeps you wondering wtf is going on & why. Good performances all round & nice to see a British film. One gripe - dialogue is hard to follow as much of it is quiet/mumbly - a common issue with many films these days. You get the gist though. Sightseers still my favourite of his films I’ve seen so far.
 

sherbetbizarre

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Severin are releasing their WOODLANDS DARK AND DAYS BEWITCHED: A HISTORY OF FOLK HORROR documentary on Blu-Ray this December (Stateside) either alone, or part of this MONSTER boxset, complete with 20 (!) Folk Horror films...


folk.jpg


Some of these sound great... Eyes of Fire seems to be a popular one, and the Australian ones look interesting!
 

GNC

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Just read the Kim Newman review of that folk horror doc and he mentions it's THREE AND A QUARTER HOURS LONG! He compares it to Los Angeles Plays Itself, the cult clipfest doc about LA in movies that lasts about the same time.
 

Mythopoeika

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Is it Folk Horror Day today today? I noticed that a few MPs are wearing Sheaves of Wheat badges in the Commons.
Back British Farming Day or something like that.
 
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