Folk Horror

Coastaljames

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#32
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.
Such a good film. I fear I became a little obsessed with it for about six months. I first saw it at 3 a.m. on a portable screen, in the Suffolk woods...with Mr. Wheatley present...nice eh :)


Not seen "High Rise". Huge fan of Ballard and Wheatley so couldn't stand the possibility of me not liking it!
 
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#33
Such a good film. I fear I became a little obsessed with it for about six months. I first saw it at 3 a.m. on a portable screen, in the Suffolk woods...with Mr. Wheatley present...nice eh :)


Not seen "High Rise". Huge fan of Ballard and Wheatley so couldn't stand the possibility of me not liking it!
High Rise is great. German Shepherd barbecued on apartment balcony.
 
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#35
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...
While having a pint in London with a friend of mine who is quite the film buff and writes occasionally for the magazines and newspapers, I referred to it as 'Hipster Horror' - because that's kind of what it feels like to me. He's quite into this whole Folk Horror thing but bought the coinage off me for a pint of stout and a steak pie.

Incidentally, Coastaljames - I really like the illustration on the cover of that book.
 

JamesWhitehead

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#36
That BFI page and the related issue of Sight & Sound make the point that it's a genre which has been applied retrospectively to things which, otherwise, might not have been considered together: Quatermass, Penda's Fen, Wicker Man etc.

The sense of an island-genre has been underlined by the shrinkage of the British film industry and nostalgia for olde television. Worldwide, horror seems to be the most resilient genre, so maybe Brit-Hipster-New-Wave is just a reflection of that in a very small pool? :rolleyes:
 
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Coastaljames

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#37
I referred to it as 'Hipster Horror' - because that's kind of what it feels like to me.
Ha- brilliant- it's not just me then! I'm with you 100% mate.

I really like the illustration on the cover of that book.
Nice isn't it. There's some good stuff in there...some not so good stuff.
 

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#38
1980s weird American stuff ... yes
as an aficionado my definition isn't limited to English - or Wicker Man wouldn't qualify for example and it's one of the "type" artefacts - and USA (or elsewhere def does :) )
 
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#39
I was going to mention Penda's Fen - but then I wondered if it was really horror; it's years since I saw it, and maybe I'm just misremembering it - but I don't recall it being particularly horrible.

Now, Robin Redbreast - that's a different kettle of fish.
 

GNC

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#40
I was going to mention Penda's Fen - but then I wondered if it was really horror; it's years since I saw it, and maybe I'm just misremembering it - but I don't recall it being particularly horrible.
The people dying of unexplained chemical burns was pretty horrible. And waking up to see... that in your bedroom was pretty freaky. The whole thing's freaky.

I'm glad the awkward term "hauntology" to describe old supernatural-themed TV and film hasn't caught on. Or has it?
 

cycleboy2

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#41
I was also going to mention Penda's Fen (mentioned it in the Fortean films thread a couple of weeks ago) as I suspect it fulfills the criteria, but I'm going to have to watch it again, not having seen it since - I guess - it was first on. Back in the dim and distant past...
 

GNC

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#42
I was also going to mention Penda's Fen (mentioned it in the Fortean films thread a couple of weeks ago) as I suspect it fulfills the criteria, but I'm going to have to watch it again, not having seen it since - I guess - it was first on. Back in the dim and distant past...
The BFI released a spiffing, fully restored Blu-ray and DVD of it last year.
 

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#43
yes! Penda's Fen is canon :)

PS I hate all of you! Hipster indeed.... :rofl::rofl::rofl:
 
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#45
The people dying of unexplained chemical burns was pretty horrible. And waking up to see... that in your bedroom was pretty freaky. The whole thing's freaky...
Like I say, it's a while since I saw it and I may be misremembering things. But looking at some of the online reviews I see the word 'mystical', and I'm often oddly unengaged by work to which that term applies itself - which is my fault, not theirs.

(I'm also not exactly the world's biggest Horror fan - so maybe I shouldn't be here at all!)
 
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#47
Thanks for the head's up.
Will watch Penda's Fen on YouTube later.

Perhaps the TV adaptation of Garner's "The Owl Service" would also fall into this category...
I was also thinking of The Owl Service last night. I went through quite a tumultuous period in my very early teens - a little earlier than most people seem to suffer their teenage angst, and I associate this series with that time of my life. It affected me quite deeply - not in a negative way, but I couldn't watch it for years afterwards without feeling something of that period.
 
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#49
Is it just a fillum thing, I wonder?

Thinking about the illustration on the front of the book Coastaljames posted an image of got me recalling other possibly relevant artwork - in the first instance, the work of Charles Keeping, whose illustrations accompanied The Folio Society edition of the stories of MR James - some time in the early 70's:

CK1.jpg CK2.jpg CK6.jpg

I especially like the first one. Keeping did amazing work, a lot of which will probably be familiar to anyone who grew up in the late 60's and 70's. He illustrated a lot of childrens books - and also a striking edition of Beowulf, some of which, if I recall correctly, is quite brutal.
 

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#50
Not just a film thing - all media.

And yes to Sleepy Hollow and Owl Service.

YMMV ;)
 

smokehead

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#53
I saw The Witch over Christmas, probably falls under the category of folk horror.
It would have been better viewed in ignorance, but I use the movie charts at Christmas to see what the best films of the year are then head off to CEX, the preowned store.
Seance On A Wet Afternoon, Fortean?
I suppose it depends on your definition. For me Fortean means always open to the possibility of a supernatural event occurring but also always being aware the truth is probably more basic and down to earth.
This doesn't mean any witch hunts, pun intended, it's benign scepticism, understanding that it all adds to the spice of life, celebrating it even.
 

Graylien

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#55
Not seen "High Rise". Huge fan of Ballard and Wheatley so couldn't stand the possibility of me not liking it!
I doubt you'd be disappointed. It's very faithful to the spirit of the book.

On folk horror in general, does it represent the city dweller's sense of alienation from the countryside?
 
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hunck

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#56
If we're talking music to accompany folk horror, may I suggest these two:


That's really weird - although the name Fuchsia means absolutely nothing to me, I've definitely heard that album before & it all seems strangely familiar. I think a friend must have had a copy years ago. I haven't heard it in decades.

On googling, they were a one album band & it seems a definite forgotten classic of it's kind. Good find. I'll give Comus a play later.
 

hunck

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#57
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
I doubt it'll make much difference to your enjoyment of the film but Britt had an arse double in the legendary writhing singing scene.
 

Coastaljames

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#58
It's very faithful to the spirit of the book.
Which would mean I'll stick with the book then :)


If we're talking music to accompany folk horror, may I suggest these two:


Don't know Fuschia but that Comus album is fucking amazing. Dark shit.

This whole wonderful collection ticks more than a few "folk horror" boxes..."British acid folk underground 68-74"...kinda explains the genre right there...






I'll leave this here - this amazing book came out last year, written by a friend of a friend - "The Kindred of the Kibbo Kift: Intellectual Barbarians" by Annabella Pollen. Anyone with an interest in this "folk horror" lark should get stuck in -








The incredible story of incredible things in an incredible time.
 
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GNC

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#59
I doubt you'd be disappointed. It's very faithful to the spirit of the book.
It's closer to the spirit of Wheatley and Jump's view that Ballard was predicting the Thatcherism of the 1980s (cue cringeworthy clip at the end by way of overexplanation) than it is to Ballard's amused interest in mankind reverting to barbarism to move forward. I did like it, but it's not quite Ballard (just as Crash wasn't).

On folk horror in general, does it represent the city dweller's sense of alienation from the countryside?
Maybe if the viewer is a city dweller, but not always. Blood on Satan's Claw has no connection to cities whatsoever, the Alan Garner works tend strongly towards the rural, heck, even the Hayley Mills horror/thriller Deadly Strangers barely mentions any city.
 
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#60
...On folk horror in general, does it represent the city dweller's sense of alienation from the countryside?
I was wondering the same - whether the genre itself, or those elements that have been cherry-picked from the past to create what apears to be a relatively recently brewed genre, represent a modern urban anxiety about the countryside and our rural past - a rural past which the vast majority of our ancestors were part of, but which very few of us now experience in any way that could be described as similar. Not that the individual works involved are all themselves woven around an urban/rural conflict, but that the genre taken as a whole may contain elelments of this.

I may be being deeply unfair in suspecting that the phenomenon (but not all the individual elements of it) has its roots as firmly (and maybe more so) in Shoreditch and Hackney as it does on Romney Marsh, the Yorkshire Moors or the Fenlands. Which, by the way, isn't a criticism.
 
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