Folk Horror

GNC

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#61
That might have more weight if there was no such thing as urban horror in British fiction, but I think it's more a case of writers looking around for more things to be scared of and in the 60s-70s the countryside was next, just as the cities were (about the same time). But would you call (for instance) A Warning to the Curious by James folk horror because of its isolated setting? He might have balked at the idea even though the setting is integral to the chills.
 

Coastaljames

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#62
But would you call (for instance) A Warning to the Curious by James folk horror because of its isolated setting?
I really wouldn't. I balked at the James essay in "Field Studies". As much for it's inclusion as it's many inaccuracies!

I think there should be an element of counter-culture there too to be honest...something a little hippy maybe? A little druggy..."alternative"?
 

blessmycottonsocks

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#63
"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."

I thought it was a really obscure record - even more so than Principal Edwards "Asmoto Running Band", which I must have bought around the same time. So Gor Blimey, stone the crows, you could have knocked me down wiv a fevvah when I saw Fuchsia on a pub jukebox in Farnham a couple of months ago. It was in the "Prog" category, along with Yes, King Crimson, ELP, Pink Floyd and Van Der Graaf Generator. Not sure Fuchsia sat that comfortably there, but great to see it all the same.
 
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Ulalume

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#64
I don't know a huge amount about folk horror films, but I do know this post in What did you dream of last night? will be one if anyone makes a movie out of it. :p

Will someone get on that please? GNC or Mythopoeika, perhaps? Sorry I can't fill in the missing bits, you'll have to think them up yourselves. :D
 

Mythopoeika

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#65
I don't know a huge amount about folk horror films, but I do know this post in What did you dream of last night? will be one if anyone makes a movie out of it. :p

Will someone get on that please? GNC or Mythopoeika, perhaps? Sorry I can't fill in the missing bits, you'll have to think them up yourselves. :D
I'd love to write for films, never done it before. That dream is definitely a good basis for a story.
AFAIK, I don't think Bujold and O'Toole made a film together.
 
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#66
I don't know a huge amount about folk horror films, but I do know this post in What did you dream of last night? will be one if anyone makes a movie out of it.
...
You think that's odd. In the little lobby area next to my bathroom I've still got the three legged milking stool that my paternal grandmother died on. (They found her resting peacefully against the flank of the cow she'd been milking - rocking gently to the swell of its breathing; I've always thought that was a beautiful way to go - so I bagsied the stool when my aunt was clearing out her place.)

That's enough to freak some people out - but sitting on top of it is a Burmese tiger puppet that was given to my dad some time in the 1920's by a mad old Indian Army soldier who lived alone in a one room cottage half a mile away and was rumoured to eat crows. And it's fucking terrifying.

And I’ve already mentioned this bizarre and unsettling set of circumstances from my rural upbringing.

There's all the elements for a bit of folk horror for you right there.

Now, I'm just off out to put on my antlers and dance around the garden in the nip with a painted frogs skull wedged up my fundament, singing:

And when the moon is in the quarter

Don’t do nothing you didn’t ought’er*

*With all due respect to the genius of Galton and Simpson
 

Ulalume

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#69
You think that's odd. In the little lobby area next to my bathroom I've still got the three legged milking stool that my paternal grandmother died on. (They found her resting peacefully against the flank of the cow she'd been milking - rocking gently to the swell of its breathing; I've always thought that was a beautiful way to go - so I bagsied the stool when my aunt was clearing out her place.)

That's enough to freak some people out - but sitting on top of it is a Burmese tiger puppet that was given to my dad some time in the 1920's by a mad old Indian Army soldier who lived alone in a one room cottage half a mile away and was rumoured to eat crows. And it's fucking terrifying.

And I’ve already mentioned this bizarre and unsettling set of circumstances from my rural upbringing.

There's all the elements for a bit of folk horror for you right there.

Now, I'm just off out to put on my antlers and dance around the garden in the nip with a painted frogs skull wedged up my fundament, singing:

And when the moon is in the quarter

Don’t do nothing you didn’t ought’er*

*With all due respect to the genius of Galton and Simpson
Well, there you go! :) Combine your real life experience with my crazy dream, add in your antler frog dance for some added flair and we'll have a folk horror film for the ages!

We'll get two actors to play the roles of O'Toole and Bujold in the found footage of this film that never existed n the first place. The hipsters will love that bit. :D
 

XBergMann

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#70
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.
You have shattered all my memories of boyhood dreams containing blonde Swedish women on an altar of despair with your comment ... I shall now return to my true vocation in life which is watching old ABBA videos
 

Naughty_Felid

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#73
"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."

I thought it was a really obscure record - even more so than Principal Edwards "Asmoto Running Band", which I must have bought around the same time. So Gor Blimey, stone the crows, you could have knocked me down wiv a fevvah when I saw Fuchsia on a pub jukebox in Farnham a couple of months ago. It was in the "Prog" category, along with Yes, King Crimson, ELP, Pink Floyd and Van Der Graaf Generator. Not sure Fuchsia sat that comfortably there, but great to see it all the same.
She was a character in the Gormenghast trilogy. As a kid growing up I always wanted to go out with her and gaze into her deep violet eyes.
 

blessmycottonsocks

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#74
Watched Penda's Fen on YouTube last night. Quite intriguing and with several memorable scenes, but grindingly slow-paced and IMHO strays perilously close to metaphysical arty-fartyness on occasion. Remarkable central performance by young Spencer 'Timeslip' Banks, whose confused sexuality becomes an extended metaphor for the conflict of good v bad, light v darkness, war between nations and, of course, Christianity v paganism.
I can understand the superficial comparisons between Penda's Fen and classic Folk Horror like The Wicker Man or Blood on Satan's Claw but, unlike those great movies, Penda's Fen hasn't aged as well and I wouldn't rate it quite as highly. Maybe 7/10.
If you'd like to watch it on YouTube, be aware that it's been uploaded as a small window instead of full-screen format, so you need to zoom and crop to get a watchable picture:

 

GNC

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#76
I don't think watching it in crap-o-vision on YouTube really does it justice. I saw it on Blu-ray and found it totally absorbing.
 

blessmycottonsocks

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#77
With a drama like Penda's Fen, I think the content is far more important than the precise picture definition and by zooming and cropping on my laptop (and watching a few scenes again on iPad) I found it perfectly watchable.
 

GNC

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#79
With a drama like Penda's Fen, I think the content is far more important than the precise picture definition and by zooming and cropping on my laptop (and watching a few scenes again on iPad) I found it perfectly watchable.
But isn't that like saying watching it through binoculars through a neighbour's window one night would be just as good as watching it on your own TV because you surmised you had a decent idea of the content?
 

sherbetbizarre

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#80
Some classics and a couple I've never heard before...
Seven ‘wyrd’ TV programmes from 1977 – a golden harvest of folk horror

The 1970s was a golden era for quirky and brilliant television, but 1977’s schedules in particular seemed to produce a bountiful crop of what is now termed folk horror. The examples listed below offer a heathen harvest of powerful stone circles, Arthurian legends, occult happenings and dangerous edgelands. Forty years later, these small-screen gems retain the power to surprise and unsettle…
http://www.bfi.org.uk/news-opinion/news-bfi/lists/tv-folk-horror-1977
 

OneWingedBird

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#81
Nice recommendation! I'm already a fan of the Vashti Bunyan/Fairport/Sandy Denny/Pentangle type stuff but there's some interesting tracks on there I've not heard before.
Oooh very nice, most of that album is on youtube, sadly an actual cd on ebay will rush you about £55!

Did like the Spirogyra effort enough to nab the album it's from lol not a name I've heard in a long long time!
 

Ulalume

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#83
Folk horror novels haven't really been mentioned in this thread (and admittedly I can only think of a few) but there is a Ruth Rendell novella I think may count, albeit in an uncharacteristic way. Depends on exactly what constitutes folk horror as a genre.

The story High Mysterious Union is about a rustic English village full of exceedingly attractive people, told from the point of view of two outsiders. The secret of the townsfolk is simply that they
are polyamorous
and will ostracize and chase away anyone who doesn't fit, in myriad creepy ways.

On the face of it, there seems to be nothing supernatural about the plot, and Ruth Rendell (I don't think ) ever wrote about the supernatural anyway. However, the story does have this deeply eerie sense about it, and it seems as if a supernatural element might be implied.
The behavior of the townsfolk and their effect on people suggests the townsfolk aren't ordinary humans, IMO

Despite the lack of any obvious supernatural or religious themes, while re-reading it today, I kept thinking it fit quite snugly into the genre as I understand it.

The only other folk horror novels I know are Harvest Home and a few gothic romances. Does anyone here know of any others that would be worth a read?
 

Coastaljames

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#84
Does anyone here know of any others that would be worth a read?
I don't.

As I've already said I am absolutely no fan of the term "folk horror". I don't like categorising art and putting it in boxes.

However - I would very much recommend the short-novel "The Terror" by Arthur Machen. Genuinely disturbing, the landscape and sense of enigmatic, mystic horror is unsurpassed.




Horrifying and brilliant.
 
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#90
Robert Aickman. He wrote about four volumes of short stories, many if not most of which can be described as 'FH' IMO.
They are cited by The League of Gentlemen as a major influence...
Somewhere I have a copy of a recording Jeremy Dyson did for Radio 4 on Robert Aickman. I think Coastaljames is right in that there are maybe a few duds in Aickman's output, but at his best he can be more unsettling than almost any other author I know.

What I hadn't realised until recently is that he was the grandson of Richard Marsh, whose horror novel, The Beetle, was a bit of a phenomenon in the late Victorian era (some sources cite it as more popular at the time than Stoker's Dracula - published the same year, I think).
 
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