Folk Horror

Zeke Newbold

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Examples? I haven't found too much on my own. My definition of folk horror is "horror arising from the landscape itself" so besides Children of the Corn, we appear to be sorely lacking in such things. (I have my theories as to why, but they are neither here nor there.)
Where did you get that definition from? My own definition would be something like: (a) horror based on local or national foklore and/or urban myths, as well as (b) horror which is `of the people` in a cottage- industryish sort of way.

If we were to accept that definition then The Blair Witch Project would be a prime example of American folk horror.

Then, maybe, so would the Wrong Turn franchise - with it's deranged hillbilly premise.

Then you have The Slender Man - both the myth itself and the fictional spin offs from it.

So plenty there to be getting on with!
 

Swifty

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Where did you get that definition from? My own definition would be something like: (a) horror based on local or national foklore and/or urban myths, as well as (b) horror which is `of the people` in a cottage- industryish sort of way.

If we were to accept that definition then The Blair Witch Project would be a prime example of American folk horror.

Then, maybe, so would the Wrong Turn franchise - with it's deranged hillbilly premise.

Then you have The Slender Man - both the myth itself and the fictional spin offs from it.

So plenty there to be getting on with!
Keeping with your definition, I'd add Finland's 'Rare Exports' as folk horror. Archaeologists uncover a caged and very evil Santa Clause ..

 

Ulalume

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Where did you get that definition from? My own definition would be something like: (a) horror based on local or national foklore and/or urban myths, as well as (b) horror which is `of the people` in a cottage- industryish sort of way.

If we were to accept that definition then The Blair Witch Project would be a prime example of American folk horror.

Then, maybe, so would the Wrong Turn franchise - with it's deranged hillbilly premise.

Then you have The Slender Man - both the myth itself and the fictional spin offs from it.

So plenty there to be getting on with!
IIRC, the definition came from one of the various folk horror discussion groups. The Blair Witch project does fit, in any case. I'd just forgotten about it.
 

Ulalume

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Looks interesting but they appear to be out of print and so are commanding ridiculous prices on Amazon. A pity.
Oh, that's a shame! There looks to be some available to borrow on the Internet Archive, at least, as well as a load of his short stories in their pulp magazine section.
 

brownmane

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The Mothman Prophecies by John Keel?

I'm also trying to identify North American "folk horror" and the only things I can think of are tales of a more recent nature. Anything involving a wendigo, definitely. Algernon Blackwood did write "The Wendigo" but he was British.

I love Joe Lansdale's writing and when I think of what I've read of his, I think that his writing is too recent. I do think that in many years to come, he may be viewed as a folk horror writer.

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow? Has it already been mentioned?
 

brownmane

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Richard Matheson"s Hell House. Also he wrote a story "Button, Button" which is similar premise as Stephen King's story "Monkey's Paw",
 

Ulalume

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Richard Matheson"s Hell House. Also he wrote a story "Button, Button" which is similar premise as Stephen King's story "Monkey's Paw",
I love Richard Matheson...he's tough to categorize. I think he touches on folk horror at times.
 

Yithian

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Richard Matheson"s Hell House. Also he wrote a story "Button, Button" which is similar premise as Stephen King's story "Monkey's Paw",
I've never read a Stephen King book, but I know that the author of 'The Monkey's Paw' was W.W. Jacobs.

I think King wrote a book called 'The Monkey'
 

brownmane

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I've never read a Stephen King book, but I know that the author of 'The Monkey's Paw' was W.W. Jacobs.

I think King wrote a book called 'The Monkey'
Oops, my mistake. I did mean "The Monkey's Paw" and mistakenly attributed King with it.
 

GNC

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I suppose The Manitou with a slumming Tony Curtis wouldn't count as American folk horror? Something more sympathetic to the long history of the continent and its ancient peoples might, though, but all I can think of are turkeys like Prophecy or The White Buffalo.
 

MrRING

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New film by the makers of the ABC's of horror is all in the folk territory, The Field Guide to Evil:

 

Ulalume

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I suppose The Manitou with a slumming Tony Curtis wouldn't count as American folk horror? Something more sympathetic to the long history of the continent and its ancient peoples might, though, but all I can think of are turkeys like Prophecy or The White Buffalo.
Oh lawkes, such dreadful films. It would be interesting to see folk horror themes done by Native American film-makers, though. It would run less risk of exploitation.

You'd think we could do something at least as good as Picnic At Hanging Rock, which IMO is a great example of non-UK folk horror.
 

Spookdaddy

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...You'd think we could do something at least as good as Picnic At Hanging Rock, which IMO is a great example of non-UK folk horror.
I was thinking about this movie at 04.00 this morning, when I couldn't get back to sleep. I also wonder if, although not really a genre movie, there are Folk Horror elements in Walkabout.

The Shout has Australian resonances, too - although in a British setting.
 

Mikefule

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I've belatedly stumbled over this thread. I can't discuss films in detail as I watch very few.

Back to the original question about the difference between "folk horror" and "Forteana", I would say that there is an overlap in subject material, and that many people are interested in both, but there are two key differences:
  1. In folk horror, the explanation (or, occasionally, lack of one) is decided in advance by the writer(s) in order to make an entertaining film, book, etc. In Forteana, the entertainment comes from discussing and trying to decide whether there is an explanation and, if so, what it may be. Folk horror is a set piece presentation with a predetermined outcome; Forteana are broad subjects for continued debate and no certainty of an outcome.
  2. Horror (in the broadest sense of subjects that are horrifying, outré, macabre, chilling, or disturbing) is only a small subset of Fortean subjects.
 

ramonmercado

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I think this fits here.

Masks come out in Swiss 'valley of monsters'
By Imogen FoulkesBBC News, Lötschental, Switzerland
  • 33 minutes ago

Once a year, as the last icy of blasts of winter begin to give way to spring, strange figures start to appear in the remote Swiss valley of the Lötschental.

Clad in animal skins, with huge cowbells round their waists, and wearing fearsome wooden masks, these are the Tschäggättä. Local man Manuel Blötzer remembers how he felt, as a little boy, when he first saw them. "Frightened… but I wanted to see them. Where did they come from in the night? From above the mountains? Where did they go? I didn't know."

The origins of the Tschäggättä tradition remain shrouded in mystery, but the art of mask making is alive and well. In his tiny workshop, Albert Ebener has been making masks for half a century. Today, as he carefully cuts and carves the wood, a terrifying face begins to emerge. On the walls around Albert, masks made by his father and grandfather, complete with real teeth and hair, stare balefully down.

"I think it was probably a pagan ritual," he says. "Something to do with the sun, and chasing winter away."

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-47385356?ocid=socialflow_twitter

masks.jpg
 

MrRING

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Here's a new one by the director of Hereditary:

THIS SUMMER, LET THE FESTIVITIES BEGIN. From writer/director Ari Aster and starring Florence Pugh, Jack Reynor, William Jackson Harper, and Will Poulter. MIDSOMMAR — In Theaters Summer 2019. RELEASE DATE: Summer 2019 DIRECTOR: Ari Aster CAST: Florence Pugh, Jack Reynor, William Jackson Harper, Vilhelm Blomgran, Archie Madekwe, Ellora Torchia, and Will Poulter
 

GNC

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That was a quick turnaround after Hereditary! Does anyone know where it's supposed to be set? If it's the US, it could be one of those ghastly renaissance fayres where they pretend to be Arthur and Guinevere and the Knights of the Round Table. I know Florence is English, so...
 

Ulalume

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That was a quick turnaround after Hereditary! Does anyone know where it's supposed to be set? If it's the US, it could be one of those ghastly renaissance fayres where they pretend to be Arthur and Guinevere and the Knights of the Round Table. I know Florence is English, so...
I don't know about the film, but don't mock the renaissance fayres, it's our only chance to see men wearing tights. ;)
 

James_H

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I don't know about the film, but don't mock the renaissance fayres, it's our only chance to see men wearing tights. ;)
You're obviously not a connoisseur of modern dance ;)

Guys, there's an obvious gap in the market here for US-based folk horror. Why not write a story or two and make bank?
 

MrRING

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Guys, there's an obvious gap in the market here for US-based folk horror. Why not write a story or two and make bank?
I don't know if it's mentioned already in this thread, but if not, you could do worse than checking out The Legend of Hillbilly John:
A wandering ballad singer in the Appalachians meets an ugly bird-type creature, is transported back in time, finds himself involved in the Devil's work.
 

Frideswide

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masks made by his father and grandfather, complete with real teeth and hair, stare balefully down.
real teeth. REAL TEETH! :actw:

The linked article above has

"There is the story of the 'Schurtendiebe'," he explains. "People who lived on the shady side of the valley and didn't have enough to eat."
Please can someone translate Schurtendiebe?
 
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