What is Folk Horror?

Here you'll find a selection of articles, reading lists and resource links about the Folk Horror genre you may find helpful in preparing yourself for the game.

What is Folk Horror - This is an excellent introduction piece to the genre - there's also some great articles on the site.

https://celluloidwickerman.com/2014/09/25/the-folk-horror-chain/

 

There are, of course, the big 3 films:

Robin Hardy’s The Wicker Man (1973), Piers Haggard’s Blood On Satan’s Claw (1971), and Michael Reeves’ Witchfinder General (1968).

 

But these are by no means all...

 

Screenwriter Nigel Kneale did some cracking folk horror work in the 60s/70s, including the series The Stone Tape (1972) and the plays Murrain (1975) and Baby (1976). Elements of  his earlier serial Quatermass and the Pit also contains elements of folklore and ancient evils.

Peter Graham Scott's children's series "The Children of the Stones" (1976) had a Wicker Man bent:

"The series followed the adventures of astrophysicist Adam Brake and his young son Matthew after they arrive in the small village of Milbury, which is built in the midst of a megalithic stone circle.".

The series is today considered a landmark in quality children's drama and has been called "the scariest programme ever made for children".[2]

They've got the whole series on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SwT0wLnT7Rc

 

Here's a great essay on Folk Horror with many TV and Film examples of the genre:

https://celluloidwickerman.com/2015/02/16/the-ritual-of-craft-in-folk-horror/

 

Miscellaneous Folk Horror TV and Films: https://www.folkhorror.com/items/browse?collection=3

 

Ghost Stories for Christmas: http://wearecult.rocks/ghosts-of-christmas-past (full episodes)

 

In particular, A Warning to the Curious is incredibly evocative and does so much with so little and we love the deserted Anglian coastline used here. "Stigma" is also pretty good - builders dig up a massive old stone in the back garden of a couple who've just moved into the village with odd consequences.

 

Finally Mark Gatiss' 3 part history of Horror was terrific, but the last half of episode 2 deals specifically with Folk Horror and the Wicker Man: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gaFNgHuYdPA

 

Gatiss' writing partners Reece Shearsmith and Steve Pemberton produced a fine short folk horror as part of their Inside Number 9 series, with the episode 'The Trial of Elizabeth Gadge', a dark comedy.

The recent Netflix film, The Apostle, was firmly rooted in the genre and whilst it is Eastern European rather than English, the film November is very much Folk Horror. The Swedes also get in on the act with Midsommar
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J1JdWOqc9Q8
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=19QZy1YHL50
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Vnghdsjmd0

Likewise, the film The Witch (2015), though set in 17th century New England, is for all intents and purposes a particularly grim English folk horror.

Musically, we can recommend many songs by Steeleye Span, Fairport Convention and The Albion Band, as having a rooting in English folk tradition that echoes throughout the genre.

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