The countryside, cults and the occasional demonic goat. The sub-genre of folk horror extols and explores all the dark, dreamy and often macabre elements of the folk sort.
A term first coined by Piers Haggard (director of ‘Blood on Satan’s Claw’) and later popularised by Mark Gatiss in the BBC documentary A History of Horror, folk horror is built upon a feeling of isolation and paranoia as thick as the fog that shrouds the haunted landscapes of its setting.
Bleeding into the early 70s from the heady highs of the late 1960s, the genre found its roots in the now infamous ‘Unholy Trilogy’: Haggard’s ‘Blood on Satan’s Claw’ (1971), ‘The Witchfinder General’ (1968) by Michael Reeves and ‘The Wickerman’ (1973) by Robin Hardy. This trifecta of films defined a generation of horror obsessed with the unflinching wilderness both within and around us. Continue reading
Get Out review: by Rob Stoakes
UK certification: 15
Social horror is a dying genre, and no it’s not how I feel when I awkwardly try to interact with other human beings. No, horror where the scary aspect comes from or inspired by a societal issue. When communism was about there were tonnes of them, like The Thing, Invasion of the Bodysnatchers and any of George Romero’s films.
Now, though, it seems like when the Berlin Wall fell it took this subgenre with it, and now all we have is that rubbish Straw Dogs remake and A Serbian Film, where the commentary on nationalism and European film culture is kind of hard to focus on when the main character puts his <censored> in the <censored> drugged while his son’s <censored> with an eye socket. Also, really cool beards. However, the genre could rise again like the undead, at least if we get some more films as good as Get Out. Continue reading