Et in Arcadia Ego: British folk horror film and television

RODGERS, Diane (2021). Et in Arcadia Ego: British folk horror film and television. In: HART, Carina and CHEESEMAN, Matthew, (eds.) Folklore and Nation in Britain and Ireland. Routledge.

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Whilst folk horror, hauntological and ‘wyrd’ media are still developing as categories, the British landscape is invariably noted as a key factor in creating eerie atmospheres on-screen, particularly in 1970s British film and television. This chapter examines to what extent the use of landscape and themes of unearthing help to characterise relevant film and television as British, from the ghost stories of MR James and their on-screen adaptations through to contemporary folk horror films such as Ben Wheatley’s (2013) A Field in England. The hauntological presence of such British landscapes and the undercurrent of 1970s media can be seen running throughout twenty-first-century television series such as Reece Shearsmith and Steve Pemberton’s Inside No. 9 (2014–present) and even the more gentle comedy of Detectorists (2014–2017) and This Country (2017–2020). Some of these titles also create their own versions of folklore that may not be historically or factually accurate but, nonetheless, seem plausibly ‘folkloresque.’ This chapter acknowledges folklore’s centrality to such examples of British film and television and considers how folklore is perpetuated and adapted to help outline national characteristics of British film and television, marking out folk horror as a peculiarly British genre.

Item Type: Book Section
SWORD Depositor: Symplectic Elements
Depositing User: Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited: 07 Sep 2021 12:10
Last Modified: 28 Feb 2023 01:18

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