"Isn't Folk Horror All Horror?"

RODGERS, Diane (2021). "Isn't Folk Horror All Horror?". In: Fear 2000: Horror Unbound, Sheffield Hallam University [online], 10 September 2021- 12 September 2021. Craig Mann and Christopher Cooke. (Unpublished)

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The notion of folk horror as a distinct sub-genre has developed in leaps and bounds since its revival in the post-2000 period, with the most oft-cited examples still distinctly being from British 1970s cinema. The release of a number of folk horror titles (including Antrum, 2018 and Midsommar, 2019) continue to echo qualities from this earlier period. In 2017 Ben Wheatley (director of films considered seminal in the modern folk horror canon) wondered in my interview with him: “Isn’t folk horror all horror?” He goes on to muse upon folkloric tales of vampires and (quite rightly) wonders “isn't the werewolf's tale a folk horror tale… usually a village dealing with someone who transforms? That's all folk tale stuff. So, in a way, most horror is folk” (pers. comm. 25 May 2018). The roots of horror are indeed often firmly based in folk tales, myth and legend, indeed horror is the stuff of folklore: unofficially recorded histories, campfire tales and urban legend. But, whilst the schlock and gore antics of villains like Freddy Krueger and Jason Vorhees may have folkloric origins in satanic panics and urban legends of murdered babysitters, the films in which such characters appear are not regarded as folk horror. Although I and others have argued (Rodgers, 2019, Cowdell, 2019) that the use of folklore is absolutely integral to folk horror narratives, conversely, not all horror is folk horror. Folk horror is not even always horrific or merely restricted to the medium of film: its eerie dissonance “can be observed extending beyond boundaries of genre and medium” (Rodgers, 2019, 134). This paper proposes, therefore, that folk horror is no longer a sub-genre of horror, but can in fact be viewed as a wyrd genre in its own right, atypical of conventional cinema horror, with its own peculiar eeriness traversing a broad media landscape.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
SWORD Depositor: Symplectic Elements
Depositing User: Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited: 13 Sep 2021 11:08
Last Modified: 13 Sep 2021 11:15
URI: https://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/29049

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