IFFR Review – Woodlands Dark and Days Bewitched: A History of Folk Horror



Genre film fans tend to be a rather avid bunch. Staunchly faithful to, and rabid defenders of, our favourite films, we naturally have a preference when it comes to sub-genres. Personally, I love a bit of folk horror. Tales which conjure up our connection to a once mysterious past. To strange myths and legends of the land. To our old pagan roots and bygone beliefs. It’s the mystery and fear of the unknown and the uncanny which really sets me on edge.

Thankfully, I’m not alone in this enjoyment of rituals, myths and the occult. Indeed, in Kier-La Janisse’s epic new documentary she speaks to numerous writers and directors who also share this passion. At almost three hours long, Woodlands Dark and Days Bewitched: A History of Folk Horror is somewhat of a behemoth. Extensive is an understatement, covering over 200 films, television plays and episodes.

Woodlands Dark and Days Bewitched: A History of Folk Horror starts off focusing on the obvious trinity of The Wicker Man, Blood on Satan’s Claw and Witchfinder General but soon expands its remit to encompass a myriad of influences and areas. The early focus is on Britain and then America, but the scope soon expands to include much of the globe. Regardless of your level of knowledge and expertise, you’ll find Woodlands Dark and Days Bewitched: A History of Folk Horror a fascinating, informative and illuminating journey.

 Woodlands Dark and Days Bewitched: A History of Folk Horror screens at IFFR.

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