Folk horror is something of a retrospective tag for a brand of (mostly British) horror. Although it is mostly affiliated with a clawful of early 70s horror films, it was 2010 before British screenwriter and horror aficionado Mark Gatiss popularised the term in referring to a trifecta of films with an emphasis on witchcraft, superstition and the British landscape. The term has gained notoriety since then and many modern writers, filmmakers and musicians have made a conscious effort to tap its rich aesthetic. I’m one of those writers.
Folk horror really speaks to me. Maybe it’s because I grew up in a small English village; maybe it’s because I love nothing more than strolling through the countryside and letting my imagination run wild. But I find rural English horror pleases me on a good few levels, and I enjoyed throwing my own hat in the ring with my most recent book Harvest House. Here are some of my thoughts on why I like folk horror and why I find it horrifying, together with some signposts to exploring folk horror for yourselves. (more…)