Blair Witch. Blood On Satan's Claw. The Wicker Man. Wake Wood. The Witch.
Some of my favourite films come from the "folk horror" sub-genre (I tend to refer to it as 'rural horror'), so I was delighted when I spied a piece on +Craig Oxbrow's The Watch House about an upcoming collection of critical essays on the topic.
Howard David Ingham's We Don't Go Back: a Watcher's Guide to Folk Horror is being funded via a Kickstarter and describes itself as a "a personal taxonomy of folk horror and pagan film".
The book has already hit its initial target, so will see the light of day, and the crowdfunding campaign runs until July 27.
On the book's Kickstarter page, the author explains:
"We Don't Go Back is the book version of a project that I've been running on the Room207Press.com blog since 2016...Check out the campaign's Kickstarter page for the various investor incentives, stretch goals etc as well as more about the films being reviewed and discussed.
Folk horror is a genre, mostly of film and TV, in which clashes of remote landscape and obscure belief create a quiet, strange dread.
The central visual texts of folk horror are Witchfinder General, Blood on Satan's Claw, and The Wicker Man, but the themes of folklore, witchcraft, and the landscape that drive these films surfaced in a vast number of films and TV shows (particularly in the UK in the 1970s).
In recent years, folk horror appears to have returned to our screens with films like The Witch, A Field in England, and Wake Wood, but there's ample evidence that it never really went away.
We Don't Go Back is an attempt to create a sort of personal taxonomy of film and TV folk horror.
The title is a line from the 1975 play Murrain and is for me one of the central tensions of folk horror: we don't go back to the past, because if we do, it consumes us; and if we don't, the past finds us anyway.
Out in the isolated places unusual superstitions flourish, and these are the places we came from. The old places. Even if the old gods have died, there's something about these ancient geographies that makes new gods flourish where the old once reigned. The old grounds, lain fallow, are fertile for this sort of thing. But we don't go back.
While British TV of the 70s was its most fertile breeding ground, you can find examples of folk horror (and things like it) from all over the world and from any of the last five decades."
Ingham is a writer and editor of games, poetry, fiction, and non-fiction. He has worked on 46 books for White Wolf and Onyx Path (including Vampire, Changeling, Mage, and Promethean) and his writings have been published by outlets as diverse as The Big Issue and Scripture Union UK.