Beth Carroll
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Anglo creep and Celtic resistance in Apostle
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This chapter explores the regionality of folk horror and argues that the Celtic looms large in the English imaginary as a location for the rural. The chapter examines how folk horror evokes an ambiguous Celtic-ness, culturally, religiously, and aesthetically, to make strange what was once more prevalent across the British Isles more generally. In doing so, it highlights the dominance of an English lens both textually and extra-textually and questions the notion and usefulness of ‘Britishness’ and ‘Celtic’. Folk horror has an established history of exploring the rural through an urban lens. The rural becomes a site of difference, of fear, but also of hope and deliverance for the those entering its limits. But for the rural to be a site of contrast, those that enter both textually and extra textually, must be from elsewhere. With the creep of English suburbia, the rural is being forced further and further into other regions of the British Isles. Films such as Apostle illustrate the importance of the representation of Wales for maintaining these folk spaces in the face of Anglo imperialism, an imperialism shown to be deleterious to all. Apostle is demonstrative of an English protagonist marked by English religious proselytising as he enters a Welsh space of cultural and religious difference. Initially, this space is shown as oppositional to its English counterpart, offering escape and redemption for as long as Anglo creep can be prevented. Does the introduction of the English protagonist make clear underlying issues with these rural spaces, or is he the catalyst for them?

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Folk horror on film

Return of the British repressed


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