Mark Goodall
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Arthur Machen on screen
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If folk horror can be defined as exploring the ‘potential darkness of rural landscapes’1, then the work of Arthur Machen (1863-1947) stands as an ideal representation of this theme. Machen explored the enchanted landscapes of his Welsh heritage while at the same time transposing the terror of ancient cultures onto the modern cityscape. Few adaptations of Machen’s writings appear on film but this paper will explore those that do exist; those that have been rumoured to be in preparation and my own film Holy Terrors: Six Weird Tales by Arthur Machen (2017). I will discuss the key elements of folk horror and map those onto Machen’s writings in order to reveal what the genre can offer future supernatural cinematic folkloric works. ‘The nearest woods are now stricken with holy terror’ (Jacques Réda, The Ruins of Paris).

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Folk horror on film

Return of the British repressed


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