Search results

You are looking at 1 - 1 of 1 items for :

  • Author: Paul Newland x
  • Film, Media and Music x
  • Manchester Gothic x
  • Refine by access: All content x
Clear All Modify Search
Requiem for a Village and the rural English horror of modernity and socio-cultural change
Paul Newland

David Gladwell’s elegiac Requiem for a Village (1975) sits on the periphery of current critical formulations of the folk horror genre, but shares many of the genre’s key themes and concerns and much of its iconography. As Adam Scovell points out, ‘Gladwell’s film deserves to be more widely seen and discussed because it exemplifies a key theme in Folk Horror; the breakdown of the everyday normality that occurs through an obsession with the seemingly normal.’ (Scovell 2017: 83) Paying close attention to the rich aesthetics of the film, I will argue that through its Soviet montage-influenced editing scheme, which dialectically collides images of nature and timeless rural activities with images of the uniform architecture of a new suburban housing estate and rural fields being prepared by huge machines for further new housing, Requiem for a Village locates horror in an ongoing battle between the ‘old ways’ which are in danger of being eradicated on the one hand and modernity and rapid socio-cultural change in rural England on the other. I argue that Requiem for a Village develops a complex and fragmented vision of the ‘monstrous’, which is at once located in the memories and/or visions and experiences of the unnamed old man, but also in modernity broadly conceived, symbolised by the vast digging and earth-flattening machines.

in Folk horror on film